Thursday, July 27, 2006

Make Friends With The Badger

This is Badger and he is one of the best dog in all the land. This dog is like some crazy drug that makes you smile instantly and never leaves you with a hangover.

Badger belongs to my former office-mate Meg. Megan has decided to leave LA LA land and move to Minneapolis to pursue her theatre interests and her boyfriend. I can't blame her really. Minneapolis sounds like a pretty effin cool city.

But with Meg leaving, so goes Badger and that makes me oh so sad. We are very lucky to work in a building that lets people bring their pooches to work and that meant that I spent a lot of time with Badger. He would sleep under my desk and drool on my feet. Every morning, he would run into the office, jump up on my lap and stick his nose in my face as if to say "goodmorning! Pet me!"

Oh Badger. I shall miss you.

Lucky for me, your face is still in heavy rotation on my desktop.

But it's just never going to be the same.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Man

You know what's cool? The moment you realize your boss is pretty decent. And, trust me, those moments have been virtually extinct for me in the past few years.

I had a bit of a tough afternoon at work. Without going into too much detail, let me just say that the story I had been working on for MONTHS seemed to be crumbling before my eyes. I seriously thought that after all that work, all those phone calls, all that paperwork...This story was just going to die. The crappy part about it was that it was all through no fault of my own. If you know me, you know how I love the guilt and self blame, but in this case, I had asked all the right questions and still missed these little things that reared their ugly heads this afternoon.

Anyway, as it happened my boss was out of the office when the sh%$ started to hit the fan and no one seemed to know where he was. We left some messages on his cell but hadn't heard from him. I was a bit freaked because I had scheduled a shoots for this story and that meant that my boss was going to be flying to this state somewhere in the Midwest and he was supposed to leave in a day and a half. But, as it was looking, the story wasn't going to be there and I had no backups.

Finally, he comes prancing in - brand new sunglasses and a new haircut to match - and says "what's up guys?" You want to hate him, right? He disappeared to go buy shades and get a new do. What a jerk. Right?

So, I proceed to give him the blow by blow of what happened. He says, "hmm, let's look at the tapes." We sit, we look at the tapes, he has me pitch the story. He has me explain the glitch and, like some magical fairy (no pun intended although it kind of fits) he spins the problem away. And he doesn't stop there. He goes downstairs, gets the Executive Producer (who is having a REALLY BAD WEEK) to come upstairs so I can pitch her the story. By the time I'm done, my flatlined story has made her week and I look like some sort of hero.

Now, that's a good boss. As far as I am concerned he can go to the salon anytime he wants, as long as he prances in at just the right time to save my day.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Story Time

I am so happy right now I could just spit.* When I got home tonight I found a big box on my doorstep. Inside was my latest eBay prize. **

Wait, let me back up. A few weeks ago, LA-B and I were sitting around making another one of our "Pumpkin-Do" lists. These are the lists we have been making that itemize the various things we need to do in anticipation of the arrival of the Great Pumpkin.*** This particular list was made up of things we needed to get for the nursery. It included a rug, a lamp, and a bookcase. After we made the list, we went out in search of a few of the items.

We debated buying a new bookcase versus finding a previously enjoyed one. Anyone who knows me, knows my vote is always to repurpose rather than overpay. LA-B is a little less inclined to buy used. Not that he is snooty, he is just a quality kind of guy. And, in this case, buying used was going to mean work for him as he would surely have to paint the chosen piece. But, LA-B is also a, hmm, how shall I put this, frugal. So the idea of spending a little and doing a little work, generally wins him over. And, in this case it did. So, we headed to Out of The Closet**** on Sherman Way. It's funny because on the way there, LA-B noted that we never find anything at this particular Out of The Closet. He is right, really. I've been there many times and have never made a purchase. I always end up walking across the street to the Council Thrift Shop. There I have scored a framed Mexican wrestler needlepoint,

a small bookshelf for Man Room***** and a copy of Gray's anatomy******that I used to make an iPod case for LA-B. But on this particular day, Out of The Closet actually was kind to us. We found the cutest 2 shelf wooden bookcase. Now, me being me, I couldn't just buy it and call it a day. I always have to go to 3 or 4 stores to make sure I am not going to find something I like better. So, we walked across the street to Council Thrift, then around the corner to Goodwill and across that street to this crazy little junk shop that was filled with what looked like movie props, promotional items and lots and lots of dusty oddities. None of these shops had anything remotely interesting. But, we still didn't go buy the case from Out of The Closet. We had one more stop to make. LA-B had mentioned maybe buying a bookcase from a real furniture store. So, we headed over to an unfinished furniture retailer just to see what they had. There we learned that solid wood (as opposed to pressed board like you get at IKEA or and office supply store) costs a lot of money. A simple unfinished 2 shelf bookcase cost $280. LA-B noted "we would still have to prime and paint this, right?" Yep. So THEN we headed back and bought the bookshelf from out of the closet.

OK - so I know everyone (or the 3 people that actually read my BlaHg) is just dying to know what this shelf has to do with the mysterious eBay package. Simmer down my pretties, I'm gonna tell you.

While LA-B sweated it out in the garage priming our Pumpkin's new bookshelf, I thought it might be fun to find some books that could live on this new piece. I started out just researching some parenting websites to see what other folks say are good books for kids. But that all seemed boring. All the books looked so mass produced and generic. I don't remember my books as a kid being like that. My books seemed real and important. They were things to be cherished and adored. They were special. And that's when it dawned on me. I had to get my favorite books for Pumpkin. And, where does one look to replace their childhood wishes? EBay. And they didn't disappoint. I managed to find the entire collection I was searching for - in MINT condition. I paid $15 for all 10 books. It's the Collier's Junior Classics and I LOVE them. The Editor and I were weaned on these books. The stories are etched in my memory. Once, nearly a decade ago, I came across this same collection at the Deseret Industries thrift shop in downtown LA. It was right around the time that my niece Lizard was born. I scooped them up and gave them to her for Christmas. I think that set is probably in a box in Lizard's mom's garage now. But I know that my mom taught Lizard that those were very special books and that it was a big treat to have Nana read to her from them.

The set that I received today is flawless. I don't think anyone has ever read them. I swear, when I opened the first book in the series it snapped as if the spine had never been cracked. The colors are bright and vibrant (unlike the faded covers and crayon marred pictures in our old set.). I am so anxious for Pumpkin to come out so I can sit in our big green chair and read to her.

I think I shall start with "Kiki Dances" from Volume 1 "ABC Go!"

Maybe her Auntie will come visit and read to her about "The Blue Nosed Witch"

or "The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes."

My only regret is that her Nana won't be here to teach her how special these books are.

I guess that's up to me.

*I never really understood that saying. How is spitting symptomatic of happiness?
** I've always thought it was a little silly that one "wins" things on eBay when, in fact, one pays for the prize.
***As we have yet to name her, we've been calling our little baby to be "Pumpkin."
****Out of The Closet is a thrift store whose proceeds go to AIDS related charities. Get it? Out of the closet. Clever.
*****LA-B's home office
******The medical reference book, not the ABC dramady.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Never Trust a Big Butt and A Smile

Let me start with a little history lesson. Those of you that have known me for a while will already know this. To some, it may come as a shock.

In the summer before my junior year in college, I was hired as a DJ at a local radio station. That particular station, WCRK, was AM and had a country/oldies format. I, not being fond of the country side of that list, chose to "spin" mostly the oldies. I got to play a lot of Elvis, Johnny Cash, mellow Beatles, The Turtles, Beach Boys and, of course, Melanie (I do love to Roller Skate). That job led to a job in my senior year of college at a local FM Top 40 station. At WAZI, I started out on the weekend graveyard shift taking requests from bored teenagers and grocery store stock boys. They would call and ask me to play the latest hits from Bon Jovi, Debbi Gibson, INXS, Chicago, Poison, Cinderella - you remember the late 80's right?

After college, I moved to San Diego where my radio experience somehow qualified me to step behind "the wheels of Steele" and work as a club DJ. This was a whole new world. Here I couldn't just start and stop records (yes, in the olden days music came on big round pieces of black vinyl and we played them on turntables with diamond needels. Oooo). I couldn't segue between cuts with witty banter. In "da club" (see, I'm hip to the slang of the day) we had to "mix" songs by BPM's (beats per minute) so that one song flowed seamlessly into the next. The idea was start off slow with some "lone song" that people would slow dance to and gradually increase the BPMs to the point where the dance floor was "hopping" and the people were sweating and working up a thirst. Just when the crowd looks as if they can't take it anymore, you slow it back down. Half the people couple up and grind to the sultry sounds of Simply Red's "If You Don't Know Me By Now" while the other half would rush over to the bar to get a cool refreshing cocktail to quench their thirst. That's where the bar made their money.

But that's a little off track. You must understand the while working as a DJ, I certainly had fun, but in no way was I playing the kind of music that I was listening to on my own record player at home. With the possible exception of INXS and the rare REM song, I basically HATED that music. Ick. Blah. Puke. And, in my opinion, the worst of the WORST were those annoying boy bands. Oh, no no. Not N'Sync or Back Street Boys. No kids, we have to go back to New Kids on The Block and New Edition. The New Kids were just terrible. I think I know every word to every song they ever released and I actually still have their "Hangin' Tough" album in my stacks. But it was purely an ironic possession.

New Edition, on the other hand, escaped me entirely. They were just breaking up when I started spinning, so I rarely played anything of theirs as a group. What I DID play and play and play - both at the radio station and the bar - were the products of The New Edition Spin off projects: Bobby Brown and Belle Biv DeVoe. In fact, I can remember my request log at the bar being just FILLED with pleas to hear "Poison," "Do Me," "My Prerogative," "Don't Be Cruel," and "Rock Wit' cha." I also remember CRINGING each time I put needle to vinyl on any of these tracks. They all seemed to be the exact same song and I had to play them over and over and over.

OK - that's the back story. Now, flash forward too many years to admit, and find me sitting at my desk at work. I am the oldest person in the office by several years - over a decade in some cases. One of our editors comes running into our office and says "Oh my God, you guys. What are you doing Saturday night?" Now, I have of late become a bit of a shut in. Mostly because I have been bitten too many times by socializing with co-workers. I prefer to keep my friends out of my work place. But, this particular week my husband was heading out of town and I was to be single and childless for perhaps the last time for YEARS to come. So, I found myself uttering the phrase, "nothing, why?"

"There is a 90's reunited show at the Greek! It's En Vogue, SWV, Bell Biv DeVoe and BOBBY BROWN. We are SOOOOOO going."

I don't know if it was the 3 - 5 % shrinkage of my brain due to pregnancy or the sesame seed bagel I'd had for breakfast but for some reason I actually agreed to go. Stranger yet, I was actually pretty excited.

5 of us met Saturday evening for dinner at a Thai place in Silverlake and then drove over to Los Feliz where we parked the car and walked up Hillhurst to the Greek. (I figured if nothing else, the walk up the hill constituted my exercise for the weekend.) What transpired over the next 3 hours was, well, mind blowing.

First, let me say that I don't really remember SWV (Sisters With Voices) but I don't know why they aren't HUGE stars right now. Those girls can sing. They were FLAWLESS. Following them were En Vogue. Again, I say, "what the..." I remember always thinking the ladies of En Vogue were pretty talented, but I had NO IDEA. There was no lip syncing, no voice enhancements, no background tracks. It was just these 5 chicks with pipes that I swear didn't even need microphones. How is it that people like Brittney Spears have careers when there are women like this in the world?

Once the ladies were done, Bell Biv DeVoe came out and just blew me away. In case you didn't know, they were 3 of the original members of New Edition who broke off to do their own thing after Bobby Brown's ego split up the group. You know them - they had that song "Do Me" that went a little something like this:

The time was 6 o'clock on the Swatch watch
No time to chill, got a date, can't be late
Hey, the girl is gonna do me
Move to the Jacuzzi, ooh, that booty
Smack it up, flip it, rub it down, oh, no
Pretend you've never heard it. Pretend you never sang along to it in the car. It was infectious. Anyway, they have to be my age (gulp) pushing 40 and yet they bounced all over that stage like they took some kind of MC Hammer pill. And their harmonies were killer. I don't know where these guys have been for the past 15 years, but they should really think about opening up their mouths once in a while.

Finally, the man, the legend, Bobby Brown came out. And that's where the night took a terrible turn for the bizarro. Mr. Whitney Houston has apparently smoked a little to much crack over the years because his once clean tenor vocal chords have been burned into a gravely "just smoked a pack of unfiltered cigarettes" horse whisper. He didn't sing. He would chant the first few lines of each song and then hold the microphone out to the crowd to let US do the work for him. Occasionally he would bring the mic back and utter another line or two only to send the responsibility back to us to finish up. His "stage show" was quite possibly the funniest things I've ever seen. He strutted back and forth "teasing" us as he removed his coat, his shirt, his tie..."oh Bobby PLEASE take off the wife beater (he he he pretty appropriately named garment for him)." At one point he had a roadie tie his shoes (he went to stage left, put his right foot up on the speaker and a roadie came out and tied it while Bobby continued to let us sing - then he strutted over to stage right and repeated the process with his left foot). He brought a LARGE sistah up on stage and dry humped her while "singing"
his classic "Tenderoni" But perhaps the most disturbing moment was when he laid a crisp white towel on the stage. He knelt down in back of the towel and spread it out all neat. I thought maybe he had converted to Muslim and was about to perform his evening prayers. Instead, he proceeded to mount the towel and simulate his love for his wife right there on stage for all to see. I would like to think that the 12 year old girl sitting a few rows in front of me really believed her dad when he told her that Bobby was just doing some push ups. ICK. The show was capped off by Bobby's announcement that he and his wife are moving to LA. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Where's Godzilla when you need him?

So, that's how I spent my Saturday night. 6 1/2 months pregnant, sober, watching a washed up pop star making love to linens.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Just Rude

So, yesterday I posted with glee that my oh so talented husband, LA-B has accomplished something pretty effin cool. His script has moved into the next round at Sundance. YAY.

This morning, I decide to check the comments to see if anyone had anything to say about this. There was one comment from someone who identified herself simply as Jen. Her comment? One would expect it would be some words of encouragement or praise for LA-B. Or at the very least, something remotely related to the post, me, or my blog.

Nope. It simply said "check out my online jewelry store."

Um, what? Really? Did my blog say "this space for rent. Go the eF ahead and post your ad here!" NO.

I wrote about the most exciting thing to happen to my family since we got those 2 pink lines and she thinks it's ok to post her spammy ad for her shitty jewelry? Can you tell this Valley Grrrl is pissed off?

I promptly went to her site and left my own comment. The Editor warned me not to do it for fear that Jen might retaliate and "flame" me. I said, "Bring it ON." But I was polite. I said something to the effect of "What made you think it was cool to post an ad for your site on my blog comments? I don't even know you. I am a DIY girl myself and I respect that you are trying to make a buck, but there are much more appropriate ways to go about pimping your line."

I say that it was something to that effect, because within a few hours of me posting that comment, she removed it.

You know, the thing is, if she had read my post and somehow tied it in to her "oh, he sounds creative. Speaking of creative...I make jewelry, you might want to check it out. Maybe when he sells that script and you guys have to go to those swanky awards shows, you could wear one of my pieces." See, then I would be cool with it. But she clearly didn't even read my post. Argh.

So, Jen, in case you come slinking back over to see if I am still ticked, and you BOTHER to read my little blaHg, I would direct you to another post by Cafe Mama in which she discusses blog etiquette. Under the "Appropriate Comments" heading she writes:

The number two rule about appropriate comments is to always make your comments applicable and unique. ...In addition, even if you have something REALLY great to tell everyone, don't tell them on a comment forum unless it is applicable to the discussion at hand. Let's say you are releasing a new issue of your literary journal, you've slaved over it for months. Even if you are visiting your best friend's blog, you don't want to leave a comment advertising your literary accomplishment on a post about your friend's visit to the latest blog convention. Wait until your friend posts about the new book she's reading, or about how much she loves you. If you're visiting a stranger's blog, the rule should be even more strict; wait until you see a post about all the up-and-coming writers from your neck of the woods. It would be appropriate, now, to remind the stranger that he had somehow missed your talents.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Raindrops Keep Fallin On My Head

From the title of this post, one might think I was gonna lay down another one of my whiney rants. Oh, contraire, mon frair!

The title is not indicative of my mood, rather it is indicative of the tune I am singing - the title song to the 1969 classic film in which Robert Redford played the aforementioned "Kid" and adopted his now infamous moniker which he loved so much that he named his institute after it. The institute which has just informed my husband, LA-B, that his script has been accepted into the next round.

Um, that's right - SUNDANCE.

Could I be more proud?


Is he gonna win?

Hell yes!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Niagara Falls

So, I was sitting up here in Man Room (LA-B's office) posting some random items on Ebay. It was HOT. Hell hot. Like 90 degrees hot. One might think that I was sitting in some sort of sun room or screen porch or even on a balcony. No, I was inside. In our house, it was 90 degrees. I know it was ACTUALLY 90 degrees because I looked at the little display on the thermostat and it told me so.

So, there I was, posting on Ebay and sweating like a Sumo Wrestler. I had crap all over LA-B's desk. Amongst the crap was a big glass of ice water. Did I mention it was hot? So, I reach for some random item so I could post it for sale on Ebay and as I reach, I knock over my big glass of ice water. EFF! The water spills all over the desk. It spills into the keyboard. It runs under the mouse. I scramble. LA-B scrambles. We wipe and soak and hold the keyboard upside down and hold the mouse in the air. It was a sight.

That was this afternoon around 3:30pm. Shortly after, we discovered that the computer was running in what seemed to be slow motion. What wasn't running in slow motion was my guilt. I think I just effed up LA-B's swanky new Mac that I got him for our anniversary.

It's almost 1am now. I have hooked up my shitty old iMac keyboard and the swanky new mouse LA-B got for me a few weeks ago. They seem to be working ok so far. But what I don't get is why would a soggy keyboard make the computer seem to run in slo-mo? I searched all around the Apple site and Google and can't find a clue.

So I put it out there to any of ya'll who might actually still read this rant. Any clues? Should I just head out to the Apple store tomorrow and buy a new mouse & keyboard for LA-B? Or did the water somehow creep through the lines and infiltrate the hard drive?

Ug. Why do I break everything? Why can't we have anything nice?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

This little piggy

I am a terrible BlahGer. Seriously, I am the worst. Please, accept my apology for being such a lazy grrrl. Perhaps I should just change the name of this blahg to "Loser Grrrl."

So, let me get this straight...

  • Korea is testing missiles that COULD hit us?
  • Kenneth Lay died just a few months before he was to be sentenced for all that ENRON business.
  • Atlantic city shut down the casinos because the state couldn't get their stuff together.
  • Oh, and some dude tossed a frozen pig head into a mosque.

So, pigs are flying and I am blahging. Turns out the old cliche makes some sense.