Thursday, December 31, 2009

Annual Meme

2009 Meme
This will be the third time I've answered these questions - first in 2007, then again last year. It's very nearly the only New Years tradition I have. First, though, my favorite picture from the series of holiday parties I attended.

Dancing with a friend of the Explosive Neil's at The Family Guy Christmas party. It was absolutely brilliant and I'm so glad the party photographer sent us the pictures. See how giddy I was? That's what dancing does to me.

Onto the questions...
1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
I went to Australia! It was fantastic and brilliant and I'm so so happy I went. I also shot a gun for the first time, a Glock, and I was good! Turns out all those video games weren't such a waste of time.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
As is typical every year, I probably did make a resolution and forgot what it was by February.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Someone who was close to my brother passed away.

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
I'm pretty happy with the things I have this year. There's nothing I lack for - but there are things that I'd like more of, please. Namely, clothes, shoes, and money.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Most of this year was pretty memorable for me. I met a lot of people, did a lot of things. It was a good, eventful year.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I think it would have to be getting my life a little more sorted out. The process started last year but was still pretty unstable, job-wise. I feel much more solid about it going into this new year.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I don't feel as though I failed this year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
A couple of colds and then, a few weeks ago, a spectacular bump on the head. My brains were scrambled for days.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Being very, very poor, I haven't purchased anything amazing this year but, again, I've gotten some very nice gifts.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Quite a few people really impressed me this year. My friends are brave, brave folks.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
No one's really appalled me but there were a couple of people that got me sad. That's how it crumbles, cookie-wise.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Australia, rent, and keeping Clementine running.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Again, Australia. Seeing Gogol Bordello over the summer. Christmas parties.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
I fell in love with this song and listened to it constantly over the summer.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
fatter -
c) richer or poorer?
about the same.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I did a lot of living this year. I maybe should have taken more time to be creative but I don't regret the time I spent running around like a maniac.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I deffo wish I'd spent less time job-hunting/working at terrible places.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent the holiday with my family. It was lovely.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
It would have been no fun at all if I hadn't.

22. How many one-night stands?
None, as always. I'm very well-behaved.

23. What was your favourite TV program?
I've become obsessed with 30 Rock. It's genius.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nope, still don't hate anyone.

25. What was the best book you read?
Jonathan Saffron Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close blew me away. It's been making the rounds among my friends but as soon as it gets back to me, I'll be reading it again.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
There were so many discoveries this year! Some of them are bands/singers that have been around for a while and some of them are new but there were at least thirty or forty different musical obsessions this year. A couple of the current obsessions include Florence + The Machine, Mariachi El Bronx, and Amanda Palmer's solo album.

27. What did you want and get?
Lots and lots of fun.

28. What did you want and not get?
There were a couple of disappointments here and there but nothing permanent.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
This is always a tough one. I have a few favorites: The Brothers Bloom, (500) Days of Summer, and District 9.

30. What did you do on your birthday?
I went to Disneyland with my parents!

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I think this year might have been a little better if I hadn't spent half of it in a panic because I couldn't get a good job.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
It really hasn't changed - a little bit quirky, a little bit retro, a little bit punk, feminine, and this year, lots and lots of red.

33. What kept you sane?
My friends

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Simon Pegg is still the favorite, even though he hadn't done anything memorable this year.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Health care.

36. Who did you miss?
It's always the same - my brother and my grandparents.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
So many people this year! The best?... ... ... I don't know. They're all tied for first.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
It's okay to be selfish once in a while. This is the only life I've got and I'm allowed to enjoy it.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
This night is winding down but time means nothing. We're all right where we're supposed to be.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Australia, Part 2

I bought a Christmas tree last night. It's tiny, scraggly, crooked and I love it very muchly. It's also the first tree I've had in five years. I'm going to decorate it, and the apartment, tonight and then I will be living inside the twinkly Spirit of Christmas.
I've been going to holiday parties and that's always fun. There was the Fox TV Animation Holiday Party! and the Come To My Giant House In The Hills Holiday Party! and both of them were fabulous. The Fox party was a swanky, super-Hollywood affair - Seth McFairlane sang Fly Me To The Moon with the big band, Seth Green was hanging out at the mashed potato bar, THEY HAD A MASHED POTATO BAR, everybody was dressed up and there were open bars and buffet tables spread throughout the massive venue.This is Laura, myself, The Explosive Neil, and (I wanna say Scott? Sam? Angus?) Guy with Gold Tie being super-swanky.

The second party, last weekend, was smaller and just as fun. It was held in a gorgeous house in the hills, killer view of the city, lots of pretty people and good friends.

This is the wall the host insisted everyone pose in front of ("We just tiled it!"). There are lots of photos of people standing in front of this wall and while it is very pretty, I think it looks like everyone was standing in a giant shower stall.

That's it for the recent news: Party, work, party, tree, work.

More Australia!!

This is something I didn't know - the money is made of plastic, with a little clear plastic window built right in. You can wash the money, spill ketchup on it, stir your coffee - DOESN'T MATTER!! The money, it is indestructible. I was hugely impressed.
My friend is a professor of law at the University of Melbourne and I got a little tour. It's the loveliest place. That gorgeous building covered in vines? That's a classroom. The corridor below? That's just one of the passageways. It felt a little like Hogwarts.
I think this was the courthouse... I kinda don't remember anymore. But it looks very courthouse-y, right?

At the Victoria Marketplace I saw rows and rows of stalls selling candies, cheeses, fruit, and yes, fresh kangaroo meat. I really wanted to try some but my friend is a vegetarian and totally against the eating of the kangaroo. Normally, I would have disregarded any and all obstacles between me and the eating of Something Strange but I got the feeling that in this instance, eagerly shoving Adorable Kangaroo into my mouth would have cost me the friendship of the only person I knew in the country. I made do with a meat pie. And it was delicious.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Australia, Part 1

It's pretty early and my brains aren't really awake yet but I wanted to start writing a little bit about my trip last month.
After about twenty hours in different airports and airplanes, I was in Melbourne. There was only a little bit of walking around that first day - I was pretty wiped out - but one of the first things I noticed about the city was how much street art was everywhere. Very little gang-style tagging (not in the parts I saw, anyway) and lots of really cool paintings and stencils. And lots and lots of old churches.
That was day one - church and graffiti.
Days two and three was more walking around, looking at awesome buildings, taking a squillion pictures, and drinking a squillion Long Blacks, the Aussie version of an Americano. If I didn't have a coffee addiction before the trip, I certainly do now. I had at least one every day, usually two or three. Some of the coffee houses there (most notably, Proud Mary's in Collingwood, the neighborhood I was staying in) had the coffee-making and serving down to a science. They'd give me little cards with information about the type of coffee bean that made up my drink, the growers, how the coffee is made. I was impressed.

That's the view from my friend's office. Gorgeous, no?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just a quick one

I still haven't said anything about the trip - it will happen, I swear! Just not right now. Right now, I am full of Smug because my car broke down (again) and I, myself, and me fixed it. All by my lonesome. This is entirely blog-worthy because my car breaks down ALL THE TIME and usually, it takes a team of seven to nine-hundred-and-sixty-three scientists from NASA to fix it. Tonight, I have fixed the car.
I'm not going to go into what exactly was wrong with it because it was so pathetically easy to fix. My Masterful Feat of Engineering Brilliance is that much more impressive when you don't know what it was I did.

Also, I was supposed to babysit tonight but, because of the car, I canceled. An hour after the cancellation, I got a phone call from the mother, asking me to come anyway, she'd pay for a taxi, because her son was really looking forward to seeing me.

Smug and beloved. Ah..... Being me rocks.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Just stuffing, really.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I'm spending the day with my family, cooking, eating, and sewing. Tomorrow, it's back to LA and trying to figure out how to start my car. Clementine's been really well behaved since January so the most recent break-down was actually a relief. I was going nuts anticipating constantly for the last few months. 'Sides, this was just a little break-down: I parked on a slope and flooded the engine. Once I wrangle some muscle-y friends into helping me push the car, I'll be able to pop the clutch and get Clemmy back home.

Thanksgiving. Right. So, we're having ham and potatoes and cranberry sauce and corn and yams and it's going to be amazing. We're doing what we always do: cook, eat, start wrapping the Christmas presents, and watch lots and lots of movies. It's tradition. Traditions are important.

I hope you have a fantastic day with the ones you love and don't get chased by giant turkeys.

Friday, November 6, 2009

This is Ferris, my carry-on.

As of two minutes ago, I am able to say that I leave for Australia tomorrow. The passport has been located, the luggage has been packed, the apartment is (mostly) clean, and I think I'm ready to go.
Originally, I was going to fly alone but there's been a change of plan.Ferris will be coming with me after all. I tried to keep him out of the luggage, I really did. He'd hop in, I'd scoop him out, he'd hop in again, I'd scoop, he'd hop... It was ridiculous and there was really no way to keep him out, short of locking him in the bathroom so I developed a system - every time I needed to put something in the case, I'd lift him up with one hand, set the item down with the other, and set him on top of the newly packed item. There was no other way. He was going to hang out in that case if it killed him. After all, there might be ninjas in Australia! Who else is going to protect me? Who else really understands how sneaky those dastardly ninjas are?

Look at that. A face like that will let you get away with anything. Knock over the water glass? It's okay. He's cute. Tear the shower curtain? Aw, so sweet! (He thinks it's coming between us. ) Rip my arm to shreds? No problem. He's just practicing his ninja killing moves.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of my adorably vicious kitten, this apartment is a ninja-free zone and soon, if everything goes according to his tiny-brained plan, Australia will be, too.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

counting down...

It's only begun to hit me this week. I'm going to Australia. I'll be in Australia this time next week. I'M ACTUALLY GOING TO AUSTRALIA WHICH IS BOTH A COUNTRY AND A CONTINENT AND I WILL BE THERE. Honestly, it's kinda freaking me out a little. I'm prepared. Sort of. While I don't have my passport in hand, I know I've got one. That's important, I think. A start, anyway. Once I find it, I'll have it, and that's one item I can check off the list. Passport? Check (once I've remembered where I've put it). Clothes? Check (as soon as they're laundered). Plane ticket? Check (as soon as I've gone to work and printed it out because I've run out of ink at home). Camera? Check. I could practically run out that door and straight to Australia right now!
Really, it's not so bad as all that. I've got the next two days to sort everything out - I'm not working and I've made no plans for fun stuff. I will find the things I need to find, wash the clothes, clean the apartment, all that necessary-for-travel stuff and by Saturday, I will be heading to the airport knowing that I am Totally Prepared for Anything.

Victoria of the United KingdomImage via Wikipedia

The Australian friend has given me a mini-itinerary. As far as I'm concerned, most of it is gibberish (I had no idea that Melbourne was in the state of Victoria. I thought Victoria was an island and that I'd be visiting it later in the week, as opposed to being in it the entire time). So far, the plan is to spend the first couple of days in Melbourne, then a couple of days on Prince Philip Island (I am geographically dense about Australia [Victoria's a state! Who knew?!] so I have no idea what it means that I'll be staying there but it sounds awesome. Anything involving royalty is a win for me.) From Prince Philip Island, we'll spend a few days exploring the Great Ocean Road or we'll head to Sydney and play in the city. Hiking or bar-crawling, we'll decide once I get there.
I'm bringing my laptop with me and hopefully I'll be able to update once in a while, with pictures.

And that's it. What my life is all about right now. The job's good, the cat's great, my friends are lots of fun, my family is doing well, and when people ask me what I'm doing this weekend, I very casually shriek into their faces, "I'M GOING TO AUSTRALIA!!!"

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just For Fun

It's late, the cat's sleeping on my lap, I'm out of new books to read....

For my own enjoyment, I've put together a list of my favorite dance scenes in films and TV shows. I love love love it when dancers are hilariously awkward and those are the clips I started looking for but pretty soon I was watching all my old favorite dance numbers.

Here are my favorite (excluding all those that don't have clips on YouTube, anyway) dances.

The master of dance, Fred Astaire, drunk. From the 1942 movie Holiday Inn.

Thandie Newton and Gerald Butler in Rocknrolla, planning a heist.

From Flight of the Conchords - Brett dances when he's angry and he's very angry now.

This is pretty much exactly the way I dance now. Except, you know, without guys lifting me up. Or rhythm. I don't bother with that stuff. (Mostly because I don't have any.)

Ellen, before she started dancing EVERY SINGLE DAY on her talk show.

Abigail Breslin's dance at the beauty pageant in Little Miss Sunshine.

My brother and I learned this dance from Perfect Strangers and used to do it all the time and every now and then, we'll do it just to keep in practice. The end is my favorite bit. Usually, I'm the one who gets carried but once in a while, we switch things up and as soon as he jumps into my arms, we both end up on the ground.

Another Fred Astaire classic, from Swing Time. His character, a professional dancer, has to pretend he can't dance so he can meet Ginger Rogers' character, a dance instructor.

Later, Astaire shows off what he's learned from Ginger Rogers. Infinitely less awkward.

I had to leave out that epitome of awkward dancers, Napoleon Dynamite because the only clip I could find starts automatically and I think that's obnoxious. If you want to watch it, it's here.

That moment in The Fisher King when Robin Williams' character spots the love of his life in Grand Central Station.

This clip from The Fifth Element could have gone either way - the Blue Diva has some incredibly lame dance moves but Milla is nothing but awesome.

The Cell Block Tange from Chicago. Sexy, funny, brilliantly choreographed. Really, the entire movie is phenomenal. It's hard to choose just one song.

The always magical Singin' In The Rain. Happiest number ever.

I was torn between this clip and Fred and Ginger dancing to Cheek to Cheek but in the end I chose this one because her dress is prettier.

El Tango de Roxanne from Moulin Rouge. I could (and have) watch this scene over and over. Everything about it is just perfect. This particular clip is different from the film version - it's the entire song but the clip focuses on the dancers, not showing the scenes with Nicole Kidman.

Finally, two clips from my favorite canceled TV show, Pushing Daisies. I cheated a litte here - there's not much dancing but they're still magical musical moments.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Filthy Flashbacks

Tonight was the night I began my Massive Picture Project. I'm going to be scanning and then saving onto disc all the photos I have on paper. After all, paper may fade but DVD is forever. I started with a pile of pictures that I have floating loose in a box and I was surprised by some of the stuff that turned up. This, for example:

I know what you're thinking. You're, like, "What is she wearing? And why is she happy about it? Why is that guy so dirty? And most importantly, why would she allow herself to be photographed like that?"
Okay, maybe you're not thinking that but I'll explain anyway: I was playing a townie on the short-lived HBO series Carnivale. It was for Acting Purposes. Back in 2002 I did extra work on movies and TV shows and I was working a lot. That was how I supported myself for a year and this picture is one of the very few that I have from that time. I was pretty happy to find it, even if it does require some 'splaining.

Here's another one, from The O.C.

See? I really wasn't homeless.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Throw another shrimp on the.... Eh, whatever.

I am a very lucky person. Like, super lucky. Like, going-to-Australia-for-ten-days-for-free kind of lucky. That's how lucky I am. An old friend of mine moved to Australia a few years ago, flies all over the world for work, racks up frequent flier miles, generously offered them to me and I generously accepted. I AM GOING TO AUSTRALIA!!!
The idea for the trip came up last year but because of my wacko job situation, I couldn't even consider it. Now things are stable, the job isn't going anywhere, the neighbor can watch the cat, and I can fly half-way round the world practically worry-free. I'll head out of LAX on November 7th and return on the 18th.
Unlike my trip to Paris, I'll have a guide in my friend who's lived in Melbourne for a while and knows about all the cool places to see. Not that wandering blind through Paris wasn't fun - cause it was - but there were moments here and there when I wondered if I'd ever find my way out of whatever alley/airport/train station/neighborhood I happened to be in. More than once, I was convinced that they'd find me and my over-sized backpack twenty years later, hunched over a trash fire in some forgotten corner of the Gare du Nord, roasting pigeons and muttering to myself.
ANYWAY, that's not going to happen in Australia. And if it does, at least I'll have some company.

The Explosive Neil and I are going to The Cat and the Fiddle tonight to say goodbye to a former co-worker. I haven't seen this girl in a while but I'm glad I'll have a chance to see her off. My favorite memory of her was the time I took her out for her birthday. This was a few years ago and she'd only been in LA a couple of months. She didn't know very many people so I invited everyone I knew to meet us at a bar in Hollywood. Half an hour into the party, she was very, very drunk. This was completely my fault. She told me she was done after a couple of drinks and I wouldn't listen. Three drinks after that, we were outside and I was holding her hair back while she threw up all over the sidewalk. After some copious vomiting, she straightened up, looked blearily around, and said, "This is amazing. I feel just like Bukowski. Thank you."
That's what happens when you get literary geeks drunk in Hollywood.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Can I get a refund on this brain? It's not working right...

Popped popcorn, ready for eating.Image via Wikipedia


"La la la, la la la What a nice night. Oooh - smells like popcorn! Where is that coming from? Mnn. Smells delicious. It's really a strong smell.... Where IS it coming from? I should have already passed.... Did someone pour popcorn into my engine? Is the heat making it pop? IS THERE POPCORN IN MY ENGINE? Is my car going to break? That's kind of clever... Wait... What's that smell that people smell right before they have a stroke? Is it popcorn? It's burned something... Toast, maybe. OR MAYBE IT WAS BURNT POPCORN!!! Am I about to have a stroke? Should I pull over? OH GOD, IS IT BURNT POPCORN?!?!?"

And that's how it went for a little while until I realized that it had, in fact, been a little while and the stroke hadn't started yet. Then everything was fine again.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So, erm.... I'm still here....

Wow - the last entry promised that I would keep up with my blogging and then there's Radio Silence for six weeks. Sorry about that.
It's been a very crazy, very busy, very good six weeks. I've been five weeks into a job that I'm very happy with and about two weeks into living with a kitten that is very slowly learning that people NEED TO SLEEP AT NIGHT.
I don't have any pictures of the job yet, but I can show you a picture of a person that has the same job title as me.That's Joan. She's in Mad Men and while we're both office managers, she has much better clothing than me and it KILLS ME. This is a situation that will be remedied.

That is Ferris. He's named after my favorite carnival ride, not the Bueller. I took this picture the first day he was in my apartment and if you look past the filthiness, you can clearly make out his deep distrust of me. This distrust was justified the next day when I gave him his first bath. It took about a week but we've become friends now. He's still shy and will hide out in my closet whenever anyone comes to visit but when I'm alone, and he's awake, he'll come by for some head scratchies before he gets back to work - systematically destroying everything I own. I don't have any other pictures of him yet but I'll try and get a few that are slightly less demonic.

You'd think that after weeks of silence I'd have so much to say but I don't. Now that I'm sitting here thinking of all the things that have been going on this month, my mind has gone completely blank. I saw some great shows (Jarvis Cocker was amazing!), a few fun movies (I loved 500 Days of Summer), went on a few fantastic dates (I saved one of the targets from the shooting range - turns out I have some skill with a handgun and in the inevitable zombie apocalypse, I will totally save your butt and/or brains), and have spent a lot of time at work, learning the ins and outs of running a successful business.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Puple Rain and organ harvesting

It's been a few weeks since I've updated - I'm not so good with the blogging, lately. Especially since I do this primarily for my grandmother (Hi, Granma!) and she's joined Facebook, which I update a little more frequently than this blog. I am going to continue blogging, though. I've discovered that I enjoy telling little stories here and I like having good memories of my friends and family so easily accessible to them*

The last three weeks have been mostly about job-hunting, anyway. I've had extrordinarily bad luck when it comes to employment this year and, unfortunately, the last job has not broken the streak. I'm still angry with the whole thing so I'm not going to get into it - you can only rant about the same thing so many times and all my friends have already been subject to my job-related Righteous Indignation. I'm even starting to bore myself and when you're as self-absorbed as I am, that's not an easy thing to do.
Last week was a break for me. The adorable TAFKAM bought me a ticket to fly out and stay a few days with him and I had a wonderful time. We had lots of Good Talks, went to museums and galleries, I helped him make Art, we went drinking with friends, played with a Wii, discovered that we are just as competitive now as we were when we were six, proved that my Wii Fit skills are infinitely superior to his, and visited our favorite cousin. It was a fantastic time. He's offered his apartment to me, should my financial situation not improve soon, and I'm seriously considering it. We get along well, I really like San Francisco, and it would definitely help my personal economic crisis. The thing that keeps me from packing up and shipping out is knowing that in San Francisco, I could never afford to live alone. I love living alone. I love it so much that I'd live alone even if I married. Future Husband will ideally be cool with this.

Back in LA again, I've resumed the hunt for Job, hung out with friends, and last night, attended a Purple Rain party. I'd only been invited the day before and I've never seen the film so instead of dressing like Prince, I wore a purple skirt, black top, tights, heels, and a tiara

Cover of Cover of Purple Rain (Two-Disc Special Edition)

. Nothing says 'costume party' like a tiara, I always say. Or, rather, have started saying since last night. My date was a guy I've just started seeing and this was the first time I've met any of his friends (not counting the very drunk rocker dude who happened to be at the same place we were on our first date. Very Drunk Rocker Dude recognized my date while I was in the restroom and, much to my date's dismay, stumbled up to our table for a chat. When I came back to the table, my date was trying to convince him to go away, hissing, I'm on a date. Seriously. I can't talk now. On a date! I liked the VDRD, thought he was funny and, in a strange way, made the date that much more fun.)
Meeting a guys friends for the first time is usually pretty nerve-wracking. Meeting them while they're all dressed as Prince during the Purple Rain era is magical. I had a fantastic time, ate tasty cheese with crackers, and finally got to see something everyone my age seems to have seen a million times. One of the Kids In The Hall was there, too, and because I expect everyone to be my personal performing seal, I was expecting lots of funny stuff from the guy - he's a famous comedian, fercryingoutloud - but he was pretty quiet. Sat in the corner, watched the film with minimal commentary, left with his posse when it was over. Apparently, he saves the good stuff for when the cameras are rolling.

Today, I have no idea what I'm doing. A girl I used to work with that I've barely spoken to in over a year sent me a text message a couple of days ago, asking me to show up at a certain adress at four o'clock today. Wear whatever I want, bring whomever I'd like, and no, she isn't going to tell me what it's all about. Mysterious. I'm fairly certain I won't be kidnapped by white slavers or have my organs removed and sold in the black market but just in case, I've given the address to a few reliable friends. Should they not hear from me by the end of the day, the troops will mobilize.

I'll let you know what happens, assuming, of course, nothing happens to my fingers.

*And me - my feeble brain can only retain so much. It seems six months is about my limit when it comes to Remembering Things. Every now and then, I'll look back over something I've written, say, last year, and be surprised at what I was up to then.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

will work for clothes.

The new job is kind of awesome. It's not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life but it will pay the rent and I'm having a fantastic time while I'm there. Last night, there were three shows, two dance performances and one theater thing, all of them wildly different and all of them amazing. After the final show, and at the end of my shift, I took a picture with terrifying clowns, and another picture with a giant snake around my neck. Both the clowns and the snake were part of the final show.
Tonight, there was a wrap party and because I had an early shift, I was done early and spent the rest of the evening as a guest, schmoozing and dancing. Dancing!
I've had a pretty dismal track record when it comes to employment this past couple of years - I kept stumbling into places that were just awful, awful jobs, working for terrible people. After three of these, I was starting to wonder if maybe the problem was me but nope! Turns out, I was just having a run of really bad luck. It's still pretty early to say (I've only been there a week) but I'm thinking my luck seems to have turned around. I'll be having a fun time with cool people and making decent money while I work on getting my own business off the ground.

In news of the Extremely Shallow, one of my outfits was featured on Weardrobe, a fashion site I joined recently. This is very gratifying. I figured it would take months, maybe years, to be noticed by the style mavens that run the site. As it is, I think I only joined up about a week ago. The site features new clothes every day so I think my picture will only be up there for a few more days before it scrolls right off the page. This means I shall have to continue to wow them with my mad style, so as to be a regular feature. I'm all about winning things. Also, my fashion sense, it is strong.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's a small world, after all

Yesterday was my last day of unemployment and I woke up not knowing what I'd be doing, but hoping it'd be good. The universe totally delivered.
Parties and clubs are fun and I always have a good time but my favorite thing in the world is spending time with my favorite people, just hanging out at restaurants or in living rooms and laughing and talking for hours. That's my perfect day.
There are lots of people in my world that I enjoy spending time with but there are a few special favorites - five people in particular (and my brother, TAFKAM, who is my very best friend but doesn't count right now because we're related) that I'm much closer to. These five know about each other but a few have never met and none of them are close to any other one.
Today, I'd only planned to see Neil for lunch but because the world is an awesome place, I ended up hanging out with Sooz, Robin, and Talia as well. These are all very busy people who move in different social circles, with me as the only connecting factor so spending time with four out of five of them on the same day? That never happens. Ever.
Except today, I mean. All the stars were lined up and Sooz just happened to be outside when Neil showed up to meet me. Talia happened to be walking past the (favorite) restaurant Neil and I had lunch at. Robin only lives a couple of blocks from the restaurant and always has ice cream so after lunch, Neil and I were knocking at her door, ready for dessert. Because Neil is the most likable guy ON THE PLANET (introducing him to people gets annoyingly predictable because there are never any surprises. Everyone's just going to love him.), he was the perfect bestie to have with me when I was running into all the other besties. Everybody was thrilled to see everybody else and I had an absolutely fantastic day.
I know this isn't very exciting to anyone else - look at me, running into people I know! - but it makes me happy, and it's my blog.

Today, I start training at my latest New Job. I interviewed on Monday and got hired on the spot, which is usually a good sign. These past couple of years have been kind of ridiculous, job-wise. Normally, I get hired someplace and stay there for YEARS but lately? Not so much. This will be the fourth job I've had in two years so I'm hoping it works out better than the last few did. I can't handle all this instability. It makes me nervous.
So shoulders back, head up, smile plastered on, and back into the fray I go.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Winning things is my favorite.

_1090374Image by ipythias via Flickr

It turns out the secret to winning bets while playing pool is to play with someone that isn't very good. I had no idea. Here I was, wasting years of my life trying to hit all the little balls into all the little holes when all I had to do, really, was stand around and wait for my opponent to scratch on the eight-ball.
Last night, a friend of mine and I had a very high-stakes tournament going (the loser cooks a fancy-shmancy dinner for the winner) and I was all serious and aiming and calling and just as I was about to lose (you totally know where this is going), I won. Javier scratched the eight ball. Yay, me! We were playing best three out of five so I went into the next game thinking that I'd totally rock this one, THIS was the game where I'd blow him out of the water and instead, I played even worse than before. And he totally scratched the eight ball. Third game, I didn't even bother. I just sort of walked around the table and tapped haphazardly at striped balls. And then Javier scratched the eight ball. This, as I made sure to inform him repeatedly, made me the winner. I am the winner, Javier is the loser, and the world is a good, good place.
I'm thinking of making a career out of this. If you aren't very good at pool, I will totally play you for money. Call me.
Did I mention that I am a winner? Because I am. I totally win things.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rock Nerd

It's been one of those weeks. I keep thinking I should update and then I remember that I've got absolutely nothing to talk about. There hasn't been much going on round these parts, aside from a couple of shows this week and a baby birthday party over the weekend. Hm. So there was some stuff going on. These last couple of days have felt so long that there's no way the weekend was only three days ago.
Let's see... Saturday was a very weirdly rock and roll kind of weekend. Lemme 'splain: One of the kids I babysit has a father, and this father is the frontman of a big rock 'n' roll band. Last Saturday, his parents threw a birthday party for the baby and a whole bunch of their friends/bandmates/fellow rock dudes with wives and small children were there. So I was hanging out with all these rocknrollas, talking about children's television and watching kids trip all over themselves during the mad rush for cake and goodies. It was pretty awesome.
After, I headed to downtown L.A. to see the Battlestar Galactica band (super-nerd!) at the California Plaza. They were playing a free show and since I dig the T.V. series soundtrack, I thought it might be fun to check out. I was expecting a mellow, magical, sort of classical vibe. What I got was mind-blowing military rock. At one point during the show, the composer told the crowd that the next song we'd be hearing was it's live debut. They'd never played it in concert before because, "Well.... I just didn't think it was possible." They launched into it and my head exploded. One of the fiddlers was THISCLOSE to giving himself a heart attack, it was that physically taxing for him to keep up with what was going on all around him on that stage.
Here's a link to the song - Prelude to War
It was an incredible show and I'm so glad I saw it.
I left the plaza on a total music high and promptly got lost. I spent the next twenty minutes wandering through downtown L.A, wondering if I should have made that last right at Hill St. It wasn't too scary, though. Lots of people wandering in and out of clubs, bars and restaurants, lots of valets and doormen to rush to my rescue should anything happen. All the tall buildings were lit up and as I wandered the streets, gawking up at the pretty lights, I nearly fell down the steps of the subway station I'd been looking for. Got home safe and sound.
I forgot what I did Sunday but Monday was pretty great. I spent most of the day hanging out with my neighbors and, that night, went to the Silverlake Lounge to hear a friend of ours play. I'd never heard this particular friend play before and I wasn't sure what to expect. You know how sometimes you have to go and see a friend's band and they aren't very good and then they come up to you afterwards and they're, all, "What did you think?" and you're, like, "Um. I liked that thing you do with your shoe." and they're, like, "What?" and then it's awkward? This wasn't like that at all. Tim was absolutely fantastic. Brilliant musician and a total charmer with the crowd. One of my favorite song introductions: "This next song is kind of a cliché. Everyone writes about Hollywood. This one, though, is from the perspective of a small, drunken Englishman." Tim is absolutely all three of those things. He had a sort of Kentucky hoe-down meets alt rock vibe that I really enjoyed. I'm always surprised when the British peoples play country music.
Anyway, it was a great time and I have a really bad picture.
Tim is the small, drunken Englishman over on the right. Aaron, the guy actually looking (blurrily) at the camera, may be one of the greatest guitar players I have ever seen. I've got to remember to ask Tim about that guy -he's gonna be huge, I tell ya. HUGE.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fancyland: No children allowed

Yesterday was surprisingly productive for me. I drove around town submitting applications for most of the day, cleaned up my apartment, met my friend Dan for dinner, made cupcakes, and found the way to Fancyland.You're going to want to head west.

Dan is kind of an amazing guy - we've been friends for nearly twenty years, ever since my freshman year in high school when I fell madly in crush with him and commenced five years of stalking. I finally managed to bully him into dating me in college and we dated for a couple of years before we worked out that we get along much better as friends. Since then, we've drifted in and out of touch, once for nearly six years, but we always manage to reconnect. To me, that's kind of insane. I don't really maintain friendships all that well so it's nuts that someone has managed to stick around for two decades. The only other long-termer, Charles, has been the Best Friend for about eleven years. After that, it's five years or less. My friends are great people, mostly, I just haven't really known them for that long.
Lately, I've been hanging out with another high school friend I've reconnected with through FaceBook and it turns out that this guy, me, and Dan are among the very few who graduated that year (and have accounts on FaceBook) who are unmarried and childless. We like to sit around and talk about how strange it is that nearly all of our classmates are soccer moms, and then celebrate our awesomeness with whiskey.
Dan and I, staying out late because we don't have to worry about paying the babysitter.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Leap of Fail

Ike's home is a very large birdcage, all wire and lined with newspaper and bedding to protect his paws. The front of the cage has a large door you can pull up to open. There's a way to snap this door into place so that it stays open and that's usually what I do when I lift Ike out of the cage. When we're done hanging out, I lift him through the door and set him down inside. Lately, Ike, instead of waiting for me to place him inside the cage, has taken to jumping from my hands and through the doorway as soon as we get close enough. I'm not too keen on this because a) it startles me every time and 2) he's using his tiny tiny claws to gain purchase on my palms for the leap. Still, what can I do? He's a bunny. He's practicing his bunny skills.
So, just now, I was lifting him towards the cage and, as per usual, Ike performed the Bunny Leap Of Mad Skillz only this time, he totally miscalculated the distance and smashed, head-first, into the wall of the cage just below the door, ending up dazed and confused on the floor with me standing over him, dumbfounded and empty-handed.
He may be the raddest bunny ever but I can't help thinking that he may also be slightly stupid.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Something tells me I haven't been getting enough sleep lately. My first clue was waking up four hours later than I'd intended to. My second clue was when I passed out again, even after realizing I'd already lost four hours and really needed to get up.
I'm typing with a hazy brain and can't really remember why I started typing at all so I'll leave you with my traveling friend and the dudes he's playing with.

Erm... Sorry about that.

I meant to write a blog post, I really and truly did. First, though, I wanted to dash off a Quick Note to a friend that's far away, just letting him know things were a-okay back here. One thing led to another, the Quick Note turned into a Long and Pointless Ramble, and I've exhausted the part of my brain that I use for writing things.
I'll try again tomorrow.
Bing says goodnight.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Really? Already?

This is Ike's favorite hang-out spot. He claws his way from my lap to my shoulder every chance he gets. More parrot than rabbit, really.

It turns out that I'm going to have to look for another new job. This last new job isn't working out as well as I'd hoped. I was promised at least four shifts to begin with - I've got two. No bueno. The Hunt For Employment began yesterday and hopefully, I'll have something new by the end of the month. You know, when rent is due.
TAFKAM is flying me out to see him next month. I'm very happy about this. He really is the greatest big brother, like, ever. I was whinging about my money troubles and my relationship woes and just like that, he bought me a ticket for a flight to San Francisco so I could stay with him for a few days. A mini-break with my best bud. Everyone should have a brother like mine.

It has occurred to me that my grandparents both have birthdays right around now and I think I may have missed both of them. Ever since I broke my Palm Pilot, I haven't been able to keep track of people's things and keep getting embarrassed when I find out I've missed a thing. So, Granma and Granpa - because I'm pretty sure that both of your birthdays have passed, I'm sending you my sheepish but heartfelt wishes for a wonderful year and all my love.
Also, once I track down your address, a card.Ike also sends his love.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Art and Steak FTW

Yesterday, Fil and I hit up the LA County Museum of Art. He'd never been and I was all excited about showing him my favorite things in the galleries. There are three pieces, in particular, that make me happy and I couldn't wait to see them again. Sadly for me, two of them are gone now. The Rodin section? Gone. The whole entire thing. Every sculpture in the room was missing and all that was left were a bunch of empty, forlorn pedestals. The super-cool garage thingy in the contemporary art building? Also gone. Annoyingly, I don't know the name of the piece or the artist responsible for it so I can't even look it up. I've been googling descriptions of it but getting no results. I should ask my brother about it. He's a walking, talking Gallery Catalog. He'll know.
I hadn't been to LACMA for years and man, they went nuts while I was gone. It was like visiting a whole new museum. I had a lot of fun exploring the new building and galleries. This thing was pretty cool:
Right? It's like a street lamp forest. I was impressed.
There was some other art, too:
Also cool.

The new stove has finally arrived and in celebration, I'm making a Big Dinner. Very excited about this. Here is my awesome menu: To begin with, a tasty Soccer Mom Dip. I don't know what it's really called but a soccer mom at a BBQ showed me how to make it and it's fabulous. Then, Tasty Salad, followed by Pan Fried Rib Eye Steak with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Carmelized Carrots. For dessert, Homemade Brownies. I rock at cooking things.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thunder makes me spacey

I'm incredibly absent-minded. Like, all the time. I try to play it off and act like it's a sort of charming, ditzy affection but really, I'm just not very good with the old attention span. I will make breakfast and then forget to eat it. Or I'll call someone and as the phone is ringing, suddenly realize that I don't remember who I'm calling, or why. So yesterday, when I left work, I set the alarm but forgot to lock the door. An hour later, I'm getting phone calls from my boss wondering why the police are at her store. Luckily, nothing was robbed. The wind blew the door ajar and set off the alarm.
Strangely, my boss is not angry with me. I suspect it's because she suffers from the same inability to focus that I have. Halfway through the conversation, she got distracted by something and forgot that she was mad at me.

Ike is doing well. I bought a huge birdcage for him, lined it with newspaper and bedding, and that's where he spends his time when I'm away. When I'm here, he runs freely through the apartment. He's adopted me, I think. Every few minutes, wherever the two of us are in the apartment, he'll seek me out and nuzzle up to my ankles for a few minutes before dashing across the floor again, off to seek new things to sniff/chew on. The other super-delightful thing he does is come to me when I call him. He's still so small that occasionally, I overlook him and keep on calling, wondering why he's not coming, assuming he's tunneled his way into The Cranky Neighbor's apartment and is about to be crushed by said Cranky Neighbor. Either that, or he's somehow managed to open the lid of the toilet, fallen in, and drowned. I have a habit of assuming the worst. This is actually a good thing. This means that when the worst does not happen, whatever did happen is always a pleasant surprise, even if it's a bad thing. It couldn't be that bad, you see, because it wasn't the worse thing that I'd already imagined. 'Bad' is always better than 'worst'. Meanwhile, Ike's sniffing at my feet, wondering what all the fuss is about.

There is crazy-scary thunder happening right now. I normally don't mind thunder all that much but knowing that I'm going to have to run errands in a few minutes makes me nervous. Thunder sounds too much like bits of the sky falling. What if something falls on my head? Would I have to change my hairstyle if my head is shaped differently?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mud Bunnies

So Ike figured out the jumping thing. I suppose I shouldn't be as surprised as I was, given that he is a rabbit. That sort of thing comes naturally to the species, I think. It's just that he's so small! I thought it would be days, maybe weeks before he could clear a seven inch barrier. I was wrong. A few hours ago, I was lying in bed, sick and feeling sorry for myself when there was an especially loud thump coming from the direction of Ike. Startled, I sat up, turned on the light, and there he was, sprawled out on the floor looking slightly dazed. All of his bones are intact, I checked, but I'm going to have to get a more secure home for him right away. There's no chicken-wire or screens in my apartment (a fact which usually pleases me) so I had to improvise when it came to escape-proofing his current residence. For now, there's a colander upside-down on the tank, weighed down with books. Kind of ghetto, but it works. At least Ike can breathe in there.

I'm missing a mud-wrestling match tonight. My neighbor, Sooz, is one of the wrestlers and I'd been planning for weeks to attend and support but this plague I've got has knocked me out cold. Instead, I lent her my video camera and helped with costuming. Since this is all-girl mud wrestling, we had to assume that there would be wardrobe malfunctions. This meant making sure that all essential lady-parts were covered and secured. The bottom half wasn't a problem - bathing suit bottoms are nearly impossible to tear - but we had to figure out what we were going to do with her nipples, should they decide to make an appearance. The obvious choice is tape - you know, the wide black kind; just make a couple of 'x's and she's ready to go. Unfortunately for us, we have no wide black tape so we used a handful of band-aids, instead. This worked, but the band-aids matched her skin tone exactly and it looked kind of creepy. Inspiration struck. I grabbed the nearest Sharpie and drew big black 'x's on her boobs, over the band-aids. Perfect.
And then it occurred to both of us that she would be mud wrestling. In mud. Thick, sticks to everything, BROWN mud. If her top did get torn, everything from eyebrows to toes would be caked in brown mud anyway. All that effort and brain storming was for nothing. But hey! At least I can say I drew on her chest. We'll always have that little gem of an anecdote.
Sooz is super-excited and I'm kind of sorry that I'm going to miss it. I've never seen mud-wrestling before and while it isn't high on my list of Things To See, I really enjoy my neighbor and it would have been fun to see her having such a blast. At least there will be video.

Cough. Cough. Sniffle.

I have the plague. It is the sore throat, aching muscles, pounding head, you name it, I'm suffering with it, plague. I blame this entirely on my neighbor. He was snuffly and cranky all last week and yesterday, my throat was suspiciously scratchy. I woke up today feeling like I'd been run over by a truck. In his defense, the neighbor brought over some ibuprofen and made toast for me. He may be the cause of my misery but at least he's trying to help. Unfortunately, the rest of the day is already shot. I'm going to have to lie down,, read some books, drink lots of water, etc., etc., etc. It's a big weekend coming up and I'd like to be well enough to handle it.

Ike the Rabbit seems to be adjusting well. He's in a small aquarium right now, well insulated with paper and hay and stuff. He's got lettuce, carrots and fresh water in there and I'm taking him out and letting him roam when I can watch him. He tried to bust out of the aquarium a few times last night and early this morning - the sounds of paper rustling and frantic paw scrabbling woke me - but until he either grows a couple of inches or learns to jump, the aquarium will hold him. I'm going to buy a proper pen for him next week. He seems pretty happy, though. At least, I think he's happy. It's kind of hard to tell.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My latest BFF

I have a rabbit. Or, more specifically, a bunny. The local Crazy Cat Lady showed up today with this little boy bunny and made me fall in love with him. Frankly, I'm terrified. I've never had a rabbit and I have no idea what to do with this one. But he is a handsome fellow.
The Explosive Neil just called and when I told him the news, he said, "You know how I feel about rabbits. Didn't you ever see Bunnicula?"

Apparently, that's what I have to look forward to.

Starting all over again

If you're wondering if this is me, it is. Hello.
I'm leaving LiveJournal for Blogger. It wasn't an easy decision to make. After all, the two of you who actually read this blog (you know who you are!) knew where to find it. Half of you (Hi, Marcelo!) had it scroll up right in your friends list. You didn't even have to try! Now, if you're on LJ and you'd like to know what I've been up to lately, you'll have to come all the way over here to find out. Sorry about that. If it helps any, I can pretty much garuntee you that my life over here will be just as boring as my life over there was.
Honestly, though, Blogger is sort of magical. I don't have to pay a squillion dollars to personalize this thing, change my template or upload photos, and I can add all sorts of cool gadgets to my sidebars. Gadgets, people. Gadgets! Can you blame me for jumping ship?

I'm not going to delete the LiveJournal account - at least, not now - so if anyone is really that curious, or wants to stalk me, the last five years of my Very Boring Life are posted there. Same username. Knock yourself out.