Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Resolution FAIL

"Oh hi.  Hope you had a good holiday!"  is what I find myself saying to everyone lately.  And now I'm saying it to you.

Well.  Here we are, friends.  The end of yet another year.  Of course, it never feels like much of a milestone to me.  I don't think I measure my life in days, months and years.  So I don't know if this year was a good one, but I know that things lately feel pretty darn great.

Still, there is something to be said for giving yourself a moment to reflect on the events of your life.  And for the plans that you've made, the plans that you've stuck to and the plans that evaporated into thin air while you were watching The Hills.  

Last year I made a hearty list of resolutions and, in an attempt to hold myself accountable, I published that list on my blog.  

Let's see how I did:

1. No more starbucks mochas. 
I had one today!  And one last week!  And the peppermint ones are only available during the holiday season so it's only logical that I need to drink as many as possible.  

2. Drink only 1-2 glasses of wine per night.
Actually, I did manage to achieve this.  And some nights I don't even have any!  I don't know if this is because of any real effort on my part or because I'm getting old and I can't overindulge like I used to.  

3. Stop interrupting people when they talk just because I think I have something so witty to say that it simply cannot wait.
I'm a little embarrassed to say that I have not made any improvement in this area.  

4. Stop writing blog while at work. It's not professional.
Yes!  Mainly because my job got so busy that I no longer have time.  But I'm counting it anyway! 

5. Only have cheese in one meal per day.
To be honest, I forgot about this resolution entirely. 

6. Quit acting like "party cigarettes" means something and just stop smoking altogether.
Okay, well, I haven't exactly quit quit.  But I'm capable of going weeks at a time without a cigarette, so that's gotta mean I'm not a hopeless case.

7. Stop telling my coworkers stories about my cats, it makes me look super lame.
I think I've gotten worse.  I now also email them pictures of cute cats I find online.  And tell them stories about my dog.  And about my dog and cats interacting together.  

8. Join gym.

9. Go to gym.

10. Read a biography of Oscar Wilde.
I haven't...yet.  But I do have tickets to see The Importance Of Being Earnest.  

11. Read James Joyce's "Ulysses" so that I can tell people I'm reading it.
I don't even know why I said this in the first place.  Like, really.  I can't remember what this was about.  

12. Learn how to play poker.
Nope.  But I did learn that it's fun to hang out with your girlfriends on a weekly basis and call it "poker night."

13. Make jazz the new thing that I'm into.
I think this was a joke.  I always say I want to get into jazz because I want that interest the same way that I want to become someone who knows a lot about yoga and exotic herbal teas.  It's an insincere desire to be someone I'm not and probably never will be. 

14. Get car washed more than twice.
I believe I've washed my car three times this year.  So...yay for baby steps.

15. When complimented on clothing, don't say "Oh, it's just from Target."
I rarely get compliments on my outfits any more, so this problem solved itself.

I admit, this doesn't look like a big heap of success.  But, I'm okay with that.  Because I've never been the sort of person to stick to her resolutions.  So, at the very least, in 2008 I stayed true to myself.  

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's Frickin Freezing

I don't know if there's a strong Siberian wind flying over the Pacific or something, but it is so cold in California that people are fa-reaking out. It's been getting down to the 30s an 40s at night, which doesn't sound cold to some of you, but trust me, it's bad news.

And it was all so sudden! Last week I was prancing about town in a light sweater, and now I'm cozying up to my space heater, wrapped in blankets, wearing every sweatshirt I own, and wondering if my living room window has always been so drafty.

The only plus side to this nippy weather is that it arrived just in time for Christmas.

And speaking of Christmas (and pathetic segues)...

My neighbors, whose peculiar Halloween decorations were the subject of this post, are now crapping all over Christmas. Only a few houses got into the holiday spirit by decorating, and of those houses, only a handful elected to hang up the traditional string of colored lights. Instead, my neighbors seem to lean toward decorations of the giant inflatable variety.

Exhibit A:

Behemoth creatures like these are taking over my neighborhood. Or, at least, they were until it rained. Apparently they don't do so well when wet. Look at this poor guy:

Making the whole soggy mess even worse is the notable absence of snow. I imagine that even a light coating of snow would probably forgive the aesthetics of even the saddest displays.

This is a notion I clearly share with my neighbors with the face-down Santa shown above. See how they added some snow to their display?

Fixes everything right up. I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...

Now, you may remember from my Halloween decorations post, a certain house that went a little "out there" with their display.

You know...this one:

Thankfully there are no corpses or nightmare-inducing bunnies in their Christmas display. In fact, they've really cleaned up their act. It's still a little peculiar, but variety is the spice of life.

Ta-da! :

Yes, that red puddle in the front is yet another deflated Santa. It's like a massacre on this street.

In the background, you'll see a big screen TV and 2 Adirondack chairs (a repeat from their Halloween setup). I didn't know what this was all about until last night when I drove by and noticed they were playing a Christmas movie. Neat, huh? It's like having a Sears home electronics show room in their front yard.

Forgive this next picture (dern sunshine! always screwing things up!), I had Seamus on the leash and at the time of this picture he was showing off his dance moves for a snarling boxer across the street.

They are rejoicing penguins! Good morning, sunshine! Christmas is here! Wheee!

Or maybe they are just celebrating the demise of the inflatable Frosty the Snowman in the center of their circle.

Well, you know what they say, "You can't un-evil a penguin!" But they've come a long way from their gun-toting, pimping days.

It's a Christmas miracle.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Days Later

Well my mouth is healing nicely. This experience hasn't been nearly the disaster I'd anticipated. I was expecting to get the dreaded "dry socket" that everyone kept telling me about. People kept warning me "Don't get dry socket! It's the most painful thing EVER." To which I would just nod slowly and resist the urge to punch them in the face. I mean, really, it's rude to make someone petrified about a condition that's not entirely preventable.

Anyway, I think (I hope) I am in the clear now and will be all healed up in the next week or so.

I have to say I enjoyed my weekend of resting and recovering. Recent oral surgery is the perfect excuse to watch television for three days straight without showering, speaking to anyone, or picking up after oneself.

Also, I think I may go down as the only woman in history who actually gained weight after getting her wisdom teeth out. Yesterday at Koo Koo Roo I requested EXTRA gravy with my PINT of mashed potatoes.

The downside to all this is that I haven't been able to get any Christmas shopping done and my parents get into town TOMORROW.

Time to bring this sloth-fest to an end.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I might still be a little sedated...wheeeee

This morning I has my wisdom teeth out. All 4 of them.

Most everyone I know has had them out by now. They got it done when they were 20 and didn't have to take time off work and could have their parents pay for it.

The thing is, that when everyone else's wisdom teeth were growing in and being pulled out, and I'd hear horror stories and terms like "impacted" and "had to break my jaw,"  I was waiting for my teeth to show up.

Little did I know, my teeth were just slowly, surely growing in like normal teeth. I didn't even know I had them until 2 years ago when I was at the dentist and he asked if I had a plan of attack for my wisdom teeth. "Uh, let's cross that bridge when we come to it," I scoffed.
"Well, no, I mean you have all four of them right here."
"I do?"
He handed me the little circular dentist mirror to point them out.
"That's what those are? They're wisdom teeth? I thought they were teeth teeth."

So I thought I'd lucked out. No sideways-growing, infected, disastrous wisdom teeth for me. Tooth Win!

But then, like all things in my life, everything went wrong. And the teeth all started to rot out of my skull. And my dentist suggested that maybe I should just pull them out since they all needed major work and were going to continue to need lots of care for the rest of my life.

And so here we are. For weeks I've listened to everyone else's stories about their wisdom teeth. My anxiety grew and grew. I was certain that I was going to die during the procedure. A tooth would come loose from the pliers and launch into my brain...somehow.

But then all of my nervousness went away the second they brought out the laughing gas. And they brought it out rather quickly, to my surprise.  It was like, "Here, sit down. breathe this." Before I even had my IV or was hooked up to blood pressure monitors. Before the oral surgeon was in the room.

And I looooved it. I could hear two nurses speaking in spanish outside my room. But their words were soooo sloooow. And then I looked over and saw the monitor with my blood pressure and I watched the number drop from 90 to 85, 75, 70, 69, 68, 67... Wait should it stop dropping at some point? Oh well I don't care.

I was actually genuinely disappointed when the oral surgeon was hooking up my IV and I knew I'd be asleep in a minute and my awesome high would be over.   

Now I'm home, watching TV and wondering if anything I type makes sense. Today I learned that it's worth having 4 teeth ripped out of your head for 5 minutes of laughing gas and a day off work.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I don't care what your mama says...

Christmas time is neeeear!

Getting in the Christmas spirit these days. The office holiday party is tonight, which means the rare offering of unlimited free booze and food. It also means I'm going to get really anxious because one can only consume so much of these things before looking like an ass in front of one's boss and his important clients. So.

While I'm still feeling jolly I wanted to share my favorite Christmas song with you. It's from SNL a few years ago.

Click here to watch.

I particularly like Tracy Morgan's dance moves.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Anniversary Hollywood Sucker!

It's been a year since I started this blog. And I can't tell if that year has flown by or dragged on slowly, if I've accomplished a lot or nothing at all, if I've said too much or said too little. But one thing's for sure: I still don't know where I'm going with this.

But it's been fun. And I've met so many blogger friends. I wish you all lived near me so we could actually hang out! And I've enjoyed getting my thoughts out of my head and onto the internets where friends and strangers alike can read them.

So in honor of this special occasion, here is a link to my first post ever.

Thanks to everyone who reads this.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

On Dead Bodies and General Slobbery

Last night, for some reason, I watched the local news at 11. Let me tell you these news stories were real gems.

Most notably, there was a piece that took place in North Hollywood, where I live, but thankfully not right in my immediate neighborhood.

It all started with a house that had always been a little ill-kept, but over the past year had gotten completely out of hand. The lawn was all weeds and dirt. There was garbage heaped around the property, rotting in the hot sun and attracting vermin and stray cats. The whole place reeked and a neighbor finally got fed up and called the police.

When the cops got there, they found a shriveled up corpse sitting in one of the living room chairs.

The inhabitants of this house were a man and his mother. And the mother had apparently died a year ago and the son just never really did anything about it.

A reporter interviewed a coworker of this man, who said that he seemed pretty normal, if a little gross and smelly.

I know. Who leaves a dead body in his living room for a year?

But if you think about it, after a few weeks I'd imagine it doesn't stink that much. And by a few months, it's probably hard as a rock. And then, it's very likely she just got buried in old soda cans and KFC buckets and he forgot she was even there.

It may seem like I'm defending this poor slob, but I'm not. Well, not exactly. It's just that right before I watched the news, Devin stepped out to take Seamus for a walk and as he grabbed his leash off the ledge by the door he said "Hey, this cat puke's still here."

See, the cat threw up over the weekend and Devin discovered it. And I was supposed to clean it up when he was out with the dog...but I didn't. And then I forgot about it.

And then the puke dried up and became less noticeable and got covered in junk mail and stuff.

But last night when I got home from work, I noticed it again. "Oh yeah...that..." I said to myself. Only, I still didn't clean it up. I just carried on with my life and made dinner and watched The Cosby Show.

And when Devin later reminded me about it, I still didn't clean it up and carried on watching the news.

But it's a good thing I did watch the news, because after realizing that I had so much in common with the unnamed slob on TV, I immediately got up and cleaned the crusted cat vom.

UPDATE: Thanks to reader Raych for providing me the link to this news story. Check it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gobble gobble

For the fifth Thanksgiving in a row, I've managed to be too drunk to appreciate my dinner.

Indeed, since I moved to Los Angeles and began celebrating with my friends instead of my family, this holiday's become more about the morning-to-afternoon-to-evening drinking. Bloody marys and mimosas in the morning. Beer and wine in the afternoon. And then by the evening someone gets the terrible idea to break open the whiskey and have a few shots.

This year about 25 of us gathered at the house my friend Ryan is house sitting (don't worry, the owners of the property are aware of, and in fact encourage, our parties there). The weather was great and I spent the day sipping wine, snacking on things, and being cute and sweet to Devin (much to his surprise).

Occasionally I wandered into the kitchen, where two of my friends had been cooking tirelessly. I felt bad about it and offered to help, and usually they'd request I go outside to fetch them more drinks. As it got closer to dinner time (which could have been 3 or 5:40 or 9:15...I have no clue), I made the big dish of sweet potatoes. This and dinner rolls were my assigned foods. Things went well until I had to take the pan out of the oven, at which point the thin, disposable metal pan sort of buckled in the middle and a wave of sweet potato juice rushed over the side, spread over the open oven door, and then fell onto the floor and my feet. I shrieked and then stood there uselessly until someone rushed to my aid. To my surprise, my feet weren't burnt, just sticky. It only took a minute to clean up, but I think the hassle I caused was enough to keep me out of the kitchen for the rest of the day.

All in all it was a great party and I loved spending time with all of my friends. Here are a few pictures, courtesy of Barry, our resident photographer.

This is Barry:

Yes, the party had it all!

Construction paper feather headdresses.

Seamus! (Who refused to wear the headdress, but looked handsome nevertheless.)

Fabulous chefs!

Cute boys!

And after dinner hot tub action!