Monday, December 29, 2008

In which I buy a lemon (in the strictest sense)

It was a tough day at work today.  I wish I could talk about why, but you know I have that thing about not talking about work.  Stuff was going on that wasn't really about me, but was creating a significant amount of anxiety, so much so that I just wanted to stuff my face with carbs.  But we all know that food as a drug does not really make anything better, at least, not for very long. So I decided to stop and get a lemon on the way home from work so that I could drown my sorrows in a proper martini.  

Ah!  Much better.  

(Don't you hate it when you are reading a blog and the blogger is all "I have something going on, but I can't tell you what it is"?  Like, just don't say anything to begin with.   You can't say "Oh, guess what?  I have a SE-CRET," and then expect people to respect that.  People are generally pretty nosy.  I should know, I'm one of those people.  An honest to goodness nosy parker, that's me.) 

So, since I can't talk about my anxiety, or eat or drink it away, and I am still out of Xanax, let's talk about shoes instead.  I had a great weekend shoe-wise.  I got several gift cards for Christmas gifts, so I was able to buy two pair of flats, and then...


Banana Republic.  I have been coveting these shoes for a while, and was able to get them with the gift card and not ANY of my own money.  I love that.

This evening I arrived home with my lemon and my neighbor popped out with a small Christmas gift for me.  A gift card.  To DSW Shoe Warehouse.

I think I've found my new drug.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In which I stalk - sort of

A couple of Saturdays ago, I braved the holiday traffic to make a very necessary Target run.  On my way down La Brea, I saw a Toyota Prius.  The several bumper stickers on the back made it fairly apparent I was following a liberal.  My favorite of the stickers was one that said "I Never Thought I'd Miss Nixon."  I laughed out loud when I saw it, and was suddenly possessed by the need to tell the driver how funny I thought it was.  

I followed her for a bit and finally was able to pull up beside her at a stoplight.  I rolled down my window, and honked for her attention.  She rolled down her window and I said, "I LOVE your Nixon bumper sticker!"  She laughed and said "Isn't that great?"

I knew immediately who she was.  One of my favorite vegetarian hippie TV mothers, Abby from the show Dharma & Greg. 

We agreed that the trying times were soon to come to an end, laughed again, rolled up our windows and moved on.

Thanks for the great laugh, Mimi Kennedy.

P.S.  My very favorite episode of Dharma & Greg is the one where they go to a bunch of different places for Thanksgiving to placate all their friends and loved ones and they have to eat everywhere they go.  It makes me laugh a bunch of times every time I watch it.  This is towards the end of the episode: Thanksgiving Until It Hurts.  My favorite part is around 2:43.  Here are parts one and two if you are interested in watching the whole episode.

P.P.S.  Please note that Mimi Kennedy appeared on the show House.  All things can ultimately be connected to Hugh Laurie and House.  

Sunday, December 21, 2008

In which I de-funk

GUESS WHAT?  I think I am out of my Funk, thanks in no small part to this song (this is the only video I could find of the original song, so sorry if the lights give you seizures), which I heard Friday night and spent all day Saturday trying to figure out the name of it.  It's "Christmas Wrapping".  By The Waitresses.  See?  I just needed a fun Christmas song.  

GUESS WHAT ELSE?  I changed my settings so now you can actually leave a comment if you like.   

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In which I am overtaken by the Funk

It's official.  I am in a Christmas Funk.  And I don't mean I'm surrounded by musicians with sunglasses and saxophones.  

I don't know what it is.  I don't want to decorate or make cookies, and I don't want to listen to Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas".  I don't feel like singing "Santa Baby" in my living room with the couch as the audience.  What? Doesn't everyone do that?  Never mind.

Maybe it's because I don't get to go to New York this year, the first time in six years I'm not there during the holidays.  No Rockefeller Center tree, no Bergdorf Goodman windows.  No snow in Central Park. Obviously they decorate in LA, and they do it nicely.  It's just not New York.  

Maybe it's because I won't be with family this year.  It's certainly not the first time, but it seems extra bitter this year because, well, because of the Funk, I guess.

It will be fine, though.  It's only one day, it's only a week away, and then it'll be over.  And I'll just have New Year's Eve to contend with...  

Oh dear.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Insomniac Haiku #2

oh still wide awake
wooly sheep I cannot count
sandman not in sight

Insomniac Haiku #1

should I watch CSPAN
or The Soup is on at two
curse insomnia

Thursday, December 11, 2008

In which I enact the plan

6:24 AM  I'll just lie here a few minutes and think before I get up.  Awareness of the global community, that's the plan.  It'll be so nice to do something that will really help people. Fighting for the rights of communities around the world.  Standing up for women who have been silenced all their lives.  Prosecuting people who take advantage of the environment.  This is gonna be great.  

7:51 AM NO! Overslept. Late.  DAMN IT.  

8:05 AM Race to work.  Do makeup in car.  Why can't anyone in LA move with any kind of speed or purpose? Why does everyone drive so slow ALL THE TIME?  Geez.  So pleased with my plan.  It's going to be really nice being all altruistic and stuff.  After all, everyone deserves to be treated with respect and I can be a part of that.  Oh my god, these people.  GET OUT OF MY WAY.  And the busses.  Every day with the slow busses.  I fail to see how public transportation helps traffic if it slows the rest of us down.  They should just get rid of it.  

8:35 AM Arrive at office.  The papers.  Where are the papers?  I look around the elevator lobby for them.  An employee from the office next door pokes her head around the corner "Oh, I'm really sorry," she tells me.  "I accidentally spilled my coffee on your papers.  Since they were mostly ruined, I threw them out."  She disappears back around the corner.  I need those papers for my FUTURE.  How am I supposed to be up on world events when you spilled coffee on my information source???  Ok, ok.  No matter.  I will read them on line during my lunch break.  That'll be fine.

10:20 AM  I wonder what it'll be like when I am a big, famous human rights attorney.  Maybe I'll get interviewed by the Times or Vanity Fair.  Maybe even Vogue!  They might put me on the cover, too, with some great title like "Human Rights are Sexy".  I wonder if I get to keep the clothes from the photoshoot....

1:00 PM  Lunchtime! Got my lunch, ready to read the news.  Oooh - Golden Globe nominations are out.  You know Heath Ledger's probably going to win.  Those poor guys in that category don't have a chance.  I'll just take a quick look and move on to the news.  Cholera epidemic, water shortage, nasty bribery case with that Blagojevich fellow.  That doesn't look good.  Looks like something's going on with that Casey Anthony case.  This is all very depressing.  Isn't there something happy to report about?

2:05 PM Hahaha!  I was just reading about this - wait - how did I end up on  Alright, well, I did read a little bit of news, so that's good.  A  productive lunch.  Got to get back to work.

7:00 PM  Alright, now, where is that Frontline episode on Darfur?  Where - no, oh no - shoot.  I must have deleted it.  Did I ever watch it?  Dang.  Oh! Oh, great.  I still have last night's Ghost Hunters to watch.  Excellent!

9:58 PM  Ok, now really time to buckle down and take a look at that LSAT study guide. 

"There is no penalty for guessing on the LSAT, meaning no points are deducted for wrong answers.  Therefore, you want to make sure you-"  

Oop!  I think its time for Celebrity Rehab!  I can finish the guide after.

1:00 AM  Huh.  Guess I must've fallen asleep on the couch.  Must be time for bed.  I might have done too much procrastinating today.  I'm going to have to figure out what to do about that tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In which I come up with a plan

Well, in case you were wondering, the review went fine and I didn't cry.  I didn't get exceeds expectations in everything, but I got either meets or exceeds in every category, and all my reviewers gave me exceeds in the overall category.  So that's pretty ok.  My New York supervisor gave me meets in some categories.

Him: I can't give you exceeds in everything.  You know I can't do that.  Nobody gets that.
Me: Sure, yeah, I understand.  Nobody's perfect.

And then I ate four cookies.

As my cousin so kindly noted earlier today, if I were evaluated on my accessories, I would always exceed expectations.  I do have some great rings. There's nothing in my 401K, but at least I have some rings.

I've been feeling kind of bored and useless at work lately, so I've been pondering what I could do instead.  I'd like to work for some really worthwhile organization, like Amnesty International. The thing is, they're really not into hiring you because you're kinda funny and have a stunning collection of shoes.  You have to have some sort of experience in that field to prove that you are thoughtful, selfless and socially aware.  I was thinking maybe I could join the Peace Corps.  You know, really help people, build some bridges, teach some kids to read, get some experience so I can impress those folks.  But then, I don't think they let you shoe shop in the Peace Corps.  And wearing all my rings would probably get in the way of digging wells and things.  Also, I'm sure you can't successfully carry water from the river back to the village in an Yves Saint Laurent Downtown Tote, no matter how cute it might be.  

I think I'm going to need a different plan.  

Maybe what I'll do is go to law school.  Or better yet, get a combination law degree and a masters in global public policy.  Ha!  Got it.  Brilliant.

Except for I don't really know anything about public policy.  What if they ask me questions about that on my application?  I don't even really know what's going on in the world.  I can't see Russia from my house, so I'll have to think of something else.  Well, easily remedied.  I'll just read the papers we get at work.  The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are very respectable papers.  I should be able to get some good stuff out of them. Ooh! We get The Economist, too.  That should be informative, if I read past the first paragraph of an article this time.  I'll try that.  I should probably also watch that Frontline on Darfur I've had saved on my DVR since August.  

It might be good if I worked on my foreign language skills, too.  No one will be impressed by my weird hybrid of Spanish and French. (I took the classes one semester after the other in college.  Big mistake. People don't take you seriously when you accidentally order chile con fromage or ask to try on the gauche zapato. Oh my god! I don't know how to say "ring" in either language!  Time to enroll in Berlitz.) I doubt I can make any headway with the sad little bit of Yiddish I picked up in New York.  They'd just think I was meshuga.

Naturally, I'll have to follow through with taking the LSAT.  I was going to take it last weekend, but I cancelled because I just...never studied.  But if I take it seriously this time, maybe even take a prep course, I could do ok.  And I might have to take the GRE again.  Well, no "might" about it, I definitely will, since I got like a 9 on the math part last time.  Of course, I wasn't really prepared for it either, seeing as how I took it approximately one month before I received my graduate degree.  I do know how to work the system sometimes.

Ok! Great! I have a plan in place and ready to go.  Starting first thing tomorrow, more focus on the global community.  I'll get to work before anyone else does so I can read the papers.  And I'll check out GRE classes instead of TMZ, watch serious news, not just The Daily Show, and crack open that LSAT study guide.  

Ahhhh.  It feels good to have a purpose in life.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

In which I stall

Ok, so I spent about three hours working on a couple of posts last night.  I was working on one of them when Blogger just gave out, kicked me off and lost half my post.  And it was a good post.  Clever, witty, you know, the usual.  I would spend time trying to recreate it tonight, but I am busy obsessing about my review at work.  

Also, I am lazy.

Tomorrow at 7:30 AM I have my year-end review.  During my mid-year review, I cried because I didn't get "exceeds expectations" on everything.  And I didn't even give MYSELF "exceeds expectations" on everything.  

I guess you could say that my expectations, well, exceed expectations.  


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

In which...I don't know.

I must still be in a post-Thanksgiving stupor or something, because I just don't even know what to write about.

I'm contemplating digging the candy I threw away out of the trash.  I won't do it, but I'm thinking about it.  Is that the kind of thing you want to hear? 'Cause that's all I've got.  

OH MY GOD.  I just wrote and erased three different things because they all sounded dumb.  You're just going to have to give me some time to regroup, unless you want to hear about any of the following:

a) the episode of House I just watched. (Hi, Mama!)

b) the mythical apartment that I am decorating with the mythical furniture that I am going to buy with all my mythical money

c) that damn candy.

Uh huh.  That's what I thought.

OOH!  I think that I have a piece of chocolate that my nephew gave me in the bottom of my bag! Trash-free candy!  SCORE!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In which I fully regret the decision to begin every blog entry with "In which I"


Well, I told everyone about my blog and got lots of kind responses about it being funny, etc.  Now I am feeling a certain amount of pressure to write something really good.  GO!



The problem with blogging is that you start thinking of your whole life in terms of narrating your blog.  In beginning, you think everything you write is delightful.  Soon every thought that crosses your mind is brilliantly hilarious.  Before you know it, you're driving around town thinking "...and then I turned left!"  AH HA HA HA HA HA HA!  But a little time goes by and you come to realize that you might be deluding yourself, and then your desire to write is stifled by your desire not to be humiliated.  And you ultimately find yourself lying on your living room floor singing the El Pollo Loco song in an operatic voice just to distract yourself from the paralyzing terror.

Not that I would have any experience with that.  

Anyway.  Last night I watched The Universe.  It was a great episode about parallel universes.  I am still scraping my brains off the wall.  It's pretty mind-blowing to think that every time you make a choice, at exactly the same time in some plane you make the opposite choice and BANG! you are walking around in a whole different universe.  Well, something like that.  Like I said, still trying to get those brains back in my noggin.

Perhaps in another universe I have been blogging for years. In some universe, I never even started.  But, luckily for YOU, I'm in this one, with many friends and loved ones to just flat out make fun of me and this blogging nonsense.  Take for instance this email exchange I had today with my boss/friend Clay:

Clay:  Why did you (do this wrong)?
Me:  Because I am not perfect.
Clay: Are you going to make a blog entry for: In which I am not updating changes of addresses?

What am I supposed do with that?  

Monday, November 17, 2008

In which I am shocked and horrified

I had to go back to the neurologist today so they could see if there is any nerve damage in my hands and feet.  I passed the time while waiting for my test by observing the office. It is rather, well, laid back, I guess would be the term.  They leave the door between the waiting room and the exam area open.  The doctor wanders around asking the staff why there isn't any foam on his cappuccino.  The receptionist eats breakfast at the front desk, while asking the gentleman waiting what his name is for the third time.   

It is super classy.  

When it was finally my turn, the receptionist invited me back to the exam room and gave me a lovely paper gown to wear.  Then the doctor came in, fumbled around with the machine, mumbled to himself, walked back out into the hallway, came back in, more fumbling and mumbling.  

Then he proceeded to shock the crap out of me.  Literally.  He stuck things on my hands and one of my feet and then shocked me with this thing that looked like the heating element on my mom's old electric skillet.  I burned myself on that thing once.  It hurt.  A LOT.  This was less fun, mostly because I kept getting zapped over and over again.  I can see how electro-shock makes a good torture method.  I was ready to tell anything.

"36-22-36!" I yelled.  
"What's that?"  he said. 
"My middle school locker combination?  I thought you were trying to get information from me..."
He just mumbled.

Mild carpal tunnel syndrome was the diagnosis for my hands.  No answer as to why my feet are numb and/or tingly.  My regular doctor's original diagnosis was anxiety, so without a full diagnosis of all the symptoms,  I guess this gives her free license to go ahead and stamp my chart "CRAZY!"  KA-CHUNK!

But my question is this:  am I really required to accept the opinion of a doctor whose office machinery looks like this?

Right there, next to the latex glove and that sterile looking tube thingy - yes.  That is a piece of popcorn.

Popcorn.  Now I am a major fan of popcorn, but...

POPCORN?! What, did he get hungry while shocking me?  All that hard work made him need a little nosh?  Call me crazy (see above), but it seems a bit unprofessional to me that there would be food on your medical equipment.   Seriously, how did that get there?  Did they project a movie on the eye chart during the previous day's lunch?  When the doctor saw it, as he must have, why didn't he GET RID OF IT?  And if he didn't see it, what does that say about his, I don't know, eyesight?  How do I know he read the machine right if he can't see well enough to catch that piece of popcorn?  

And if my numbness is because of anxiety, why didn't my entire body go numb with horror at the very moment I found that piece of popcorn?  ANSWER ME THAT, DOCTOR.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In which I offer employment advice

Fair warning here:  I am really cranky lately.  I know, I know, but I mean EXTRA cranky.  It is mainly because I'm not eating.  Well, more like I'm not eating the foods I want to eat, like bacon and birthday cake.  I have lost four pounds.  And also my sense of humor.  

It doesn't help matters that work is pretty quiet these days, and by quiet I mean BORING.  And boring means I need some sort of entertainment, which, in the good old days used to be snacks. But oh no!  Not anymore.  Now I have to do things like THINK and HAVE MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS with people.  I'm not going to last very long.  

But in this god-awful economy, a currently boring job is a lot better than a currently non-existent job, so I have to suck it up.  In case you are in the same boat, I offer you some ideas on how to keep from getting fired in this difficult time:
DO NOT, upon starting your computer in the morning, ask loudly "IS IT ONLY WEDNESDAY?"

DO NOT, when asked to perform a task, roll your eyes and say "God!  I am so TIRED of people asking me to do stuff!"

DO NOT call your client and ask why they aren't spending all that money they have.  Misers. Like we're in an economic crisis or something.  Pssh.

DO NOT yell "we're all gonna die!" every time someone asks you a question.

DO NOT  answer the phone "Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam".  Unless, of course, you work at Dunder Mifflin. And your name is Pam.  

DO NOT, when writing your weekly update for the office health program, send an email saying "Who cares?  The world in going to end in 2012 anyway.  Eat whatever you want and then take a nap."

DO NOT blog about work, lest you suffer the consequences.  

Monday, November 10, 2008

In which I am glamourous, as usual

I didn't want to get up this morning because, I don't know, I never want to get up in the morning.  The worst is trying to figure out what to wear.  I had a brainwave in bed and remembered about my black suede boots; it's cool enough now to wear them.  So I got up (late, as usual), took a shower and got dressed.  I put on my purple Gap dress, which is so soft and the design so simple that after I purchased it I was unsure whether it was a dress or a nightgown.  It is a little thin (being a nightgown and all), so I put my Spanx on underneath, to cover things up and er, smooth them out as well and then threw a belt over the dress. I dusted off the boots, which are still in really great shape from last year.  I sat down on the bed and put the left boot on and pulled it up to my knee.  Then I pulled the right one on.  Sort of.  I couldn't quite get my heel in it, so I lifted my leg and the boot straight up in the air and pulled.  No luck.  I stomped on the floor with my right foot, but nothing.  I stood up and leaned against the wall and tried to slide my heel in.  Nope.

Much swearing.

Finally, I grabbed the heel of the boot and wiggled it and the heel of my foot.  Something gave and my foot slid all the way in.  Loud sigh and residual swearing.  Then I tried to pull the boot up to my knee.  Huh-uh.  It got stuck.  Try as I might, I couldn't get it over my calf.  What the hell?  I mean, I know I've gained weight, but all in my right calf?   I tugged harder.  No dice.

Now I'm really late for work, so I just give up and figure maybe I can fix it in the car.  I grab my bag - the new one from H&M.  I love this bag - black patent faux crocodile.  It was really inexpensive, is trendy and fairly well put together.  I assumed it was a handbag when I bought it, but after I got home and looked at the receipt I saw it was a "Toilet Bag".  I don't know what that is, but I assume it is supposed to be a bag for your toiletries when you are traveling.  It doesn't have an inordinate amount of pockets or anything, though.  And it looks like a handbag, so that is what I use it as.

So I rush to work, alternately yelling at slow drivers and busses (3 of them!  All in front of me!) and trying to pull up my boot at all the stop lights.  Still unsuccessful.

I arrive at work and make my way down through the parking garage and to the lobby, walking quickly so no one notices my boot, which is now slouching dejectedly around my ankle like a sullen teenager.  Once I get to my office, I put my leg up on the desk (hoping that all the blood will run into my hip, thus making my calf smaller), then simultaneously check my email and dig through my bag for some lotion.  Maybe I can slather some on my leg and pull the boot up that way. While I have my body contorted to keep my leg up on the desk I feel my Spanx rolling down. More swearing.  I find the lotion and try it, but no luck.  I'm going to need some sort of industrial strength lubricant.  I try hand sanitizer.  It burns my freshly shaved legs, but doesn't help the boot.  I search my desk and find Sortkwik.  It can't hurt to try, I think.  It always works when I'm going through the bills.  But this doesn't do the trick either.  

Maybe I need to stretch the calf of the boot out - like it shrunk over the summer or something.  I scan the office for an appropriate stretching implement.  My beanie baby?  No, it'd be really hard to explain to anyone why I had a pink bunny hanging out of my right boot.  Ah!  My Staples button!  It is the perfect shape and is firm enough to stretch something.  I stick it in my boot and go about my work.  Every time I change my position or cross my feet under my chair, I hear "THAT was easy!"

I give up.  

I pull the boot up as far up my calf as it will go.  I check myself out in the window of my office. One leg looks great, like a catalog model. The other looks like there is bread baking in my boot. This is when I notice my hair is sticking up.  Now, my hair is supposed to sort of stick up in the back a little bit, kind of like a tame punk rocker.  Instead, it's sticking up in the middle and I look like Tweety Bird.  Every time I try to mash it down it just pops right back up. 
Whenever I stepped out of my office today, I had to yank up my boot, mash down my hair and tug on my Spanx.  I made it through the day in this uber-glamourous state and scurried out of the office with relief only to realize that I had to stop at the pharmacy on the way home.  I sighed as I pulled into the parking lot, got out of my car, made a failed attempt to smooth down my hair, pulled up my boot and hiked up my Spanx.  

I made my way into the store, found what I needed and then saw Tom - a guy I met at a party and er, made out with.  A couple of times.  I kind of still have a crush on him, although he is, how shall I say?  Less than honorable.  Best to just keep my distance, I thought.  So I ended up lurking around the sale racks until he left in order to avoid being seen by him.  I realize this is not really a very mature thing to do, but, when I run into old flames, I want them to see me looking sexy and sophisticated, not like Tweety Bird in a belted nightgown with one slouchy boot, carrying a toilet bag.

While I was hiding from him, next to the bags of leftover Halloween chocolates, I developed an attachment to a bag of miniature Hershey bars with almonds.  I knew it would love me no matter what I looked like.  I grabbed it and went to the register, completed my purchases, went home and gratefully changed my clothes.    

Sunday, November 9, 2008

In which I miss New York

The weather changed here and it feels like fall.  There is a chilly (and rather loud) wind blowing.  Tomorrow there will be palm branches all over the place and one or the other of my plants will probably get knocked over or off my balcony.  I can smell someone's fireplace.  It's probably Selma Blair's, who apparently is a neighbor of mine.  I blame all the loud-ass neighborhood parties on her, too, because I know she is a wild child.  I bet they're great. 

Autumn makes me ache for New York City.  This is the best time of year there, it always seems storybook-like to me.  The leaves turning and time to get out your sweaters and boots and scarves.  I love how my nose gets cold and pink.  Darting into the nearest Starbuck's (one on every corner!) to warm up. I love cuddling up under the comforter for the night with one window cracked just to keep the air moving.  Of course, when I lived with 80 plus year old Frances, she didn't like it when the wind made the door rattle and wanted me to stick a kleenex in the door to keep it from moving.  She even offered to show me exactly how to fold it up.

The one thing I didn't have in New York that I have here (other than privacy) is the electric heater in my bathroom.  My apartment has a tendency to be very drafty, so it is a benefit on cold mornings.  I pad into the bathroom and turn on the heater, then get back into bed for a little bit while the bathroom warms up.  After my shower I inevitably end up getting too warm and have to crack the window.  Or turn on the air conditioning.

It was like that on the subway, too.  I always had a significant amount of trouble with temperature control.  It could be freezing outside and I would always end up with sweat stains under my arms from being on the subway in my coat.  It was a daily battle trying to figure out what to wear, what to bring, if I remembered to shove my umbrella in my bag.  Living in New York is difficult like that - even small things are hard to do.  But, oh, how I miss the struggle.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

In which I chronicle my election night

I arrive home from work after Pennsylvania's been called for Obama.  I change my clothes and turn on the TV and get on to watch the electoral map.  Shortly after that, Obama is projected to win Ohio.

 6:45pm: Flip between MSNBC and Fox News.  If neither one of them can be neutral, I can at least figure out the truth between the two of them.

7:02pm:  MSNBC announces that Obama is home eating dinner with his family.  WHAT?  How can he eat at a time like this?  What did they eat?  Macaroni and cheese?  Do you think they ordered pizza?

7:03pm: Ooooh, pizza...

7:06pm: Staring at electoral map of Florida, willing it to turn blue.  

7:07pm:  Turn blue.

7:08pm: Turn blue.

7:09pm:  COME. ON.

7:10pm: Open wine.

7:20pm: Turn to a rerun of House.  Wonder who House would vote for.  He probably wouldn't vote, because he is all bitter and sad.  You know, because of his leg and all.  OH MY GOD! On the show House just said "it's a shame I don't vote"!  I was right!  HA HA!

7:28pm: Can't believe how close the race is in Virginia.  Yes, I flipped back to MSNBC .  WHAT?  It is an historic election.  HISTORIC.  Besides, I've seen that House before.

7:51pm: Changed to episode of Frasier - Frasier is wearing blue and Roz is wearing red.  Doubt Roz would vote for McCain, though.

7:59pm:  Oh, for God's sake, Florida, do you have to torture us like this in every single election?  Decide already.  Do it!

8:02pm:  West coast polls just closed - MSNBC just called the election for Obama.  They are showing pictures of people screaming with joy.  I am crying with happiness and relief.  

8:17pm:  Oh, fine, Florida, jump on the bandwagon NOW.  You and Colorado and it looks like Virginia, too.  Can't believe it.  John McCain's concession speech is lovely and gracious.  Brit Hume looks depressed.  But then, Brit Hume kind of always looks depressed.

8:25pm:  Wonder if Sarah Palin will pose for Playboy.  Surely she's had an offer by now.

8:32pm:  Feel so proud of my country right now.  So many people voted - the races were so close in some states.  I feel like we truly spoke and really changed the course of the nation.   

8:35pm:  Wait, is the Dancing With the Stars results show gonna be on? They really need to get rid of Lucci. 

9:24pm:  Obama's acceptance speech, beautiful and inspiring.  One of my neighbors leaned out her door and screamed with excitement.  I feel like running around and hugging everyone.  

9:25pm: OVERJOYED.

Monday, October 27, 2008

In which I smell good


What, you can't read that?  Fine.  It says: "We gladly issue a store credit for unused, unopened product returned within 14 days of purchase accompanied by a receipt."  So, if I wanted to return the body wash, which I did, I really did, I could only get store credit.  And if I was going to get store credit, then I would use it for the body wash, because who wants to spend $28 on body wash?  That's ridiculous.

I kept the body wash, but returned the shoes and also the new lip gloss and lip pencil that I got at Clinique, which I am unfortunately allergic to.  So I really ended up in the black on this whole deal.  Sort of.  But I smell good!  And I don't itch!  

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In which I face a moral dilemma. That makes me itch.

Right, right, right, right, riiiiiight.  I have a blog.  Sorry.  I've been preoccupied with this:

A friend gave me some sample sizes of this and I LOVE it.  It smells wonderful, feels great and doesn't irritate my skin, which is a real issue for me lately.  Seems like everything I try makes me itch like crazy.  So it's the perfect shower gel.  EXCEPT:

I know the image is blurry (really, I was trying not to shake, however, I apparently have no control over my limbs) but, yes, that price tag does say $28.00.  TWENTY-EIGHT DOLLARS.  Twenty-eight dollars for body wash?  Seriously?  I mean, maybe fifteen is ok, if it's really good.  Dove is only four or five dollars (makes me itch) and the Whole Foods grapefruitty kind is about the same, maybe a little less (smells great and makes me itch), so I think that twenty-eight is, er, high.  But it doesn't make me itch!

I knew it was too much when I bought it on Sunday, but I was possessed by the thought that I was rich (someone remind me to tell my therapist about the delusions) and I just went ahead and bought it.  Because it smells so good!  And doesn't make me itch!

When I got home I put it in the shower for Monday morning, but then I heard my dad's voice saying "live simply so others can simply live" (someone remind me to tell my therapist about the voices) and was gripped by guilt.  I removed the bottle from the shower and placed it on my dressing table, where it has been staring at me ever since.  

"C'mon,"  it whispers.  "Aren't you going to use me?  I smell so good.  And no itching."

"You are TOO EXPENSIVE," I respond.  "I am taking you BACK.  The END."

"Then why have I been sitting here for three days?  You can't let me go.  Besides, who is going to pay those poor kids in Taiwan who make my bottle?  And the marketing people who made you buy me?  They have hungry children.  What about the people who pick the lemons they squeeze into me to make me smell SO GOOD?  How are they going to get paid?"

And then I go turn up the re-runs of House to drown out the taunting of the body wash. But I can still here it whispering "I don't make you iiiiiiiiiitchhhhhhhh."  (Someone remind me to tell my therapist about the hallucinations.)

Seriously, I have to take it back right?  I do.  I will.


But, now, what to do about these?

They were $27.90.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In which I rant

I have been keeping a big secret from everyone.  I have been trying to pretend that everything is ok, and that I am normal, like everyone else, but it's not true.

I have to be honest, and I hope you will still love me even when you find this out:


I can barely use any of the following:

My iPhone

My MacBook

The Internet

Dental floss 
(seriously, once the dental hygienist asked me to show her how I floss, I did, and then she was all "huh-uh" and I still don't know what I was doing wrong.  Hope I can figure out how to work dentures).

I do, however, know how to work my DVR.  Can't miss an episode of House.

This is really an embarrassing situation, mostly because I feel like everyone else knows all these things and that I have somehow been left in the dark.  It is as if everyone is walking around knowing how to use the newest applications, and I'm still trying to figure out how to download a damn photo.  

I was at a seminar recently where they said the Gen Xers are sort of caught in the middle - that Baby Boomers don't have to know how to use the newest technology, and Millennials have grown up using computers and email and video games.  Gen Xers feel like they should know how to use computers with ease, but they often don't and instead try to fake it.  This is my life.

I recently purchased this MacBook and I really like it.  But I have learned the three things I know about computers on an IBM and not all of that transfers to Apple.  I try to figure it out, I really do, but how are you supposed to do anything when you CAN'T RIGHT CLICK?  Seriously, right click is my go-to command, and I can't do anything without it.  Combine this with the fact that Blogger is all stupid and won't let me drag photos into my posts makes my blogging life generally miserable.  

I think I am beginning to have paranoid delusions that all technology is plotting to TORTURE me.

I'll bet if I set my alarm for 3 am I will wake up to find my laptop, phone and wine opener sitting around laughing and drinking my Grey Goose, the dental floss smirking quietly and smoking a cigarette (not one of mine - I don't smoke - but that wine opener has a death wish). The ziplock on the bag of gluten free tortillas probably brings the snacks.

I suppose that I could have worse problems than modern technology.  At least I am not waiting for the wagon to come with that big block of ice so I can be free from the worry of ptomaine poisoning.  I guess I'd rather have to figure out how to hook up the printer than have to type on carbon paper.  I'd probably never pay a bill on time if I actually had to put it in the mail, rather than paying on line.  

If only they would make a computer that could floss my teeth.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

In which I give you my final words of wisdom

It is my understanding that the world might end tomorrow.  Actually, the world could end anytime, with or without notice, but tomorrow might seriously be it.  We may actually get sucked away by a black hole.

So it is my intention to address the burning questions you might have before we all go to the great beyond.  Questions like, what is the meaning of life?  What is our purpose here?  Why do both good and evil have to exist?  How can I get rid of this bunion?  

Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to any of those questions, so let's talk about nachos instead.  Having grown up in Texas and New Mexico made me an authority, nay, an expert on Mexican food and anything pretending to be a variation of Mexican food.  Seriously, the FBI could call me in as an expert witness in a Tex-Mex vs. California Mexican food showdown.  I can tell you exactly what's in that guacamole.  I will make a mean chili con queso any day of the week.  And I know nachos.  Boy, do I know nachos.

Now to me, nachos are what my mom used to make for Superbowl parties, or when my Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Kathy came over.  Top plain old tortilla chips with real cheddar cheese and one pickled jalapeno slice on each chip, then you slip them in the oven till the cheese melts.  They were NOT those awful things you get at the movies or the high school football concession stand. 

Generally, if you order nachos at a restaurant in the United States, they come with sour cream and guacamole and pico de gallo and beans or some combination thereof.  If you order them in Iceland, this is what you get:

The nachos above were found in Akureyri, the second largest city in Iceland.  They were described on the menu as being corn chips served with cheese and salsa sause (sic).  I had to try them.  Can you see the dusting of red powder on the chips?  Those are Nacho Cheese Doritos, my friends.  Nacho Cheese Doritos with Icelandic football stadium sause and flavorless salsa. 

Oh, don't think for a second that I didn't eat them. 

But I figured surely that would be it - nachos, as it were, only in the densely populated, often visited cities.  

I was wrong.  On our long driving day from Akureyri to Skaftafell National Park (which I haven't written about yet, don't even try to look for it), we stopped in Egilsstadir for lunch and guess what was on the menu? 

These were at least a little closer to the real thing.  I think they used regular Doritos instead of the Nacho Cheese, which was quite an improvement.  See the melted cheese on top?  Yes!  That's the way to do it - real cheese that you melt, rather than a gloppy glob of orangey chemicals.  Underneath - salsa and fresh vegetables.  Interesting, I thought - and I liked the veggies.  I think it was carrots and zucchini, but who cares, with all that cheese?

I planned then to try and find them in the next town, but to no avail.  Honestly, that was probably in everyone's best interests, seeing as how the rental car was pretty small and, well, you know what happens when you eat too much Mexican.  

So, now you know all about Icelandic nachos.  Aren't you glad you learned that before you get swallowed by a man made black hole?  If we do ever get devoured by a black hole, I hope I am in my mama's kitchen, devouring a tray of her nachos.

Monday, September 1, 2008

In which I figure out how to post the rest of the photos that I wanted to post in the last post

If you squint really hard, you can see a puffin.  It's there, I promise.

Me at the Arctic Circle.  

On the way back to the mainland.

In which I lose my breakfast and all sense of dignity

Oh, the day was filled with so much promise.  Clay and I were on our way to the isle of Grimsey,north of Iceland, which is crossed by the Arctic Circle.  This was my idea, because I wanted to be able to go to the Arctic Circle simply so I could lord it over others who hadn't been there. Because not that many people have. I have been to the Arctic Circle, HAVE YOU? 

Honestly, no one seems terribly impressed.

We got up super early and went to breakfast in the hotel, where Clay ran into Ruth from Iowa.  The elevator opened and out stepped Ruth from Iowa and her husband Bill, causing Clay to exclaim "Ruth from Iowa!"  He proceeded to chat with her and Bill as I tried to hold the elevator door open.  My bag got caught and I nearly lost an arm as I wrestled with the door, but old friends Ruth from Iowa and Clay were barely disturbed by this.  Except they weren't old friends.  Clay just happened to read her tour group distributed name tag out loud instead of in his head and was therefore forced to chat with her while I was nearly digested by an Icelandic elevator.  We eventually made it safely back to our room, sans Ruth from Iowa and Bill, of course, where we busted out the Dramamine for Clay.  I had purchased it before we left New York, because he told me he got seasick and had been the last time he was on a ferry.  

"I never get seasick," I bragged, "I only get a little dizzy, but I've never thrown up."  However, Clay's tales of vomit made me decide to take a pill just in case.  The last boat I was on was the ferry to Catalina, and that was in Southern California, not the North Sea.  I thought it best to be as prepared as possible, and it made me feel good to head off any possibility of throwing up.  

We found the ferry docked in Dalvik, which is on Eyjafjordur in the northern part of the country, parked the car and made our way on the boat. Soon as we got going, Clay and I went on deck to take pictures of the beautiful fjord and the mountains surrounding it.  

Oh, hey look!  Those clouds.  They were the precursor to the storm that decided to move south as we traveled north.  Clay and I were sitting in the cabin and I could see the increasingly rough seas were starting to make him feel bad.  Thank goodness I took that Dramamine, I thought, because I feel ok.  But poor Clay.  And then I got sympathy nausea for him.  Only it wasn't sympathetic so much as it was the real thing.  I decided I might feel better if I went to the restroom in the bottom of the boat, which was being rocked by waves.  I was so off balance I could barely stand up.  I went back to my seat and leaned over to Clay.  "I think maybe I should take another pill.  Do you have them with you?"  "Let me look," he moaned.  "No," came the answer.  "I left them in my suitcase."  Bad news indeed.  

Seconds later, I was puking into a trash can I had spotted earlier.  "I never get seasick; I never throw up" my own memory mocked me.  The woman who had checked us in on the boat appeared and offered me a bag and some paper towels.  Then she offered to take me out on deck.  "Let her help you, Liz," Clay whimpered, "because I can't."  She put me in a deck chair facing backwards and brought me a blanket.  I felt so humiliated throwing up in front of all of those people. I bet Ruth from Iowa wouldn't have been sick. Everyone else seemed fine.  Until I started looking around.  I thought the gentleman standing next to the railing was enjoying the view, then I saw him lean over the side and let loose.  A couple came outside holding the same little white bags the woman had offered me and sat on a bench looking utterly miserable.  I took a nap.  

Once we landed, of course, everyone was fine.  Clay and I started up the walk to the Arctic Circle.  The island was cold and wet, but still beautiful, filled with puffins and arctic terns.  I'd post a picture of them, but Blogger won't let me (0r, I don't know how to work Blogger is a more likely explanation).  We made it to the Arctic Circle and took photos next to something that looked like a burial mound, then headed back down the island to find some lunch.  

After lunch we found Icelandic candy, bought more seasick pills, mailed some postcards and then reluctantly returned to the boat.  As we boarded, Clay told the nice lady with the little white bags that he wanted us to take the smooth route back.  She laughed and agreed.

The trip back was beautiful - the storm was long gone, the sea was calm and the sun was bright.  I saw dolphins swimming alongside the boat.  It was so amazing that I leaned my head on the seat in front of me and fell asleep. We made it back to Dalvik and then Akureyri without incident.  Next time, I think I'll go by plane.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In which I offer an excuse...again

I am trying to put together my first post about Iceland with pictures, but I am having a lot of trouble actually getting the photos in the right place.  Be patient with me, I guess, seeing as how I am pretty new at this.  I think the key might be placing the images where I want them first and then typing the text around them.  I have been doing the exact opposite of that the last two nights, which explains the eight new wrinkles on my face.  And also the rash.  At least, I hope that explains it.

Rest assured that I am preparing a scintillating commentary on our trip to the Arctic Circle complete with delightful ferry rides, puffins and retired Iowans.  

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In which zzzzz(snort)zzzzz

Jet lag n. - a condition caused by traveling across 75 time zones* in a couple of days and pretending like you can still go to bed at the same time you always go to bed in LA.  Symptoms include somnolence, loss of appetite and poor sentence structure.  

I have been suffering from this condition since returning from Iceland, the most beautiful place I have ever seen in my whole life ever.  Yesterday was a particularly bad day - I was talking to the receptionist at work and suddenly felt like I was going to fall over.  Also, I hated EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO CROSSED MY PATH because they were there and all rested and conscious and I was not still in Iceland.  

Since I mentioned Iceland, perhaps you are interested in what Iceland is like.  Well, I will tell you.  It is full of ice.  Lots of it.  Ice EVERYWHERE.  Icy, icy, ice. **  Here's a photo:


*There are only 24 time zones, so you can see it was quite a trip.

** This is a big fat bald faced lie told by a jet lagged liar.  More pictures to follow.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

In which I am an athlete

My favorite sport is sitting on my couch watching reality television.  Badminton comes in a close second.  But I have been hearing a lot about interval training, so I decided to check it out.  Interval training is "repetions of high speed/intensity work followed by periods of rest or low activity", according to my favorite source, Wikipedia.  This is usually applied to running or cycling, but can be used with any exercise.  Benefits include supposed "rapid" fat loss, especially in the mid-section (the big draw for me), as well as an increase in endurance.  

As a beginner, I read that I should start off with 6 sets of 30 second high intensity sprints followed with a 90 second recovery period.  You can look at a guideline on this page to see what might work for you.  Make sure you warm up first, then stretch thoroughly to avoid injury.  Last night when I got home, I put my workout clothes on and lightly jogged to the longest, least bumpy sidewalk in the neighborhood.  The area where I live is an obstacle course of cars, celebrities and people walking their dogs, so getting around at a quick pace can be tricky.  My biggest worry was spraining my ankle or falling and breaking my arm, so that was my focus for the first set of sprints.

Rep 1: Don't get hurt don't get hurt don't get hurt don't get hurt don't get hurt
Recovery: Whew.  I didn't get hurt.  I can do that again.  Of course I can do that again!

Rep 2: La la la! Easier than I thought.  I should probably go faster.  Hey, look out, buddy! What, do you think you can just back out of your driveway whenever you want??
Recovery: Ok, so that was a little more challenging.  This is a pretty good workout.

Rep 3: Faster, faster, faster - watch out for the dogs!! Watch out for the - HI PUPPY!!! Who's a good boy?  Who's a good boy!!!
Recovery: Hm.  It might be time to re-focus.  Wait, is that Hayden Panetierre?

Rep 4: Huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh
Recovery:  Huh, huh, ok.  Huh, huh, huh.  Two more.  Huh.  I can do two more.

Recovery: HUH. WHEEZE.  HUH. WHOO!! HUH. Ok. HUH. I don't know HUH. If I can HUH. Do a sixth. HUH HUH.

Rep 6: HUH HUH Nope.
Recovery: HUH WHEEZE.  HUH WHEEZE.  HUH.  That was HUH. A good HUH. First try. HUH HUH WHEEZE.

Badminton sounds great right now.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In which I be stoopid

ARGH.  So frustrating.  I had a great idea for a post last night as I was going go sleep, but now I can't remember what it was.  It was really cool and funny, of course, but who knows what it was about.  

I am actually starting to get worried about my brain.  I think it is starting to atrophy, as I can't remember, you know, what are they called? Uh, words and things.  I think it is directly related to the constant reality television viewing, so I am trying to read a little bit more.  Right now I am enjoying David Sedaris' When You Are Engulfed in Flames.  After that, I have a book that was recommended to me by my boss, who has a PhD in philosophy.  Wish me luck getting through that one.  

I do have to say that I have cut out some shows.  Well, not so much cut out as they are finished for the season.  It's a good thing, too, because I very nearly lost my capacity for language after watching "Farmer Wants a Wife."  I wonder if reality TV should come with a warning, like cigarettes do: WARNING: WATCHING THIS SHOW WILL LIKELY CAUSE STARING, DROOLING AND GENERAL STUPIDITY."  I do try to balance my crap TV watching with some good stuff - I love "The Universe" on THC and I sometimes watch "Nova".  Occasionally, I will catch "Nightline".  I like Charlie Rose, but, depending on who is on his show, I can usually only understand 3 out of every 10 words, so I often have to change the channel after a few minutes.  You should hear the sigh of relief when the remote lands on a rerun of "Friends".  WHEW.

I also have a tendency to talk back to the people on reality shows.  Honestly,  sometimes they do really stupid things, so I like to try to warn them.  "Oh, Lauren, I wouldn't go to Les Deux - Heidi is gonna be there!"  "Jeff, WILL YOU PLEASE just chill out?  Geez, you're wasting your life stressing out about stupid stuff.  And quit being so mean to Jenni."  Right.  And I think THEY are the ones that need help.

Actually, I think I should just turn the television off. And I will.  Right after I watch the first episode of this season's "Project Runway".  

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

In which I am honest

So, I haven't posted in about a hundred years, which means my friend Scott is currently hiding his rage at me right now.  The truth is, there are reasons I have not written anything, which are as follows:

1) I can't write about work.  It is a giant chunk of my life, filled with ridiculously good stories that I CAN'T TELL and that irritates me.  Seriously, I've got some doozies, but I signed a piece of paper that said I wouldn't, so I can't.  I could write about the rest of my life, but:

2) The rest of my life is pretty damn boring.  What am I going to write about, the giant spider I found in its web on my blinds this morning?  That's about all I have to say about that.

3) I am lazy.  I admit it.  It is very taxing to be creative, and it really cuts into the time I have allotted for watching  Farmer Wants a Wife.  I have to have priorities, you know.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In which I consciously choose self-torture

Oprah is doing a 21 day vegan cleanse and I decided to join in. No animal products, no caffeine, sugar, alcohol or gluten.  I know it is a bit extreme, but I have been struggling really hard with my weight for the last few months, dieting during the week and then bingeing on the weekends.  It seems so out of control that it feels like it is some kind of disease, the symptoms of which include eating an 1800 calorie quesadilla and sitting in front of the tv with my head all the way inside a bag of candy.  It's tragic, really.

I know that it is sick to say it, but sometimes I think it would be better if I were anorexic.  At least I'd be thin. But I know it would just be a different side of the same problem.  The eating disorder I really wish I could cultivate is exercise bulimia.  It seems like a reasonable disorder, you get to eat, and then you get to exercise.  A lot.  The only problem with it is I hate exercising, so I suppose that renders my candidacy moot.    

Another reason I wanted to do the cleanse is to see if I might have some food allergies.  I think that I may  have a wheat sensitivity, because when I eat a lot of bread and other wheaty things, I tend to get very congested the next day and also my eczema acts up.  Charming, no?  Maybe this cleanse will help me figure that out.  Or maybe it will drive me into a family size bag of Cheetos and a bottle of Prosecco.  We'll see.

Monday, May 12, 2008

In which I obsess

As a resident of southern California, I recently decided it might be prudent to care about earthquake preparedness.  Now, the building I live in was built in 1941 and seems to be in fairly decent shape, so I'm not really concerned about that.  Check! 

I'm not worried about food - I have enough gorgonzola and 5 year gouda to keep me busy for a couple of days, and after that, I won't have to worry about going to the bathroom.  So, check, check!  

The one thing I am worried about is water, so on Sunday I purchased the requisite one gallon per person per day for three days = three gallons of water. When I got home, the dilemma began.  The logical place to keep them is the kitchen, but where in the kitchen?  In the cabinets above the counters or down below?  What if I put them up top and then the ceiling caves in and I can't get to them?  What if they are in the bottom cabinets and those get blocked by debris?  What if I can't get into the kitchen at all?  Should I keep the water in a different room - what about the bathroom - in the closet?  Maybe I should get six more gallons of water, three for the closet, three for the bathroom.  Keep some under the bed.  Right.  Pretty soon my apartment, filled with plastic jugs of water, is going to look like some bizarre art installation in Chelsea.  One day I won't show up for work and they will find me prostrate on my living room floor buried under the nine hundred water bottles of water I had to store on the bookshelf JUST IN CASE.

These are the kinds of things I worry about.  And this is me medicated, folks.

Last night, I watched Nightline and they were recapping the day's events in China where thousands of people, including many children, were killed in an earthquake.  After that report was over, I finished reading Elie Wiesel's Night and then laid there thinking how lucky, lucky, lucky I was, even if it was only for that moment, to be safe, warm, comfortable and hydrated in my own bed.