(not the teenage kind)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

You Will Not Believe Where I Am

I will give you a hint. Yes DSL, No Coffee. You guessed it....the library! It is amazing. It is bright and sunny because I am sitting in front of a long window watching the people and cars go by outside. There are other people all around me doing work and stuff too. And it's just a few blocks from my house. And it is all free. I did not even have to buy coffee or anything. Okay, back to work.

The Crime Bus

In the name of doing research for what could be my nineteenth hundred business about which I am not going to go into any details right here, my L.A. Conservancy friends and I took the 1947 Project crime bus tour last Sunday.

We weren't sure exactly what the tour was except that the 1947 Project blog gives a day by day account of crimes committed in Los Angeles on each day of 1947, the grislier the better, and focuses on the most famous crime of that year - the murder of Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia. We knew we were going to see where her body was dumped but that's about it.

The most exciting part for me was that we were going to meet at the IHOP for breakfast and then have dinner at the fabulous Formosa Cafe. And those meals did turn out to be the best part of the day.

My assumption that we were visiting crime scenes from 1947 proved wrong when the smarmy tour guide guy starting going on and on about the SLA (that's Symbionese Liberation Army for you youngsters or non-Californians out there) and we ended up spending an inordinate amount of time driving around South Central Los Angeles (which I was later told is now called South Los Angeles because of the negative implications of South Central. So sorry to be politically incorrect but it will always be South Central to me...) just so we could see the scene of the SLA's last gun fight. Incidentally, that house famously went up in blazes during the aforementioned gun fight so what we actually saw was the new house that was built on the site. Our smarmy tour guide guy (who Joan aptly named "the dwarf") went on and on about the racial history and riots in Los Angeles in an inaccurate and offensive way. The guy has lived in Los Angeles for just about ten years but he fashions himself some sort of expert. Driving around South Central Los Angeles in a luxury tour bus and staring out at the "natives" was uncomfortable and wrong.

The woman giving the tour who I believe is the brains and talent behind Project 1947 was actually wonderful in her story telling abilities. She did lose me, however, when she pointed out the orphanage where Marilyn Monroe grew up and went into a diatribe about how foster parents are only in it for the money. Stereotypical, wrong, and offensive!

There were some fun times. Three people in our group were interviewed for a Project 1947 podcast:

And our bus driver brought his little Pomeranian, Macho:

Our bus driver also told an off color joke about Bill Gates and how his company got to be called Microsoft. We won't go there.

No DSL No Coffee

Sorry for not posting and screwy postings and what not. My DSL is down which is a bummer when you work from home but also allows me to fulfill my dream of sitting at a Starbucks with my latte and my computer and calling it work.

Except that yesterday I should have left my client's office when my meeting ended at 3:00. Instead I stopped to say hi to a friend and she asked if she could buy me a coffee for the road. I did not want to say no to the swanky java bar located in their cafeteria and I really did appreciate having the nice, warm drink as I made the drive home in the rain.

Everything was great. I zipped through some work. I finished the latest New Yorker. I got into bed with a Sudoku puzzle around 9:30 ish and fell asleep. But then at midnight I woke up and I was wide, wide, wide awake. I was writing blog postings in my head but was too lazy to get up and the DSL was down anyway. Those blog postings in my head were brilliant. Now they are all forgotten. What was I thinking drinking coffee in the afternoon?

When I get to my Starbucks office today, it will be tea for me.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Working From Home

I love working from home. Many people have told me that they don't think they could do it because they would get too distracted and not focus on their work. I almost have the opposite problem. I can not stop working. Not to say I don't take breaks. In the middle of the day yesterday I decided to take a bath. And then I put my pajamas on and continued working. I love working from home.

The biggest problem really is making others realize that, though I am home, I am really at work. Yes, RUDY, I am talking about you. Just because I am home more does not mean we have 24 hour play fest. And also, Rudy? No need to bark every time I get on the phone with a client. We all know you're there.

I also love that every day is different. And that sometimes I am so busy I don't have time to eat. And definitely no time to snack. And, though I am not sure exactly why, I seem to be spending less on gasoline. I think it is because when I do drive to clients there is no traffic so I get better gas mileage. Does that make any sense?

Not that everything is perfect. I would like to have more of a routine. I would like to pick some days and say these are the days I am going to yoga class and these are the days I am going for a long, long walk. I know that will happen at some point. Spring is coming.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Die! Die! My Darling!

My sister and I had a conversation about "good people" and hours later I had to call her back because I started thinking about our Great Aunt Hannah. In fact, after the conversation with my sister, I called my mother and told her to guess which relative of hers I had been talking about under the topic of "good people" and she sighed and said, "Oh, Aunt Hannah."

I don't know if I'm even spelling her name right. And I don't really know how she is related although I think it is because she married Uncle Louie who was maybe my Grandmother's Uncle? I don't know.

My memory of Aunt Hannah is that she was very nurturing and maternal and happy. But my real memory of Aunt Hannah was the night that I slept at her house. Aunt Hannah had a granddaughter named Laura who was the same age as me and I was invited to keep her company. So Aunt Hannah, Uncle Louie, Laura and I (after what I am sure was a very nurturing and comforting dinner) got in our pajamas and sat down and watched television. And we happened to turn to a movie starring a very young Stefanie Powers called "Die! Die! My Darling!" I think we were nine years old. Or maybe seven. I will say right here that Aunt Hannah might have been first generation American and maybe even English was not her first language. And the movie probably started out very pleasantly.

And here is the description of the movie from Amazon.com:

Plot Outline: A young woman is terrorized by her fiance's demented mother who blames her for her son's death.

Everything was going along fine until Stefanie Powers got stabbed in the chest with a scissors and Aunt Hannah stood up and turned off the television and told us it was time to go to bed. In the morning, Aunt Hannah made us a nurturing and comforting breakfast which I am sure was something like french toast and scrambled eggs and bacon and bagels and waffles but all we wanted to know was if Stefanie Powers was okay. Aunt Hannah said, "Oh, yes, everything turned out okay. They pulled the scissors out of her chest and put a band-aid on it and she was just fine." A band-aid? We totally believed her. I so want to rent this movie.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Getting Lost

The last time I met with my client in Downtown Los Angeles I was talking on the cell phone as I was getting on the freeway to go home and went the wrong way. There was no traffic in the direction I wanted to go but I was in so much traffic going the wrong way that it took me a long time just to get to the next exit to get off. At which point I realized that, though I was not totally lost, I was in an unfamiliar neighborhood that was not the kind of neighborhood I wanted to be lost in. I was able to turn it all around pretty quickly and potential crisis was averted. Plus it was light out.

But it made me think about a time when I was in college and I went to visit a friend in Mount Washington. I had never been there before. I left her house (well, to be accurate, her now husband then boyfriend's who was out of town house) well after midnight and proceeded to get very, very lost in a place where I would not even think about getting out of the car at a gas station to get directions. I kept thinking that I had a full tank of gas and if only I could find a freeway I would just jump on it and could go wherever until the sun came up but I really needed to find the freeway fast. I was scared.

And then I found myself behind a police car. I started flashing my lights at the police car and one of cops came up to my window and I tearfully told him where I live and how I did not know how to get back there and he basically said, "West L.A.? Well, you're in East L.A." He started giving me directions to the freeway and then took a look around and said "Actually, you'd better follow me." He got me to the freeway but that was the start of me worrying about getting lost and always wanting to map out where I'm going and not liking to rely on following people or on people following me. And just a general fear of Mt. Washington.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

B 12

I got the results from my physical last week and the doc said that everything is great except I have a slight vitamin B12 deficiency. The deficiency is most likely caused by my being a vegetarian. But...she does not want me to start eating meat because my body loves to manufacture cholesterol something she says that I probably won't be able to do much more about. My bad cholesterol keeps creeping up although my good cholesterol is very good. The doctor is pretty pleased wiith the ratio but she would like me to try and cut out just a little more cholesterol from my diet and see what that does.

Of course I went right to the internet to study up on B12 deficiencies. Yeah, the best way to get rid of them is to eat meat. Untreated, a vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia. Both the doctor and the internet said I should take B12 supplements. The doc also said that I will have more energy once I do. Does this mean I will start going to bed at 8:45 instead of 8:30?

Luckily, I have a multivitamin supplement with plenty of vitamin B12 right here in my kitchen cupboard which I walk by every day and ignore. I hate taking vitamins. But I hate having a vitamin B12 deficiency even more.

Meanwhile, my dog is probably going to get scurvy because his eating habits are bad. I think the antibiotics probably upset his stomach. You know how anorexics kind of stir their food around so it looks like they're really eating? He has been trying to play mind games on me with his food. I got home yesterday and there were little piles from his bowl all over the house. So the whole house smelled like dog food. He finally took the last antibiotic yesterday. They had to be given to him on a full stomach which was a challenge when he was not eating. He ate his whole dinner last night and this morning he has eaten two thirds of his breakfast. By the way, he never turns down treats. Maybe he doesn't like his food?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Why I am Now The Family Perv

There was an article last month in The Atlantic Monthly about the sexual behavior of teenagers. According to the article, there is an oral sex epidemic among tweens and teens especially in suburban communities. There is talk about "rainbow parties" where girls put on different colors of lipsticks and then leave their marks as they service a line of boys. And the author starts the article by mentioning that this behavior has become prevalent at Bar Mitzvah parties. I have attended many Bar Mitzvahs in the last few years and this is hard to imagine.

This article started becoming a big deal for me when I received an email from a male friend with a 13 year old daughter who had read the article while standing at a Barnes and Noble. His takeaway was that Bill Clinton and Monica had really done a number on teen sexuality. I had not read the article at this point and grabbed the magazine where I discovered that the author discusses this as a theory, brought up by conservatives, that has been disproved. Teenagers think Bill Clinton is a gross old man and Monica a fat pig, not role models. Plus, wait a minute, a thirteen year old would have been three years old during those hearings. Please.

I then started an email discussion with another male friend who was shaken by the article and what it said about our culture. He called the girls "superficial" which really bothered me. We agreed that the article was more anecdotal than anything and we could not really reach any conclusions from it about what is really going on with pre-teens and teenagers today and at Bar Mitzvahs.

The timing of this was all perfect as there was a family wedding this weekend and all my young cousins would be there including a cousin who had just had a Bar Mitzvah a few months ago. And he happens to be a suburban youth. So, after getting permission from the parents (who for the most part felt like there were maybe isolated incidences but was nowhere near the amount of the activity alluded to in the article), I talked to the teens. I told them that I had read an article that boys and girls sneak away during Bar Mitzvahs and things go on and was this true.

The recently Bar Mitzvahed boy said he is positive that nothing happened between the boys and girls at his Bar Mitzvah. He said, "Maybe it's just the kids in Atlanta." He did say that girls are VERY aggressive with him and have flirted with him at other Bar Mitzvahs and on-line. It was then that his (much wiser than me) older cousin asked "And how old do you say you are when you're on-line?" He admitted lying about his age. His fourteen year old female cousin agreed that there are many girls who are very aggressive with boys these days. The same girl's mother had in fact told me that this girl has a friend who was indeed engaging in suspicious behavior with the neighborhood boys.

Well, as my sister said, the kids will always push the envelope and be more daring than the generation before. The Atlantic Monthly always publishes really good in-depth lettters to the editors and I expect that there will be a bunch of those. Until then, I would keep my tweens and teens locked up.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Test Day

In the morning there was a blood test for my annual physical. Except it turns out I had not been to my doctor since 2003 and she actually did not have my chart. It had been sent to storage. That hurt my feelings. "But I call you every year to renew my Ativan prescription," I said. "I don't need your chart for that," she said. I guess they don't have a lot of room although they are getting ready to computerize everything and they had sent to get my chart out of storage.

And then in the afternoon was the drug test. I had a drug test four years ago when I first worked for this client. For that test I went to a seedy facility in Van Nuys where they actually locked up all your belongings not just so you couldn't get to them but so the ex-cons who were testing alongside of you couldn't get to them either. I got smarter for this test. I found a place in Toluca Lake that only does employment drug testing.

I was the only one there and I just left my purse under the watchful eye of the receptionist. Here's what they do: they hand you a bottle and tell you to fill it to the line. They tell you to wash before but do not wash or flush after. You must immediately walk the bottle out to the receptionist. She takes the contents of the bottle and pours them into a little flask-like thingy. She then hands you the remains of the bottle and tells you that you can pour them into the toilet and flush and wash. What kind of person goes into this line of work?

I believe the results will be delivered to my client today.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Drug Test Thursday

That's right. My latest client wants me to take a drug test. I can not even tell you how many people have asked me if I am worried about passing. Serious. And then kruthless went on a rant about how the biggest problem - alcohol - they don't even test for. Okay, I'm going to go study now. I'll let you know how it goes.

Trauma Drama Update

The pup's leg is doing fine. I am not sure I can say the same thing for his psyche. Last night I prepared a Valentine's Day dinner for me and don dokken and by that I mean I drove to Gelson's to pick it up. The whole time we were eating the pup was pacing around in circles. I thought that maybe he was just scamming for food so when the meal ended I poured myself a heaping glass of champagne and moved to the couch with the hope that the pup would settle in beside me.

He followed me to the couch and I am not sure exactly what happened next except maybe we went to sit on the same spot at the same time and the pup knocked my champagne holding arm and the champagne glass fell out of my hand and there was champagne all over me, all over the couch, and all over the pup.

The hubbub that followed prompted the pup to run and hide in the bedroom. We lured him out only to have him start pacing again only this time his pace included a hop on and off of the champagne laden couch. Eventually we went to watch a video and the pup laid his head on don dokken's lap and relaxed.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Trauma Drama

I had dinner tonight with my former CASA kid, her sister, and her mother. I am not sure why the mother let the kids order dessert on a school night. Maybe it was because they were having a special dinner with me. They each ordered an oreo sundae. A big oreo sundae. By the end of the sundae, my CASA kid's sister (who had also had a hot chocolate loaded with whipped cream) was reduced to inane chatter and nervously shifting all over the booth. Also by the end of the sundae, my CASA kid turned a whiter shade of pale and started nervously asking if we would be leaving soon, very soon. I took one look at her and said "Run to the bathroom now." The mom had the sister go with her but the sister soon came back to announce loudly to all the patrons of the restaurant that her mom better get in there because my CASA kid had barfed all over the bathroom floor and was now crying.

After the mom went to the bathroom, the sister continued to entertain me and all the patrons of the restaurant with the exact look, taste, and feel of the barf. And I thought that would be the high point of the evening.

I got home and let the pup out into the yard. When he came back in he started licking his leg and turned out there was a big, bloody gash on that leg. Since I had no way of judging whether he needed stitches or not, I decided to take him to the emergency vet. I swear, if the emergency vet had the same responsbility as doctors have to report suspicious injuries on children, I would have been reported long ago. The pup is always getting these mysterious wounds from I don't know where or how.

The emergency room was quiet; in fact, we were the only ones there. Except as I was filling out the paperwork, a woman came running in with a cat carrier. "My cat is dying," she announced. She thought maybe the cat was having a stroke. The emergency room staff really hupped to and brought the cat in to see the doctor immediately at the same time getting the woman's credit card information so there wouldn't be any pesky paying issues later. The technician asked "If he goes into cardiac arrest while they're trying to figure out what's wrong with him, do you want us to resuscitate?" The woman stoically said "no." Meanwhile, the guy next to me and I burst into tears.

I do not know what happened with the cat as the pup and I were called in around then. His wound was superficial but still cost $150. They shaved him, cleaned the wound, and shot him up with antibiotics.

As we were checking out, a woman came in carrying a rabbit. She had her little boy with her and was wearing her pajamas. She had found the rabbit in the alley behind her house. "He's so cute," I said. He was. He was a cute little black rabbit. "There's something wrong with him," she said. The technicians thought he was healthy just maybe dehydrated. One of the technicians was probably going to take it home despite his feelings that his wife might kill him.

And if I may use this forum to brag....when the technician took my pup to weigh him he asked him to sit on the scale. And the pup sat. The technician told me that he is just about the only dog that has ever done that.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

To Politic Or Not To Politic

When I read back to the beginning days of this blog I can see that I got much more fired up about politics than I do now. Last night I had a dream that I saw one of my friends from the Howard Dean campaign and she said "You're only 91% smart." And, in the dream, I started thinking back to my last dinner with her and wondering if I had blabbered on about The Gilmore Girls and the stupid fountain in my backyard.

I believe I actually told her at that dinner and repeated at a subsequent brunch with Stephanie that the Kesslers had ruined politics for me. The Kesslers are a couple who quietly joined the Dean campaign and then proceeded to overrun everybody and everything. They ended up taking over the local organizations here from people who had built them up and made them their lives for years and years and years. I understand change is good but not by overthrowing the workers and installing a fascist regime. I learned from them just how political, political campaigns can be. I will never work on a political campaign again.

Last night don dokken and I were having dinner next to a group of four, one of whom was talking loudly first about being a CFO at a major motion picture studio and then about how his vote for Kerry had nothing to do with the war in Iraq and everything to do with the supreme court justice appointments and now it is all coming to pass.

I feel like we use and hear the same arguments over and over. And then I read articles in magazines like The New Yorker and The Atlantic about how for issues like abortion or supreme court justice nominees things are never really as simple or as worrisome as these articulated arguments.

So I give up. It really does not matter to me any more. I have done all I can to help the upcoming generation and the generation after that and, though I will still vote, I am going to be like 97 year old Aunt Mary in Des Moines and say I don't really care, they're all the same, blah, blah, blah.

I wrote awhile back in this post about my friend Joe. When I would get all activist and cautionary about the evil people in government and how violent and to the bad the world was heading, Joe would tell me that there has always been bad and violence and evil and war in the world. He would say that things just keep getting better and more interesting with all the technological advances and access to information. He believed we lived in the best time ever and it would just keep getting better. Joe was not an optimist at all. He was a studier of history. And he died way before 9/11.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My Stats

It really is getting ridiculous and we can only hope that I stay organized because this morning as I was on my walk I realized this:

Number of businesses: Five (Two HR consulting businesses, online travel business, notary business, real estate investment business)

Number of email addresses: Thirteen (two for the part time job, three for blogs - and, no, there are no secret blogs only this one is updated, online travel business, two for each HR consulting business, junk mail, personal mail, new client). And so you all don't get too worried about me, I want you to know that most of the mail is forwarded to one Outlook mailbox. I am just that technologically proficient.

Number of business cards: Six (One for each HR consulting business, notary business, online travel business, CASA, foster care agency)

Number of blogs/websites: Six

Number of blogs/websites that are fully operational: Three (this blog, online travel agent website, one HR consulting website - thanks, don dokken, it's awesome!)

Number of badges: Three (CASA, L.A. Conservancy docent, new client)

I feel like I'm forgetting something. And, not that I want to jinx anything, but based on meetings next week with potential clients the numbers might be growing. This could just be the reason why the fountain has turned into an ugly, dirty planter and I would give up eating before I would give up my cleaning lady. It could also be that the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none" was invented for someone like me.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Utility Poles

I was home yesterday afternoon and someone tried to get into my backyard. My backyard gate is locked because of the dog and because I am a paranoid security freak. So this guy, who was wearing a hard hat, just stood there trying to pull open the gate. I called the police (not 911, I'm not that much of a paranoid security freak) and talked to one of the community services officers who told me I should ask the guy what he's doing there. With the officer on the phone, I went outside and the guy told me that he works for Adelphia Cable and needed to get into my yard to have access to the utility pole there. The cop told me to call Adelphia. I told the guy I would not let him in.

Then there was knock on my door. It was the guy's supervisor, wearing an Adelphia t-shirt. I asked him for a business card. He said he had none. I told him I would let them in my yard but that I'm calling the police. Instead, I called Adelphia. The Adelphia customer service guy told me that his wife is a real estate agent and that, if you have a utility pole in your yard, you have to by law let the utility companies have access to it whenever they want.

"I could see that for an electrical emergency," I said. "But you're a cable company."

"We are a utility," he said.

"You provide people entertainment, not lights and heat."

I then switched tactics to "So you're telling me if some stranger knocked on your door and wanted your wife to let him into your backyard but didn't have a business card and was just wearing the t-shirt of the company, you would be okay with her just letting this stranger into your backyard."

"Well, my wife would know that she should ask for his company id." Oh, stupid me, asking for a business card when I should have asked for the company id.

I told him that I was going to check on this law about having to let people into your backyard whenever they wanted if there is a utility pole there and he told me to ask any real estate agent. I'll get right to that because when I want good legal advice I just grab whatever real estate agent happens to be putting their flyer or notepad on my front door and start asking away.

By the way, after they left my yard they went to my neighbors' house. My neighbors weren't home so they walked right into their backyard. I can not believe that is legal. I do believe that is a good way of getting shot or bitten by a dog.

I tried to internet research this utility pole access law for Los Angeles County or City but could not find anything. Readership on this blog has been way up as of late (is this because I've been posting more?) If anyone out there knows anything about this, please post a comment or email me. I am going to take Adelphia down so you all should be switching to the Dish right about now.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Grammys and Pizza and Wine and

OMG, Keith Urban....how did I not know about him? And, people, I am not talking about his music. I immediately whipped out the lap top to google the status of his relationship with Nicole Kidman. don dokken swears that Nicole was right there with him but the internet says their engagement is over. Keith, I lurve you! You knocked the image of Sly Stone's mohawk right out of my head.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Super NOT Bowl Sunday

My dad had his annual Super Bowl party which I was really looking forward to as I had been led to believe it would be immediate family only. I was tired from a champagne brunch with Stephanie and thought I could take a nap, eat some more junk food, read the newspaper, and cheer for whatever team my mom said was the right one.

But I got there and found out that kruthless and husband were ill and there were a bunch of non-family members milling about. The moment I walked through the door my dad's neighbor grabbed me because she needed help making a facsimile of a grade book on excel. She is a teacher and apparently her university has run out of funds for grade books and she wanted to make her own. So I immediately had to go into my dad's office and figure out how to make a gradebook on excel which would usually be easy except that my dad is on a Mac and the navigation was all different. It appears that on the Mac you can't just right click and make things happen. Or maybe I just didn't know what I was doing.

All the while people were running in and yelling at me to sign up for the football pool and give them money for the pool and someone came in with a vase for me and some dog food. (Don't ask, please....)

But the really hard part was that the men sat near the TV and were glued to the game and the women were relegated to the couch and started trying to engage me in inane and boring chit chat once I sat down. I just wanted to do my Sudoku puzzle. And keep my eye on the game. My poor mom. She even understands football and, though at times she was busy in the kitchen feeding people, she could have kept her eye on the game if inane chatterers had not kept following her in and droning on and on about nothing.

Sorry to sound so bitter. I am not really a football fan at all but I really hate that it was considered socially acceptable for my dad to never take his eye off the game but I am sure I was considered rude for just wanting to watch the game and relax. I felt like the victim of gender discrimination in my own dad's living room. Anyway, I won $15 in the pool.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

What If God Was One Of Us?

It is all Jill's fault. She gave me the first season of Joan of Arcadia and I went on a watching whirlwind spending my last days of freedom before starting work with the new client in front of the television set. I have been teased for the hours I have used up on this show. My primary defense is that... Jason Ritter is adorable? Okay, how about I once sat next to Joe Mantegna on a plane? (Although for those of you who have been reading about me and the ativan and the passing out on the planes you can correctly guess that there is not too much of a story to tell there.)

With the amazing day I had yesterday and the watching of this show I did start thinking about how everything I have done had to be according to some sort of plan. Because you know how I posted yesterday about that former client whose commission plan was referred to in an email I found at my new part time job? Well, that former client called me yesterday. And they have several possibilities of things for me to do for them. And the woman who called said "It is so great to hear your voice even if it is just on a machine. I can't wait to talk to you in person."

I don't know if I have mentioned here before that I have started an on-line travel agent business. I get money every time someone books travel using my website. But I get even more money every time I recruit someone to become an on-line travel agent. Just for the fun of it last week I put an ad on Craig's List about the opportunity. Over thirty people responded, they are still responding. And yesterday someone signed up.

I start work with my new client today. And Jill also gave me the first season of Veronica Mars which I will start watching shortly. Who knows what that will bring...

Monday, February 06, 2006

Small World Department

I was looking through some papers at my new part time job and I found an email sent to my boss which talked about a salesperson at a company I had done some consulting work for. The note said that this salesperson would give my boss a fair deal and would not be too high pressured because her commission plan had just changed. The email was written in early 2003. I did the work for that company in late 2002. My job was to help design that commission plan.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Angelino Heights

Cameron and I were supposed to take an L.A. Conservancy tour of City Hall yesterday but we got an email offering docents a special tour of Angelino Heights. Angelino Heights is a neighborhood close to downtown which was originally developed in the late 1880's. Its most well preserved street, Carroll Street, is lined with gorgeously restored Victorian homes.

Actually the tour was not special, it was the regularly scheduled tour. What was special was that we were going to get to see the inside of this house:

Isn't it awesome? And you can buy the house for $2.2 million. You can get all the details here. And if you buy it, you MUST invite me over for dinner.

The lead up to the tour was a comedy of errors, really all my fault. I followed Cameron and John to Cafe Tropical for coffee and guava cream cheese pie. John found a parking space right away but I started driving around in the twisty narrow hills of Silverlake. I got lost in nostalgia (back in the day I knew people living in those hills) and ended up parking miles of aisles away from Tropical. The saving grace was that I got to walk by these. By the time I got to Tropical, Cameron had the food and coffee in hand. We were running late, said goodbye to John, and took our coffee and pastries to the car.

As I got into the car, I started spilling hot coffee all over myself and silverliningly said "At least I'm not the docent today. Ha, ha, ha." Cameron had ordered decaf because the coffee there is so strong and thank God for Cameron because the decaf immediately made me want to go home and clean my house seven times. I had to eat my guava cream cheese pastry while driving with one hand and so by the time we arrived at Angelino Heights, the pastry had flaked all over my skirt which went nicely with the huge coffee stains and I had pinkish goo all over my hands. Pleasant!

I had made such a fuss before I left my house about making sure I had the directions to Cameron's place and his address and all his phone numbers that I completely forgot to take note of where exactly in Angelino Heights we were supposed to meet the tour. We parked on Carroll Street and I tried to call the Conservancy which was closed. At the same time, Cameron pulled out his cell phone to call John and it fell on the grass into a pile of dog poop. We just started walking and the lucky thing was that Cameron had taken a similar tour once before and thought that the tour had begun at the fire station and we walked up ten minutes late and found our group of people.

From then, the comedy of errors stopped and there could not have been a better day for an outside tour. The sun was out, there was a nice breeze, the sky was clear and the houses were amazing. We spent two hours just on Carroll Street. At the end the owner of the house for sale himself, Mr. Morales, let us in to see the house and personally gave us the tour. His parents bought the house in 1941. Mr. Morales is now 70 years old, having trouble getting up the stairs, and wants to sell the house before he "croaks" and his wife is stuck taking care of it. Okay, I've told you everything you need to know....now, go buy it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Safety Watch

This day went by fast.

I met my new CASA kid for the first time. I don't want to give too much away because of confidentiality but our visit was monitored by her Case Manager because she was on "safety watch." I did not know what that was but had my guesses especially after the little girl pointed to her slip-on shoes and told me she wasn't allowed to wear shoelaces while she's on safety watch.

After the visit, the Case Manager told me that the little girl is on safety watch because on Saturday she got upset and tried to strangle herself with her shoelaces and a scarf. Did I tell you she's eight years old?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Success and The New Nokia

Okay, those are two different subjects.

The first: my consulting business just signed up our first client. And this client is literally next door to my part-time job.

The second: I have a new cell phone and I am in love. It takes pictures. But I need practice. This morning I was driving to work and my odometer turned to 66666 and I wanted to take a picture with my new nokia but I could not photograph and drive I know for a fact that people drive and photograph all the time. I have seen these pictures posted on other blogs. How do they do that?

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