Monday, December 21, 2009

my favorite gifts

some presents stick out in your memory as the best gifts you've ever received.

1) my parent's rule was that i was not allowed to get my ears pierced until i was 13 years old, because that's when my sister got hers pierced. i wanted nothing more desperately than to have pierced ears, and at age 10 i think it was the worst thing going on in my life that i could not wear earrings. that year for christmas my sister gave me a gift certificate to get my ears pierced, because my parents had put the caveat on the rule saying, "well if your sister doesn't mind you getting them pierced early, then it's okay." it was kind of crappy of my parents to do, now that i look back at it. "hey, we don't want to be the bad guys, so let's make you look at it as your sister's fault." it was probably 5 years before i ever went a day without earrings.

2) my cabbage patch doll. i wanted one more than anything. everyone else had one. but i did not. my parents gave me the choice of taking sailing lessons or having a cabbage patch doll. i just got the impression that they would have been very disappointed in me if i had chosen the doll, so i sucked it up and took the sailing lessons. i believe to this day that a) i was too young at the time, and b) i am not suited to handle a boat. sometime after the sailing lessons ended, i came home from school one day and there was a cabbage patch doll sitting on my bed. my parents said they were proud of me for never complaining about the lessons and for realizing i made a choice and not asking again for the doll. stupid learning experiences. i really should have just chosen the doll from the beginning.

3) my red phone. my dad is almost NEVER involved with selecting any gift i receive. i have a love of rotary dial telephones. completely obsolete, and a pain in the neck to dial, but i love them. i wanted a red one, but i had never seen one. my dad was shopping in a store in austin and saw one, and bought it for me. it was amazing to open that on christmas morning and know that my dad was the one to have thought of the gift.

i know that i've received other gifts that i have absolutely loved, but those 3 really stick out in my mind.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

oh blurg

today just sucked. there's really no other way to put it. i can't talk about any of the events that sucked today- except for 1.

the effing $1200 bill from the pulmonologist because of the asthma attacks i've been having since the fires. that's $1200 AFTER INSURANCE.

i was thinking of this upcoming year and how money might not be as tight. i've refinanced my debt (1/2 the old monthly payment) and i'll pay off my car in january. i've still taken a pay cut due to furlough time at work, but once i pay off my car things will be a lot easier. i was going to try to start saving money again and had made a list of things i was going to buy that i need.

1) a new phone. my current one is one drop away from being held together with electrical tape. (seriously.)
2) a new mattress. my current one has a dent the size of the grand canyon in the middle of it (exaggeration.)

so, as my first 4+ months of car payments will be going towards paying off asthma attacks, i guess i have to put off a comfortable night's sleep and an un-kludged phone a little longer.

yes- i will still contact the insurance company to make sure this is legit. i should have met my deductible for the year, so i want to know that all the accounting is correct. although with all the other things that are wrong right now, i feel defeated and don't have the energy to fight this with all the other things i'm fighting.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

i love articles on how to save money

http://customsites.yahoo.com/financiallyfit/finance/article-108257-3338-0-everyday-savings-opportunities-youre-missing?ywaad=ad0035

okay, #1- drive more efficiently- drive 55 instead of 70. wow i'd love to drive at 55. i think my max daily speed is 35.

#2- before starting your car get your kids buckled in. no kids. no savings. check.

#3- conserve energy- set your thermostat lower and wear a sweater. um, no thermostat, i always wear sweaters. and sleep under 3 comforters and a wool blanket. no savings.

#4- walk or bike to work- then how would i get to my meetings?

#5- bring your own lunch (i try- so this is real)

#6- cut back on dining out- no brainer. take a cooking class and cook at home. well, cooking at home is a problem when portion sizes are for 4 and there's only one of me, but i do try.

#6.1- don't order the appetizer, dessert or the special. i already don't. the meal is enough. american portion sizes people.

#6.2- don't order the 2nd cheapest wine- order the cheapest wine. or how about how i do it, don't order wine? there's the real savings.

#7- quit smoking- yeah, that will save me a boatload.

#8- rent DVDs from the library for free. except that you have to drive to the library. i'd like to see their selection match netflix. plus netflix has instant viewing. please, if you're going to give me a tip give me apples to apples. not apples to rotten fruit i don't like.

#9- think before opening the refrigerator door. okay, i can think all i want but there's still nothing in there. imagining a cornucopia of food won't help.

#10- don't shop on an empty stomach, eat a light nutritious snack before going. but that means having a light nutritious snack to eat before i go? if i had that, i wouldn't need to go to the grocery store.

#11- don't sign up for extended contracts or warranties for electronics- who has money to buy electronics right now? not me.

#12- manage credit card spending- HA i'm probably the only person with a credit score of 750 who can't even get a credit card! (i tried so i could have one on hand for emergencies- car breaking down, etc- and was denied 3 times. oh well.)

#13- ignore the minimum payment on your bill and pay more! wow, i bet people would LOVE to do this, but people who are charging things on credit cards don't usually have the money to pay $200 instead of the $20 minimum, but nice thought.

i always read them in case there's something in there i can use. but they're usually things like, "don't drink starbucks coffee. it's $4 a cup and at $4x5days a week at $20 a week you've just spent $1000!" i have had 3 $3.80 iced teas in the past 3 months, because i gave up my twice weekly habit months ago to save money, but thank you article for telling me a way to save money that should be obvious to anyone with half a brain!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

For my mom

who has no idea what my taste in guys is... so that she stops suggesting men like michael weatherly.

in no particular order (because of formatting issues)

Gary Lightbody- my most longstanding, most favorite of all.

Ryan Reynolds- who should not be married to Scarlett Johanssen


Chris Pine- Thank God for Star Trek, because watching the Princess Diaries 2 to see him is a little embarrassing.


Joshua Jackson- I never watched Dawson's Creek, so I've only recently come to appreciate his greatness.

Cillian Murphy- can sit next to me on a plane any time. (he looks better in movies than he does in still pictures.)

And Gerard Butler- who is just perfect.



So there you go mom. Next time you want to suggest I find a famous guy (since apparently you think actors are in my realm and i can stumble across) to date- use them as your jumping off point.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

my sister had my child.

i know it sounds like the title of a maury povich episode, or at least a headline on a real, old-fashioned tabloid, but it's true. my sister had my child.

my sister's second daughter, lily, is the spitting image of me. sometimes it is a little weird. i will find myself flipping through my sister's latest kodak gallery, seeing lily looking just mostly like me and then all of the sudden... wham! a picture that is like looking in a mirror with a 26 year way-back feature.

what's even funnier about this is she got a fair few of my personality traits too. she loves to dress up as dorothy from the wizard of oz. she takes ballet. and as my sister puts it, she's a bit of a drama queen. (of course i don't remember being a drama queen. i remember having an older sister who bossed me around a lot because she thought she knew everything because she was 7 years older.)

anyway, this of course leads me to stand up for lily more than i will stand up for her older sister. my sister doesn't understand what it is like to be the younger child, bossed around by an older sister who thinks she knows everything. i'll always be there to buy her ruby slippers, to point out lily's side of the story, and show her what she'll look like in 26 years.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Jurassic Park 101

the other day we were in the car talking about disaster movies (my favorites) and the end of the world. one of my co-workers said, "we're not killing the earth, just our ability to live on it." and i said, "of course, that's jurassic park 101."

that's the first time i had ever been introduced to the concept that the earth will survive. we can pollute the hell out of it, and we will, and other species will die, and we will destroy the atmosphere and most everything on it, but as drs. grant and malcolm tell us, "life finds a way."

i got in the mood to watch jurassic park and realized that movie came out in '93. i was 16. that was HALF MY LIFE AGO. god i'm old.

anyway, it was a great night. we went to see it opening night, and came out of the movie thinking, "dinosaurs must exist. we just saw them on screen." 16 years later and the special effects aren't as strong as they used to be, but honestly, they're still better than you see in a lot of b-movies.

a note on the book, while i was reading it (i have a very, very active imagination) i was so scared that there were velociraptors downstairs in the laundry room one night that i couldn't go put clothes in the dryer. i had never seen a velociraptor, as this was before home computers and the internet. i just knew they were scary and they were waiting for me and that i would die if i went downstairs to put clothes in the dryer at 11PM at night when all the lights were off.

Friday, November 6, 2009

the great iPod unheard project!

every year since i've owned an iPod (2004), i've done "The Great iPod Unheard Project." i put the play count of everything in my iTunes back to zero, and put it all on a separate list, and then as i listen to everything, i delete what i've listened to off the "unheard" play list.

i've now owned my computer for almost a full year (minus the 7 days the mac geniuses had it.) and out of the 5410 songs (46.9 days - 22.53G) i'm down to 3828 songs (10 days - 15.8 G) being unlistened to.

i think what i'm going to have to do to finish this is start moving my regular stuff off my iphone and start putting only unheard stuff on it.

i try to do this as a way to clean some stuff out, and make sure that everything in there is worth it. obviously it was a bigger deal when i had a slower, crappier computer with less memory. the macbook can handle having the extra stuff in there, but still... why not clean?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

weird things you thought when you were little

a drive in was just mentioned on the TV show i'm watching, and it made me think back to the drive in in sarasota, FL where i grew up. for some reason i thought i owned the drive in. i will never have an answer as to why i thought i owned the drive in. every time we drove by it i would think to myself, "i own that." what on earth could have ever happened to make a little girl think she owned a movie theater. one of life's great unanswerable questions.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

my halloween costume and my favorite target moment


this year i decided to go as the columbia pictures logo. the picture here isn't great, but i love the costume. i'm wearing it again tonight but i'm going to try to pin the blue sash a little better so it looks more like the logo. i'm also going to remember to hold the torch higher for photos.

in doing my research i found out that the lady's figure in the real logo is based on the shape of the coca-cola contour bottle. how perfect. me and coca cola.

any mention of the shape of the coca cola bottle reminds me of one of my favorite days working as a cashier at target. a guy came through my line and was buying a 20 oz coca cola (in the plastic bottle) and that was it. he said to me, the stupid little target cashier who he was probably trying to impress, "you know i designed the shape of this bottle." i blurted out without even thinking, "no you didn't- earl dean did." he didn't say anything for about 30 seconds, just dumbfounded that his little target cashier knew that and finally said, "okay you're right but i meant the plastic version. how the hell did you know that?" it was actually extremely random that i knew that- i had just gone to a design lecture where the bottle got a nod, and somehow remembered the name. who knew i was going to get use that little factoid to put a pompous guy in his place?




bookquiz - from my sister

Hardback, trade paperback or mass market paperback? always hardcover, if i think the book is something i'm going to read more than once and the store has hardcover. if they don't, trade paperback. honestly, when you have a barnes and noble card, the hardcover is usually $3 more expensive than the paperback. of course, every time i move i swear off hardcovers.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? barnes and noble. my barnes and noble card sadly pays for itself in 3 or 4 months (considering i buy books as presents most of the time too.)

Bookmark or dog-ear? neither? and then i forget where i am and go back and re-read. so then i say, "i should dog ear." but i re-read books so often that i don't know which dog ear belongs to which reading.

Amazon or brick-and-mortar? brick and mortar. i like wandering around discovering things, asking the staff for recommendations, and i don't like paying for shipping or waiting. i'm too much of my mother's child ("instant gratification isn't fast enough") to wait for books to arrive. my dream job is actually working in a book store. helping people find books and sorting things and putting them in order! amazing.

Alphabetize by author, or alphabetize by title, or random? not alphabetized at all. grouped by author, and then certain authors grouped together. funny with the funny. irish with the irish. history with the history, etc.

Keep, throw away, or sell? keep, unless i hated it. i rarely even lend, because i want my books back. plus i dont want other people's germs on my books.

Keep dust jacket or toss it? keep it. usually they're prettier than the cover. i'm still mad that my war and peace dust jacket was ruined. it was beautiful, but it's not like i'm going to buy the book again just for the dust jacket.

Short story or novel? both

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? HARRY POTTER!

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? read until i fall asleep. i wake up a lot in the morning with the light still on and the book on the floor.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”? Either

Buy or borrow? buy- see above about other people's germs on books.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations, or browse? all of the above. but very rarely do i buy books on book reviews. i tend to think that most of what is reviewed is pretentious. maybe i'm reading the wrong reviews. (take that michael silverblatt of bookworm)

Tidy ending or cliffhanger? i like tidy better, but cliffhangers give you a chance to write your own ending in your head, so really either.

Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading? all the time reader.

Stand-alone or series? stand alone, unless the series is good enough.

Favorite series? depends. when i was little, anne of green gables. now- harry potter.

Favorite children’s book? i don't know that i have one. unless you count finding "don't let the pigeon drive the bus" as a 28 year old a "favorite children's book."

Favorite YA book? single book- the secret garden. series- anne of green gables.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? i'd say girl of the limberlost, but it looks like it was turned in to a TV movie in 1990, so maybe people have heard of it.

Favorite books read last year? impossible to choose.

Favorite books of all time? little women, pride and prejudice, mansfield park (it's my favorite of the austens)

What are you reading right now? still slogging through a short history of nearly everything. it's great, just dense. not exactly a "what happens next???" type book.

What are you reading next? a farewell to arms for book club.

Favorite book to recommend to an 11-year-old? gone with the wind, although i don't know that every 11 year old would get obsessed with atlanta circa 1861+ the way i did. i wonder what other 11 year olds were reading?

Favorite book to re-read? i re-read probably everything i read. i don't know why, but i do. so- favorite of those to re-read, little women, jane eyre, anything by jane austen, wuthering heights.

Do you ever smell books? depends on the book. no.

Do you ever read primary source documents like letters or diaries? not often. if i read stuff like that it's usually semi-fictionalized versions of them. i like my reading edited so that someone's making sure it's actually interesting.

Monday, October 19, 2009

the not so scientific science of the way i look

first go read here.

then look at how ellen page's character dresses in whip it.


(btw- this picture doesn't even begin to give you any idea of how horribly this girl dressed.)

the first is an example of people trying desperately to be beautiful and all end up looking the same. and the other is an example of someone wanting so desperately to not look like everyone else that they end up looking ridiculous.

my goal isn't exactly something i think about every day, but it certainly is to walk the line between the two. as much as i can't stand looking like everyone else, combat boots, clothes that don't match and an inch of eyeliner is not the right kind of fashion statement. everything about the girls in the front of the club screams "trying too hard." and the ellen page girl would say, "look at them trying so hard." but at the same time i look at the ellen page character and think, "trying too hard."

i can't stand the thought that anyone would ever look at me and think, "trying too hard." which is why my clothes always end up being on the safe side and i almost never wear makeup. nothing i ever wear looks like i take a chance. i walk the safe middle ground. makeup makes me feel like i'm asking for attention.

i think this is why i have red hair. it's my one way of standing out without looking like i've tried too hard. it looks real, and no one can accuse you of trying too hard with your real hair color.





Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Blogject!

I've been looking for a blog project for awhile now. They're all the trend (projects, not necessarily promoting them on the web.) Julie cooking all of Julia Childs' recipes. AJ Jacobs and the bible. AJ Jacobs and the encyclopedia. Terminal Man and the Jet Blue pass. Dave Gorman and the Dave Gorman project. Danny Wallace and the "Yes" project. See, projects are all the rage.

I found mine. I'm not unveiling the details to the masses yet. A few people know it, and think it's pretty good.

I'm thinking I'm going to start October 1st. Right now I'm working out the details. And trying to come up with the name. I almost wish I could unveil the details to get help with the name.

I'm actually really excited about this.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Informant!

I saw The Informant! today.

I left the house intending to see Bright Star, but was thwarted at every turn. Literally, all the streets were shut down. I got to the theater just in time to get in for The Informant! and unfortunately saw it from the 3rd row and now have a nasty crick in my neck. On one side of me was a man with no respect for personal space and the other side was a very obese woman. Despite all that, I loved the movie.

I knew nothing about this movie going in to it except that it was a true story and that the guy went to jail (thank you Jon Stewart.) I'm so glad I didn't, because it was hilarious.*

So, I'm not going to say anything, except that it was hilarious and I loved it. As usual, it probably could have been 15 minutes shorter, but oh well.

On a separate note... this ceiling system is driving me crazy...





I know I don't know every ceiling system out there, but I should have seen this one. This office is supposed to be circa 1992. I started working in commercial offices in 2000. It would still be out there, somewhere, in 2000. I say it needs to make a comeback.





*A Beautiful Mind was ruined for me because I knew they had changed all the facts for the movie. The movie isn't as good if you know he's insane and that he doesn't actually think he's cracking war codes but alien codes.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

my picks for the emmys

i forgot all about the fact that i touched a real life emmy award last weekend. some guy at the short stop had won one (they did the awards for the technical stuff and reality programs last weekend) and was out celebrating. he worked on project runway doing something. i didn't ask too many questions. they're big awards.

anyway, i was going to do this whole elaborate "my picks for the emmys" post, until i realized i haven't watched half the shows that are nominated.

Comedy

alec baldwin- you deserve to win for jack on 30 rock. you, hands down, have the best character on television right now. and you play him to absolute perfection.

tina fey- you just rule. i love watching liz try to control the crazy every week. i love watching her struggle with trying to maintain friendships with people she's supposed to boss around. i love watching her deal with an insane boss. i would be lying if i said i couldn't identify a little (okay a lot) with liz.

30 rock- hands down the funniest show on TV right now. some weeks the office is a little stronger, but overall 30 rock wins.

supporting actor in a comedy series- here's where the office beats 30 rock. where would the office be without dwight? and who could play dwight better than rainn wilson? nowhere and no one. watching him fight andy for angela has been a treat.

supporting actress in a comedy series- kristin chenoweth for pushing daisies. i loved watching her this past season in the habit, having to keep the secret of lily being chuck's mom, in the baking competition, wanting to be emerson cod's sidekick, trying to be chuck's friend while still loving ned, and so much more. she was just perfection.

Drama

Mad Men- absolutely excellent in every way. the men are all so smarmy and such pigs. you hope they're really good actors and that men have evolved enough and that in 2010 (almost) they don't really think/act the way they do on that show. thank god the workplace has evolved, at least as much as it has.

which also leads me to follow up with saying that elizabeth moss NEEDS to win for peggy on mad men. the only female character on the show with strength (which is kind of the point) and so much fun to see a woman breaking in to the mens' workplace.


anyway- those are the the people/shows i pick. of course i haven't seen the past season of weeds, big love, the big bang theory or flight of the conchords. i'm a little behind on my netflix (what with catching up with 7 discs of gossip girl and all.)

i knew i liked method products

I have a migraine. Not the kind that knocks you out. Just the annoying kind where you can't sleep. So here it is 3:30 on a friday night/saturday morning and I'm doing web research on soaps and cleaning products.

I stumbled across this on the method soaps FAQs and got a kick out of it. I'm almost tempted to sign up for the "email me if this answer is updated" option.

Anyway, it all started with research in to dr. bronner's magic soaps after seeing them mentioned in the comments section on Terminal Man's blog. I think they might be a little too hippie for me. So I started researching the savon de Marseille I used to use after my mom found it in Ashville. I think I still like it the best, but it's hard to find. I switched to the Olive Leaf soap made by Method, and am quite happy with it. (I went to their website to check out the environmental/organic aspect of it. It isn't listed as organic, but at least it doesn't have any parabens. For someone who eats as much fast food and drinks as much coke as I do, you think I wouldn't be that concerned with what goes ON my skin.)

Step by step I try to be a little more environmentally friendly. I guess cleaning products and health and beauty products are going to be my new thing. Yes, I feel insanely guilty every time I use the swiffer and the swiffer wet jet. But at least I use the broom and dustpan first to get the first layer of stuff. Plus, I tell myself that washing reusable pads uses water AND soap. (flimsy excuse I know.)

Sometimes I feel like environmentalism is too ridiculous and people take it too far, but for the things I can do, I will. I recently started timing my showers, and honestly I will never be able to take a 5 minute shower. I think the people who have come up with the 5 minute shower idea are men who don't have to shave their legs. So far I've gotten it down to 7 minutes. At least that's something.

Next up- the magic eraser. Obviously don't let your kids rub it all over their skin, but is a little elbow grease really going to kill anyone? (I really don't know that I'm ever going to be able to give up the magic eraser. But we'll see.)



Tuesday, September 15, 2009

this doesn't exist!

There is a new Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, Florida. It will open next year.

Apparently "Magical instruments and equipment are available at Dervish and Banges, including everything needed to play Quidditch — a game like soccer played on flying broomsticks."

You can't buy Quiddich supplies! Golden snitches do not exist; nor do quaffles, bludgers, and least of all flying broomsticks. So no, everything needed to play quidditch is not available at Dervish and Banges.

This doesn't mean that I don't want to go to the Harry Potter theme park. I would love to go and not be a muggle for a day. But there has to be some reality. Especially when writing a news article for the AP.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

light my fire

some pictures from the AP and Reuters of the fires. scenes from my world.



From south of downtown looking North towards the Station fire. My neighborhood is slightly northwest of the last building to the left. On any other day, you'd be able to see hills and mountains. Today, those hills and mountains are on fire.


looking south into downtown. see, just gross. not even close to what you're typical smog day is like.


smoke from the Station Fire rising up from behind the Hollywood sign. the smoke from this fire started rising up about 15 miles east of here, and every day it's further and further west. at night, i can see the flames from these fires as i'm driving home from work.

more of the smoke rising up from the Station Fire. how more people aren't having breathing issues i'll never know.

and no- this isn't a scene from my world... but the phrase "resistance is futile" comes to mind. this is a firefighter driving away from the Station Fire.


right now they're trying to protect Mount Wilson. We lose that cell signals will start going. TV signals start going. plus, some really cool astronomy stuff. And the JPL facility is closed (and potentially threatened) due to the fires too. i guess at some point this all has to end, but i don't know if they even see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, August 31, 2009

fire water burn

i still have not adjusted to fires. i know they are a fact of life in southern california, but to me, it is a complete oddity to be driving around with smoke filling the air around you.

tonight's drive home from work was the best/worst of it yet. more of the hills are on fire and it is more visible from where i am. the smoke is filling all of the hills north of me, and almost every ridge is filled with spots of flames. what's unfathomable to me is that they keep saying, "this would be so much worse if the santa anas were blowing. if they were, this would be the true disaster that we've been predicting."

because it's so odd to me, i don't see how the city keeps on functioning. in my mind, we should all be standing outside just watching. or if i had my way, i'd be up on one of the high floors in one of my mid-wilshire buildings watching.

i can't imagine that just 20 miles north of me, people are losing every thing they own. that the landscape is being scorched. that firefighters are waging what has become an unending battle against the flames. every day we wake up and find out it has only gotten worse in the night. i'm trying to find some good side, and not able to.



Sunday, August 30, 2009

this one is for my mom

she's been listening to leonard cohen lately, and thinking that his lyrics make no sense to her sometimes. i commented that i'm used to assigning my own meaning to lyrics, having grown up in an age when lyrics by some artists are nothing more than a series of words strung together to music. case in point:

loser- by beck.

In the time of chimpanzees I was a monkey
Butane in my veins and Im out to cut the junkie
With the plastic eyeballs, spray-paint the vegetables
Dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose
Kill the headlights and put it in neutral
Stock car flamin with a loser and the cruise control
Babys in reno with the vitamin d
Got a couple of couches, sleep on the love-seat
Someone came in sayin Im insane to complain
About a shotgun wedding and a stain on my shirt
Dont believe everything that you breathe
You get a parking violation and a maggot on your sleeve
So shave your face with some mace in the dark
Savin all your food stamps and burnin down the trailer park

Yo. cut it.

Soy un perdedor
Im a loser baby, so why dont you kill me?

Soy un perdedor
Im a loser baby, so why dont you kill me?

Forces of evil on a bozo nightmare
Ban all the music with a phony gas chamber
cuz ones got a weasel and the others got a flag
Ones on the pole, shove the other in a bag
With the rerun shows and the cocaine nose-job
The daytime crap of the folksinger slob
He hung himself with a guitar string
A slab of turkey-neck and its hangin from a pigeon wing
You cant write if you cant relate
Trade the cash for the beef for the body for the hate
And my time is a piece of wax fallin on a termite
Thats chokin on the splinters

Soy un perdedor
Im a loser baby, so why dont you kill me?
(get crazy with the cheese whiz)
Soy un perdedor
Im a loser baby, so why dont you kill me?
(drive-by body-pierce)
(yo bring it on down)
Soooooooyy....

(Im a driver, Im a winner; things are gonna change I can feel it)

Soy un perdedor
Im a loser baby, so why dont you kill me?
(I cant believe you)
Soy un perdedor
Im a loser baby, so why dont you kill me?
Soy un perdedor
Im a loser baby, so why dont you kill me?
(schprechen sie deutches, baby)
Soy un perdedor
Im a loser baby, so why dont you kill me?
(know what Im sayin? )

those lyrics all mean something to me. of course i've had since 1994 to put meaning to all of them.

so mom, next time you're confused by mr. leonard cohen, just take a minute to decipher mr. hansen's lyrics. everyone of my generation would categorize him as a musical genius, but we're not rich enough to pay $1000 for seats to his shows. at least not yet.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

i'm just going to start paying cash for everything

technically i do pay cash for everything, because i don't have credit cards. just i use my debit card from my bank account to do it.

but last month i had the American Girl Doll Store ring my $3.20 tip in as a $32.00 tip, and i had to call several departments at the store, and wait 2 weeks, to get my money back.

monday i took my team out to lunch (which i will be refunded for by my company.) the bill was $61.60 and then i added a $9.00 tip. so a total of $70.60 should have been taken out of my account. that would have been fine, but i wake up friday morning to find out they've taken $70.60 out once, and an additional $61.60 out 4 extra times. i had to put several calls in to the restaurant yesterday, and they had to call their credit card people to verify i wasn't lying. end of story is "you should have the money back in your account sometime next week."

had yesterday not been a payday, that could be a real problem for me. i don't think that it's right at all that this is how things are handled. stores can ring your purchase up incorrectly and take the money out of your account immediately, but then when you try to get it back it takes several days? had it not been a pay day there could have been real issues of not being able to pay other bills, put gas in the car, eat... i'm wondering if there are laws? or if i just put up more of a stink and gone in to the restaurant and made them give me cash on the spot? $246.40 is a lot right now. (well any time actually- but especially right now.)

i'm still waiting to see if my bank is going to charge me an insufficient funds fee for one transaction posted after those 4 additional charges, but before my paycheck went in. if they did, i'll be at the restaurant demanding they give me $33 or however much it is to cover it.

anyway- maybe my lessons learned should just be- take cash out of the machine, pay cash for everything. that way you always know how much things cost you as long as you are watching the register as they ring up.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

just gross


this is the hillside that is on fire. i couldn't actually get pictures of the flames, but they're there. oh they're there. and this was still when i was 5 miles from home. my house is 5 miles closer to where the smoke is.

the air smells horrible. i can't breathe. the two fires in azuza (and maybe in monrovia?) were bad enough. i didn't need the hills in town to burst in to flames.

i just looked at the picture again, and it doesn't even look near menacing enough to show how bad the sky got the closer i got to it.

i want a house with air conditioning and hepa filtration installed. with every crack and crevice sealed off so i know i'm breathing only pure clean filtered air.

Monday, August 24, 2009

district 9

District 9 was fantastic.

I knew nothing about this going in, except for having seen one 2 minute preview. Spaceship stalls over South Africa. I didn't even know that the aliens were brought down to Earth and living in an internment camp (called District 9, which is where it got the name.)

The advertisements have been all over LA for about 3 months, and it has been just about the most annoying ad campaign I've seen yet. Bus stops were all marked with "this bus bench for humans only. report all non-humans to authorities immediately." type slogans. I was almost prepared to hold the ads against the movie. But it was too good.

The guy who plays the lead, Sharlto Copley was amazing. Christian Bale, Daniel Day Lewis, or any other actor of the calibre could not have done a better job. And in fact, I think had they been in the role there would already be Oscar talk for it.

There are some things I would have changed (mainly about how they tried to tell the "prawns'" side of the story) but it is so entertaining and so well filmed that I didn't mind the things that i would have changed. And the special effects hold up. You don't even think about them until after you leave the theater. I don't like watching special effects movies where you're thinking, "wow that looks fantastic." while you're watching it. Because if you're thinking that, obviously the movie isn't capturing your attention. If you're thinking, "that looks horrible." A) it looks horrible and b) the movie isn't capturing your attention.

anyway, solid. go see it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

sunset junction

sunset junction this year was fate.

indie 103.1 was the station that usually promoted it, but they went under last year. we were wondering, "is sunset junction still happening?" yes it was, promoted by other people. my comment was, "well i'm not going unless islands is playing anyway."

my friend joelle called and said, "Islands is playing." so we bought tickets. then her current favorite band, the delta spirit, was going to be on stage right before islands. we were looking at it as fate.

so we went. in past years it's been 95 degrees, disgustingly crowded, and just not too much fun. this year was great. yes i was complaining that it was still 85, but it cooled off quickly. and our bands were going on later in the day. we saw delta spirit, islands and then wandered around the fair/booths to look around. i bought a $5 necklace (tickets were $10 so this was a cheap event for me.)

and then i got to meet Jamie and Subtitle.

swoon (that's not my picture- that's someone else's. i did not take their picture.)

Jaime is the drummer for the Unicorns, who became the drummer for islands, then left the band, and now is back. Subtitle is a rapper who was part of Th'Corn Gangg and did a rap for "where there's a will there's a whalebone." i saw him do the rap for them a few years ago, but at that point he said he was giving up rapping, moving to europe and pursuing a different kind of music. so good to see him back. and Jaime too. i just ran in to both of them in the crowd and stopped them to talk, and was so glad i did. i also saw roy from the office. (Busdriver came back for the rap too, but i didn't get to meet him.)

on to islands- they've been my favorite band for quite some time now. my basic philosophy in life is that Nick Thorburn can do no wrong musically, but... Islands last night was minus the chow brothers, minus Patrice, minus Patrick. They lost Jim Guthrie a while ago (but at least that gave us human highway/moody motorcycle.) It's not the same band anymore. Also, nick's girlfriend (maybe ex-girlfriend?) no longer sings with them, but i don't view that as a real loss. she's not part of the original lineup. I'm withholding judgement on the new lineup until i hear vapours. i'm sure the studio production will sound rich and full. but on stage, without the violins, bass, etc. they just lost a whole element that i had loved. the only old songs they did were swans, creeper and where there's a will there's a whalebone.

we'll wait for september 22.

Monday, August 17, 2009

success

iPhone restored.

i had to chip off the old piece bit by bit, so i don't know how people take apart the whole thing without ruing them. now it's put back together and as good as new as it can get considering the circumstances.

i'm not sure i'd trust myself to do anything more than what i did. if i ever need to do anything more serious, i'm going to order repair tools from ifixit.com. didn't know they even existed, but luckily i managed to scrounge around and find a guitar pick, nail clippers (for the flip out file) and paperclip. (oddly enough, i found a guitar pick in about 2 seconds flat. the paperclip took 5 minutes.)

now to make sure i always have my case on it...


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

score (not yet- but maybe?)


i have dropped my phone many, many times over the 2 years i have owned it.

until last week all of my iPhone's damage had been cosmetic- flesh wounds one might say. until last week. i dropped it in the parking lot, and it hit square on one corner, cracking the plastic case. (excuse the picture- it was taken with my blackberry. because i glued the lens of my digital camera shut, after dropping it and breaking a piece of that off as well.)

anyway- here's where the score (not yet, but maybe?) part comes in. i have bid on two separate "iphone 1st gen - for parts only" lots on ebay. usually these lots are expensive ($100+) because people are buying them for the innards. all i need is the black piece because my phone still works perfectly. i've managed to find one person who is selling just the exterior pieces, and another person who is selling more, but cheaply. one bid ends in 20 hours, the other in 2 days. i hope i win one, because i'd rather pay $20 bucks for a replacement part than buy a new phone right now.*

cross your fingers that i win one of the auctions, or if i don't win either one of those that i can find another. i'm not sure how much longer this is going to last before the piece breaks off entirely. if it weren't for the fact that it's right near the speaker hole, i'd just hold it together with electrical tape.

*that's partially a lie. if i had my way- i'd have the 32g 3Gs iPhone right now, but that is not in my budget. part of me likes having the original iPhone because clearly i got mine before everyone and my mother had an iPhone.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

things i can't do

scott adams recently blogged about things he doesn't know how to do. he says he's fairly intelligent and can figure most everything out, but some things have him stumped.

i'm fairly intelligent, what can't i do?

download torrents- every time i've tried, it ends up a huge mess, and i end up with software on my computer that i can never get rid of. i gave up years ago, which has probably saved me from whole hosts of viruses. of course, there's a lot regarding computers that i can't figure out. this is one of those areas where i leave it to a professional.

grammar, punctuation, etc. every time i think i have some rule figured out, it turns out i have it backwards. the one thing i do know, loan is not a verb people. it's a noun. you lend people things, not loan. (okay, i know this one has gained common acceptance and no one would ever call anyone out on it anymore, but i like knowing at least one thing william safire would pull out of his pocket.)

understand what math really means. i can do equations 'til the cows come home, but know how to apply them or what they mean? never. sine, cosine, etc. no clue. algebra makes sense, as the items can be measured, but once you start doing theorems about triangles, well its a triangle if it's sides meet. i shouldn't have to write a paragraph to explain it.

understanding the universe. they say that the universe is not endless, that it has a limit. but if it has a limit, what's on the other side? this makes no sense to me. i'm reading bill bryson's a short history of nearly everything (and it's really good.) but it is giving me no clearer idea of the universe. but, i'm understanding it a little bit better than i did hawking's brief history of time. brief history of time cracked me up though, because it's littered with exclamation points. he was so excited by what he was writing about.

and last- draw, sculpt, make anything with my hands that's supposed to resemble real-life. what i like about this is that it's something that's not "figuring it out." it's just a skill i don't have. like playing tennis or the piano. but- when it comes to art, i at least understand it. even at it's most complex (photography- because you need equipment to create it) it's something that can be explained. light exposed to film. film captures light. enlarge, dip in chemicals, chemicals react- recreates an image.

there's lots more that i can't do or figure out, but these were the big ones. these are the ones where i admit defeat. i know i'm hopeless, others i'm not ready concede just yet.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

maybe you need to take 2 week vacations

my team was fantastic while i was gone- really they were, but there's still so much to do. plus with everything i had to do to prepare, and the fact that i was answering emails the whole time i was gone, it didn't really feel like a vacation.

i'm wondering if 2 weeks is the actual threshold of taking time off and being able to enjoy it, and not coming back to such a pile of stuff that you have to overwork yourself to catch up?

maybe the trick is to go somewhere that you can't get cell service? like fiji or the amazon or the antarctic or a cruise.

so the trick now is to save up a) enough PTO to take two weeks off and b) enough money to go somewhere remote for two weeks.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

H-Pot and the Half Blood Prince (Spoilers)

very good.  very, very good.

my only complaints

1. i think even this one was too long to make in to just one movie.  
2. the problem for me is that i kind of sit there watching going, "okay are they going to show this part? how are they going to handle this?"  i actually think it will be better the second time because i know what they've left in, changed, and tossed.
3. for those of us who know that snape and dumbledore had a deal, the ending isn't as shocking.  for those in the theater who haven't read book seven yet, i bet the end of the movie was a lot better.  but for those of us (90%) who have, we know the score and therefore were making sure it all fell in place with what we know happens next.  and they put little nods and clues in there to items from book seven.  v. well done.

it was so beautifully filmed, funny, sweet, everything.  i'm so glad that not a single one of these movies has disappointed yet.  i know everyone has their favorite(s) but you can't really say that any of them has been bad.  

Monday, July 13, 2009

for a greener tomorrow

i've decided one thing for a greener tomorrow.  i am finally giving up buying actual CDs.  i have resisted this one for so, so long, for many, many reasons.  a) keeps graphic designers in business designing CD booklets. b) keeps physical CD stores in business= jobs. c) if anything ever happens to your computer you just re-rip the CD.

but i've finally decided that i don't actually need the CD, and downloading it from iTunes will be just the same.  when i have money again i'm investing in a backup drive for the "if something happens to your computer" factor.  now i've eliminated the piece of plastic from ever ending up in the landfill, the production waste, and the transportation waste from getting it to the store, and the waste from me driving there to pick it up. of course, i'm down to buying maybe 6 CDs a year, and more individual songs off iTunes, so its really only saving 6 pieces of plastic a year.

i look at everything in terms of it's (perceived) environmental footprint these days. i've been doing it for awhile, not just since the LEED test.  if i'm standing at the store and there are two products in front of me that are fairly similar, i pick the one with less packaging to it.  i like this one scent of method soap, but the one store i can actually find it at only carries it in the single containers, not in the big refill bags, so i don't buy it.  i buy the big refill bags (less plastic waste going to the landfill.)

the only reason you'll ever see me throw away a bottle or a can is because out here i know that homeless people go through every single garbage can there is to collect them for the bottle deposits. (btw- what a great way to make sure everything gets recycled.)

i see a lot of crap at stores that i think should be illegal to even be made, because it's cheap crap with a 2 week lifespan, and will just end up in the landfill.  i had to buy a new iron tonight, and i wanted to get an expensive one that i know will last awhile, but unfortunately i couldn't swing it.  so i ended up with a cheap one that i know will break in a year (see reason i was buying a new iron- another item going to the landfill.)

sometimes it gets tiring to think through every purchase this way, but at least someone does.

you don't even want to hear my thoughts on landfills.

Friday, July 10, 2009

damnit

believe me, i'd like to use a much harsher word above.

i just found a lump in my breast.  of course it's probably nothing.  but i'm all of the sudden extremely scared, and i can't sleep.

and of course, even if it does turn out to be nothing, i now have to deal with a series of doctors appointments i'd rather not have to go through.

the funny thing is i've always thought, "how would anyone ever be able to feel a lump?" well, i now know.  you can feel it when there's something the size of a pea in there. 

f*&k

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Brilliant idea for a book

Or at least I think so.

"the germaphobes guide to being clean"

People are always amused by my cleaning quirks. Like the fact I take
clorox wipes to the laundry basket in between clean and dirty loads.
I could do an entire chapter just on doing laundry, and every
germaphobes wort nightmare- the laundromat.

I think if this book was written cleverly enough, it could be really
entertaining.

I think I would have to survey other germaphobes to get some more
cleaning tips- because I might not have enough quirks.

Chapters I've already thought of:
-the kitchen
-laundry
-pets

I'm going to put some thought into this.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

i win!

i passed.  not with as high of a score as i would have liked, but it's a pass fail test so it doesn't really matter.  

my treat to myself is a ticket to see snow patrol in October.  Of course the pre-sale tickets went on sale on Monday, and I bought them then- because they're actually playing a smaller theater (yes!) and i didn't want to not be able to get a floor ticket by waiting.

so, now that's over.  you never have to read about LEED again, because i will never get a LEED project. 

unless of course (and this is what i think they're going to do, because they like to make money) is say, "all those who were accredited prior to july 1, 2009 have to be re-accredited under the new rules and format to qualify as the ID point on the project." i know they're going to turn this against us somehow.

but for now, this is enough. 

now to spend the rest of the weekend relaxing, and to throw away all my study materials, because come july 1st, none of what i learned applies anymore.  



Thursday, June 25, 2009

fail!

i just took a new practice test online, one i'd never seen before and got a 63%.

i need an 85% to pass.  and it's too late to cancel.  even if i cancel and don't take it, i'd owe them $300, so i have to take it.  

this is the true meaning of blerg. 

i have a 4 hour meeting tomorrow, starting at 8:30, a ton of work to do before leaving the office at 1:15 for another meeting at 2 (meaning no lunch) and then from 3:30PM tomorrow to 12:30 saturday i'm doing nothing but studying.  NOTHING.

Monday, June 22, 2009

30 rock

i can identify a lot with 30 rock

(yes, i'm supposed to be studying but i've got 30 rock going in the background because i study better with sound. i love that seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream on netflix.)  

there's a lot about liz lemon that i can relate to. work and life.

anyway- it makes me wonder

a) how would i deal with a boss who really was like jack.  yes, he's hilarious- but would he actually be more annoying than he was amusing?
b) what would it be like to be a page?  would it be fun to do for a day just to see? kenneth enjoys it, but kenneth has little to no brain.  
c) there was another thing but i forgot.

part two of this- i'm trying to figure out what to get myself as a reward for passing LEED.  the iphone is now out of my budget, so i need to find something else that is a big enough treat, but is still in my price range.  i've got 5 days to think.

anyway, i should get back to studying.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Anvil

Anvil = Canadian metal band that has been together for 30 years, still trying to make it.

The movie follows their recent attempts to go on tour, record an album, and get a label to distribute it.  You have to give them credit for not giving up on their dreams, but you also have to say, "guys, its time to give up on your dreams."  The movie is hilarious, and worth checking out if you even have the slightest interest in music.  



Thursday, June 18, 2009

finished with the DMV!

i have a drivers license with my real name on it.

i have registration stickers that will last me until may of 2010.  

and hopefully- nothing in the system is screwed up this time, so i'll just be able to re-register my car over the internet next time.  

i don't expect people making minimum wage to actually care about their jobs, but you'd think they want to do it right the first time so they don't create more work for themselves.  that just seems like the smart thing to do.  

now- passport renewal time.  i'm not planning on leaving the country any time soon, but with how long it will take for me to get a correct passport, i might as well start trying now.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

6 ways to win friends

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a man's Name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in the terms of the other man's interest.
  6. Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.
yesterday we had training with the dale carnegie people and we were handed a little booklet of dale carnegie's golden rules.  i saw the above and thought, "this reminds me of _______."

except for #1.  i don't think he's mastered #1 yet, so i've always thought he was extremely fake.

which leads me to say, the above practices, in this person specifically, have only inspired me to say, "i want to get to know him better so i can find out what he's really like.  he can't possibly be this person all the time."  

that's probably not what dale had in mind when he came up with this training.


i want to go where caesar lived.

i saw the hangover last night.  and now i want to go back to vegas.  

the nice thing about living in LA is that it is just a weekend trip.  you can leave after work on friday (traffic is horrible) but you get there, take a quick nap, and then get ready to go out.  its the sunday drive home that's the really painful part (even if you're not hungover.)  everyone from LA is driving home, on the only road available, and again the traffic is horrible.  plus you're tired, most likely at least a little hungover, and just want to sleep.

if you go with the right people, vegas is always going to be fun.  last time i went, i loved the people i went with, but their planned activities were not my planned activities.  i'm not much of a club person, so going to Jet and Tao weren't high on my list of things to do.  everyone else enjoyed themselves.  now at least i can say i've been.  my preferred activities are gambling (low buy-ins of course.  the $5 blackjack tables are perfect.)

its fun just hanging out, wandering around, drinking, taking in the sights, etc.  and if you do it right, its not even an expensive weekend.  the first time i ever gambled i think i came home just $80 poorer (that means i won enough to offset the hotel, food, everything.)  the guys in the hangover spent a TON of money, but... that's a movie.  the villa they rented did seem pretty nice. 

plus for some reason i just really want to go lie out at a pool right now.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

oh DMV

my car and the state of california do not have a great track record.


today was my return trip to the DMV to fix the fact that my last trip led to a driver's license that read "Drobertson." 

and to pay my registration fee.

and to figure out why they sent me a "suspension" notice in the mail telling me that i don't have insurance coverage.  

turns out the DMV doesn't take care of the suspension notice, and i have to take care of that separately, and so i paid my fee, and left without new stickers- called the number to try to figure out why they think i don't have insurance (that's figured out) but it will be another week before the paperwork gets straightened out.  so another week of driving with expired tags, and hoping that i don't get pulled over.

of course while i'm taking care of all of this- i'm sitting in the parking lot with my car turned off WITH THE LIGHTS ON!!!! and my car battery dies.  i look up, and there is a AAA guy parked right in front of me.  do i have AAA?  no.  But i go over, and say nicely, "I don't have AAA, but can i pay you to jumpstart me?" he says no, but that he'll do it for free.  i tip him the only cash i have on me, $4. and go on my way.

i must have had some karma for the fact that i was nice to people today at the DMV when i wanted to be like, "Drobertson, does that sound like a real name?."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

this test will be the death of me

"if greater than 50% imperviousness has implemented a stormwater management plan that reduced pre-developed 1.5-year/24-hour rate and quantity discharge by 25% of the annual stormwater load falling on the site. (This is based on actual local rainfall unless the actual exceeds the 10-year annual average local rainfall-then use the 10-year average.) This mitigation can be through a variety of measures including perviousness of site, stormwater retention ponds, capture of rainwater for reuse or other measures."

do i know what the pre-developed 1.5-year/24-hour rate and quantity discharge information is?  do i know what that information will look like?  no.  but i'll memorize the above section for the test.  the book is 2 3" binders.  they talk about teachers teaching to the test.  well here's one student who will be studying to the test.

i spent $49.95 on online practice tests that i can log into and take as many times as i want before the test.  i scored a 25%.  

the test is 80 questions, and they don't actually tell you what each question is weighted, or how the scores are figured, but if you get above a 170, you pass.  so with the practice tests you have to aim for an 80%.  so- here's to bringing up my score 55% in the next 17 days.  

Monday, June 8, 2009

LEED and the new iPhone

in 18 days i take the LEED exam.  i haven't started studying yet.  i was supposed to start studying tonight, and really crack down every single night until the test comes along.  but i left the book on my desk at work.  crap.  

today they released the information about the new iPhones.  the one i want is $299.  the LEED test is $300.  if i pass the LEED test, i get reimbursed by my company for the full amount.  sooooo...  i'm kind of tempted to tell myself that i can take that money and buy the new iPhone.  its got 3G, 32gigs, GPS, all the bells and whistles that one could want. plus i need some sort of incentive to study for this test (seeing as i will never actually get a LEED project with the way my company has been restructured- i feel like it's pointless.)  

nevermind that my car needs a tune up and a new clutch.  i need a new mattress desperately.  i need to re-register my car with the state.  there are a million things i NEED to buy, but they aren't as fun as the iPhone.  

i'm trying to tell myself that i don't really want the new iPhone, because they have the stupid plastic shell instead of the metal one like mine has.  but the 32gig storage is winning that battle.  since i no longer have an iPod (thanks plumber) having more storage is vital.  i have to delete music in order to put anything new on my phone, and that stinks. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

new favorite website?

or not?

www.badspiderbites.com

i was bitten on sunday by what i thought was a fire ant.  4 days later i realize, that's no fire ant bite.  it's a spider bite.  i can see the two fang holes in the middle of a dime sized large red welt.  i go on line and type "spider bite" into the search engine and it comes back with "bad spider bites dot com"  and the pictures are amazing.  

but... now i'm convinced that my spider bite is something serious and a week from now i'm going to look like the worst of pictures on there.  it HAS been getting worse every day. and it did hurt like HELL when it happened.  and the site says "flu like symptoms" and i feel like sh*t.

i would feel completely stupid going to my doctor saying, "i got bitten by a spider, can you look at this?" but i would also feel stupid if in a week it is even larger and redder and i have to go in and say, "well i didn't want to make a big deal about it before because i thought it was nothing."  
the thing is, i almost never kill spiders because of that kids book where they kill all the spiders at the zoo and all the animals end up miserable because they're bothered by flies.  i leave them be, thinking, "i hate flyingbugs more than i hate bugs that just mind their own business in their webs."  if this gets worse, i'm killing every spider out there.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dear Paul Rudd,

You are cuter in person than you are in the movies.  And you're pretty damn cute in the movies.

Last night a friend of mine and I were going to get a drink before the Thermals' show at the Troubadour, and had walked down the street to the Palm.  It was crowded, and the crowd was not necessarily a group of people we wanted to hang out with.  We decided to find someplace else, so we walked down the street to Dan Tana's.  Still just as crowded as the Palm, but there's Paul Rudd, smack dabb in front of us as we walk through the door.  We were leaving then?  Not a chance on earth.  My friend has a crush on him.  To her, this was like me seeing Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol.  

It's one of those things I love about LA.  Did we talk to him?  No.  Did we have any interaction with him beyond seeing him and him realizing we saw him and recognized him and were looking?  No.  But still, it made the night just a little bit more interesting. 

The Thermals show was great.  I haven't seen a mosh pit in a long time, but the early 20s crowd really brought that back, for such an unlikely band to mosh to.  The set was a little too short, but I got to hear most of the songs I wanted, and they're fantastic live.  

So- There's one more name to add to my "sightings" list.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"you're just so white."

in college one of the girls on my hall was asian.  she once turned to me, during a discussion about me not eating seaweed, and said, "you're just so white."  honestly, i am white.  i was not raised around a lot of people of other races, cultures etc.  unless you consider that half my middle school was jewish, and really- what did i get from that besides an affinity for eating bagels for lunch?

last year i read a write up of a korean spa in my new neighborhood and i've been dying to try it ever since.  its a body scrub, saunas and soaking pools, all with varying "healing benefits" along with various other services offered.  i understood that it is not at all like going to what i consider a "traditional spa" but i wasn't exactly prepared for what i got.  

i check in, and am given a locker key, and go to the locker area.  already at that point 50% of the women are walking around STARK NAKED.  some women are lying off to the side on a platform, which i later discover is a heated marble floor.  you're to lie there while you wait for them to call you for your treatment.  

once you walk out of that room, only towels and robes are allowed, but most people forgo any covering whatsoever.  its a room of about 30 women walking around naked.  there are 3 different pools, of varying temperatures, all with signs explaining what they are IN KOREAN.  there's a steam room, which i did pick up was a "Jade" steam room, based on the sign above the door and the fact that the walls and the floors are tiled with jade, and a sauna.  those i could handle.  you are naked, you put a towel down, you sit.  the pools i couldn't do.  you can't really submerge a towel underwater to sit on (i kept thinking of david sedaris at the nudist colony,) because you're only given a limited number of towels, and you can't waste one getting it soaking wet when you have to shower between each pool/sauna/steam room use.  i did at least know it was bad form not to shower in between each thing.  

i went in for the "goddess ritual." 
http://www.olympicspala.com/rituals.htm

i had a feeling the pools, saunas and steam rooms were going to be a free for all like they were (i didn't know everyone would be so naked) but i did NOT realize my treatment would be performed on a plastic table 18" from the person next to me, also getting some sort of body scrub treatment.  i thought i would be in a private room for this part.  but... not the case. 

the lady (she gets to wear clothes.  bra and underwear.  the women working are the only people who are allowed to wear bras and underwear.  other than that, its towel and robe only.) starts by scrubbing EVERY inch of my skin with scrubby mitts while i lie on my stomach.  then i turn to my back and every inch of my skin gets scrubbed.  then i roll on my side and every inch of me gets scrubbed.  big pills of my skin were accumulating on me, like pencil eraser stuff, but larger, so she kept throwing buckets of warm water on me to rinse them away.

then i get a full body shampoo.  then a massage, not a great massage though, but it smelled good.  i think i prefer deep tissue massages to whatever this was.  then a scalp treatment, a shampoo, conditioner, then more massage, and a facial (no extractions, just a cleansing and a mask while she did more massage.) then she wiped all the oil off of me and put lotion on everywhere.  

it took about 2 hours, and honestly, modesty aside, the discomfort of the scrub aside, my skin has never in my life felt better.   i might go back for the akasuri scrub once a month, in lieu of my pedicure, because i'd rather have healthy skin than pretty toenails.  the only reason i could afford the goddess was because i sold a golf lesson package i won to a coworker for $100, and figured i haven't gotten a pedicure in awhile so i could chip in the extra money.  

i kind of can't wait to go back.  

so, now who's just so white???

Friday, May 15, 2009

questions from my sister's blog

which she got from another blog, but i'm not filling out all of them.

1. Where would you most like to live? here i guess.  i don't know.  i'm sure i could travel elsewhere and fall in love with it and want to move, but i'm okay in LA for right now.  but i'd like more rain.

2. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? 
depression- i've been there, and i can't even fathom anything worse. 

3. Who are your favorite writers? i'll base it on my favorite books. 
em forester, jane austen, charlotte bronte, thomas hardy

4. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
 i don't identify with any historical figure who i currently know anything about.  

5. What is your most treasured possession? 
the necklace i inherited recently from my grandmother.  star sapphires in a heavy indian gold setting.  

6. What are your favorite names? 
Elizabeth, Campbell, Robertson, (i'm scared to list any others because my sister might take them and what if i ever need kids' names.) okay, last one, and most favorite one- Evelyn (for a girl- nicknamed evie

7. What is one selfish thing you would like to do before you die? 
nothing i want to do really seems all that selfish.  everything i want to do is only limited by money, not other peoples' wishes/needs/desires.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

star trek

was fantastic!!!!

i loved it.  i'm pretty sure there were a lot of jokes i didn't get, not being a trekkie, but there were a lot of jokes i did get, and they were good.  

plot is absolutely secondary in this movie.  it's just a funny, fun, exciting way to spend 2 hours.  casting was great, and you walk out of there waiting for them to make a second one.  so much of this was the "reboot", introducing a new generation to the characters and the idea of star trek, that you know they are going somewhere with it.

one complaint- not enough simon pegg.  i usually say simon pegg isn't good unless he's got nick frost to back him up, in something written by edgar wright, but this was the perfect role.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

our house is warmed

we had our housewarming party for the new place in koreatown last night.  it was  a lot of fun.  at least i had fun.  we have so much alcohol left over though its not even funny.  we had bought a lot, but then everyone who came (almost everyone who came) brought their own, and stuff as gifts.  i'm swimming in amaretto.  (note- i am not complaining.  i have enough to last a year or 2 at least.)

so now begins the cleanup.  i took three huge garbage bags of recycling over the the recycling center already.  i've cleaned the sink and the dishes.  someone spilled a beer all over the floor of my bathroom, so that's got to be addressed.  (at least i really hope its a beer and not something else.) and do laundry.  party throwing may be a lot of prep work, expensive, and a lot of cleanup afterwards, but the party itself is definitely worth it.  

now i've got to keep myself up for the rest of the day.  i went to bed at 5, which wouldn't have been too bad had it not been for the mariachi band starting to play at 9 this morning.  i'm not kidding, full blown mariachi band.  i went back to bed until about 1 once they quit, and if i take a nap now, i'm screwed for sleep tonight.