(not the teenage kind)

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Bird of Scary Paradise

I look out my window the other morning and for the first time ever my Bird of Paradise plant, which I kind of thought was a banana tree, has sprouted a flower. But it is a scary flower. It looks like a big black dead bird's head. I decide to stay away.

But then I am at a friend's house and they have a huge humongous Bird of Paradise tree and they take me out there with a flashlight and point out that their bird flowers are more grayish and that they have color at the top and then we almost step on one that is lying on the ground. Big. Dark. Frightening. I'm telling you, the Bird of Paradise, the city flower of Los Angeles, is totally scary.

Yesterday I decide to confront my fear. I take the pup with me and we bravely walk close enough to the plant to inspect. There is not just one flower, there are three or four. And they are not exactly black but a grayish blue. And there is a little color at the top. And guess what? I am no longer afraid of the Bird of Paradise plant. I have even taken a picture. It is looking like spring.

In the light of day, the Bird of Paradise is not so scary

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day

Our Memorial Day tradition is to head out on the Sunday of the weekend to Riverside National Cemetery with clippers and bronze polisher and two little flags that we leave on my grandparents' headstones. Just my mother and I made the annual drive this year but usually kruthless comes with us and we have had assorted guests including cousin Sam from Texas who came dressed in a suit and is the one who my mom gave the flag to at my grandfather's funeral. I want that flag back but that is another story for another day. And this year Mom left the bronze polisher at home. She has given up. It is really pretty at the Riverside National Cemetery and they really spruce things up for Memorial Day. And it is getting more and more populated and someone had the bright idea to set up a little roadside stand selling flowers and flags and crosses. Mom could not understand why there were no Jewish stars for the four or so Jewish people buried there. But be in suspense no more, here is what everything looked like:

Here is grandpa's grave. If you click on it, you'll be able to read it. But we were impressed because it says he was in World War II and Korea and because we are just that competitive we went looking at all the people buried around him and he was really the only one anywhere who had served through two wars. So there.

Here is grandma's grave. It has always bugged me because it has to conform with military wife verbiage and says "Eva G." as her name and then goes on to describe her as "wife of Col. Max N. Cizon" Those military people must be a wee bit sexist, yes?

Mom NOT polishing

That's their view. Look how pretty....ignore the finger!

In the last two years we have been joined by kruthless' husband and my dad and since that makes a party we started a new tradition of going to the Olive Garden, the only restaurant anywhere around, after our eight minutes of visiting the cemetary. This year, however, since it was just the two of us, my mother brought me a banana plus she had made peanut butter cookies for a party and she brought me some crumbs. No, just kidding, she actually brought a bunch of broken cookies and some crumbs. And it was unclear if the cookies broke as she was bringing them or she was bringing them because they broke. Either way, delicious. And then we drove back to L.A., picked up my dad, and went to the Overland Cafe for lunch where Dad announced that after a gazillion years in the mental health profession he has decided to become a stand-up comedian. It was a very exciting day.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Wilshire Boulevard

The Los Angeles Conservancy has asked its members to send in their memories of Wilshire Boulevard. They have asked for favorite buildings and pictures and personal memories. So here is what I am going to send in:

I lived just two blocks south of Wilshire off of Fairfax from 1964 until 1976. The May Company on Wilshire and Fairfax is the only place my mother ever lost me. I was about 7 years old, if that, and had developed a dislike of elevators and escalators. We were on the fourth floor and I insisted on taking the stairs. My mother took my sister on the escalator and said she would meet me at the bottom. But something went awry on the mezzanine. The stairs must have jogged and I did not know what to do. I started to go upstairs again and then stopped and then stood there crying. Eventually a woman, holding the hand of her young son, came to my rescue. She asked me what was wrong and took me to the first floor to be reunited with my mother and sister. I realize now that I have written this that it is a really boring story which is a shame because I tell it to anyone who will listen and, hey, getting lost is really traumatic. And just for some context, here is the building we are talking about:

And here's the inside. Gorgeous!

The May Company was also the only place I ever sat on Santa's lap. My Grandparents took me and my sister Chanukah shopping at the May Company annex which was just across the street and was where they had all the toys. We saw Santa Claus and broke away from my Grandparents shouting, "Santa, Santa. Hi Santa" and crawled on his lap. Our picture was taken. My Grandparents were mortified. We were shopping for Chanukah presents. My Grandfather said my Dad was going to be really upset with him. The shame. They would not buy the picture but we went home with an Incredible Edible Toy.

There was a Thrifty Drug Store on the southwest corner of Wilshire and Fairfax. We went there all the time to get my Dad's Old Gold cigarettes. They sold ice cream cones for a nickel and the store managers name was Rodney. We were known at that Thriftys. When I was twelve, I decided to run away. I can't remember why. I put on a pair of sunglasses so I wouldn't be recognized and went to the Thriftys and sat at the soda fountain. I told the waitress I couldn't take my sunglasses off because I was running away. She said I looked like Audrey Hepburn with the glasses but that I shouldn't run away because it's a scary world out there. Rodney came by and agreed that I should not run away. I called my parents from a pay phone behind the soda fountain. They did not appear to have realized I was gone. I went home.

The Peterson Museum building used to be an Ohrbachs department store. Some time in the 70's a man was shot and killed in the parking lot. I think he was a lawyer. That's all I know.

In the early 70's there was an Andy Warhol exhibit at LACMA. I wanted to go all the time. There was a mirrored maze and we could take our shoes off and walk through. We were on our way to LACMA one afternoon and, on the north side of Wilshire, were lured into a storefront to take a personality test. Scientology. Who had ever heard of it? And the guy there asked us if we noticed that the whole time we had been talking to him, he didn't blink. That's what Scientology could teach us. To control when we blink and never have to worry about dry eye? I did notice his eyes were blue. And I guess a little red. But I hate thinking about blinking because then I get self conscious and start blinking all the time instead of letting it happen naturally . That's what I'm doing right now. If only I had signed up for Scientology that summer this whole blinking thing would not be an issue.

I took the Wilshire RTD bus everywhere - to school when I went to John Burroughs on McCadden right off of Wilshire, to the beach, to Westwood to see Love Story seven times, and when I was eighteen I worked for Prudential Insurance which was (I believe) at 5757 Wilshire, right across from LACMA. I was on the bus after work going to meet some friends and I started brushing my hair. An older, crazy lady on the bus got wildly mad and screamed at me and screamed at the bus driver. She wanted me kicked off the bus for brushing my hair. Another boring story but also really traumatic.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Rage Against The (TiVo) Machine

I will prepare you for this post by saying that I am very, very cranky. So cranky that I just keep wishing for a cliff to push the whole world off. So cranky that at the Staples today when this woman was running around the store screaming on her cell phone about her new job, I wanted to go up to her face and tell her I was really, really happy for her five day a week job and really, really glad that it included benefits and that, in fact, all of us in Staples were so very happy to celebrate in her joy that we would love to take her to the nearest cliff to celebrate. I have, in fact, developed a coping mechanism whereby I talk to myself and say things like "it is not rational to go up to a stranger and tell them you want to push them off a cliff." I swear, I am not insane, it's the hormones talking.

So now I have set the mood to tell you that as I was driving home from work I decided that I HATE TiVo. And I don't even have TiVo. Can we all please get together and push the TiVo off a cliff????

Last night was the season finale of Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy. Now I don't usually watch Grey's Anatomy because I fall asleep two minutes after it starts and also there are needles and blood and cutting open and all the things that make me squirm. But I was so adrenaline boosted from the finale of Desperate Housewives that I actually made it through to the end and the ending? Awesome. As was the beginning and middle. Except for the needles and blood and cutting open parts.

And I go to work all high on the good TV that I have ingested the night before and figure I will have some awesome water cooler conversations but, NO, most of the people I talked to had not seen either Desperate Housewives or Grey's Anatomy because they Tivo'd it. Do you see what is happening? TIVO IS KILLING THE OFFICE WATER COOLER CONVERSATIONS. And I hate it!!!!

I remember, back in the day, when Seinfield was on Thursday nights and on Fridays my boss and my bosses boss and I would go out to lunch and discuss the previous night's episode. It was something to look forward to and good bonding and TiVo? Destroyed it all.

I swear, I am going to start a campaign. There will be t-shirts and bumper stickers and union organizing. And salt. And chocolate.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

You Will Not Believe It

Guess who was just at my house? The electrician! And guess what he said when I told him that I probably do not need an on-off switch for the fountain near the house because there was some switch that you could reach through the water to turn on and off? Well, first he asked me to show him but then as I started to show him, he put his arm around me and had this sort of pitying look in his eyes as he basically said that there was no way that a fountain would be designed with an on-off switch that you had to reach through the water to operate. I think he probably left and went to his next job at a big house contruction and told all the guys there about the mentally challenged, insane woman whose house he had just visited.

But the good news is that he is going to start work next Saturday. Well, it was good news until I pointed out that it is Memorial Day weekend. I also pointed out that this did not make a bit of difference to me. He laughed at me for the tenth time this morning and said he would be in touch. But at least some progress...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Hula Club

Remember when I went to the Yearly Variety Show for my former CASA kid? Well, last night it was Hula Club. I don't know why but these things make me all weepy. First the Principal walked into the auditorium and all the kids went running to her and she walked up and down the aisles, shaking hands and giving hugs. She even patted me on the back! And I started to feel really, really old because I could not remember the names of my Elementary School principals. And then it turns out I'm not that old because it was Mr. Marmon and Mr. Carp. I do not remember them as being particularly huggable. So the Principal of this school? Touched me deeply.

Then, during the show, the kids had to go in the audience and bring someone on the stage with them to do the hula. Every single kid brought up a sibling or a friend. Except one. She brought her dad. And he was such a good sport about it because everyone was cheering and laughing and he looked like a total dork up there but he didn't care because his daughter was smiling and he gave her a big hug and kiss when it was over. Me crying.

And, finally, watching my former CASA kid dance. She was good and I'm not just saying that. And she has a beautiful singing voice too. She's a total ham. I started thinking about how she started out in foster care and her very early years were so difficult and now everything is going well and she's happy and talented. And more crying.

But the most important thing is that I think I learned something. According to these kids, there is going to be another Hawaiian Island springing up. Something about an angry volcano and lava. I asked my former CASA kid after the show when we would be able to start visiting this new island and she was very vague but definitely something to look forward to.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Earthquake Revisited

Well. I talked to Stephanie and my mother who both live pretty close to me and neither of them felt an earthquake the other night. My mother said that she thinks it was the next door neighbors slamming their door. And then she went on to say that if I only talked to my next door neighbors I could ask them. Here's the thing. I am the one who found them their house so I think it is them who should be talking to me but somehow in my mother's mind it has turned into me not talking to them. Long story. Another time.

But, anyway, I think Laurie, who commented in the previous post, has the correct theory. Quite obviously, there was an earthquake centered right under my house and the clogged pipes stopped the seismograph from reading it correctly because let me tell you....

I have lived in Los Angeles all my life and if there is one thing I know about it is earthquakes. How did I get out of taking gym in both junior high school and high school? The gyms of both my junior high school and high school were destroyed in an earthquake. Why was it so easy to find parking when I lived in my condo in Sherman Oaks? Every building in the neighborhood but mine was destroyed in an earthquake. (And if I had a scanner I could show you the pictures.)

I can tell by the waviness how far away an earthquake is centered. I can predict with pretty good accuracy the magnitude on the Richter scale. And I LOVE Lucy Jones and Kate Hutton, the CalTech earthquake ladies. Dammit, I KNOW earthquakes. So, guys, there was most definitely an earthquake under my house on May 16th, 2005 at about 10:00 pm. Some day there will be many books written all about it, I am so sure.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Was I Dreaming Or What?

I get home from dinner last night around 9:00 which is well past my bedtime or at least my preparing to get ready for bed time, play around on the computer, review the mail, give the dog some attention and then get in bed and am listening to the Canadian ladies on NPR by around 10:00.

Then just as I'm settling in the bed starts shaking. Earthquake! The dog gets all upset, running to the front door and barking. When the shaking stops, I tiptoe out of bed and gather up my tennis shoes to put next to the bed and my cell phone, you know, in case this was a foreshock and the next one will knock the electricity off. I toy with the idea of moving the picture that is over my bed. I wonder where this one was centered and think it must have been really, really strong somewhere else. I'm thinking maybe my mom or Stephanie or someone in the neighborhood will call me to compare notes. I worry a bit about my dad because what if it's centered near him and his electricity is off and his oxygen doesn't work or is there some sort of back-up generator on the oxygen unit thing?

I wait to hear something on the radio but what do the Canada ladies care about a little foreshock in Los Angeles? And the dog does not settle down. He sits on the edge of the bed and stares out the window and will not move. I close my eyes and fall asleep and wake up and there he is all straight and erect staring out the window for half the night. Which I understand because that earthquake? Scary. I can't wait for morning to come so I can hear what it was on the Richter scale.

In the morning, the toilet has backed up but I am able to plunge it myself and do not need to call a plumber for once. I scan the L.A. Times headlines and they do not mention the earthquake. Maybe it happened too late to make the paper? So I check on the internet and am stunned to find that there have been no earthquakes in Los Angeles on may 16th. How can that be? There are many earthquakes that we don't even feel every single day. How can this be the only day there were not? Not even a little bitty, teeny weeny one.

Okay, here are the theories thus far:
- I thought I was wide awake when actually I was asleep.
- The dog was moving around so much I thought he was shaking the bed
- There was a huge possum in the backyard that hit the house and caused it to shake
- The pipes started shaking as they backed up the toilet

If you have any to add, please do. Or maybe someone else felt that earthquake and I am not way out there all by myself?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Mother's Day Delayed

The typical conversation on the day after Mother's Day with people who do not know me well (PWDKMW) went something like this:

PWDKMW: So, what did you do yesterday?

Me: Oh, you mean for Mother's Day? Nothing. My mother is gone.

PWDKMW (looking embarrassed and sad): Oh, I'm so sorry.

Me: Oh, no, no, no. It's not that. She's in Madison.

PWDKMW (looking puzzled): Really? I thought she lived here.

And so it went. But mom is back now and I invited her over for a surprise. But first the back story.

It all started in 1906. That is when C.C. Brown's in Downtown Los Angeles invented the hot fudge sundae. C.C. Brown's later moved to Hollywood Boulevard across the street from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and down the street from the Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Lots of movie stars went to C.C. Browns as did my mother who loved their hot fudge sundaes. So every once in awhile that is where we would go for Mother's Day or mom's birthday. But a couple of years ago C.C. Brown's closed down. Very sad.

I don't even know how it came up but I was talking to my friend John who knows everything there is to know and more about all things Los Angeles and he knew about a secret, secret stash of C. C. Brown's hot fudge. And I told him about my mom and her love of C. C. Brown's and he scored one for me! And here it is:

One of the last jars of C. C. Brown's hot fudge you will ever see.

It is at this point that I would love to show you a picture of the old C. C. Brown's on Hollywood Boulevard. Or I would have even settled for the original site Downtown. But I searched the internet for about a trillion hours and could not find one picture. There was a picture of a Pep Boys opening on Hollywood Boulevard. There was a picture of a Buick dealership opening on Hollywood Boulevard. But I could not find one picture of the famous place that invented hot fudge sundaes for the whole world and where lots and lots of movie stars, not to mention my own mother, used to go. What is up with that?

But I digress. I went to the market to get all the fixings for the surprise hot fudge sundae day. And if I had brought my camera with me I could have taken a picture of the nice young man working at the market who I approached when I realized that I did not know what kind of nuts you are supposed to put in hot fudge sundaes. He said chopped walnuts, told me the aisle, and offered to take me there. And then I could have taken a picture of me declining his offer only to forget the aisle number two seconds later. And then I could have taken a picture of me finally finding the walnuts only to realize that I actually had a package at home from the only time this whole year that I tried to "cook" something.

Here are all the fixings. Notice there is no whipped cream. Mom and I do not like whipped cream. Notice there are real cherries. Mom and I do not like red dye #2.

Notice the Healthy Choice Ice Cream. That is so mom will not feel the need for extra jazzercise classes after indulging. Notice also the substandard tableau. I will not be quitting my day job to become an Art Director.

I meant to take pictures of the actual sundae making and eating event because I did put the bananas, walnuts, and cherries in fancy pansy bowls. And we did sit outside because it is finally feeling like summer. But I forgot the picture taking because I will never be Crazy Aunt Purl. The hot fudge sauce was really good and we ate half the jar. Mom is hoping I can score another one in time for my birthday. Hot fudge sundaes in February don't really go. Whatever. Meanwhile, Happy Delayed Mother's Day everyone.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Weekend Update

Here is what is going on around my house this weekend:

I did not win the lottery:

NOT a winning lotto ticket. Sad, but not unusual.

The contractor is coming to get the mold out of the garage:

Does not get much worse than this. Oh, except, wait a minute it was...

The electrician still has not come to hook up the fountain which means I am going to turn it into a flower planter any second now. In the meantime, it is getting awfully slimy looking:

We're just not even going to think about mosquitos and West Nile Virus, okay?

The pup continues to demand to play frisbee causing a path to wear in the brand new grass. We all know that brand new grass is overrated anyway, right?:

Overrated but expensive brand new grass. That's a frisbee in the pup's mouth. Hard to tell, I know.

There will no doubt be some time spent viewing my latest Netflix DVD:

My guilty and (now not so) secret pleasure

And catching up on my reading:

I have started and stopped this so many times, very unlike me. And I don't know why because I really, really, really want to know what happens.

And I have already gotten really good at taking pictures for my blog. Well, I mean posting pictures on the blog because just ignore that my finger got in the way and that there is blurriness and stuff. We will just call it artsy. And I will leave you with this:

Brand new teak furniture which I bought before everyone told me it was politically incorrect. Sorry, Planet Earth. It has finally warmed up and a lot of the weekend will be sitting outside with the worn down brand new grass and the stagnant water fountain and the soon to be not moldy garage and my up and running again wireless and there might even be some drinking wine and telling lies, who knows?

Friday, May 13, 2005

Women Tell White Lies

Finally, someone has done the research and figured out what women want. And the research was even conducted by women themselves so it has gotta be good. And guess what? It turns out that women want a lower alcohol content in their wine because they can not hold their liquor. And the lower alcohol content makes the wine sweeter because the researched women must have said they are the leading purchasers of Ripple. Except it turns out they don't even make Ripple anymore. What???? And they are naming the wine White Lies because we are all so Lucy Ricardo telling our cute little harmless "stories" to Ricky and being really funny and adorable. And it is priced at under $10 because women should not have to pay the fine wine prices what with their sucky palate and metabolism and all. Makes me wanna holler (especially because, for the second time ever, I wrote a brilliant post and blogger crashed. Do I ever learn???)
But I promised you all pictures so here is one:

Just sitting around drinking wine and telling lies

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Blog Envy

I have to confess right now the reason I haven't written in a few days is that I suffer from blog envy. My boss told me about this blog right here and I can not stop reading it and I am fascinated by the way she is able to post all those pictures. And she seems to go nowhere without a camera. I am trying to figure out this picture thing so that I can be as entertaining as Crazy Aunt Purl. So here's a start:

Picture of pup on old futon which has been replaced by groovy 60's fold-out couch from Futurama. He is holding a Christmas tree which was a holiday gift which he actually unwrapped himself. I have pictures of the unwrapping which I am not going to post so you can have something to look forward to.

Picture of pup with a different toy on the California King bed that was bought because he is a bed hog. This toy was also a gift and it is also green. People like to buy him green toys. That is because when I had his colors done, he was a green....oh, just kidding. But green does go well with his eyes.

Hey, I did it, I did it! I posted multiple pictures....although this all requires something I do not have (besides a scanner) which is patience. But, really, I am a technical genius. Did you notice the border? I did that border. And I know my pup is as cute and smart and entertaining as Crazy Aunt Purl's cats, right? And I'm going to start taking my digital camera everywhere, maybe I'll even get one of those phones that can take pictures and there are going to be so many pictures on this blog that you will think you are in an art museum. So, now that I've told you about it, don't you all go defecting to Crazy Aunt Purl, okay?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Letters To The Movie "Crash"

Dear Sandra Bullock:
Good career move. You show that you can be something other than adorable. I finally have hope that there will be parts for you when you are no longer young and perky. Which is probably now.

Dear Ryan Phillipe:
You are cute. You deserve to be just as famous and income producing as your wife. Come by for drinks and we can discuss.

Dear Don Cheadle:
Stephanie thinks you are the best actor of the decade (hmmm...can't remember her exact words here and she did preface by saying "I'm going out on a limb.") Well, you were definitely the soul of this film.

Dear Brendan Fraser:
When Stephanie invited me to see the movie she said "Brendan Fraser is in it and everything he's been in lately has been so good." Your part did not call for much but you did the not much well and you looked great. Come by for coffee and we can discuss.

Dear Michael Pena:
You look very familiar. Do I know you? Come by to change my locks and we can discuss.

Dear Matt Dillon:
I have loved you since Little Darlings and, Matt, if you haven't watched it in awhile you should totally put it on your Netflix list just to see Cynthia Nixon in the role of Sunshine. Oh but then I loved you even more since Drugstore Cowboy which should also go on your Netflix list because that is one of my all-time favorite movies and I can not even bear to look at needles in person or on film. I can not say your role in Crash made me love you anew but that is not your fault. Roger Ebert says that out of the entire ensemble you were the stand out. Though I don't entirely agree, I still give you a big thumbs up because I totally forgot my love for you, that's how good an actor you were.

Dear Paul Haggis:
You have written and directed a film that reminds me of Magnolia but without the insipid Aimee Mann music. Not that I dislike Aimee Mann. I just think the use of her music in the movie Magnolia was bloody annoying. The big difference between your film, Paul, and Magnolia is that Magnolia did not make me fidget with anxiety and want to get up and leave or just stay in my seat and fidget and scream and sigh and tear my hair out (like I have any to spare...) which is what I ended up doing. You made great use of the city of Los Angeles including many scenes in the San Fernando Valley (see following letter to Location Scout) and I was especially pleased to see the store on Ventura Boulevard where I used to buy old Fiestaware but which is now defunct. How things change in just a year.

Dear Location Scout:
Thanks for using my neighborhood and my street and most likely my actual house (to be determined upon viewing the DVD in slow motion) in what I consider to be two extremely important and pivotal scenes. I do recall that there was also a night shoot which caused me to take the pup and spend the night at my mother's house (of my own accord and only because your flyer said there would be lots of shooting and screeching noises.) Was that scene cut? Or was I so busy tearing my hair out that I missed it?

Dear Anyone Who Wants To See What My Street Looks Like At High Speed:
Go see Crash.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Military School

Man, I had ANOTHER dream that the mutt got lost. Do people with children have nightmares all the time that their kids go missing? In this one, he was found by a young, brassy blonde who told me that she had a plan, she was going to be a millionaire because that's all you need, you know, is a plan. The funny things was that in my mind in the dream I thought he would come galloping around, tail all wagging, and ears all perked up when he saw me. But he was quite blase.

Which reminded me of when he was a puppy and went away to military school. Here's what happened:

He was quite the feisty, energetic puppy and I have found emails I wrote at the time where I sound like the mother of a newborn in the midst of a heavy-duty sleep deprived post partnum depression. I remember once I was just sitting innocently eating my cereal and the pup came dashing across the room, leaping up to nip at my shoulder. Devil pup! Me at my wit's end. And then my dad saw this guy Uncle Matty on PBS and said I should give him a call. And before we go any further, I should mention that no one in my family has ever had a dog.

Uncle Matty sent a trainer named Rosanne and things went well at our first session. You know, she said all the right things, he's smart, he's sweet, he's handsome, blah, blah, blah. But then at the second session, she decided he might be "fear aggressive." And she recommended that I take him to Uncle Matty's training center so Uncle Matty himself could test and evaluate. Test and evaluate? That sounded great because I knew the pup would ace the test and I couldn't wait for Uncle Matty to tell me all about what a lucky person I was for getting to own the very best dog existing on this planet.

So one Saturday morning don dokken and I drove the pup out to way knows where to Uncle Matty's military camp where it was visiting day and all the people who left their dogs there got to visit and see the great progress their pups were making. Except it was really depressing because all the pups had been turned into Stepford Dogs and, rather than sparkly, happy, excited eyes, had the dead eyes of a pup who has had the spirit beaten out of them.

Uncle Matty came to administer the test to our pup which consisted of him putting the puppy on his back and holding him by the throat. Rather violent. The poor young, little thing got so scared that he peed all over himself, was completely shaking, and tried to bite Uncle Matty. "Did you see that?" Uncle Matty said, all pleased with himself. don dokken and I were just about in tears. And Uncle Matty convinced us that this pup was going to be a menace to society if we didn't leave him there blah, blah, blah. So we did. And I will not reveal the price tag of a stay at military school. And they do not let you visit the pup for the first two weeks that they are going through the Stepford robot making process.

We gave the pup to some guy and he never looked back at us. We left crying and I would say there was some margarita drinking done. Then I went home to the empty, empty, terribly empty house and started making calls. First call to my boss who was supportive but puzzled. Second call to the pup's dog walker who said, "You did what?" He then proceeded to tell me that, being the one who took the pup to the dog park every single day of the work week, he could unequivocably say that pup was no menace, would not hurt a flea, and that I must bust him out of there pronto. He also correctly pointed out that if someone threw me on my back and held me by the throat, I just might act the same way as the pup and no one was installing me in military school, right?

I then proceeded to read the contract for the very pricey military school and saw that I had three days to break it. It being the weekend I would have to wait until Monday to retrieve the pup. So I called my boss to tell her I would be late to work due to the busting out of the pup. "Oh, thank God," she said.

don dokken and I arrived at the military school early early. I had faxed ahead about the breaking of the contract. They greeted us coldly and tried to get Uncle Matty on the phone at which point I was forced to adopt my aggressive stance and got all folded arms and bossy tone and told them I did not need to talk to Uncle Matty, get thee me dog.

So after all this hoopla and me missing the dog all weekend and all the tears and don dokken and I thinking we were being big heroes and busting him out of what had to have been the most miserable weekend of anyone's life ever, the mutt came trotting out and acted like he barely knew us. Oh, so anticlimactic. And this was all six years ago and guess what? He has never attacked anyone or anything and he is not a Stepford dog and shortly after this all happened I found an amazing article in the L.A. Weekly that sounded so familiar in the description of Uncle Matty and the military school experience and I called the author who says in the article that Uncle Matty "uses fear as a marketing tool" and ranted to her and now the military school is closed down. So there....

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Saga Of The Three Electricians

Yeah, yeah, I know, pretty boring stuff. But if I have to live it, you have to read it.


I re-landscape my backyard and buy a fountain. In the discussion of the fountain, the landscape designer does not discuss with me how the fountain works i.e. where the heck do we plug the thing in? And when the fountain arrives I have it in my head that it is some kind of battery situation and I misunderstand the landscaper and think I am supposed to plug it in somewhere through the water which I am understandably nervous about doing whereby don dokken, not understanding my misunderstanding, volunteers to plug it in only to look at me like I am insane when I show him what I think he is supposed to do. I just wish I was born twenty years earlier so I could get away with saying "hey, I'm a girl, what do I know?" because all I get is crazy stares and snickers and puzzled looks when I tell people this part.

I decide to hire an electrician to run a conduit to the house and install a switch by my back door so I can turn on and off the pretty, pretty fountain.

Electrician #1:
Let's call him John. John is the one who upgraded my service a short while back. John tells me he will write an estimate and fax it right away. It never arrives. I call to follow up. No call back.

Electrician #2:
Let's call him Ismael. His number is given to me by the landscaper. I call and leave a message. No return call. Nothing.

Electrician #3:
Let's call him Leonard. Leonard is the one who changed out my light when I had the scary, scary power surge. I call his boss who says he is on vacation but will be back Tuesday. So we schedule for Thursday and he will confirm on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Tuesday arrives and I get a phone message from an electrician! I call back thinking it is electrician #3 calling to confirm. But, no, it is electrician #2 who says he will stop by my house that very day and then call me with an estimate and thinks he can start the job on Saturday. Later that day a fax arrives from electrician #1. He says he can start "reasonably soon." Once I sign on the dotted line.

I now have THREE electricians in play!!!! Very exciting. Except that by Wednesday I have not heard from electrician #2 again and electrician #3 never calls to confirm. So I sign on the dotted line for electrician #1. Waiting to hear the definition of "reasonably soon." We will see.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

My Brilliant Ideas

I consider myself a morning person. I go to bed early and I get up early. Used to be 5 am. Then when we set the clocks ahead I started slacking and the alarm goes off at 5:30 am. Well, I think. It is hard to ever know what time it is because none of my clocks say the same thing and I don't think any of them are right. I'm always early everywhere anyway so who cares? Except I have found it harder and harder to get out of bed and have even been sleeping in until 6.

Last night in the shower, where I do my best thinking, I decided that has got to end. I thought, "I am going to spring out of bed at 5:30 and the mutt will spring with me and then we'll play some Frisbee and then I'll have my tea and then I'll work on some technical blog issues and then I'll go on the treadmill. And then I'll think up new blog ideas that will make me lots of money because all it takes is one good idea and you can be a millionaire." And then I thought about a friend of mine who had what she thought was eczema and I asked the question "could it be from your medication?" and she looked on the internet and sure enough. So I thought there could be a blog that lists the side effects of medication and the pharma/biotech companies could pay me lots of money to advertise on my blog and I could sit at home researching side effects and become a millionaire! And then I had other brilliant ideas too but by now I have forgotten them.

So what happened this morning? I almost did not spring out of bed at 5:30 am but the mutt must have heard my thoughts because he did....so I let him outside but we did not play Frisbee because it was cold and dark. And I did make my tea and fiddle around with my technical blog issues. I have not started researching the side effects of medication or thought of any other brilliant blog ideas. But, really, it just has to be something simple. There is a new book out called "Early Bird" about a guy who got sick of his job and decided to "retire" in his late 20's and live in a retirement community in Boca Raton, Florida. Why couldn't I have thought of that? Or, like, Cameron Crowe when he infiltrated a high school. Wait, I know, maybe I could infiltrate my mom's jazzercise class. There's a whole subculture there and I think they even have their own special language (like, does anyone know what a "jazzertog" is?) and everything. One idea, people, just one brilliant idea.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Paul Frank Does Not Rock

I'm sitting at the cafeteria at work waiting for my lunch companion to finish weighing and paying for his humongous $10 salad bar salad and thumbing through my latest issue of Dwell magazine. And there, on page 64, is a "Paul Frank for Andy Warhol 2005" handbag. It's blue and pink and red and white and it has an Andy Warhol banana split on the side. There is a quote from Paul Frank that says "why Andy Warhol? why not Andy Warhol. you can't do better than Andy Warhol!"

So quite excited, I turn to show the ad to the guy at the table next to me who agrees that that handbag is totally me. And don't be thinking that I am friendly enough to just turn to strangers and show them an ad in a magazine. I know the guy at the table next to me, I have known him for years and years and so he knows what he is talking about when he says the handbag is totally me. My lunch companion arrives and I show him the ad and he agrees too. And then I notice that the shirt I am wearing today is the same exact blue as the handle on the purse. The three of us (me, my lunch companion, guy at the table next to us) speculate about how much a bag like that would cost. My lunch companion says, "Well, Paul Frank, Andy Warhol, those are two heavyweights, probably cost a lot." (But a little later we get into a conversation with the guy at the table next to us about the new Star Wars and my lunch companion says something about Princess Leia finding the secret and I figure he knows what he's talking about but it turns out that is his sum total knowledge about anything Star Wars. Crafty! You learn one thing about a subject, bandy it about, and people think you know something. All this to say to take his Paul Frank/Andy Warhol comment with a grain of salt.)

But I must investigate because surely someone will want to buy that purse for me because wouldn't someone get much more satisfaction from the happy, happy look on my face than from the teeny, tiny interest that money is probably making sitting in a savings account? The ad says "paulfrank.com" so I go on the website and, man, it is the suckiest website I have ever tried to navigate. And it is so pretentious with stupid Paul Frank quotes and I have no idea where to look for the bag and I click on everything and can not find it. Then I do a google search on every combination of Paul Frank, Andy Warhol, handbag, bag, purse that I can think of. Nothing. Which is why I can not even show you a picture or give you a link so that you too can agree about how totally me this purse is. Why would they pay for an ad in Dwell magazine for a product you can't even find? Paul Frank does not rock.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

New Comments

I have installed haloscan which makes commenting ever so much fun. Unfortunately, in the transfer, previous comments were erased (I think...I don't know, maybe they're here somewhere. I will keep looking. Promise.) Sorry for any heartache this might cause.


Let me start by saying that someone recommended that, instead of Ativan times three for the plane, I read the "Confessions of a Shopaholic" series by Sophie Kinsella. So the last time I was at Target I picked up the first one and was holding on until my next plane ride. But then I thought, "plane ride, treadmill, what's the difference?" so on Friday I started reading the book. It's pretty funny because the main character has all these hysterical justifications for her purchases even though she finds herself horribly in debt. You know, she'll like buy a ton of make-up that she doesn't really need to get the free gift with purchase (GWP) and other great rationales like that.

So my friend Julie invites me to meet her at Nordstroms for the Scent of Spring Fragrance Show. It costs $10 to get in but I have not registered so when I arrive, before Julie who has missed the freeway turn-off, they tell me it's too late to register so I don't have to pay.

"But I still get the muffins and coffee for breakfast?'' Yes

"But I still get the lunch?" Yes

"But I can still buy things?" Yes, the woman at the door assures me, yes.

Not that I'm planning on buying anything anyway. And now I get free breakfast and lunch. Whoo-hoo! It's pretty crowded so I grab my FREE coffee and muffin and call Julie, "I'm just going to sit in a corner in a chair and have my FREE coffee and muffin while I wait for you. I'm too far out of my element here to go it alone," I say.

But then she doesn't arrive and I'm finished with my FREE coffee and muffin and I even glance at the swimsuits for my summer trip to Sonoma but finally I wander around to look at the scents. And the first table I come to is Paris perfume. Now the story on Paris is that was the scent I wore all in my late 20's and early 30's and people were always commenting on how good I smelled. In fact, during that period, I walked into my office one morning and a man I had never seen before was lying on my office floor and the first thing he said to me was, "You smell good. What kind of perfume is that?" A few months ago I realized it had been many, many years since anyone had mentioned how good I smelled so I went into Sephora and bought a teeny, tiny bottle of Paris and have been wearing it and you know how many people have commented on how good I smell? Not one. None. No one.

So back at the Paris counter they have this bottle I have never seen before, a pink colored Paris perfume, a rose (ro-say) if you will. It is called Paris Springtime and it is lighter and springier than the original and I'm sure if I buy it people will notice. And it comes with a GWP, a matching lotion. I buy it. You are probably wondering why when I already have a teeny tiny bottle from Sephora that has brought no results. And I say you obviously have not read the "Shopaholic" series. Not that I am a shopaholic or in debt in any way whatsoever. But I was reading the book and it was in my mind and I got carried away. As you will soon see.

Because next I walk up to the Marc Jacobs table. Oh, I love Marc Jacobs clothes. And the man behind the Marc Jacobs table takes some lotion and starts massaging my hand. And let me point out here that attending "Scent of Spring" is like going on a wine tasting outing and the way they talk about scents is the way people talk about wine what with the "topnotes" and the "citrusy aroma" and "the perfect blending of." So the Marc Jacobs product is called Blush. And you should see the bottle. And it comes in a set with the perfume and body lotion and shower gel. And......THERE'S A GWP!!!!! The GWP comes with all these great product samples and a flower hair clip. SoI have to buy it, right? (If you didn't think "right," then you have the wrong answer and haven't been paying attention while reading this entry.)

Thank goodness, Julie arrives. And she examines my purchases and tells me I didn't need her at all, that my instincts on scents are right on. And then we go and have our FREE lunch which includes finger sandwiches and cheese and crackers and strawberries and cream and lots and lots of champagne. And Nordstroms water. And y'all better tell me I smell good the next time you see me.

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