Archive for the ‘L.A.’ Category

Independence Is Fun!

July 6, 2006

I’ve just posted some new photos in my Flickr account from the 4th. Check ’em out. I went up to the roof of the Bel Age Hotel with some friends to eat, drink, and watch fireworks. Although there wasn’t a huge fireworks display nearby, we were able to see them exploding all across the horizon, which was a cool new way to enjoy them. Jeff’s roommate Mike was our bartender, and we ended up getting away with lots of free drinks, as if it weren’t payment enough that we got to laugh at his funny little shorts and polo shirt uniform. Dang, why didn’t I take a picture of that?!

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My British friend Virginia came to celebrate our country’s victory over hers, and pointed out how amazing it is that we’ve built all this in 230 years. (“We” including me, of course, because I have built a great deal of this country with my bare hands)!

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In other news, Missy has moved to New York, which is sad for us, but happy because she booked a 3-year contract role on All My Children. She’s been in town this week packing up. On Sunday we all drank mimosas and talked while she packed. Here’s Jeremy and Missy doing a coreographed scene from a musical about packing. Good times.

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In one last piece of news, This Just In: Working in an office sucks.

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I Won Something!

June 15, 2006

So last week I was listening to KCRW on the way home from work, and they started giving out tickets to a show called Mortified, which involves "everyday adults reading aloud their most embarrassing and REAL teenage diary entries, poems, letters, lyrics and locker notes… in front of total strangers." So I called in, and after a couple tries with busy signals, I got through!  Except that in order to win something from KCRW you have to be a member, and I lost my membership card like the first second I got it, if I ever even did get it, so the radio dude got my name and put me on hold saying "I'm going to put you on hold, so have your member number ready," but I was in the car! But very close to home!  But I didn't even know where my card was, if it was at home!  So I started saying, "Ohhhh, Keep me on hold! Keep me on hold!"  (Probably the only time that phrase has ever been used in history and the last time it ever will).  And he did keep me on hold for a few minutes, but not quite long enough!  So when he came back I was like, "OHH, I'm in the car, but I'm almost home and I don't have my card! Can you put me back on hold?"  (Again, words that have never been uttered and never will be again). And he said he'd call me back, so I raced home, ran upstairs to my room and proceeded to tear it apart like a rabid wolf searching for food or fresh blood or whatever rabid wolves are likely to search for.  And I didn't find the card, but once my room was torn apart from corner to corner and everything that had previously been "put away" was now "scattered about in the middle of the floor," I found something KCRW had mailed me, a program of upcoming events, and it had my member number on it!  And the guy called me back, and I gave him the number, and all was right in the world! And I won the tickets!  And the best part is, I went last night and took Jeff with me, and it was AWESOME.  It started with a play called Material Girls, about two 8th-grade best friends, which was brilliant and terrifying in that I completely saw myself (more like my sixth-grade self) in the characters.  And then came the part where people read their embarrassing stuff outloud, and they were so funny that I was laughing so hard tears were pouring out my eyes, and my abs were burning!  It was unbelievable!  There's one more show tonight in LA, and then they go to New York (with different everyday people reading their stuff).  Y'all should go!

P.S.

I once also won a fleece vest from the UNC student store for guessing the weight of a giant pumpkin.  I just figured it weighed a little more than me, so I added 20lb. or so to my weight, guessed, and won!  The vest happened to be a men's XL (uh… thanks, guys), but I gave it to my dad and he loved it.

The Runyan Debaucle, and the Aftermath

June 9, 2006

I'm just going to come clean.  I can be a jerk sometimes.  If I'm ever a jerk to you, though, just know that I will beat myself up about it for days, weeks, months, or years, depending on the severity of the jerkiness.

My most recent incident of jerkiness happened a couple weekends ago.  I was setting out on a hike at Runyan Canyon with Rebecca, and while walking up a residential street on the way to the park, a guy up ahead let his dog poop right on the sidewalk and didn't pick it up.  This is a common problem on that street, and you always have to watch where you step, and the street stinks at all times.  Anyway, I saw the dog poop, and I saw the guy not pick it up, and without warning, out of my mouth came, "Nice. Thanks."  It was kind of at a shout, since he was a good 20 feet ahead of us, and it surprised him, Rebecca, and me.  What?!  I don't shout at strangers, unless I'm in the car and they've just committed an extra rude traffic faux-pas.  It just came out of my mouth, and I couldn't believe it.  Anyway, so he turned around and got befuddled, and tried to explain that he didn't have a bag, and then he just stopped and looked at me, waiting for me to answer, but I didn't, because I was just as surprised and befuddled as he was, and we just kept walking toward him, and then he turned around and kept going ahead of us, and we walked in silence for several seconds until I turned to Rebecca and whispered, "This is going to be an awkward hike," at which point my hair began to fall in my eyes, and I was only too happy to have an excuse to stop and fix it while letting the guy get farther up ahead of us. 

So I fixed my hair, slowly, and then we proceeded on our way, and as the shock of my behaviour subsided, in rushed the guilt and remorse at having spoken so harshly to someone who, yes, was doing something annoying, but who may have had a good excuse.  I don't know, maybe he had two bags but the dog pooped three times and he was out of bags.  Or maybe he had just run out of the house with the dog after a bad fight with his girlfriend and had been too upset to remember to bring a bag and hell if he was going back in there now, or maybe she had even locked him out.  The point is, I didn't know, and he seemed like a nice guy, and I could tell he was embarrassed, and I felt like a big, fat jerk.  Combine that with the fact that I was nigh on PMS, and for much of the hike I was trying not to cry because I felt so bad, and I looked and looked for him so I could apologize, but he was nowhere to be found.  I have no idea where he disappeared to, but he was gone.  So, I did the only thing I could do in this situation: I put an add on Craigslist Missed Connections.  Here's what I posted:

I Fussed at you at Runyan today (Sat.) – w4m – 27


I saw your dog poop on the sidewalk, and you didn't pick it up, so I yelled, "Nice. Thanks." You seemed befuddled and tried to explain that you didn't have a bag with you. A few seconds later I felt really bad. I decided I wanted to apologize, but you disappeared. I'm so sorry! That was really rude and unlike me, and you seem like a really nice guy. I hope I didn't completely ruin your hike, or your walk with your dog.

I got 3 replies to the post, but unfortunately not from the guy — although all of them made me feel a little better.  Here they are:

Number One: The inevitable Craigslist pickup attempt, complete with photo of him and his dog:

I'm not the guy….but at Ruyan all the time…..I like that you took the time to apologize!!  If you see me..say "hi!"  I promise, I'll have a bag.

(Don't worry, Jeff, I didn't reply)!

Number Two:

hi, i'm not your missed connection, but i wanted to say that i'm glad you yelled at that guy. don't apologize for that. people like that are always trying to get away with it, and they need to be scolded publicly.

thanks!

fellow dog poop hater
los angeles, ca

And My favorite:

I live in that neighborhood. You had every right to give that guy "shit" pun intended. He knew he didn't have a bag when he took out his dog. But rather than have his dog crap on his carpet, he crapped on my sidewalk.  Don't feel bad about criticizing that guy, I probably stepped in it on Sunday.  When you take your dog on a walk you should have a leash and a plastic bag… no excuse.

So there you have it.  I still think I was a jerk, but if three strangers think otherwise, I guess maybe I'm being a little hard on myself.  Lessons learned: Never speak to strangers while having PMS, Craigslist can be relied upon to ease one's conscience, and Always carry a poop bag for your dog, or face the unleashed wrath of the Minton.

Sun and Fun

May 30, 2006

Yay! It finally feels like Southern California.  Jeff and I ushered in the gorgeous weather by spending Memorial Day weekend with his family, along with lots of friends, in Laguna Beach for their annual wine-tasting party.  The weather was perfect, and good times were had by all.  Click on my Flickr badge over on the left side of this page for a photo diary of fun!

P.S.  Eric is sending me photos from his camera, many of which I took after my battery died.  They are pure awesomeness, so be sure to check the photo album later for some new additions.

Update: Check out Eric's blog to see his photo diary of the weekend, and go visit his Flickr page for "deleted scenes." Just be warned, some of the pictures of me in both locales will give you a good laugh at my expense!  

In Which She Threw Her Judgements Out the Window and Enjoyed the Ride

May 19, 2006

Shortly after Jeff and I started dating, we were driving down the road and spotted a guy in a Porsche.  "What do you think of those?" asked Jeff.

"What, the Porsche? Gross."

"Why? What do you mean?"

"Oh, you know, I don't know, I just always think of guys in Porsches as old dudes having midlife crises, or cheesy guys trying to compensate for something."

"Like what?"

"Um, you know, short man's complex, small penis, whatever."

"Really?  What if I drove one?  Would you be embarrassed to ride with me?"

"Um, Yes!  They're so cheesy and lame!  They're so cliched, it's ridiculous!  Whenever I see a guy in a Porsche I assume he's an arrogant asshole who's trying to cover up some insecurity!"

"Well, what about the older ones, like the 80s ones?"

"Gross, those are the worst of all!  It's a guy in a white leisure suit and wrap-around shades, with some dumb vanity plate that says 'Smokin'' or 'So cool.'"

Do you see how he led me into this trap?  How he asked me those loaded questions, so that three weeks later when I visited his parents' house for the first time and saw in the driveway not one but two, yes: two Porsches, one shiny new one and one that was smack dab out of the mid-80s, can you see how I could feel a little bit like sticking my foot in my mouth? 

Evil. Just evil. 

I was reminded of this lovely milestone in our relationship the other night when he, Eric, Mike, and I piled into the 80s Porsche to go get some dinner.  He's borrowing it while his car is getting some routine maintenance. And I have to admit.  It was fun, DESPITE that while in the front seat my life continuously flashed before my eyes the whole time, since Jeff was pealing around on the street like a cheetah out of hell, and on the return trip I sat in the back seat with Eric, a seat that was so tiny even my tiny butt didn't fit all the way back in it, and my head now rests at a permanent ninety-degree angle on my neck. But anyway, no, I have to admit: it's really, really, cute, yet also masculine, just like Jeff — heehee!  And riding in it is fun, especially when we blast 80s tunes and wear sunglasses at night. 

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So I can change my mind, and admit when I'm wrong and have wrongly judged a person, place, or car.  See?  Live and learn, my friends. Live and learn.

Oh, and P.S. Now they have three.

I.Am.Starving.

May 4, 2006

Why do I keep buying those microwave Lean Cuisine meals?  They taste delicious, but they do not make me any less hungry than I was prior to eating them.  I'm serious — I would expect them not necessarily to fill me up, because it's not a lot of food, volume wise.  But I sat here eating one today and I literally felt NO less hungry after I finished eating.  I was still every single bit as hungry as before.  Now I'm in a tough situation, because Jeff is taking me out to dinner tonight at Lola's, which we used to go to all the time but haven't in a while, and I plan to eat a lot of food, including their amazing mac & cheese, and also to drink my favorite alcoholic beverage of all time, their canteloupe martini.  However, I'm starving to death now!  Do I eat something now and risk not being hungry enough later?  Or do I sit here wasting away until dinnertime, which by the time we're eating will be 8:30 at the earliest?  At least I'll be a cheap date!  I'll probably be drunk after one martini!

Cheers to that!

By the way, I just re-read this post and realized that a huge number of my blentries are about food.  I'm going to have to create a food category!

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.

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.

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!

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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!

Debbie Downer Alert

March 31, 2006

Don't say I didn't warn you. 

A month or so ago I had in mind that around this time I would be posting a blog entry (blentry) entitled "YAY! I Am Awesome, and Have Great, Fun News!"  Unfortunately, today's post should perhaps be titled, "My Self-Esteem is Close to Being at an All-Time Low."

I signed up for that show on HGTV called "Design on a Dime." A woman came and filmed footage of our living room and my bedroom to show to producers to see if they wanted to redecorate one of those rooms.  And after waiting a month and a half, she called me today to tell me they decided to pass. I gave them two great choices. Both are great spaces and in need of a makeover. The living room is downright ridiculously decorated, being a hodgepodge of inherited and second-hand furniture, none of which matches anything else in the room.  However, the room itself has hardwood floors, huge sunny windows, and in general has more potential than a five-year-old who has memorized the periodic table.  The woman who came even said she thought it was a great space.  And parking was important to them, and I live on perhaps the biggest anomaly in LA: A street with bountiful, abundant, all-you-could-ever-want parking.  This leads me to one conclusion:

It was me.

In addition to filiming every corner of the rooms, she interviewed me saying what I'd like to change, what I liked and didn't like about the rooms, etc.  And I sucked.  I knew I probably wasn't smiling enough, wasn't articulate enough, and looked nervous and fidgety.  And after being rejected by a talent agency last summer for the pure and simple reason that they thought I looked bad on camera, and after being rejected by a manager because he said our meeting seemed "dry" — a.k.a. I have a boring personality, I feel dumb and ugly and stupid and boring. I know I'm not supposed to take these things personally.  I think in general I manage not to.  But after a while it's hard to keep being positive when the message you keep getting is "You aren't worth our time."

😦

Sorry Jeremy, I lied!

March 27, 2006

I told you you would be the blopic of my next post, but instead, something wonderful has happened that I must disclose immediately:

Cathryn Michon, grrl genius, has been my hero ever since I read her book The Grrl Genius Guide to Life. Now, while surfing around on iVillage, I have found her blog! And it's fantastic! I wasn't even looking for it. I was destined to find it!

You may remember that I was declared a certified genius recently, so I feel this latest discovery is a result of my subconscious genius seeking out others of its kind. It is manifest destiny! I'm not sure what that term means anymore, but it sounds good there, doesn't it? I used to know when I took history classes in high school, but I've plum forgotten. Anyway, one grrl genius mind stumbles upon the original grrl genius. If that's not manifest destiny, I am a monkey's uncle!

Hold tight Jeremy, your post is coming soon!