(not the teenage kind)

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Watermelon Seeds

I remember several months ago sitting on Jill's couch with a glass of red wine and somebody accidentally knocking into me and spilling the red wine all over Jill's couch. And this would ordinarily be mortifying and have ended up with me needing to buy Jill a new couch except that she just took a paper towel or something and just wiped it all up. I thought "I need the recipe of whatever that is that's protecting Jill's couch."

So on Sunday when I had some people over for brunch someone brought a fruit salad. She left the leftovers with me in a tupperware bowl for which I had no lid. But I improvised a lid and brought the fruit salad to work and ate what I could and on the way home there was just watermelon and watermelon juice left in the bowl. And being the morning person I am I was very vigilant and aware of the improvised lid on the way to work and half asleep and forgetting all about the improvised lid on the way home.

And when I got home there was watermelon and watermelon juice and watermelon seeds all over my passenger seat. The passenger seat was red.

But apparently my car has the same supersonic protecto recipe as Jill's couch because all I had to do was wipe it off and the red was gone, gone, gone. I went to bed happy that night. But then the next morning I got in my car and something did not smell right.

I do not know how to describe this smell. It is a subtle smell. And it makes me subtly nauseous. And I am having trouble getting it to go away. First I tried spraying lavender spray all over because this would have the dual result of making the smell go away and making me calm. Lavender is calming. Then I dug down into the crack of the seat and found six watermelon seeds. I smelled them. That same smell. Did you all know that watermelon seeds smell really bad?. I mean subtly bad. Everyday is a brand new learning experience.

This morning, following the destruction of the watermelon seeds, the smell is a little better. But still subtly there, woven into the seat I'm sure. Does anyone have a recipe to make the smell go away?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Los Angeles Film Festival

Did you know there was one? And did you know that I was there? And did you know that I really wanted to take a photo at the Pop Secret photo booth and email it to all my friends but by the time I got around to it there was a huge crowd? So Stephanie went four times and on the last time she sent this to me:

Picture published with Steph's permission. Love the blue lighting! Maybe it's better I didn't partake. Blue? Not my color.

Stephanie and I went to see Julia Sweeney's one-woman show "Letting Go of God." What was that doing in a Los Angeles Film Festival, you ask? Well, in the Los Angeles Film Festival they showed some plays they would like to see translated to the big screen. Or that are going to be translated to the big screen. Or something. Julia Sweeney can be funny but she is very esoteric. I mean, I really didn't realize that I would be seeing a diagram of an eye and getting an explanation about how the eye works in a show that I thought was a funny quest for no God. Not that there weren't funny moment. And I think it is good that there are people out there thinking through the God/No God debate. But it was a "school night" and I think it went on for three hours and then Steph told me about the other Los Angeles Film Festival events she had been going to and she saw all these music videos and then heard the Directors talk about them. Music videos can be made for really cheap. And they are a way of being creative just a little at a time. And they are perfect for someone with my kind of attention span.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Bullets, Mosquitos, and Fun

Hypothetically, say that you have a friend who is going through the stuff of a deceased relative and finds a box of bullets. And say the friend has now stored those bullets in your garage and you both agree that the best thing would be to dispose of them as soon as possible. How would you hypothetically dispose of them? I asked The Sage and he could not give me an answer. I found the one thing ever to stump The Sage. And then I thought that hypothetically these people could call the police and ask them. But would that put them on some police list of people who have bullets in their garage? I am so glad this is all hypothetical.

And to move from the hypothetical to the real....when am I going to get real and buy some Deet? Because the mosquitos? They love me. And I have now three bites to prove it. And one is behind my ear. That's how much they love, love, love me. Hey, since I'm not out there like most people playing mad cow roulette, I need some intrigue and danger, right?

Moving along to the fun portion of the blog...what a great weekend I had. There was the Go Ask Alice viewing party/Jill's birthday celebration with my Union Station friends. Then there was dinner entertaining in the 95.9% finished backyard complete with the obligatory rat walking across the electrical wires and the newly obligatory walk around the neighborhood and Crash tour. And here I must thank don dokken for taking the backyard from 94.9% complete to 95.9% complete by buying an umbrella and putting up with me shrieking "the company will be here in fifteen minutes, there is no time to put up an umbrella now. " There was plenty of time and the umbrella came in so handy when there was brunch entertaining the next morning in the 95.9% finished backyard. Being the daytime, the rat did not partake and one of the guests announced that she is engaged and there was lots of shrieking and hugging and pastries.

Saturday, June 25, 2005


Have you all heard of Friendster? It is a an internet site where you can link to your friends or people who you want to be your friends and it is an easy way of sharing information and photos and blogs and fun. Well, they created the same thing for dogs called "Dogster" and on March 19, 2004, my pup signed up. A link to his page was sent to several friends and he got back many responses like "very cute!" But then don dokken wrote back and had taken the canned email and substituted my name for the pup's name and substituted "dogster" for "geekster." Well! The pup was immediately shamed and, though from time to time he got notices from dogster that there were many pups who wanted to be his friend, he ignored them. They were geeks. He was not. And then he changed his email address.

So imagine my surprise when I received the following email from don dokken yesterday:
It was only a matter of time before someone created a Friendster for dogs, and this one is too goofy to resist. The site is easy to use each pup gets a home page, complete with profile, photos and links to all his pals.
In other words, me and the pup were not geeks after all. We were, as don dokken admitted in a subsequent email, "trendsetters." So we went to look at his dogster page for the first time in over a year. And they have this thing called "corralled" which is what another dogster dog does when they love you. And my dog was corralled six times. Six dogs LOVE him. And him? He loves nobody. That's what happens when you think you are too cool. Which he is because 385 people/dogster dogs have looked at his page. And then I checked his email and he had received the following from two greyhounds in Florida:
Subject: Mr Pancake Sent: Sat Feb 26

Rudy, we read your story (our mom actually read it to us) and we're glad to hear that you're happy now just like us. We love all kinds of dogs and especially greyhounds, I guess because we ARE greyhounds. Love Sadie and Missie
Do you see the date? February 26th! The pup sent them back a message blaming me for the tardiness in his response. I say blame don dokken. And can you believe he thought we were geeks? So, hey, go here and give my pup a bone...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Flight Pattern

Guess what? The landscaper did not burn down my house and, in fact, completed the job and, in fact, it looks great. I know you were worried.

So some friends stopped by last night because they wanted to toast the new yard and they brought wine and pita chips and hummus and cheese and crackers. And I got all Martha Stewart-like and pulled asparagus out of the refrigerator and poured some strawberry vinagrette salad dressing in a bowl for dipping and they loved it. Me? So creative.

One of my friends is the daughter of a pilot and she is always saying things like "Did you see the military jets going south over the 101?" or "Did you see all those helicopters going west over the 405?" And my answer is always "uh, no." Call me crazy but I like to look at the road when I am driving and am very unconcerned with what is going on in the sky.

But last night as we were sitting outside she said "I didn't know you were on the flight path for the Burbank airport." And I said I thought I was more on the flight path for the Van Nuys airport. And she said "No, that plane over there is definitely coming from Burbank. It is a UPS plane and UPS planes take off from Burbank, not Van Nuys. Even though Van Nuys is the 11th busiest airport." And we sat and we watched and we realized that it was true, at a certain time, maybe 7:00 the flight pattern at the Burbank airport had changed and the planes were taking off going south and then turning around just about over my house to go north or west or whatever. And we even started recognizing the planes and saying things like "there's one from Southwest, probably heading towards San Francisco." That's how aerodynamically savvy we got or else that's how low above my house they fly.

But I always thought the Van Nuys airport was the one causing all the racket. The Van Nuys airport is home to a lot of private and corporate jets and here is what I found out after all the years in the neighborhood and reading the propoganda from the neighborhood organizations and such. There are laws about when planes can and can not take off. And they can enforce the take off at Van Nuys but if a plane asks to land, even it is at 1 am, they have to let them land. Also there are legitimate medical emergencies like delivering hearts and kidneys and stuff. But the thing about the landing at any time is that they are supposed to fine the people who land after the legal hour. But it turns out they weren't really making the rich corporate moguls and private jet owners pay. I am sure this list included people like Tom Cruise and John Travolta although actually I totally made that up. People like them would probably go to Santa Monica. But I digress....

The thing is that after 9-11, I mean the days immediately following, it was eerily quiet in the skies as we all know. And though something of a relief not to be woken up in the middle of the night for some selfish movie star who was taking Katie Holmes out for sushi on his jet (whoops, digressing and making things up again), when there was an airplane out late at night it was really, really scary because you had to figure it was either military or a terrorist. Things slowly got a little back to normal but I will say they must be much stricter there at the old Van Nuys airport because I am seldom woken up late at night by the house shaking from a low flying jet. And I actually do not have a point to all this or an ending to this post so I will leave you with a final question - is "woken" a word or did I just make it up?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What's The News?

I keep getting emails from people asking why so long between postings. My thought when I started the blog was to write everyday, no matter what. But sometimes when I wasn't particularly inspired, I would post articles or just rant about politics and people told me that was boring. And also cheating. So I haven't been particularly inspired again lately but here is an update of what is going on:

The Hat
As you may recall, I hired a crochet personal trainer to get me back into shape so I could make a hat for don dokken. And though I like my crochet personal trainer (she is half my age and calls me "sweetie"), she does not instruct in a way that I understand. There is a lot of math involved in crocheting and knitting and I am good at math but my crochet personal trainer did not explain the math to me at all. So after several baffling attempts of making the hat without really knowing the math, Jane and I sat down and figured out the math and then things took off and I did this:

My belief is that I should have stopped the increasing many rows ago and now the hat will fit a giant. Plus don dokken wanted turquoise but it turns out he wanted a more green turquoise and he is right because this blue that I picked is not for a man. So I think what I need to do is pull a bunch of rows and find the right color for the stripes and I will be back in business. And maybe call my crochet personal trainer now that I have the math down.

The Garden
Still not completely, completely done and yesterday I had a huge fight with the landscaper. Well, he had a fight with me. You see he sent me a final bill knowing that that the work was not complete (he says he forgot) and so I sent him a letter with only half the payment and told him he had until June 30th to finish the work. That is because this has been dragging on since March, people. So he calls and says he will finish the work but that it was very rude and condescending of me to send him a letter instead of calling him. I told him that it was a business letter that I wrote on purpose to document why I was not paying his final bill and that I had called and told him numerous times what work needed to be finished. In fact, we just talked about it on the phone last week and his response? Not to complete the work but to send the bill. He then went into a long rant that I did not listen to about people in Los Angeles, blah, blah, blah. He is supposed to finish the work today. Either that, or he'll burn the house down. One or the other. And if he does not burn down the house I am selling it and going to live on the streets. Because that has to be easier than dealing with all the house things I have been dealing with this year (remember the mold?)

My Calves
Carol and I have been walking up the stairs at work, seven flights, every day for exercise. We started on Friday. And sometimes we did twice a day. And sometimes I did three times a day. Last night and this morning I found out there is a reason why they are always telling you to stretch. My calves hurt. A lot. I mean, when I got out of bed this morning I could barely walk. And I'm not even exaggerating. Could someone tell me what kind of stretches you are supposed to do for your calves? Can someone tell me if there is a benefit to walking downstairs as well as up?

The Pup
Just wanted to use this opportunity to say he is the most perfect pup in the world. That is because he is sleeping right now. Except, whoops, the sprinklers just went off and he is running around, barking at them. And he has gotten himself so worked up that he has unmade my perfectly made bed that took me precious time to get so perfectly that way. Not perfect anymore. The bed or the pup. That was fast.

Six Feet Under
My dad called me after episode three on Monday night (this could be a whole rant right here because they have totally ruined my life by moving SFU from Sundays to Mondays. Yes, my life ruined.) Anyway, he found the episode very disturbing and wanted to discuss. I told him I thought it was boring but that I would check out the water cooler conversation at work and get back to him. Because I forgot....TiVo has killed the water cooler conversation. So, poor Dad, reaching out, wanting to bond with the masses regarding an important popular culture issue but the evil TiVo once again killing all the fun and wonder. It must be stopped.

I think you are all caught up now. Worth the wait, right?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Turns Out

Warning: this post has flashbacks and flash forwards and not the real names. And terrible grammatical errors with tenses changing willy-nilly that I am just not in the mood to fix. You have been warned.

Flashback: It is 1985. I am working for a record company in Hollywood. There is a scandal in the graphics department. The manager there has been using company property and resources to distribute porno. Several of the employees in the department have helped him out because they too have their own businesses and he allows them to use company time and resources for their own endeavors. The whole department is let go except for one person - Tom. Tom is the nicest, sweetest guy and had not a clue that any of this was going on. He is moved out of the department and up into a job more in the music end of the business. Turns out this is right where he has always wanted to be.

Flash forward: It is 1987. I am leaving the record company and moving to the company where it turns out Tom's wife, Thelma, works. He tells me to look her up. And I don't have to look far because it turns out she is working right down the hall. Also turns out she is something of a moody bitch.

Flash forward again: It is 1994. We are having a baby shower for Thelma. Tom comes to pick her up. I have not seen him for a long time. He is still the nicest, sweetest guy. He has moved up in the music biz and now works for a successful record producer. Their baby boy is born in early April.

Flash forward ever so slightly: It is still April 1994, maybe three weeks after Thelma and John's baby was born. I am in training to become a CASA. I call my boss during the break and she tells me something very terrible has happened. Thelma took the baby out for a walk in the morning and came home to find two police officers at her front door. It turns out Tom lost control of his car while driving on the on-ramp of the freeway just minutes after leaving for work and went over an embankment. He is dead. Shocking. Hardest funeral ever. A gazillion people there and not one of us could believe. They played Crowded House Don't Dream It's Over. Thelma was so heavily medicated she could barely move.

Flash forward a few months: There is a notice sent around work asking for contributions to an educational fund for Tom and Thelma's baby. I get a call from a CPA friend of mine. Turns out her firm is administering the trust.

Flash way forward: It is today. I am waiting in line to get into the auditorium for my former CASA kid's elementary school graduation (or, as they call it, her "promotion." What? Are they preparing them for the business world or something?). The doors have not yet opened. There is a woman talking to the guy two ahead. She turns to go back to her place in the back of the line. Our eyes meet. It is Thelma. The son is now eleven and is graduating with my former CASA kid. She looks great, no longer seems like so much a moody bitch, and calls to her new (well, new to me) husband to come up so she can introduce us:

Thelma: She used to work at the record company with Tom.
New Husband: That must have been a long time ago.
Me (not knowing what I should be saying to new husband about old husband): Hey, I've been to all the variety shows. How come I haven't seen you here before?
Thelma: Oh, we don't go to those.
Me: Well, what about Hula Club?
Thelma: Hmmm, no, we didn't go to Hula Club. I believe that was the night Star Wars opened.
New Husband: Yeah, I'm a nerd.

She tells me what her son looks like and they go back to their place in line. And I spot her son right away. He is sitting right behind my former CASA kid. And, of course, I start crying because I re-live the whole finding out about Tom's death while sitting in a cubicle at the CASA office and then the saddest funeral ever and then I start thinking how weird it is that I was in CASA training when this kid's father died and now here I am seeing him for the first time at the graduation of one of my CASA kids. And sitting right behind her. Except that it turned out there was more than one kid with spiky hair in a royal blue shirt and I was looking at the wrong one. Which I found out when Thelma brought him over to shake my hand after the ceremony. And he was affable and tall and pretty darn cute. And I wasn't sure if she meant for me to say something to him about his dad but I am sure he has plenty of people around him who knew his dad so I just ask which middle school he was going to and if he knows my CASA kid. He points to a thumb mark on the back of his neck and says my CASA kid put it there. At lunch, I ask her what she thinks of him. She thinks he is nice and cute and that nice is more important than cute. She claims innocence on the thumb mark.

Flashback ever so slightly: I am still waiting for the auditorium doors to open. Thelma and her husband have just walked back to their place in line. The guy two ahead who Thelma had been chatting with looks at me and says my full name. Turns out he is someone who I have met once and talked on the phone with many, many times because he used to be my counterpart at a competitive company. Turns out his kid is graduating too. He introduces me to his wife. Turns out she is a guidance counselor at the middle school my CASA kid will be attending. Turns out she is going to be my CASA kid's guidance counselor.

Oh, yeah, it also turns out the kids still sing Circle Game at graduation. Whoops, I mean, when they get promoted...

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Great Amazing L.A. Race

So on Friday I was standing on the corner of Buena Vista and Alameda in Burbank when my cell phone rang. It was Jill who told me she had moved up on the waiting list for Race/LA on Saturday and invited me to be her partner. Not quite knowing what I was getting into I said sure. And then I went home and looked at their website and started panicking. Race/LA is a big old L.A. scavenger hunt. They give you clues and you drive around looking for them and sometimes there are things you have to do to get them. They say be prepared to drive forty miles. They say to bring a change of clothes. They say you can't use your cell phone. They say to bring snacks. I had no time to get snacks. And my Thomas Guide is way, way old. And they said that there are clues called "one ways" where you have to solve them on your own. Panic!

But no need to worry really. Jill had a new enough Thomas Guide and she brought Triscuits. We met in Santa Monica at 9:30 am. There were 15 teams. Now Jill and I did agree that we were in this for the fun, not to win. But something kicks in and you just don't want to be last or near to last and, though we vowed we would not run, there were a few times when we ran. If you could call what I do running. But some of those people were just running fools. At one point I believe Jill called them jackalopes. And all that running they did? Really did not so much pay off for them.

I am not going to give you every twist and turn. Just the highlights.

Marina del Rey
Our third clue led us here where we ran into our first glitch. We had the choice of finding the next clue via tandem bicycle or kayak. Well, I don't know how to ride a bike. (Actually, that's just what I said at the time. The truth is far deeper and I confessed to Jill later that I do know how to ride a bike but the last time I rode one I either hit a car or got hit by a car, unclear, but either way traumatic enough to make me not want to ride a bike ever again. After the confession to Jill, I started choking on a Triscuit but that was much later.) And Jill does not like the water (and what I did not confess was that, even though I have kayaked, I am as good at kayaking as I am at bike riding and if we had chosen that option we probably would have hit a boat or gotten hit by a boat so good thing.) The solution was Jill riding the tandem bike by herself which I so tried to take a picture of but here is what I got:

What the hell?

Well, here you get to see Jill on the bike but the full magnitude of the solo on the tandem is missing:

The speck of Jill. Don't the palm trees look nice?

Redondo Beach Pier
We eventually made our way to the Redondo Beach pier where we had some time to spare and even had time to pause for some shrimp cocktails here:

Jill kicking it at Tony's

And then it was time for a "one way" and Jill won (lost?) the coin toss so she was up for the evil yo-yo contest. And I think what happened was that Jill started flirting with the yo-yo champion who was there to demonstrate what she was supposed to do and she lost her concentration and then she got the yo-yo champion to do tricks and back flips and splits and stuff while yo-yoing. And then I had to take a picture of her with the yo-yo champ and then I had to remind her that we were in a race. So we left Redondo Beach dead last. By far.

Jill flirting with the yo-yo champ while we were supposed to be participating in a race

Palos Verdes
But here's the great thing about us. We are like the phoenix rising from the ashes (something I ended up saying so many times that I am sure Jill got sick of it plus what does it really mean anyway? My guess is that it was not at all pertinent.) We arrived in Palos Verdes ahead of many people. That is because Jill is an awesome navigator. We never once got lost. And not every team could say that. But I got really mad at the clue site in Palos Verdes because this one team arrived behind us and then literally followed Jill to the clue and then ran on back to their car and beat us to the next clue site. Bitter? That was me. For a long time. Well, actually, still. Anyway, the next clue was at this fountain:

There were some amazing ocean views in Palos Verdes. But I had to take pictures of the perverse foutain. There is something wrong with me.

San Pedro
Things went terribly awry in San Pedro. So awry that there will be no more pictures. It is straight storytelling from here on out. In San Pedro, Jill and I got dramatically ahead. I mean, I'm not saying we were first or second or even third but remember we were at one point, maybe even at two points by now, drastically last. And then they equalized us. We all had to meet at the same place at the same time to get our next clue. So all that being ahead? For nothing. And what happened with that next clue was that it was another "one way" for Jill and she rocked and we should have gotten ahead once more but people started with the crazy running. And then everyone went like lemmings up this really, really steep hill which turned out to be the wrong way so we then had to climb down the really, really steep hill.

And it was at this point that Jill almost gave up. Actually, I would say she did give up. And I gave her a little pep talk about how this setback should make her want to fight harder instead of completely demotivating her and she did not buy my little pep talk. Which was good because neither did I. And so there we were, alone in a parking lot in San Pedro. The last ones once again. By far.

Cabrillo Beach - The Finish
And once again, Jill and I rose from the phoenix. Or our ashes did. Or something. Because you will not believe it but we finished 9th out of 15. 9th!!! And one of the crazy running teams that upset Jill so much in San Pedro? Almost last. Did I mention we were 9th?

Imagine if we had run....

Friday, June 10, 2005

Just Me Blabbing

How tired am I of going to a Mexican restaurant with Pam only to have her fawn over some actor that nobody but her has ever heard of? And how tired am I of having said actor fawn all over Pam because she not only recognized him but knew his name and every flipping TV series, flop or success, he has ever been in? So over it. In fact, when this happened last night, and the actor , whose name I decided not even to bother to remember but who apparently is now doing Days of Our Lives, turned to shake my hand, I just said "Hi, I'm no one." And then when he pointed out his wife and Pam said she looked like Val Kilmer's wife and introductions then had to be made to the wife, I just waved across the restaurant and said again, "Hi, I'm no one."

In further news that I hope you are all sitting down to receive, the fountain is up and running!!!!! So, everyone, come over right now and listen to the water run. I will confess that I am regretting the fountain because it has already been so much trouble and I have come to realize it is just one more thing around the house that I need to take care of and probably won't take care of and then it will fall apart and then I will have to hire big burly men to come move it into the garage or take it away to charity. But that is for next month....for now, let us enjoy.

Oh, and here's something hot off the presses. You know my new crochet personal trainer? We meet at this yarn store in Burbank and they sent me an email to tell me (and me alone, ha, ha) that three episodes of my beloved Six Feet Under were filmed there. However, the knitters were actors so don't go trying to scope out my personal trainer of the crochet. First such episode airs on June 27th.

And, lastly, my latest home crisis. I got home after trash day and found that the green can, the one with all the gardener's clipping, had not been emptied. No big deal, I thought, easy to pass by a green trash can every once in awhile. But then when I went to move the green trash can from the curb, it would not budge. It was like it was glued to the street. I mean, maybe I'm just a weakling but, really, truly, I mean it, stuck like with glue. And now water is gathering around the trash can. Stagnant water. Like the kind that attracts the west nile virus mosquitos. I do not know how to begin to resolve this latest home crisis. I might just have to sell my house or something.

See, I told you, just me blabbing....

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Hat Lesson

I must confess. I have a hat crocheting personal trainer. Our first work-out was last night. So, okay, I have made hats before. I made this hat:

Cute, huh?

And this one too:

Truthfully, though this started out well, it ended up sort of stretched out and with unsmooth transitions. But, still, cute, right? Love the colors...

But that was four years ago. And I figured I was rusty. And don dokken wanted a hat. And I didn't think stretched out with unsmooth transitions would fly. So I got Cecily, my hat crocheting personal trainer.

And although Cecily told me she does not drink, I think after an hour with me she might have been heading for the bar. You see, I have bad crocheting habits so, though she started all gang busters and thought the hat would be done, like, tomorrow, the hour was spent relearning everything I thought I knew. She told me not to get frustrated. Then she quickly retracted and told me it was okay to get frustrated. What else did I learn? Oh, the middle finger of my right hand wants to act like a gate. That is okay. But I need to tell the middle finger of my right hand that it has to lift the gate when it is time to complete the stitch. I have never talked to my fingers before. Cecily does it all the time. This would go far in explaining why, as Cecily herself said, it is just better if she does not drink.

I think I must have just been nervous in front of my hat crocheting personal trainer. By the end of the hour she told me that my stitches were now looking "juicy" (they had previously been too loose and then too tight.) Juicy, she said, is the highest stitch compliment. And it matches my Juicy purse. Cecily sent me home to practice my chains and single crochets. I, of course, started practicing the minute I arrived home. And I had already forgotten everything she told me. But I was actually able to start my hat ring because I think my method of crocheting works fine in the privacy of my home, away from the eyes of the professional. So here is the embryo of what I know is going to be the most perfect hat ever:

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Match No Match Yes

It all started with a notice from Daily Candy about a new bar in North Hollywood called Match. I innocently forwarded the email to Stephanie and said something like "we should go here." That was a month ago. And then the day before yesterday or so she sends back an email wanting to know why we haven't been and wanting to go now. Or Friday. Which was perfect for me. So Friday comes and we agree to leave work around 5:30 and meet at Match.

Only I get to the address of Match and the doors are closed, there are no cars in the parking lot and there is no sign saying "Match." So I call information and they have no listing for Match. And then Stephanie arrives and has the original notice from Daily Candy with the phone number for Match and we call and we just get a recording that basically says leave a message and no identifying name or anything so we are convinced that Match is closed. And Stephanie asks where I heard about this place anyway and I say Daily Candy and she says that was my first mistake. In my head, I am already writing a nasty letter to Daily Candy.

So, anyway, we decide to go down the street to this place called The Steak Joynt which I suppose is a funny choice for a vegetarian such as moi but Stephanie has wanted me to go there because they have stuffed spuds and I love the potatoes. Stephanie leaves her car at Match and I drive us. We have our drinks and spuds and then I drive Steph back to her car at the alleged former Match. Only as I am dropping her off we see people walking into Match and realize that we had been too early and it does indeed exist. So even though we have eaten and drinken we decide to go in.

And since I am the analytical type, I must spell out the differences between Match and The Steak Joynt:

On the way to The Steak Joynt, Stephanie told me that the decor is 60's and the people there are in their 60's. Or 70's. Or whatever. But on her last visit there she was delighted to see two transvestites (drag queens?) at The Steak Joynt in the middle of North Hollywood. She was right that the decor was old but it wasn't like peace signs, hippie sort of sixties. Maybe fern bar sort of seventies? I thought perhaps the hostess was a transvestite but Stephanie said it was just her wig. The Steak Joynt was crowded and popular. Who knew?

The Daily Candy email about Match described it as Asian meets something. All I will say is that the lights were low and there were banana leaves that should be sprouting some scary birds of paradise. Soon. And there were comfy couches which was nice. Match was uncrowded and unpopular. We left by 9:00 so maybe the party hadn't started yet. Who knows?


There was no music at The Steak Joynt.

The music at Match was loud and diverse. We had some Franz Ferdinand. And then we had some Sting. And then we had Joe Jackson. And here's where things get confusing. Because I was not sure if the Joe Jackson song we heard - "One More Time" - was a cover or actually Joe Jackson. What caused this confusion is that I thought I had heard "One More Time'" recently on the radio and it seemed odd to hear an original song, sung by Joe Jackson so close together. So I called don dokken to see if there was a cover out on "One More Time." But he ignored the call. And it was only later that I realized that the song I had heard previously was the ab fab "It's Different For Girls" so I really did not hear the same Joe Jackson song so close together so it is possible that it was not a cover they were playing at Match but the real original Joe Jackson. Are you still awake? I'm not. But what is going on with me and hearing all these Joe Jackson songs? Someone needs to investigate. But not me.

At The Steak Joynt, we could order a full on dinner while sitting at the bar. I have already mentioned the spuds. The spuds usually come with some kind of meat in them, either chicken or steak. I, of course, ordered mine meatless which you would think would make things simple. But I was a problem. The waitress kept coming back. What kind of cheese did I want? Then she asked me if I wanted tomatoes. I told her I don't like tomotoes. And I really don't like warm tomatos. But then I said maybe I should have them because they are so good for you. And she told me if I didn't like them I should not have them. But the frustrating part came after I finished my spud and the waitress said that the vegetable of the day was broccoli and she should have thought to offer me some broccoli for my potato. Well, ask anybody, I have been on a broccoli kick since someone told me that broccoli is just about the healthiest food you can eat. I have been going out of my way to find broccoli and eat it. And there it was the special, right in front of my nose, and nobody bothered to tell me until it was too late. It is so true what my mother told me - life is not fair.

And one of the reasons I wanted to go to Match is because the Daily Candy alert said that they serve rice crackers instead of the typical bar peanuts. It is true. They were there. But after the broccoli-less spud? Not so exciting.

Let's be clear. Until I met my Union Station friends I never drank gin in my life. But I was introduced to the gin gimlet and it is the perfect summer drink without being frou-frou. The gin gimlet at The Steak Joynt was fabulous. That is because the bartender was old school and experienced. He clearly knew what he was doing. At Match some young chick was mixing drinks and the gimlet? Not so good.

Meat Market Factor
Sure The Steak Joynt was filled with old geezers but they were old geezers who checked me and Stephanie out as we walked by. Of course they had probably been drinking since three in the afternoon but who cares?

When we walked into Match there were only women there. Including the bartender. We didn't think it was a lesbian bar but still kind of interesting that there was not a man in sight. And then some men started trickling in. Hard to tell if they were gay or not. Hard to care with all the rice crackers and Joe Jackson music going on.

Friday, June 03, 2005

A List

I don't always have much to say but my many, many, many "fans" are always clamoring for something, anything, so today I give you a list. It is a list of all the things my pup is afraid of because I find some of them fascinating.

Topping the list: the toaster oven. When he sees me opening that thing, he runs to the hills ("his" California King bed). My theory is that the noise when the toaster is finished toasting startled him at one time and he has never forgotten. Because he is a genius.

Electrical cords: he will not go near them. Could it be that he received an electric shock when he was puppy? That would actually explain a lot. I mean about his genius. But if one of his toys ends up anywhere near an electrical cord or any sort of wiring, he will sit and whimper or sit and bark but he will not approach.

Fireworks, thunder, gun shots: typical - which is really a problem with all that gun shot action going down in my neighborhood.

The sound of running water: because that means bath. This is when I start to think he is not a genius. Shouldn't he be loving the baths? He usually runs a few victory laps when they're over.

Sprinklers: oh, that just segues so nicely from the bath. But I think it is a different issue. I believe the sprinklers are in the same category as the mailman and he thinks it is in his job description to get them to retreat. Poor sprinklers. Poor mailman who said to me "your dog HATES me." He sure does.

Retreating to the California King to escape the scary toaster oven. Boy, it's hard to photograph black dogs. Have his facial features disappeared in fear?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

"Go Ask Alice" Manipulation

I was randomly reading someone else's blog last week and she posted a list of the books she was required to read for her Teenage Lit class. On the list was Go Ask Alice. Have you all read it? Or maybe seen the movie? I had forgotten all about it, was surprised to find it on the list and thought, wow, so glad the kids are still reading that book.

That is because I love, love, loved Go Ask Alice (the book and TV movie) when I was a teenager. It was written in the early 70's and is the real life diary of "Anonymous" a teenage girl whose family moves so she starts at a new school at a difficult time and to fit in starts doing drugs which leads to more drugs, which leads to sex which leads to her running away to San Francisco. Which leads to drug rehab. Which leads to relapse. Which, in the book at least, eventually leads to death. Of course. I actually own a video copy of that movie. Andy Griffith plays a really serious drug counselor and William Shatner is the dad. Whenever Anonymous and her friends drop acid, the fabulous Traffic song "Dear Mr. Fantasy" starts playing. And her high school? Filmed at John Burroughs Junior High School - my alma mater (can a junior high be an alma mater?) And just so you have the visual, here is the aforementioned Junior High School:

John Burroughs Junior High School on McCadden in the Hancock Park area. This was the only picture I could find on-line. Sorry about the cheesy moon. It was on a site for the class of '62. Handsome building, huh? The best thing about it was that the '71 earthquake destroyed the girl's gym so I never had to change my clothes and take showers and stuff. I vaguely remember playing volleyball in my street clothes. Same with my high school. The Angel of Earthquakes was shining down on me.

Anyway I started talking to some friends about the book and we discussed the irony of such a cautionary tale actually having the opposite effect of making drugs look cool and interesting especially in the movie where the lead actress wore this great floppy hat and had long stringy hair. Then the question was raised whether it was really a true story. Somehow I never thought so. But while investigating on snopes.com I was shocked, shocked and appalled actually, to find the extreme to which my friends and I were manipulated.

You see, the folks at snopes.com are pretty darn convinced that the book was actually written by a woman named Beatrice Sparks who has written a ton of morality tales or as snopes calls them "teens who saw their lives ruined" tales. They all have the same structure. And snopes points out something that heretofore I had only subconsciously absorbed. All the "bad" children in Go Ask Alice, the ones who led Anonymous down the evil path, were children of divorce. You can read it all yourself right here. My sister tried to google Beatrice Sparks and could not find a trace. We want to track her down and tell her that it is wrong to make the children of divorce feel bad about themselves. And it is wrong to call yourself "Anonymous" when you really have a name. In the meantime, I am planning a Go Ask Alice screening party. And I advise my guests to drink the Pepsi because you never know what a child of divorce might put in the Coke.

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