Tuesday, January 30, 2007

making up is hard to do

"so, are you mad at me?"

"no. should i be?"

"no. just wondering... you know, because you can be a faker sometimes and say you're not but really you are, that's all."

"i'm not mad."




"so, you made a cake today?"

"yes, would you like to try it?"


"like maybe later or maybe right now?"

"maybe right now."

"no problem. i'll get it now."

"wait! can you warm it up just a little bit in the microwave?"


Monday, January 29, 2007

unleashing the network

for a few hours on sunday, eight people across three states had the impression that i was lying mutilated in a roadside ditch, my dismembered parts growing freezer burn. all because of a misunderstanding.

saturday i stayed in the city and the next morning my car wouldn't start. i was in a big hurry. so when i called my dad and realized that it wasn't a quick fix, i cut him off and said i'd call him later. then in the middle of cooking class i got a call from my mother, who wanted to know about the car. i rushed the conversation and told her i'd call her later as well. then i went back to my engagements and didn't really worry about it. i figured it wasn't that big of a deal because the engine was turning a little so i would just call them when i got back to the car and sort it out from there.

i have always been a responsible kid. save for the times in high school that i'd go over to ri's house after class, where we'd turn up the tunes and drown out the phone, and i'd forget to tell my mom i'd be late. she'd get to fretting that i was abducted by a pedophile and would end up on the back of a milk carton, never to be seen again. the guilt associated with making her feel that way was enough to deter me from doing that very often. so after not hearing from me for a couple of hours, they got worried because a) car was "broken down" b) i was in the big bad city c) it was getting dark and they didn't know where my car was parked d) it's not like me to just not call back like that when there was trouble and e) i'm a girl.

my parents called my brother, who called H, who e-mailed highcon, who called kaiya, who contacted ri and c and some of those people contacted each other, all looking to see if any of them had heard from me since that morning. one of them finally googled cc's number (which took some detective work because she's unlisted) and reached me just as i was trying to understand the premise of Grease: you're the one that i want. i didn't hear the 629 calls placed to my telephone because it had run out of juice and i was planning on using the car charger but the car was not working.

they had worked themselves into a bubbly froth. and when i found out just how extensive the nationwide APB out for me was, i became more than a little upset. mostly because my self-confidence has taken a pretty decent battering the last few months and the commotion made me feel like even my parents don't have faith in me-- what, did they think i'd go hitchhiking down Lake Shore Drive in my socks? so i blasted back about how i'm not a moron and could handle myself.

turns out the car was just extremely cold, and with the slightest jump from c's vehicle, i was on my way, still fuming about the hungama over nothing. i have since pieced together the parts of the grapevine that went sour and i've decided that if i heard one of my friends was stuck on the side of a road and in the middle of a distress call her phone died and she wasn't heard from for several hours, i'd round up a search party, too. i am my mother's daughter. and besides, now i know that if i run into any actual foul play, my family is not going to wait more than 15 minutes before calling the police. i am sure this will still be in effect when i'm 65. and beyond.

but i think H analyzed it best: when i confessed that in spite of the unnecessary frenzy, maybe i shouldn't have gotten so angry, he said not to dwell on it too much because karma will make sure i pay for it when i have my own children.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

real men wear teal

i justify watching so much television these days by doing something else at the same time. the hobby du jour is knitting and crochet, which i can look away from long enough to pay attention to the tube. this works out well because i happen to know several people expecting children in the coming months so i can work on homemade gifts. i like to use non-traditional baby colors, which are good for two of the people who don't yet know the sex of their children.

i made a baby hoodie in bright teal/aqua, convinced that it'd be good for either sex at the time i bought the yarn. however, now that i've finished it up with a tiny white border, i'm worried that it looks a little too girly. i don't want my work to end up in a drawer never to be used, so i put the question to you guys: would you let your little man wear that color or should i do the next one in a nice safe green?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

and... tagged

i just spent an ungodly amount of time individually labeling each of the 369 posts on this blog. i refuse to divulge just how long i spent, but for any of you out there seeking to take on such an endeavor i have a few suggestions:

1) avoid labels that will apply to nearly ALL of your posts (see: "frustration" or DUH, "about me")

2) steer away from those labels that don't tell your reader much of anything (see: "frustration" or "about me")

3) try to have as many labels chosen BEFORE you begin as possible; this will save you a lot of time going back over posts you have tagged to add something new.

4) it's easier, when you have a fairly specific label, to use the "search" function and get a bunch of posts at once. unless of course, you are anal and need to see every single one individually to make sure you haven't forgotten one. (see: "chicago")

5) try not to kick yourself for having posted about things vaguely without using proper names, therefore making it extremely difficult to employ suggestion #4.

6) at the end of this excruciatingly tedious exercise, do your best NOT to be tempted to switch your blog to another provider, where you will likely have to go through this process ALL OVER AGAIN.

good luck. and if you have any suggestions, questions or comments about labels on this blog, please don't hesitate to share. yes, i realize how the label counts make me appear to be a self-centered, whiny bitch. and yes, i realize that i am one.

thank you and good day.

Monday, January 22, 2007

they call me sweetness and i like to dance

i was in second grade when the chicago bears last made it to the superbowl. our elementary school officals let us out of class for an all-school assembly the friday before superbowl XX for a pep rally, during which we were supposed to show our support "so they'd feel the love all the way down in louisiana." the teachers dressed up, painted their faces and led us in several songs and cheers. everyone wore orange and blue.

as a 7-year-old, i was too young to roll my eyes at such an event and had never been in a giant room with so much energy. even though there wasn't a member of the chicago bears organization there to hear it, i truly believed our cheers were going to help the team win and i felt close to the people in my school because we were all rooting for the same thing. maybe it's the soft-focus lens we use to remember our childhoods that makes me look back on it with a smile, but the '85 bears did go on to win, and big (they set a record with a 36-point margin). i know i helped.

the '06 bears are a good team despite fielding more than than their share of criticism-- much of it from their own fans. however, they've got nothing on '85 in terms of personality. the oldschool superbowl team was cocky enough to put out a song and a video about kicking ass, prove it true and use it to nearly win a grammy as well as the championship. not only that but today, 21 years after that assembly in the school gym, i can still remember nearly all of the words.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

got to stompin in the Air Force One

last weekend i flew out to cali to attend H's work holiday party. it was held in the Air Force One Pavilion of the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, which is basically a colossal glass room built to show off the plane "at a 2° incline creating a feeling that it is taking off on another important mission."

courtesy of www.reaganlibrary.net

it's hard to see, but on the balcony to the left of this picture (where the big red soviet flag is hanging) is where we entered. in order to get downstairs, we had to walk through the plane down to the bar, set up where the oldschool police car and that one guy are. then later we followed another set of steps down to the right, where they'd set up dinner. it's better lit because of the floor-to-ceiling windows.

before we got onto the plane, they stopped each couple to take a photo for a souvenir. looking back, we should have waved like they do in all the presidential pr shots, but they shuffled us through so fast we didn't even have time to think, let alone set down our programs. they didn't give us much time to look around in the plane, either, but that didn't stop me from asking questions. the first was if it were true that any plane the president is on is technically "Air Force One." yep. in fact, the guy told me, in a verbose and rehearsed way, that nixon thought it was ridiculous to have a private plane, so he bought two tickets on United one time and didn't tell anyone. secret service found out right before and spent a ridiculous amount of money getting clearance for the plane and all the people on it that cost so much more than just having a private plane. so after that, they've always had a private jet. they have a mural on the wall opposite the one with the windows that shows every Air Force One that all the presidents had (some have different paint, etc.) and they have a very tiny United plane way off in the distance to mark the one flight that had caused so much trouble.

the other question i asked was of the sentry guarding the little kitchen area, where they had a luscious-looking fluffy chocolate cake, topped all around with cherries. though it was plastic, i was hungry enough to comment. the woman nearby said reagan kept one of those on board at all times just in case it was someone's birthday. plus he really liked chocolate cake. before i could ask about more trivia, the backlog of people forced us off the plane and into the party. it's a shame because there were several plane guards who obviously are well-versed in reagan-air-force-one-ology and i am rarely short on questions. besides, i wanted to have good anecdotes to come home and tell my pops, as ronnie is his favorite president.

the rest of the party was pretty standard. hors d'oeuvres, a buffet, drink tickets, a dessert table. they handed out awards for outstanding employees and even had a comedian. David Crowe had a great bit about second-hand drinking (click on video 1) that i thought was a gem. it got a big laugh, which was tricky because they put him on while people were eating an experience killer for any comedian. i thought he was funny.

we ate and chatted and then H was heartbroken that neither of us won the 42-inch flatscreen television they were raffling off. he wanted it so badly that for .025 of a second he considered dancing. yeah, they'd put on some ridiculous song when they called out the numbers and if you didn't dance to satisfaction, they wouldn't let you have it. that must have been some sweetass television, too, because this guy likes dancing as much as he'd like a root canal.

at the end of the night, we froze our collective booty off while walking up the hill to the car. being from chicago, i hadn't brought a dress coat to go with my red dress because, duh, i was going to southern california. however in a cruel temperature snafu, that day it was 20 degrees COLDER in southern california than it was back home. and today it SNOWED. there is something just a little messed up about that, but i'm not going to complain because it's probably the last minibreak i'll be having for a while.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

i wanna be friends with spike

okay, so between bouts of productivity, i'm holding tightly to the bad habits i formed while having no life (read: working in the dungeon). one of the best bad habits i procured was the need to exhaust every single bonus feature on a dvd before i can return it to Netflix. if i enjoy the film enough, i can watch it upwards of three times to hear all the commentary.

film commentary is an art few people get right. some talk too much about production. i'm not an aspiring filmmaker, i don't give a crap about dollies and technical terms for shots and i already know there's a lot of tedious stuff they have to do. i understand that making a feature-length film is like being trapped in a cocoon for months and months and these people live and breathe it for years, even, but dude, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE ENTERTAINING ME.

also, i like when they comment on what's actually going on onscreen, not rehashing inside jokes that the audience doesn't care about. which is why, though multiple people doing the commentary is a nice idea, i usually hate it. there's too much stifled laughter and talking over each other and veering offtopic. one person only, please.

i want to see the deeper layers to the film, whether it be further explaining something or why they chose to shoot it a certain way, etc. don't forget to give us that. the best is when people say stuff like "we were going to make them get together at the end, but then we thought that wouldn't be believeable and that the audience would hate it." especially when i agree with the decision. it makes me feel smart.

i also am a stickler for people giving credit where credit is due and pointing out the subtle things about a film that contribute to its greatness. usually that ends up being the score and the cinematography, etc. and then when you're seeing it again as they speak, you can appreciate how that hidden person's hard work really enhanced the end product. you start to notice other stuff in daily life and it makes you a better observer.

anecdotes. hands down the best part; but only if they're told concisely with the right timing.

i bring all this up because last night i watched "Inside Man," a heist movie starring Denzel Washington, Jodi Foster, Clive Owen and Christopher Plummer. Directed by Spike Lee. i really enjoyed the movie. but even more, the commentary was by far the best i have EVER heard.

Spike was commenting by himself on his 49th birthday, the day before the film opened. i'm sure this is easier for him b/c he's a) used to talking to the masses, b) been in the biz for a long time c) a very intelligent man d) loves what he does and is good at it e) sat down to comment when it was fresh, but he had an ease of talking that made me feel like he was sitting next to me on the couch, pointing stuff out. he didn't feel the need to talk nonstop and he was sure to mention all the best things his colleagues contributed that i might have missed. also, he talked about several things i had noticed while watching the movie the first time, like highlights on racial profiling and violent video games and he wasn't afraid of saying his opinion on the why and how. and he'd just bust out laughing at times. i loved that.

well done, mr. lee. you make me want to be your pal.

Friday, January 12, 2007

mobile blogging

currently i'm sitting in the passenger seat of H's car, on the 110-N, passing the Staples Center in downtown l.a., where there's a ginormous screen on the side of the stadium on which they're introducing players for the Lakers game tonight.

can you believe i'm blogging from the CAR?!?!?!?!?

we are on our way to get the most delicious dumplings in the land, using a gps-tracker, and i interrupted to let you all know.

dating a gadget freak definitely has its perks.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

the trouble with cadiz

it's been about three weeks since i finished up with dungeon duty, and i still can't peel myself out of bed at a decent hour. upon closer inspection, there are several contributing factors:

a) i have NEVER been able to get out of bed unless i was on the verge of being late for something.

b) i am able to awaken at the agreed-upon hour, only to convince myself in a half-asleep state that i no longer need to get out of bed then, can spare a few more minutes "resting my eyes" or that i was certifiably insane when the hour was agreed upon.

c) i am able to sleep for periods in excess of 10 hours or more at a time (mostly to make up for the times i have only slept four hours or fewer).

d) breaking a two-year nocturnal habit is a feat in itself.

e) i am easily distracted.

f) especially by the television

g) and the Internet

h) and the telephone

i) during my dungeon tenure i became highly accustomed to my independence:
1) sole control of the television with the dvr
2) only using the telephone when it was convenient for me
3) using the Internet whenever i damn well pleased (dialup)
4) not getting sucked into prime-time indian soap operas, which have the power to erase entire blocks of time from one's memory while moving the plot forward only an inch.
5) getting out of helping with the heavy-lifting cooking/cleaning

now this last reason and its facets are precisely why i hated working those hours. but i got used to them. i love my family and friends more than anything and wished i could spend more time with them. but i'll be honest: working in the dungeon changed me. i covet my alone time now. even if it's just to watch seven episodes of neat or mission: organization in a row and vicariously clean up my own life through those on television without actually doing anything in my own home but get an idea of how i'd want to do it should the opportunity present itself.

as one of the professional organizers says, "clutter is just a big pile of put-off decisions." and i think this all boils down to fear. right now, i'm working a few hours a week and the rest of my time is devoted to finding something better. but i'm terrified of either taking the first thing that comes along and finding out it's another type of dungeon or passing on something that could have been great. risk-taking is not my strong suit, because i tend to dwell on the mistakes. so i'm paralyzed and i'd rather be asleep than have to think about it.

i have been on vacation since my last day of dungeon. H came out for awhile and i'll be going to california tomorrow. but come monday, i'll hit this thing hardcore and turn my life right-side-up again.

if i can get out of bed, that is.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

parting words

"i decided that now that i have all this free time, i'll have to post more regularly on the blog."

"yeah? you sure that's not just procrastinating on doing what you need to do?"

"probably, but you know i'm going to procrastinate anyway."


"i'm so wired, i'll probably be up late again tonight. i was thinking to post for tomorrow but i can't think of anything good."

"you can always write about how you keep your boyfriend up too late every night."

"what? why?"

"um, because it's true."

"yeah, but then people might jump to weird conclusions or something."

"like dirty ones? um, i'm pretty sure you've made it clear that i live 2,000 miles away."

"i know, but still. got any other ideas?"

"sigh. how about you make it clear that you're keeping your boyfriend up way too late by asking ridiculous questions?"

"fine. sweet dreams to you, then."

"good night."

Monday, January 08, 2007


H and i didn't go anywhere fancy or exciting. we spent our vacation doing what everyone else takes for granted. as he says, "you know, stuff like being in the same room."

we chose between sharp cheddar and colby jack cheeses, discussed how green peppers ought to be chopped, discovered which stove burner was on the fritz, checked to see if the pasta/steaks/pancakes/cookies/pizzas were done, visited a friend in the dungeon, debated which movie to see in the theater, figured out which to rent from the video store, tried new greek food with cc, played gin rummy, challenged ri and c to a board game (and lost), went all over the city to SHOP and got lost and found our way home.

not having a car, we rode buses, trains, took taxis and walked so many miles all around town. mostly because my gift to him was a coat (being from s. cal, he doesn't have one) and his gift to me was a camera (mine has been loved to the point that it goes through new batteries in an hour), and neither wanted to purchase without the recipient's preference. after an exhaustive search, we both got the best that was out there. but we walked around and looked at everything. furniture, televisions, clothes, kitchen gadgets. actually, it was a cruel kind of hypothetical because at the end we had to go back to our respective zip codes.

something has to be done about this long distance thing.

Monday, January 01, 2007

fake it till i make it

happy new year everyone!

i know you love to come over here and catch my latest complaint, and as we all know, that's probably not going to stop anytime this century. however, i do hope to be more positive in 2007. we'll have to see how long that lasts.

regardless, let's hope this year puts all the ones that came before it to shame.