Archive for April 2006

Help Me Out Here…

April 27, 2006

What's with that awful System of a Down song that goes "Such a Lonely Day, blah blah blah blah, The most lonliest day of my liiiiiiiiiiife." 

I'd like to address the band here: Maudlin lyrics aside, um…  have you taken an English class in the entierety of your education?  First grade? Second grade? Anything? Anything at all? Has anyone ever, at any point in your life, spoken to you about the English language?  Because dogs and cats even know, I think, that "most lonliest" is redundant and just plain incorrect.  Just dumb.  And it's not like you're even doing it for artistic or rhythmic purposes.  "The lonliest day" would actually sound better rhythmically.  It fits just fine.  There's no need to add that "most." Why did you do it?  It makes my ears bleed every time I accidentally stumble across it on the radio, and then it sticks in my head like glue on a first grader's popsicle-stick house.  A first grader who might eat that glue, but knows better than to say "most lonliest."

My question is, weren't there a lot of people working on this album?  The band, of course, the producers, the band's managers, the band's friends and family who listened to it while they were working on it, maybe?  Did any of those people bring up the fact that "most lonliest" is bad English?  Did anyone say to the band, "Band, have you thought about changing your lyrics simply to "the lonliest"?  I feel that even the janitor could have helped in some way.  Sure, maybe he or she was too shy to bring it up, but even speaking English as a second language, s/he knew "most lonliest" was just plain wrong.  Couldn't s/he have left a post-it on the studio door, kindly suggesting a lyric change?  Couldn't someone, anyone, have fixed this?  I'm bewildered. I really am.

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Lisa Loeb Is So Cute!

April 26, 2006

I love her show, Number One Single.  She is adorable!  I love her Hello Kitty appliances, and her clothes with little animal faces and cute sayings on them.  I like that stuff, too, but I had started feeling like I was too old to wear it.  Too old!  Ha!  She's 37, and she still works that stuff like a pro. An adorable, squeezable pro.  My favorite thing so far is the ponytail holders she was wearing in the episode I saw the other day.  She was wearing pigtails — yes, a 37-year-old wearing pigtails, and pulling it off with ease — and each ponytail holder had a little pompom bunny on it!  SO cute. 

Another thing I like about Lisa's show is that as I mentioned, she is 37 years old.  That is ten years older than me!  I'm 27, and I was starting to feel old!  I sometimes feel like I'm behind the times, since an alarmingly huge chunk of my friends are married, and some have children to boot.  Lisa wants those things, and she's not even dating anyone seriously!  I mean, at least not when the episodes I've seen were filmed.  Of course, by my age she had her professional life together, whereas I am far, far from figuring that out.  But what I'm saying is that in ten years if I can be wearing bunny rabbits on my pigtails and look cute, who needs husbands and babies?!  Now I can relax a little.  Thanks, Lisa!

All Must Heed the Traffic Cop

April 25, 2006

You will never believe what they're doing at my office building. When you pull up to the entrance to the parking structure, there's a 3-way stop sign, and speed bumps at each sign. But apparently that wasn't enough, because now they have a traffic cop there, wearing a smart suit and white gloves! As I approached the stop sign today he held up a white glove and gave me an admonishing look, as though saying, "I emplore you to slow down and come to a stop, Madam."

Wow, a real live, white-gloved traffic cop. It reminds me of a song I used to play on the piano when I was little, from John Thompson's First Grade Book, that went like this:

Traffic Go, Traffic Stop!
All must heed the Traffic Cop!
When I'm grown, I shall be
Just as fine a cop as he!

It was a jolly little song which I quite enjoyed playing. That was a great songbook, come to think of it. It also included such favorites as "Runaway River" and "Swans on the Lake."  And OH my goodness, if you thought this entry couldn't get any better, you were wrong!  I have found on Amazon.com an excerpt out of John Thompson's First Grade Book, and Lo!  Click four times on the right arrow and you will come face to face with none other than "The Traffic Cop"!  It is better than I could have imagined!  And don't forget to enjoy the beautiful illustrations on all the pages.  As a super extra bonus, the aforementioned "Runaway River" is also one of the excerpts for you to enjoy.  Clearly, they have chosen a "best of" selection of songs.

This is turning out to be a fine day indeed.

 *Amendment, 4/27/06: I realize now that I didn't make this clear, and this is an important bit of information: The traffic cop does not seem to be an actual policeman.  He is simply a man in a suit with white gloves who makes "stop" and "OK, go" signs with his white gloves. 

Things I Like

April 24, 2006

I like how the kitchen gets warm and humid when the dishwasher is running.

I like the way the sky looked at dusk last night — still baby blue, with white fluffy clouds, but with a depth to the light that marked the difference between evening and night.  Not dissimilar to the ceilings in the shopping areas of Las Vegas hotels.

Oh, this is a good one:  A couple weeks ago I was sitting on a low stone wall waiting for a friend, and a woman with an adorable little fluffy black dog walked by.  When the dog passed me, he did a double take and tugged on the leash, demanding an opportunity to say hello.  I petted him, and he instantly fell in love with me and didn't want to leave.  Even after she pulled him away he kept looking back at me.  He couldn't get enough!  I like that a lot.

Whereby I Point the Smoking Car Gun Toward My Head and Pull the Trigger

April 22, 2006

And bubbles come out!  Haha, Got You!  Really, though, get this: It wasn't a belt that had slipped loose.  It was the water pump. and the timing belt. and the thermostat. and about five other things, ringing up a grand total of… fourteen hundred dollars.  That's $1400.  One thousand, four hundred smackers.  In case you didn't hear me, I'll tell you once more that the repairs for my car cost one four zero zero.  1400.  At least I saved money on gas by getting rides to and from work all week.  I will need those pennies to buy myself food, as my bank account is now sadly much emptier than it was last week at this time. 

I make it sound bad for dramatic effect, but in truth this hasn't been much of a hardship at all, and for that I'm extremely thankful.  I've gotten rides to work, my dad helped me foot the bill (although I still forked over a healthy chunk myself, mind you), and I'm so relieved that I was close to work when it happened.  In any case, it is humbling to realize that although I may think of myself as totally independent, in truth I rely on people a lot.  And yet, realizing that those people are there to help, are happy to help, that I have that support system, is liberating.  It's a pretty amazing paradox, I think.  So maybe it's good to fall a little sometimes, just so we can feel the safety net that is right there, ready to catch us, and we can be grateful.

The Smoking Gun (Car)

April 19, 2006

So, on my way to work this morning, thankfully at a red light right outside my office building, my car suddenly started to squeal and whine, like "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee," and stinky, burning smoke (as opposed to non-burning smoke) started billowing out of the hood.  At first I thought it was someone else, because my car is reliable, dammit!  My car is never the smoking, screetching car.  But this time it was, and I was like, "Shit.  Shit.  Shit.  Shit.  Shit."  And I turned it off, and I was in the lane going straight, but the left turn lane next to me got a green arrow, so I turned my car back on and leaned out the window and looked as pitiful as possible until a truck let me turn left in front of him, and I went in the side entrance of my building and parked, and grabbed my stuff and got the hell out of there in case the car was planning to catch on fire.  It didn't, though I guess I wouldn't know because I didn't stick around to find out, but anyway, wow, that was scary, and I'm so glad I was already almost here or I would be stuck somewhere in maybe-not-the-worst-but-certainly-not-the-best-either part of town, waiting for AAA and having no idea where to tell AAA to tow me.  But instead I'm at work making money, which will surely come in handy for whatever repairs will need to be done, and waiting for my co-worker Steve to give me the name of his trustworthy mechanic, and it can hopefully all be taken care of while I'm here, although I'm not crossing my fingers.  Steve said it sounded like a belt had slipped loose, and I hope that's all it is, because I don't exactly have a new car budget set aside.  And interestingly, I just got an oil change last weekend.  Hmmmm….. could Jiffy Lube have done this?  In any case, here we are, and there you go.  I feel like such a young adult.  A young woman caught in the rat race, working an office job and dealing with car problems.  It's like an initiation into the American Experience.  Gross.

Wholesome Wear Is Back!

April 14, 2006

Yesss!  Someone at my last job pointed me toward this jewel of a swimwear website: www.wholesomewear.com.  I checked back a while ago and it was under construction, and I feared that something had happened to my dear Wholesome Wear!  But it's back, and I can breathe a sigh of relief.  Otherwise, what would I have worn on the beach this summer!?

wholesomewear.jpg P.S. The straw hat is a nice touch, isn't it? 

Where Are My W-2s?

April 14, 2006

I have three of them. One from my last job, then another one from that same job, because I guess they messed up on the first one, and one from my current job. Every time I got one in the mail I was sure to put it in a "safe place" where I would be sure to find it when I needed it. I was also determined to do my taxes early this year, and for the first time in history, not wait until the very last possible minute. Ha. Ha. Ha.

And so begins the annual search for the W-2s and last-minute scramble to file my taxes. And yet instead of commencing searching or cooking myself a healthy dinner, two things I need to do, I am instead typing this blentry and absentmindedly stuffing Reese's pieces into my mouth.

Can we just all take a minute to pat me on the back for being the World's Best Procrastinator?

Thanks. I do what I can (modest smile).

**OK, I actually wrote this post two nights ago (yet procrastinated posting it) and have since found my W-2s.  Have I filed my taxes?  Well… not exactly.  I did start… and technically I have until Monday.  So it appears I have topped even my own ability to procrastinate.  Mwahahahaha!  I showed me!

My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion

April 13, 2006

That's a badass title, isn't it?  Well… I wish I could take credit, but I can't.  It's a song title from the Flaming Lips' new album, "At War With The Mystics." I heard a segment about it, including some clips, on KCRW this morning, and I am absolutely peeing myself to get my hands on it.  It's been a long time since I've been this excited about a new album from any musician.  I've been reading about it on the Flaming Lips website all morning, and what Wayne (the lead singer) has written about each song is passionate and inspiring and makes me want to laugh and cry and live and love and eat big meals at big tables with my big Italian family (oh… no, wait, that's my imagination running away again).  But I'm telling you it's pure passion in music, like life in a bottle, and music this good just makes you want to LIVE, DAMN IT, LIVE!  And I haven't even heard the songs all the way through yet.  All I know is I'm in love with music again, and it feels so damn good.

The Mom and the Moon

April 12, 2006

I'm working late tonight, and I just got this IM from my mom in North Carolina:

Can't resist popping in to greet you. When you look at the full moon, look carefully because I blew you a kiss via the moon. I think he's sort of smiling for you, also.

It made me get all teary, lump-in-the-throat-y.  I had actually just been looking at the moon, and it is amazing tonight.  Full and bright and clear, and it glowed against a backdrop of pink melting into blue.  Now it's even brighter against a dusty, navy sky.

I am so lucky. 

Cute Japanese Animals

April 12, 2006

Look at this picture from cuteoverload.com.  Can I go to that park in Japan right now, please, and look at that bunny, and enjoy the fall leaves?  I guess it is fall over there now, huh?

bunny.jpgAnyway, if you're cool you're going to Japan right now.  Eric did, and Jeff and his family are going on Friday for ten days.  I guess I'd better start saving my pennies and planning a trip!

Speaking of both Japan and cute animals, I saw on Animal Planet a blurb about a Tokyo family's pet penguin.  Every morning they would put a little backpack on him (the backpack looked like a penguin, too), and he would waddle, by himself, several blocks to the fish market.  At the market, the fish monger would feed him a fish, then put a fish in the backpack and I guess maybe take some money from the backpack (I don't remember the form of payment), and the penguin would waddle back home with the fish for the family.

Cute Overload is right. The Japanese really do know their cute.

Question: Is there such a thing as too much cheese?

April 12, 2006

Answer: Yes.

Last night I went to Annie's house for a friends and family get-together, since her parents and sister were visiting from North Carolina.  It was lovely, and one of my favorite parts about the evening was all the cheese.  I brought apples and colby-jack, and at least two other people brought cheese and crackers.  There were many varieties of cheese present, including brie, jarlsberg, and my favorite: English cheddar with carmelized onions.  mmmmm. 

I ate a lot of cheese.

And got a lot of gas.

But it was worth it.

As a side note, why does everyone love Brie so much?  To me, it smells and tastes like semen.  Yes, that's right.  You heard me.  Semen.  There. I said it again.  (Thank goodness my parents don't know about this blog.  If you know them, don't tell them!)

Here is a photo of Annie's get-together for  your viewing enjoyment.  I should have taken some pictures of all the cheese!  Doh!  Also, let it be known that Peeps were served on nice hors d'oeuvre plates.  Yes, Marshmallow Peeps.  Would that I had taken a picture of that, too, but you'll just have to believe me. Actually, I think Annie is eating a peep in this very photo! Perfect.

You can't see the ambiance, but you can see the faces.

Blout-Out to Dave O’Hara!

April 8, 2006

I love the blogging community!  As I thoroughly demonstrated in my last two posts, I have been having tons of trouble adding photos to my blogs and was clueless as to how to add them full-sized.  So, I remembered that I'd seen one on another wordpress blog, that of one Mr. David O'Hara, and so I asked him how, and he told me, and now I know, and am liberated from thumbnails!  Thanks, Dave, you are the recipient of my second blout-out!

By the way, this is a random photo I grabbed for testing purposes.  It was taken at my friend Theo's American Citizenship Bowling party, on the night he got his American Citizenship.  Here's me, Brennan, Emily, and two of Emily's friends (on the far left and right) whose names I don't remember.  Sadly, Theo is not in this picture, but now that I know how to add full-size photos, perhaps I'll add more in the future from this memorable occasion. 

bowling

Ahhhh, Damn you, technology!

April 8, 2006

That photo that gave me headaches in my last post isn't even linking!  I'm trying again. Please, please, work, Photo! Please work!

map1.jpg

Phew! Click on the thumbnail and breathe a sigh of relief, because you can now view my very technical, yet not to scale, map of the greater L.A. area and featuring my route from Jeff's house to Bob Hope Land, to LAX, to work.  The sad part is you can't enjoy the traffic by just looking at the map. Oh well.

TeeeeeGeeeeeAyyyyyyEfffffff!!!!!

April 8, 2006

It's Friday, and this blessed day could not have come soon enough.  UGH! This week has dragged by and I've been a tired, bleary mess the whole time.  Today is the first day I've felt even remotely awake.  I started writing a post yesterday but didn't finish at work, and when I got home I was exhausted to the point of near delirium, and just took a bath and went to bed. I slept like a rock and dreamt that some friends and I met Jessica Simpson at a bar, and she pulled me aside and told me she had a crush on my friend Mike (yes, you, Bullard). Hahaha!

I finished the post today, and here it is:

Ouch, y'all. Daylight Savings hurts.  I usually wake up at 6:30 in order to get to work by 8, but now it's more like 5:30.  I know what you're thinking: I'm not the only one who had to Spring Forward, you're tired too, so stop being a baby.  Well, try this on for size:  Yesterday my cousin, who had come from Chicago and was visiting our other cousin in Simi Valley, called to say she had missed her flight out of Bob Hope Airport in Burbank (haha, Bob Hope Airport, Love it) and had gotten a hotel room up there, yet had rebooked her flight for this morning out of LAX.  Are you seeing where this is going?  Yes, I dragged my sorry ass out of bed at 5:30 (formerly 4:30) a.m, drove up to the farthest reaches of Burbank, picked her up along with her 3-month-old baby boy, packed a year's worth of luggage plus stroller plus carseat into the car, drove her to the airport, and drove myself to work, where I've been sitting for the last seven hours trying to focus on a computer screen, and look forward to three more hours of such fun and joy.

I tried to take a nap on my lunch break.  I drove to the top of the parking garage where it was sunny and warm, cracked the windows, and pulled out the pillow and chicken blanket from my trunk (for some reason in high school I purchased myself a blanket with a huge chicken in the middle and then smaller chickens lining the edges.  At this point I like it in an ironic way, the way people are wearing 80's clothes) (Please tell me they're wearing those clothes ironically) (and also it's the perfect size and weight for my car naps).  I climbed into the back seat, lay down, covered up with the chicken blanket, put the sleeve of a sweatshirt over my eyes, and lay there. and could not fall asleep. I was so tired my whole head burned and I felt shaky and nauseous, but I couldn't turn off my damn mind!  I could not stop the thinking!  And I knew I only had a small amount of time to fall asleep in order to get a worthwhile nap, and the pressure was too much.  It was unbearable, so when my phone alarm went off, I got up feeling just as bad as when I lay down.  OH, and I'm a little concerned because the top of the garage is actually about four stories below the windows of our office, and when I woke up I reached into my pants and scratched my butt (JUST THE CHEEK, MIND YOU. JUST THE CHEEK!), and I don't think anyone could see in my back window from up here even if they were looking, but I would be suuuuuuper embarrassed if anyone saw.  Not that I'm not just telling the whole enMaptire internet right now, should they choose to read this, but somehow it would be worse if someone actually witnessed it.

So anyway, back to my hellacious drive from my house (oh, actually Jeff's house, because he lives a teeny tiny bit closer to Burbank so I stayed there last night) to the Ramada Inn BFE, as I am officially calling it, all the way down to LAX, and then to work.  From Burbank, I took the 5 to the 110 to the 105.  I told my cousin her trip to So-Cal wouldn't be complete without an all-inclusive tour of the LA Freeway System, complete with gridlock traffic.  OH, and did I mention that Justin, the baby, was crying for the entire first half of the drive?  It was a cry so sad and pitiful it made my heart feel like it was going to explode out of my body.  I prayed the entire time, Please Lord, do not let me get in a car accident, if I kill this precious baby I will die a thousand deaths.  And that made me realize that although I am 27 and many, many people have at least one baby if not two or more by this age, I am far, far from being in a mental state to own a baby.  I would drive myself crazy with worry.  Why is the baby crying? Why is the baby frowning?  If I stab my ears out with forks in order to not hear the baby crying, would that be bad? Would it entertain the baby and make him happy to see me stab out my ears? If so, hand me the fork.  Or would it traumatize him? Here's the fork back, I refuse to traumatize the baby. OH, I just jostled the baby! Did I break him?  And now he's crying again.  I have broken the baby. The baby is broken and therefore I must go kill myself.

Can you see what I mean?  I'm a wreck, people, a nervous, tired wreck of a human being. 

For the sake of soliciting your sympathy, I am including a picture of a map I have made of my route from Jeff's house, to BFE Burbank/Bob Hope Land, to LAX, and then to work.  Consider that the map represents the entire Greater Los Angeles area, and then some. (not to scale).  And OH, my GOSH, I'm about to hurl my computer out the window, because I finally figured out how to add photos to this stupid blog, and I can't get the thumbnail to move from where it is to where I want it. Whether I set it for "bottom," "absolute bottom" or "baseline," it still shows up right in the middle of the post, not on the bottom of anything!  Augh!  Weekend! Weekend! Where are you!? I can smell you, you're near! Please, please, hurry!