Thursday, December 30, 2010

This is strangely timely, but only my friends on Facebook (Cindy!) who have been paying attention to my status updates will understand why.

The woman upon whom Liesl von Trapp in the movie "The Sound of Music" was based died yesterday.

(That sentence right there is proof of why I'm not a professional writer. This one, too, perhaps.)

Click on the title of this post to read the article.

For my photographer friends,

The NY Times posted a story about the end of Kodachrome film and processing that's very interesting. Not enough pictures, but still, good.

Click on the title of this post and you'll be taken to the story.

My morning reading - updated

A while ago, I read a few articles in the LA Times about a little girl named January Schofield, who has a serious and severe mental illness. The Great and Mighty Oprah also did a segment on her, and I'm sure other news organizations as well. The story made me sad because she's so young and because her family seems so dysfunctional (her father, for one, seems a little bit to me like a publicity hound; he's supposedly writing a book about her, and he keeps a blog about her in which he writes disturbingly personal details about their lives). Anyway, every once in awhile I do a google search to see what's going on with her, if anything.

Today during that search, I happened upon a blog called "Incorrect Pleasures." I've only been reading it for a little bit, so I have a very light grasp on the author's point of view, but she (?) wrote about Jani (January Schofield's nickname) in an interesting way from a perspective that I don't know anything about (the author says she has a condition called "synesthesia," and suspects Jani might have it as well). The author of the blog makes a lot of statements that sound logical and scientific but I don't know enough (anything) about the subject or her to be sure if they're true. That said, it's definitely interesting reading.

One of the other topics the author writes about is Syd Barrett, and though I know I told you that I wasn't really interested in Syd a few days ago, I've just started reading her piece on him, and it's pretty good.

I love this quote, which actually made me laugh, and made me want to tell you about what I've been reading:
Pink Floyd went on to become massively popular and commercially successful, their style evolving towards progressive rock, a popular musical genre that would enable millions of dim young men with limited prospects to experience the feeling of intellectual exhilaration without the necessity to read, learn or do anything much.
I'll keep reading and let you know what I think at the end.


It was definitely a very good, thought-provoking article. The author (who uses a pseudonym for the blog and so is anonymous) appears knowledgeable on lots of subjects related to mental illness and autism and that kind of thing, and I only say "appears" because these are subjects that interest me but in which I am not qualified to judge anyone's qualifications, if you understand what I'm saying.

As I said before, the name of the blog is "Incorrect Pleasures," and here's a link, if you're interested. She writes on many subjects, and I think I'll be back for more soon. I am now totally interested in synesthesia. It's fascinating. Here's a Wikipedia listing of people who have/had it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

He's gotta ticket to ride

Last week my iPod was acting funny and started playing songs from my mother's playlist, which it has been specifically instructed (over and over again) not to do.

Mom's music runs along the lines of her favorite praise & worship recordings, Sandi Patty, Don Moen, old-school country, Marc Anthony (don't ask me how he got in there but she loves him, especially his hit "I Need to Know," which shows up in my Top 25 Played playlist all the time), and that sort of thing. When I bought her iPod, I also loaded it with stuff my boss recommended. Some of it my mom likes, and some of it she doesn't (she wasn't impressed with Il Divo, for example, and I really don't think you can fault her for that). For laughs, I included a Carpenter's disk (my boss lived in Hollywood in the 70s, and I think that has something to do with her taste in music. She's also a big fan of Heart, CSN and, other gems from that time period). I think it's a best of CD but I don't remember the title.

Anyway, while my iPod was punking me, the Carpenters' cover of the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride" came on.

Apparently this was a hit song for them, and all I can say is, were all those people drugged? Incapacitated? Hooked up to machines? Unable to choose for themselves?

Most of us know "Ticket to Ride" as an upbeat song about a breakup, right? Sure, "upbeat" and "breakup" are probably words that don't belong in the same sentence, but John and Paul did a good job bringing the whimsy (though according to Wikipedia, Paul didn't do much writing as far as this song is concerned; I'll leave that argument to their heirs and the Beatles scholars).

In her version, Karen Carpenter successfully sucks all the fun out of the song, and I swear to god, as I was driving down the 5 freeway when it came on, I got a little scared. It's really a creepy version.

The way she sings those lyrics, I couldn't figure out if she was glad the guy ("the boy that's driving me mad...") had split on her, or if maybe, just maybe, she had something to do with it. I mean, at the end of the song, I started thinking maybe Karen was considering killing him.

Wouldn't it make the Carpenters a lot more interesting if Karen had secretly been a serial killer? Seriously, I could get into that story.

Monday, December 20, 2010

And after all we're only ordinary men.

Over the weekend, I read the book "Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd" by Mark Blake. I've been on a bit of a Pink Floyd tear lately, and I wanted more after watching a couple of documentaries on Netflix (which I had actually already seen).

I chose this one because it gets great reviews on Amazon (one reader said "This is by far the best book on this band," and if that's not a plug one shouldn't ignore, I don't know what is)... and because the library had it.

I know. I'm not very discerning.

Anyway, aside from the documentaries, this is the only book I've ever read on the Floyd (I love referring to them now as "The Floyd;" it makes me feel very English for some reason, and a little old, which is surprisingly not bothering me in this case), and though the library is still currently holding a copy of Nick Mason's memoir ("Inside Out"), I'm not sure if I'm going to pick it up.



Mark Blake clearly did an excellent job researching and compiling information and interviews and quotes and stories from all sorts of disparate sources, but there's a lot of repetition, a ton of unsubstantiated opinion, and a lot of tiny little anecdotes that never really add up to anything. Also, when the guy had to write a sentence from scratch, I wasn't all that convinced he was up to the job. I mean, I don't want to sound too harsh, but there could've been some better editing going on.

Also, though I guess for most fans, and for the band themselves (so I realize that what I'm about to say is probably going to piss somebody off), it's true that the important character in all the Pink Floyd history is the ghost of Syd Barrett, and while I think Syd's story is tragic and the early stuff interesting and I see that his presence was inspirational and integral to the band and their writing... the truth is I'm just not very interested in him (well, look who needs an editor now?). It seems like a huge waste, what happened to him, and it's nice that the band took care of him financially after (rightfully) kicking him out and getting on with it, and Roger Waters obviously needed a subject to obsess about... but the guy, as cool as he was, wasn't a genius. Those early songs are fun but not the best stuff Floyd ever put out.

(Yes, I am imagining you throttling me, you 21st century music nuts who are discovering "Bike" and "See Emily Play" for the first time, or you people who are cooler than I am who find that stuff fascinating. I thank Jay Schwartz for that mix tape he gave me in the 10th grade that I'm sure I've talked about before, for introducing me to the early songs, but I'm sorry, "Candy and a Currant Bun" didn't change my life or anything.)

So to spend almost half the book talking about him, telling what felt like an endless number of stories about Syd and his antics and his wardrobe and his girlfriends and his painting and how beautiful he was and how people were into him (Mick Jagger!)... it just got to be too much. I went into the book curious about him and came out overwhelmed with information that may or may not even be true. Now, I'm probably the exception, I get that. You might like to read a hundred stories about his ghostly appearances at Pink Floyd gigs after David Gilmour took over, or how he shaved off all his facial hair or how he showed up at the studio while the band was recording "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and nobody recognized him, or how he was supposedly locked in a linen closet/bathroom by his flatmates... but those stories don't add up to any real insight. The guy had nothing to say for himself and just one interview or snippet of first-hand clarity would've been worth all the stories about him not succeeding in the studio after he was ditched by his mates. And yes, I get that this lack of information is what makes everyone fiendish for more. But not me. The guy lived, he died, and he chose never to say anything for himself, and that's done. The rest of it is just... stories. He's a character, and yeah, that's interesting, but in the end you get nothing because it could all be made up or misinterpreted.


After that part, I hoped the book would supply meatier descriptions of the recording process (how they actually did all that stuff, with the tape all over the recording studio, the technical stuff), or the creative processes that the band went through, but nope, other than saying (rather relentlessly) that Roger Waters is a workhorse (and probably a bullying asshole), and that David Gilmour (who comes off as passive-aggressive) isn't, and that Nick Mason couldn't handle a lot of the drum parts and bought a lot of cars, and that Rick Wright wasted a lot of time not being in the the studio by being "depressed about his failed marriage[s]," not a whole lot of insight occurs in this book. You could pretty much get that information from watching a 45 minute documentary on the making of "Dark Side of the Moon" (and Mark seems to get off on the fact that for the re-release, they added a "The" in front of the album title). That they don't get along and bitterly argued and and pettily kept score about who was more instrumental to the band's recordings and still acted like children with a shiny toy ("Pink Floyd is mine, it's mine I say!") in their 50s and 60s... well, that's nothing new.

The truth is, I'm a fan, but I guess not a very loyal one (I own nothing past "The Wall," though I did listen to "The Division Bell" a lot when it came out because Drew liked it). I think the superficial information I had before reading this book was really all I needed. I listened to the early songs like "Arnold Layne" and "Scarecrow" on the way to work just to brush up... and then decided that "Dark Side of the Moon" was more appropriate for a rainy commute, and when I arrived at work this morning with "Time" ticking away, having read this book made me no more and no less happy with what was blaring out of my car's speakers.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lamaze, a dream, and a little man with a gun in his hand

Patrick and I started taking Lamaze classes last month - there are five classes, each three hours long. Three hours seems a bit excessive, since the classroom is small and the chairs are uncomfortable, but the information is really great. We've been to three of them. It's actually fun, and very interesting, and I love the teacher, who is enthusiastic, caring, funny, remembers all our names each week, and says "underwears" instead of "underwear." You might be surprised at how many times she has to reference one's... underwear during the course of the class. Or maybe you wouldn't be.

We've seen, I think, 4 birth videos, all with varying degrees of gore and guts (shown in progressive order), and it's smart the way the class is laid out. We've seen real live births; they started out with a nice over-the-shoulder view where everything went perfectly, and moved on down the line, so far, to one where variations on the perfect birth occur. There are about 12 couples in our class, and aside from one dude who insists on chatting with his pretty wife/girlfriend while we're trying to listen, it seems like a nice group of people. We appear to be the oldest people by about 10 years but I could be wrong; I really need to get my color done.

Anyway, last night I had a dream about being in labor. I was in the hospital, with two nurses, a younger one and an older one. They both had reddish hair, so I could be thinking about my neighbor Terie and her daughter Kacie, who are both nurses in real life, and people I wouldn't mind having around when the real thing finally happens. Patrick was napping (that snake!), and the two nurses were walking me around the room, while I swayed back and forth every once in awhile. My back was hurting in real life too yesterday (and this morning), and that motion seemed to help. It appeared to be very early in labor, or I was doing everything right, because I wasn't in a lot of pain or anything. The dream didn't go any further, it was just that one little part of it. There was no pushing, no strain, and no baby.

I liked having that dream, though, because even though the Lamaze is supposed to be calming us down about the big day, and showing us coping mechanisms for the pain and teaching us that we don't need to be afraid of it, the truth is, I'm still pretty scared. Emotionally I've kind of been a wreck this week (my sister-in-law asked me last night in between numbers at my niece and nephews Christmas program if I've started crying at TV commercials, and the answer is a huge YES, though, to be fair, I kind of did that before I got pregnant. But yes, pretty much everything elicits teary eyes from me right now, especially the aforementioned birthing videos we watch in Lamaze), and I'm afraid I'm going to be a big baby, unable to get the job done without a big freak-out. I'm sure that's a natural thing and not a sign that I'm a bad person or going to be a bad mother, but knowing that one's fear is normal doesn't really help alleviate it, if you know what I mean. Seeing myself, if only in a dream, if only in a moment absent of distress, calmly performing my Lamaze positions was a good sign. I need to get in "I can do it!" mode. I have 7 weeks to get there.

The rest of my dream was me accompanying some young woman I knew briefly in my 20s named Chelsea (I kissed my ex-boyfriend for the first time at her house; there were about 5 of us hanging out drinking beers and, for some reason, playing tag) to her ancestral home, which was a huge beautiful mansion, where the people living there refused to admit us and made us use a side entrance and told her she wasn't welcome there, and then we left in a huff and drove to Hollywood, where we went to a blues performance by Patrick's friend Art Harris, an amazingly talented guitarist and singer who goes by the name Artwork Jamal. You can check his website out here. He's incredible.

And, as just an aside, today I was smart and brought in my iPod and earphones and I am going to drown out the incessant chatting of one of my co-workers with the Minutemen! Patrick loaded my iPod with 4 of their albums (The Politics of Time, Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat, the Punchline [my favorite; I love the title song so much], and What Makes a Man Start Fires). I can't wait. In fact, her voice is filling the room right now, and this seems like the perfect time to start Operation Drown-Out... I think we'll start with Buzz or Howl. I listened to the Punch Line while sitting in traffic.

Monday, December 6, 2010

More discarded Facebook status updates:

Irene Casarez Palma:
  • is getting a little tired of people commenting on my newly acquired "waddle."
  • didn't sleep all that great last night in spite of the ideal conditions (it rained).
  • the other night I woke up at 1:30 convinced that it was time for Patrick to get up for work. He agreed with me, expecting me to just go back to sleep, but instead I kept waking him up, saying, "Pat, it's time to get up." Finally he explained that it was only 2 a.m. I went back to sleep and woke up the next day very confused.
  • I'm sick and tired of getting up in the pitch black morning.
  • finally cleaned the baby's closet out. Threw away a lot of stuff I had no business keeping.
  • found a bunch of photos of Drew's family and wondering if it would be appropriate to send them to him. I haven't spoken to him in years, though that last conversation was relatively friendly.
  • wonders why one of my co-workers feels the need to speak to me everytime she leaves the office. She's a nice lady but I'm not really required to be verbally informed of her whereabouts at every moment of the day. Write it down and we'll all be happy.
  • I need a nap.
  • When I started making this list of discarded FB status updates, I should've dated them. I think the oldest is at least two years old. This current list is from December 6, 2010.
  • In less than 8 weeks I'm going to be somebody's mother.
  • mitigating that weird tired emotional feeling by watching "Concert for George" again. "Arpan" = good for whatever ails you
  • wishes all the City Garage-ers good luck at the LA Weekly awards tonight
  • hopes you call and make a reservation for "The School For Wives" playing at City Garage, Saturday and Sundays (310) 319-9939. You won't regret it. Also, The Bourgeois Gentilhomme is playing Fridays only!
  • did indeed buy the piccolo she mentioned a long time ago that she wanted and loves, loves, loves it
  • is thinking about things she shouldn't be thinking about
  • told someone to "fuck off" last night who she REALLY hopes doesn't take her seriously; though, chances are good that this person didn't even notice (which is part of the reason I was so mad; yes, this is confusing)
  • needs to get to the gym again
  • wants a massage
  • needs a massage
  • is listening to Kings of Leon, The Bird and the Bee, Deerhunter, Love and Rockets, and Radiohead almost to the exclusion of anything else
  • is getting a bit sick of reading about Frank Lloyd Wright's private life. Sorry, T.C. Boyle. Maybe I'll pull out "Budding Prospects" again instead
  • is probably going to have popcorn for dinner again tonight
  • is a bit stressed out about this jury duty business. Being on a case is a little scary
  • wants to play her flute
  • needs to play her flute
  • has to go to work tomorrow instead of jury duty and is actually kinda glad
  • is really enjoying her BareMinerals makeup
  • may have a fat ass, questionable style, rampant self-deprecating humor and a dim inner light - but sometimes I can be damn funny
  • will never wear high heels to a flute concert again - thus, all my pants will be hemmed
  • is watching the movie "Elf" and finding it surprisingly amusing
  • is sure she's seen people wearing more questionable outfits at Panda Express on a Sunday night. While technically not my pajamas, I will admit that they have played that part in the past. Look: I was at least wearing a bra
  • is waiting for the dude who bought my piccolo on ebay to leave (positive, preferably) feedback
  • is doing laundry
  • hates doing laundry
  • is selling her Armstrong piccolo on ebay
  • needs a new piccolo stand
  • Flute World here I come
  • is supposed to be following a rather restrictive diet since last month and hasn't started yet
  • has a strange feeling
  • stayed up too late Thursday, Friday and Saturday
  • just told her mother to be brave, and to pray that God knows what [s]he's doing
  • feels a little funny about that
  • has a feeling that rainbow in the sky ends... at her house!
  • wonders why are there so many songs about rainbows
  • absolutely does not brake for rainbows
  • figures that song came out right about at the same time she stopped liking the B-52s so much
  • wonders if by secretly loading a bunch of damn Data Rock songs onto her iPod, Patrick has broken some divine rule
  • is walking twice a day, four days a week with the girls at work
  • thinks that Metallica should have named their new album "Dethklok"
  • won an iPod Shuffle! (no, for real! It wasn't a pop up!)
  • has eaten enough popcorn in the last week to kill a pig
  • really, really, needs to exercise
  • was waved at by an old guy on a 3-wheeled bike on her way home from work while she had the stereo up too loud
  • overheard a woman asking a worker at Target, "What song are you playing right now?" They weren't playing any song... or were they? Which one of us is wrong?
  • bought another dress she'll never wear
  • can't wait to go to the LA County Fair with Sarah and see the goats!
  • registered for flute choir. Did you?
  • doesn't understand why VH1 Classic is playing a Duran Duran concert that looks like it's from this century, and doesn't understand why she's watching it, and doesn't understand what the hell happened to Simon Le Bon's face
  • realized today that she doesn't like baby showers, and in fact, isn't all that comfortable at most parties
  • has still not recovered from week one of working from 7-5:30 for four days a week
  • really really needs to go to bed
  • started writing a story about the "first time" but then mentioned it to her friend Rachel, who remembers saying the word "eww" when she told her about it at the time; "eww" seems like a bad reaction
  • will say that it involved a recreation of a scene from a movie, which at the time, she didn't realize, because she hadn't (and still hasn't) seen the movie
  • is instead working on a Stewart Copeland story (by "working on" she means, cultivating the idea in her brain and not yet on paper. As if she works with paper anymore)
  • is for some reason irritated by Patrick's ability to sleep anywhere, including now, on the couch, while she's watching the stupid Duran Duran concert on VH1
  • is watching a marathon of "Canada's Next Top Model," which Patrick finds to be more "civilized" than America's Next Top Model
  • listened to Patrick state that Canadian TV is "so Canadian" and laughed her head off
  • sweated her way through tonight's performance of BAD PENNY
  • start[ed] her new job on September 8
  • is about to have lunch from Fake Tito's
  • wonders why 7 pounds feels like 20
  • saw "The Rocker" last night - cute but not amazing
  • wonders where the scruffy teens walking down her street came from
  • may be suffering from Olympics overload
  • is reading a silly sci-fi novel that's like 1,000 pages long and loving it
  • thinks Peter F. Hamilton is Robert Heinlein minus the misogyny and the civics lessons
  • needs to eat something
  • wishes Patrick a most happy birthday: August 11
  • wonders what's going on with the women's USA gymnastics team??
  • LOVES the Chinese women's team!
  • met Anne Frank the cat last night and is in love
  • made Bo laugh (not a euphemism) about 100 times last night; he returned the favor
  • has 38.5 days worth of music on her iPod and wants more
  • better back up her music
  • is gonna go to Super Mex tonight for dinner with her niece and nephew and their parents
  • just got a call from someone who called her "Porsha"
  • wonders if this is the same person who rang the bell earlier today
  • wonders who rang the doorbell a few moments ago
  • wonders if whoever rang the doorbell noticed her hiding behind the computer monitors or heard her laughing while re-reading David Sedaris' "Me Talk Pretty One Day"
  • wonders if 12:00 is too late in the day to still be wearing her nightgown - nah
  • thinks it's kind of interesting when she runs into people she knows rather superficially who have been reading her blog and those people seem embarrassed, or confused, or annoyed
  • would like to know some of those people better
  • has started telling people at work that she's transferring, and has been pleasantly surprised by the stunned and sad reactions
  • wonders if her co-workers are amazing actors
  • will miss AC, LD, EC, and her 24" monitor the most
  • wants one of those little hats the athletes from Brazil wore in the opening ceremony for the Olympics
  • caught Laura Bush (not George!) checking her watch during the opening ceremony for the Olympics
  • will be doing the lights/sound/slides (!) at City Garage for BAD PENNY through September 7
  • is working on "The Emperor and the Bird of Paradise"
  • had a huge crush on Ian Clarke when he was at the flute convention in San Diego and how she got all nervous when she got to speak with him! No, that doesn't sound familiar at all
  • spent almost $200 at Fresh & Easy tonight
  • is still waiting for Fresh & Easy to launch their ad campaign using the Eagles' "Take It Easy" as their theme song
  • cannot shop at Fresh & Easy without humming "Take It Easy" and yes, that's an incredibly annoying song
  • is carpooling tomorrow to Santa Monica with Bo and once again finds herself in the driver seat (not a euphemism - unfortunately!)
  • wonders who will catch that "unfortunately" first?
  • wonders if they will take it seriously?
  • would like for them to not take it seriously
  • when are these damn bangs going to grow the fuck out?
  • is going back to work now
  • hopes the slide projector at City Garage was destroyed in the earthquake
  • had a great concert on Sunday
  • is listening to "Hands Off... She's Mine," by the English Beat
  • is back on the 5/40 work schedule
  • will be visiting Santa Cruz (actually, Aptos) by way of San Jose
  • wonders how long it will take for these ill-advised bangs to grow out
  • isn't used to Bluetooth yet - it kinda hurts her earlost her Bluetooth earpiece
  • drove part of the way home from Culver City last night with a purple piece of paper under the wiper on the passenger side of her car; she exited the freeway at Rosecrans, thinking it was a parking ticket or message from a secret admirer only to find out that it was an advertisement for an insurance company - THEN - upon getting back on the freeway, she was the second car behind the cops doing a traffic break, and she thought that her detour and that stupid piece of paper may have saved her from a sure death in a fiery car crash (cue "Motorcrash" by the Sugarcubes)... except the break was for just barely getting started road construction near the 110. Oh well. Slow for the cone zone!
  • wants popcorn for breakfast
  • found out that her uncle used to cut the hair of the nuns (not a euphemism) who lived at the church she's playing at tomorrow
  • learned just the other night that "Nice & Easy" isn't just a marketing ploy
  • likes the word "carroms" (I think it's the name of a fIREHOSE song)
  • has a friend who adopted a kitten from these people who named the kitty "Anne Frank"
  • thinks naming a cat "Anne Frank" is pretty funny
  • will probably name her next cat either Molly Hatchet or Dale Nixon
  • still thinks Dave Grohl is a gum-chewing girlie man
  • thinks kitties should have last names (hello, Frances "Smush" Palma"!)
  • made the same mistake again another month in a row - making her idiocy at least a year long - yay for me!
  • is reading 1984 and a biography on Walt Disney at the same time
  • is finding horrifying similarities to her current work situation in both books
  • wonders what kind of a person gets a version of "Sexy Back" for their license plate
  • is banging her head against the wall at work (thanks, kid, now all I'm thinking about is the sex life of pigs, a topic I had been really good at avoiding until now)
  • is pretty much too bummed out by work to do much blogging lately
  • misses you a little
  • knows the feeling isn't mutual
  • didn't mean to imply that just because she doesn't have $1,200 for a new piccolo, also isn't that upset about it; her plastic and wood combination piece o' crap is surprisingly in tune and relatively easy to play, it just has to be warmed up and ready to go
  • can't swing "That's a-Plenty" and is glad Joe is playing flute 1
  • will be less than five minutes late to work tomorrow if it kills her
  • thinks it would be really un-funny if she gets in a car accident tomorrow morning on the way to Downey
  • honks at people who do stupid things on the road and doesn't appreciate it when those people get pissed off. Drive right or face the consequences, jerks
  • thinks her boss should call her when she's not going to be in the office in the AM and there are no appointments on the calendar but her boss apparently feels otherwise
  • wants to go to the OC fair and drool over the goats
  • saw a beautiful leather bag at the mall last night... made out of goat leather. Can't do it, sorry
  • is glad there's a new season of Project Runway but has been disappointed by the winners of some of the other reality shows she watches - so she's not gonna get too attached to anybody (especially Kelli, the trash bag lady, and the cup dress dude)
  • just bought a bag identical to one she already owns
  • has decided she doesn't need an iPhone or the extra charges for the data charges but promises to continue to drool over yours
  • finally had dinner at Versailles yesterday
  • is uninterested in laundry, housework, paying bills, practicing or even taking a shower, and would like instead to just lay on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn, a cold drink, and a book
  • is watching all the people going to the open house across the street and is starting to miss her neighbors already
  • is, but shouldn't be, and rather wishes she wasn't, strangely attracted to Scissor Sister's version of "Comfortably Numb"
  • walked into this guy's office the other day at work and he was listening to Maroon 5. If she didn't think he was a giant tool before, she sure does now
  • is listening to a bunch of Pink Floyd covers
  • thinks that in the photo currently plastered all over iTunes, Beck looks like he should be holding a giant lollipop and wearing a sailor hat

  • would give it to you if she could but she borrowed it
  • doesn't have $1,200 to buy a slightly used piccolo
  • is looking for the power button
  • hasn't had a diet coke in two days and seems to think this is something of which she can be proud
  • was about to embark on a marathon day of laundry when, during the very first load, the damn machine overflowed and Patrick is out there now, trying to fix it; meanwhile, the driveway is full of lots of soapy water
  • is in love with the creamy chicken soup at Souplantationwonders why they keep changing the goddamn soup at Souplantation
  • has a headache, a head full of snot and a fever
  • can't believe she just wrote "head full of snot"
  • is experiencing Internet lagtime because Patrick is downloading a stupid John McLaughlin record
  • thinks "latency" is a really cool word, too
  • found out that a guy she knows knows another guy she knows in another town and is strangely obsessed with "small world!" sappiness
  • has a fever and a runny nose
  • had a work-induced crappy day
  • told her co-worker whose name rhymes with "Irene" to "go home on time for a change"
  • kind of wants a MacBook
  • bought $56 in pens and Post-its at Staples tonight
  • has an odd fixation on pens and Post-its right now
  • thinks her neighbor's Scion sounds like a fancy lawn mower
  • : putting one foot in front of the other since 1972
  • was told today that there is a direct connection between people with sinus troubles and the weight of the sadness that we all carry around with us
  • has made the same mistake, month after month, on almost the same day, for about a year now
  • wishes she knew somebody named "Elliot Sneen"
  • : unintentionally insulting people she hasn't seen for 20 years ("I still got it!")
  • is wondering when it would be a good time to wash the dishes that have been floating in what Patrick calls "primordial soup" for about 3 days already
  • has a sick husband
  • has a tummy ache
  • had the high school reunion dream again
  • finally realizes that being a loser doesn't make you special (David Spade, Kathy Griffin excepted from this rule)
  • once told a 17-year old kid to "get the fuck out of my car" and then drove away in a haze of rubber and never thought about him again
  • one part of that story is a lie
  • still hasn't joined a gym - or a yoga class - or ridden her bike in an month - or gone for a walk - or stopped drinking diet Cokes - or upped her water intake - or eaten more vegetables - or practiced in a week
  • reported the Yard House in LB to the Department of Public Health for possibly giving her and Patrick food poisoning
  • is watching the kid across the street play solo catch and kind of wishes she could go out and join him, except she sucks at catch
  • is not enjoying Peter Sagal's book on Vice as much as she wanted tothought Peter Sagal's book was a huge waste of time and now doesn't even like listening to Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me (unless Tom Bodett is on)
  • was almost run over yesterday, twice, and neither time involved a Frito Lay truck (and thank God for that, because Rachel and Melissa were nowhere to be seen)
  • wants to know when Culver City became the office supply store mecca of the world (there are at least 3 within 1/2 a mile)
  • wants to know where Kathy Griffin got that orange cover for her iPhone
  • wants Tito's chips and salsa
  • had a pretty good idea when she started the Stewart Copeland business but now is stuck and can't think of where to go next with it
  • wants to stop starting sentences in her head that begin, "Irene Casarez Palma..."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Another one.

My wild and weird dreams had subsided a bit for awhile, but started up again last night.

Brief description (I swear):

I'm driving my car in a mall, and no one finds this unusual. I pull up to a jewelry store, but am directed by the security guard to the "elevator" that is nearby. I park my car near the store, and walk to the elevator, which is a round room with a seat in the center where the passengers sit, facing out. A woman attempts to get on the elevator but doesn't have the $1 required; I offer to pay her fare and she gets on and thanks me. The elevator moves along back to the jewelry store.

In the jewelry store, I show the guy working there a clock I've brought with me and want to sell to him. It's pretty ugly, but still in the box, which has an orange price sticker of $44.23 on it. The clock itself is about 8 inches high, and in the shape of an architectural pediment. It's a Frank Gehry design.

The jewelry store guy gives me a long-winded and forgotten speech about clock design and profitability and ultimately announces that he can only offer me $1 for the clock. He presents me with a complex spreadsheet of figures and graphs that show the depreciation of the clock over time. I explain that I was not looking to make a profit; the clock had been a gift but I didn't want it anymore, and didn't feel right throwing or giving it away. I accept his $1 and leave the store.

Later I'm at the home of an old boyfriend who shall remain nameless. I'm asleep in his bed but he's not there. I only know which boyfriend it was because I recognize the possessions in the room, which is new to me. There's a bookshelf behind the bed that has a huge quantity of books and other items that I remember from when I last really knew this person and never really expected to see again, and the room is large and warm and the bed is large and warm, and has a beautiful red quilt on it, which I'm snuggled in.

Then the boyfriend's mother, who I also never expected to see again, comes and asks me about the clock, which I had just sold for $1. She's not angry, just curious. She was a nice lady.

And then I woke up, curled up on my right side (bad pregnant lady!) with my Boppy Total Body Pillow. The kitty had commandeered the top pillow part, and we were both pressed pretty firmly into Patrick's back, with lots of blankets covering us both. It was sweet. The dream was weird but I've read that dreaming about clocks means you're afraid you're running out of time, and that seems about accurate, considering several different things I've been talking about.

Then I realized that Patrick's alarm hadn't gone off and that he needed to get in the shower before me, so I woke him up and went back to sleep for at least 20 more minutes. I wish I could do that again right now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I was looking at my resume this morning, and realized that it's finally time to remove all my retail experience. It's been 10 years since I worked in a bookstore, and wow, that kind of sucks. Because it means I'll never be a kid again, right?

Not that I'd really want to work in a bookstore now - the hours, the wages, the uncertainty - but I miss the fun of it. The stores I worked in, for the most part, were full of fun, smart, interesting (and sometimes crazy and/or idiotic) people, and I only had to work with a couple of (known) drug users. I miss the customers, too, and that's weird, because I usually don't really feel comfortable talking to strangers (Patrick and I took our first Lamaze class on Monday, and when I saw that the teacher intended to go around the room and get us all to introduce ourselves and to also talk about our pregnancy, I almost asked Patrick if we could leave). And hey, let's be honest, I miss the books.

Anyway, before I remove it forever (unless of course some day I reapply for another bookstore, if any are still around), here's the retail section, which really only includes my last bookstore job. If it doesn't sound all that impressive, I had trimmed it down years ago and removed the jobs I had right after high school. And maybe it's not all that impressive. My experiences at Crown, Bookstar, and 20/20 Video have already been excised because that shit was so loooooong ago:

January 1998-September 2001
Boutique and Operations Manager
Rizzoli Bookstore
Santa Monica / Beverly Hills

Ah, it's not much, is it. My functions, in a nutshell, were: I was a manager, therefore I managed. I had keys, and the combination to the safe. I added up all the money and credit card slips and counted the registers. I made the schedule. I tracked the sales of my boutique items (cards, t-shirts, gift items, etc.). I was amazed at the hand-drawn sales history graphs that my store manager would painstakingly draw out every week. I stood around and joked and talked and fooled around with my co-workers (I made an awesome giant pencil hat for my friend Bo, which I think I still have somewhere, as well as a picture of him wearing it). I shelved books. I read books. I created intricate displays of pens and pins and t-shirts and boxed cards and whatever else we were selling in the boutique. I cleared printer jams. I got parking tickets. I worked on holidays and weekends. I approved store returns (and once, famously, did not approve a store return, and the asshole who was trying to return about $500 worth of books without a receipt made me cry). I met famous people. I helped Eric Stoltz find the one book we had in the entire store on divorce. I talked to the homeless people who wandered in occasionally. I gossiped about my strange co-workers. I made very good friends, and a few enemies. I slept in the daytime and worked in the nighttime, I worked with students, housewives... drug users, artists, musicians, actors. No offense to anybody else but the actors were the most entertaining. Funny, that.

OK, so that's over.