Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Wish I Could Say This All In Fewer Words Because The Length of This Makes It Seem Too Dramatic

After a 10 day stretch of blog writer's block, I come to you with upsetting news: Earlier today I was emotionally moved by Julie & Julia. Those of you who know me, and those of you--whoever you are--that only know me as Hollywood Sucker, might be surprised to learn that a feel-good, please-everybody movie could have this effect on me. Well, allow me to put this in some kind of context.

I bought the movie on demand at about 4:30. Up until that point, I'd accomplished nothing all day, except for managing to cram 2 carb-intense meals into my face in the span of just 4 hours. I have a love/hate relationship with lazy days like these. Lately I've been leaning more towards the hate side of things.

So I'm sitting there watching the movie, not a thought in my brain. I get to the part where (spoiler alert--I guess? not really) Amy Adam's character, Julie, is featured in a New York Times article and suddenly every literary agent and publisher in the universe wants a piece of her. Hurrah, hurrah, she is a real writer after all.

And I, in spite of myself, start to cry. These weren't sappy happy scene tears. I was just...bothered. With myself, not with the movie. I suppose the best explanation I can offer is that it occurred to me that my writing aspirations are little more than a hobby. And that I've never devoted a good amount of attention to any hobby I've ever explored. But this Julie person found a way to fix her own shortcomings as a writer, got lucky, got published, and wound up portrayed in a major Hollywood movie by an attractive A-list actress. Now she has a new blog with an About Me section that reads, "From dead-end secretarial job to a 110 pound dog and a job writing in my pajamas." Well la-di-freaking-da.

Because I'm trying to be a better human being these days I don't want to dwell on the real Julie and her real success. So back to the story at hand: me, my couch, and this darn movie.

I finished watching the movie, trying to put my ridiculous outburst out of my mind. Fortunately Devin had dozed off somewhere along the way and missed the whole episode, so if I could just get through the end credits and on with my night, I could ignore whatever feelings were rumbling around deep inside. I could pretend this had never happened.

But of course that was a stupid plan, and by the time the movie wrapped up and Devin stirred from his nap, I was still distracted and distraught. So I took a shower for no good reason, then went out to get a hot fudge sundae for dinner, and now here we are. I think I have reached some kind of conclusion.

I believe the writer in me is still alive and well. I think I've just wound up in the wrong headspace.

When I started this blog my plan was to chronicle the life of an average, daydreaming, underwhelming girl with no money, who lived in a city of glamour, celebrity, sunshine and wealth. Sure it was a self deprecating theme, but I think --I hope--that was its charm. And then for a while I became obsessed with The Hills during what was sort of an unannounced comparison study. Who's doing it right? People like me or people like Lauren? I don't know if I ever decided on a winning team, but I'd like to think it's the one I'm on.

And then sometime after that my blog just lost steam. In the last several months, especially, I can't seem to find anything to say. I realize now that it's because I can't write this particular blog any more. I'm not feeling so lost and lame, so bored and boring. My job is going really well, I just got married and thus started an exciting new part of my life. And in general, I think some part of me just changed somewhere along the line.

For instance, last week Devin and I went to a get together at the home of one of his coworkers. It was a beautiful house, and not in a massive, elegant way. It was cozy, and warm, and every piece of furniture or artwork had a story behind it. That night, in bed, I was acting sort of despondent. Devin asked what was wrong and I told him, "I just want a house and I'm sad we don't have one." Once the words came out of my mouth, I hated myself for saying it. And for being such a brat, as I lay in a warm bed, next to someone who loves me, with a roof over my head and a belly full of yummy dinner.

So it goes when I try to write this blog. More often than not, I stop myself from publishing my post because I re-read what I've typed and I feel like I'm being a little shithead, like I'm directionless and hopeless. And while I hate to admit that the story of Julie Powell has anything to do with the story of me, I think I realized I'd rather write a blog that sets goals. That speaks to accomplishments, or at least to the pursuit of something.

As 2009 comes to a close, I think it's time to put an end to Hollywood Sucker. In the new year, one of two things will happen: Either I will start a new blog, one where every entry I type feels right, or else I will just stay focused on my other writing, the countless screenplays I've started with great fervor and then carelessly abandoned.

And now that I'm here, I don't know exactly what to say. This is harder than I thought it would be. So thanks for those of you who have been reading. See you around the internet.

-Bri

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas In My Neighborhood

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Everywhere you go...



There's sleazy M&M's



And giant blow up snowmen


And trees tied up with pretty red bows...


It's beginning to look a lot like Chistm-aaaaahhhh!


[record scratch]


Holy crap! What happened here?


Teddy Bear, is that you? Pull yourself together, man. You're ruining Christmas.


Oh, I see. Drunk again.

What a pity.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gobble.

Lately my blog's done little than amass spam comments on old posts. It's probably a sign of quitting time. But anyway. Here's some Thanksgiving stuff.



"I'd try a slice or two. Sure." That guy's my favorite.

This is unrelated but. Why not?



Oh no. Now I'm on a roll.



Speaking of rolls...mmm crescent rolls. I'll be enjoying you tomorrow!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Letting Myself Go

I've heard it said that many women will let themselves go once they are married. They'll put on a little weight, spend less time on their appearance. And then one day, years later, their husbands will wonder what the hell happened.

But I'm not going to say what you think I'm going to say. I haven't let myself go since the wedding.

No, I let myself go a long long time ago. There's just something about being married, comfy and calm that gave me a chance to put things in perspective and actually see what I'd done to myself. Or, really, what I'd let life do to me.

On Saturday I was at The Grove picking something up and then doing some writing at Barnes and Noble. For those of you who don't know, The Grove is what folks like me would call "The Rich People Mall." Everyone who shops there looks fantastic and coordinated, especially the teenage girls. Do you know how troubling it is to feel like a nerd when you walk by a group of 15 year olds?

Anyway, after several hours of typing away in the B&N Starbucks, I decided it was time to head home. But first, I stopped at the bathroom. While waiting in line for a stall to open I glanced over at my reflection in the mirror.

Who IS that? Her hair is slimy and in a messy pony tail. Her face is all broken out. She looks exhausted and pale. Her belly is hanging sloppily over her jeans. She's wearing a miserable gray t-shirt with gray sweatshirt combo.

You know, I used to care. I used to put effort into my looks. I'd have "outfits" not just "a shirt...with...these pants...yeah good enough." I used to spend more time at the gym if I noticed I was pushing maximum density in my jeans.

I guess you could say my self esteem is a little low these days. I blame the people who lied to me and told me I'd lose like 10 pounds the week of the wedding. Horsecrap! I was counting on this magic, guaranteed weight loss to counteract the effects of my stress-motivated Taco Bell trips and nightly booze consumption. Then there were all of the mai-tais on the honeymoon. And now presto-blobbo, we have a problem.

And I'm pretty sure the Starbucks peppermint mocha that I'm sipping right now is NOT part of the solution.

But aside from this morning's beverage choice, I've been trying to take care of myself and get out of this mess. On Sunday I ran a 5k and I'm hoping to do a 10k soon.

And I've been eating better (sort of). We have these snazzy wooden salad bowls from our wedding registry and they are motivating me to make salad every night. We also got a bunch of incredibly sharp knives as wedding presents, which are great for slicing off a hearty chunk of my thumb. Seriously, that happened the other day when I was cutting a tomato and it was really gross. And now my thumb has healed and it has a little scoop missing from the top. This is not the sort of weight loss I had in mind, but I think it will help me type more accurately on my new phone's touch screen.

It's all uphill from here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The New Phone

I remember when I was a kid, starting in maybe 4th or 5th grade, I began to develop brand awareness. The "cool" kids wore things like Starter jackets and those t-shirts with Looney Tunes characters dressed like gang members. As I moved on to middle school there were JNCO jeans and Airwalks, by high school it was Abercrombie and Fitch. And all the while, through the ages, I knew I had to have a Jansport backpack or I may as well walk through the halls with a "Kick Me" sign on my back.

So yes I was always aware of what I was supposed to be wearing, but there was little I could do to keep up. I knew my parents would never hand over enough money to buy all of these name brand things that I wanted, and to be honest I sort of saw their point. Once I had a part time job, I realized just how many hours I had to work in order to afford some hideous sweatshirt with GAP written across it in giant letters.

And so it went that someone could look at me and literally see, right away, that I was not to be taken seriously. I was tragically uncool.

Thankfully this stopped bothering me somewhere around my senior year of high school, or I would've been a wreck come the North Face jacket and Tiffany chain necklace phenomenon of 2001.

What does this have to do with my new phone? Well, simply that I thought by this point in my life I'd no longer feel pressured to have the right things to fit in.

And then the blasted iPhone was invented and I realized that nothing has changed since 5th grade. We just needed the right motivation.

The iPhone began as a coveted and difficult to obtain device. But as time went on, they became readily available and everybody jumped on board. The fact that they were so popular made those of us who did not own them stick out like sore thumbs. How did I become a giant nerd again?

And iPhone owners liked to tell me, SHOW me, about their iPhone ownerness. "You gotta get one of these," they'd say, putting it in front of me. I'd look at the glassy surface, shmeared with finger prints and face grease, and watch, mildly interested, while they used their finger to pull icons across the screen. Then they'd zoom in at some corner of a webpage by moving their thumb and middle finger out away from each other in a movement that struck me as creepy. "Cool huh?"

Yeah, I guess.

"And there are all of these great apps. This one tells me how to speak Mandarin, and this one farts when you press a button, and this one helps tune a guitar."

"But I really don't need to speak Mandarin. And if I want to hear a fart, I could just fart. And I don't own a guitar. And neither do you."

"Well...look you can flip it on its side and the screen flips with it."

"Fine, you want me to say I want one? I want one. I'll get one. Now please just leave me and my real-button phone alone."

So for a few weeks I told myself I'd get an iPhone, once I had the money and the time to deal with it. This meant ignoring the fact that everyone who had an iPhone said the coverage wasn't good, and that once the iPhone was available outside of AT&T, they'd switch back. It also meant convincing myself that even though I had always liked Verizon, I'd have to leave them. And that I'd have to go through the hassle of signing a new contract.

Wait, why do I want an iPhone?

Then on Saturday, Devin and I went to Verizon to see if we could get on a family plan together to save money. Two very long hours later, we each walked out with the Blackberry Storm.



Here's something about iPhones - they aren't buy one get one free. And Blackberrys are. Score!

I haven't totally figured out how to use it, yet. And I can't get the hang of pressing non-existent buttons. In fact, I'm starting to get a fat-finger complex.

But hey, it's new. And fancier.

And just like it's owner, it's not the coolest, but it'll be just fine.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

These Are The People in My Neighborhood, In My Neighborhood

Halloween is my second favorite holiday (behind Thanksgiving, of course), and even though I'm not throwing my usual ginormous Halloween party (wedding planning has sucked all of my hostess powers for at least a few months), I'm still very much in the spirit of things!

And so are my neighbors. Avid readers of this blog (all 3 of you) might remember last year's post on the extremely enthusiastic Halloween displays in my 'hood. This year, things pretty much look the same, but I'd like to show you some of the new additions.

First up is the lawn on the corner, which last year, in a tribute to capital punishment, had not only a hanging man, but also a frying one.



Well, this year I guess they had a change of heart because the poor bastard in the electric chair has been replaced by a hip rock trio I call the Bone-as Brothers.



Then up the road is the wonder house that last year provided us with, among other things, a mad bunny driving a hearse on the front lawn.



This year, they've expanded well beyond their yard, over the sidewalk and onto the street, where the hearse is now parked instead.



In addition to wondering why the City of Los Angeles is fine with its residents leaving coffins in the streets, I also wondered if the Funeral Parking Only sign was stolen from

A. A funeral these people had attended
B. The funeral of a stranger

And which of the above scenarios is worse?

At the front end of the hearse is a pair of feet sticking out from below.



The really scary thing about this portion of the display is that when I first drove by, for a second I really thought someone was hurt and lying in the street. But even more disturbing is my initial reaction of "Oh, well, er, I have to get to work, so."

And even MORE disturbing than my indifference to injured pedestrians is my choice of pants for a morning walk.



Sorry fellas, I'm taken!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Let's Face It, That $20 Isn't Going To Do Either of Us Much Good

I try to avoid whining, too much, about my financial woes. They are ever-present and super annoying. If I allowed myself to write freely on my blog about my financial issues, the title of every post would be "I Hate Money."

Up until recently, I'd always been sort of "Eh, no big deal. So we're broke." I've never had a lot of money, so I was pretty much used to the lifestyle. In fact, it's made this whole economic depression pretty easy to handle. Welcome to my world, America. Would you like to come over to our place for Cost Effective Margarita Game Night?

But something about being married is aggravating the brokeness now. In my head, the Mrs. title should have come with a mortgage and the ability to treat other couples to a fancy dinner. And heaven forbid we really wanted to have a kid right now. He'd have to earn his keep as a baby model (and let's face it, he'd be handsome enough).

At my friend's urging, I signed up for mint.com, to track our expenses and set a budget. I remained optimistic that the problem is merely a result of poor budgeting skills and that the situation is not entirely hopeless. So far, I just find the site a bit confusing and immensely discouraging. It's one thing to throw around the term "in the red" during conversation, it's a whole other feeling to actually see a screen full of red text in multiple categories.

Now, with all of that as a backdrop, allow me to tell you about the $20 ordeal on Saturday. Warning: you are about to get some disturbing insight into my unquiet mind.

On Saturday morning (or, er, noonish), I ran out to pick up bagels and orange juice. Knowing that the bagel place charges an ungodly $4 for a single serving bottle of OJ, I thought I'd be wise and buy a full size bottle from the grocery store in the same shopping plaza. Then for the same price, we could have juice for days! I was off to a good start.

However, as I approached the entrance to the grocery store, I saw two men with clipboards talking to shoppers. As I've mentioned before, I do not do well with petitioners and people promoting their causes.

When I finally got close enough to the entrance, one of the clipboard guys reached out to me. "Will you help us make gay marriage legal again in California?" Oh yes! And thank goodness this isn't some cause I don't understand. (Or one I don't care about. And I do have those too.)

"Oh yeah. Sure."

"Great. Let me tell you a little bit more about what we're doing." And then as he went on explaining himself, I took note of his sincere blue eyes, his youthful face. I resisted the urge to hug him. When I tuned back in, he was asking me for a donation. Damn it. Now I've gone and gotten myself trapped again.

"Well, I'm sorry but I just don't have any money to spare right now. I'm on a really tight budget."

"You don't have to give a lot--"

"But I would. I would give a lot, I want you to know."

"We're asking for a one time donation of $44. That's one dollar for every --" I should have let him finish. I'm sure that would have been an interesting fact.

"Yeah, that's too much. Maybe it shouldn't seem like a lot, but it is."

"Or $28. That's one dollar for every--"

"I just don't think I can spare anything. My husband and I really can't afford any additional expenses." Damn it. Now I'd gone and rubbed it in that I'm married.

"We're really fighting an up hill battle as a grass roots organization, getting by on donations from people like you. Last year the Morman Church spent $40 million on their campaign to ban gay marriage."

Well now he'd gone and done it. I was particularly sensitive to this matter after Devin and I discovered we'd inadvertently visited this Mormon racket in Hawaii that promoted itself as the Polynesian Cultural Center. It was sort of like Epcot Center with villages for Figi, New Zealand, Tonga, etc. But we became suspicious when we discovered tour buses leaving from the center and going to the Mormon temple up the road. I'll spare you the full rant and instead just conclude that in a roundabout way I'd donated money to the wrong side of this debate. It was the least I could do to give some cash to this poor guy standing in front of me.

I opened my wallet to find a $20 bill. I paused for a moment, thinking that this $20 would either go to this guy or to, most likely, booze and food. How selfish could I be?

Unfortunately, I'm prone to borderline delusional flights of fancy (cute when you're 12 years old, troubling when you're 27) and began envisioning myself as a champion for gay rights. I'd be at protests. I'd help raise money with this guy. (Really, I am WAY too lazy to do any of that.)

I handed over the $20 and felt quite pleased with myself. But by the time I'd finished the 5 minute drive home, I regretted my decision. That was 20 bucks! I needed that! What was I thinking? I decided not to tell Devin about my new political endeavors.

Then later that night, as Devin and I were walking up to the restaurant where we were meeting a friend, something reminded me of that morning's encounter. "This morning I gave $20 to a guy for gay marriage."

"Why would you do that? You can't even pay your bills."

"I know. I just felt bad."

"That money could have paid for your dinner that you're about to eat."

"Yeah, but I had to do something..."

"$20 is not going to make a big difference to them. You may as well have just hung onto it."

Sure enough, my portion of the dinner was about $35. That long lost $20 bill would have been handy.

Dwelling on this matter again yesterday while grocery shopping, I decided that the only way to make up for giving up that money was to spend as little as possible for my lunches during the work week. So I bought 5 packs of ramen noodles for $1, to avoid spending $20 - $25 on take out or expensive foods with nutritional value.

Lesson learned, I guess. Don't donate money you can't donate. It's not going to help your karma, it's not going to save the world, it's just going to ruin your lunch.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thank you, Toluca Lake Plant-life

Yesterday morning, while walking the dog, I felt rumbly and grumbly and generally upset. It seems like the world is playing a joke on me lately, specifically in the financial department.

While huffing and stomping through the streets, Seamus literally stopped to smell the roses. (Usually he just pees underneath them.) He shoved his snout right into one, then when he was done he looked over at me like "you gotta get in on this."

To his credit, he found a pretty cool looking rose.



I pat him on the head to thank him for reminding me to chill out and look around, then we strolled back home.

And I noticed I had a tiny flower tagalong.



Is someone getting all sentimental these days or what?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My DJ was a D-Bag. So what?

In my last post I alluded to the fact that a number of things went seriously (I'd say disastrously) wrong at our wedding. And while this is true, and while I'd planned to share horrifying detail after horrifying detail with you, I've decided I'd better just stop thinking about the bullshit and focus on the memories. Isn't that what people advise brides-to-be? "Now remember, don't think about the bullshit."

Well, someone should start saying that to brides. I will.

Actually, it was Devin who suggested we just put a ban on the postmortem analysis after discovering that the further we tried to get to the bottom of things, the worse we both felt. I think I might actually be a little depressed. And I have stopped talking about it, sort of.

By now I'm sure you're really wondering what's going on and if I'm ever going to tell you. Well, I'm not. At least not exactly. Suffice it to say that we were fined a handsome sum of money for smokers smoking outside of the site's designated smoking area. (If you're reading this and you're one of them, you're an asshole. I'm sorry but it's true! And I can't call you up and tell you that personally.) The DJ started fights with me, Devin, my sister, my father, and our photographer. We nearly got shut down for someone smoking pot in the bathroom - or what has come to be called "the incident in the bathroom" in all related emails since. And I wound up leaving my kitchen shears and steak knives at the hotel.

I'd love to expand on all of those points of interest, but if I start, I'm likely to type so furiously I'll break a finger.

So since we've gotten back from our honeymoon we've been trying to get money back and make sense of it all. But nothing seemed to be going our way.

And in the meantime I have everyone I know asking me if I had a good time. I think the phrase "Don't even get me started!" was invented for moments like these.

It really sucks. To be honest I've been putting on a front as best as I can and seem like everything was perfect. It looks that way in pictures. And actually until everything took a weird turn the day genuinely WAS perfect. I'm really hoping that as time passes I'll only remember how great everything was, that it was 99% awesome and that I got to spend a day with everyone I love. Because for now whenever it gets brought up I have the same reaction you'd have if someone brought up a night you got really drunk and embarrassed yourself. I just want to pretend it never happened. And that breaks my heart.

Still, I'm getting better. The full DJ story (which I will tell you some time over drinks...later) is actually already a little bit funny. And it helps that Devin has somehow managed to filter out the bad stuff and I know I'll come around. When all is said and done, I really DID get married. That was the end goal and I met it.

In an effort to prove to myself that I don't really give a damn, I sent one final email to the location's (passive-aggressive) manager, whom I'd been battling with over the smoking issue. I wanted to type something jolly like "hey, my friends might be idiots but they're still my friends!" Then I deleted idiots and typed crazy. Then I deleted that and typed whacky. Then I gave up and instead just wrote "I really had a fun time!"

Thankfully she hasn't responded. So at least I got the final word.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Best Wedding I Ever Hosted

Gosh, one day of being back at work and in my messy apartment, and it's like the whole honeymoon never happened!  Routine, routine.

I've been a wife for all of 10 days now, and the first thing I've learned is that people do not like you to say that you are glad your wedding is over or describe it as catastrophic.  Don't get me wrong, it may have been the best wedding ever.  I know this because so many guests said it was the best wedding ever.  (Or maybe my friends are great with compliments.)  

What I mean is... I wish someone had told me how tricky it can be to have fun at your own wedding.  There are so many things to do and people to talk to and pictures to take and things that can go surprisingly and drastically wrong (but more on that later).  

So lest you think I'm a bad bride, allow me to present you with visual evidence of my wedding awesomeness.  I will also RE DO this entire thing once our photographer's pictures come in...but that will be weeks from now and who can wait that long? I can't without straining myself and passing out.  

In the meantime, fantastic snapshots from my friend Barry.


We started with a peaceful ranch.


Added some well dressed men.



Some pretty ladies.



And a couple in love.

And Devin's friend Todd, a newly appointed minister in the Universal Life Church.



What you can't tell in this picture is that I shocked and embarrassed myself by bursting into tears the moment I began to recite my vows. I swear, I was fine, I was fine, and then "I Briana, now take you Devin.... gwwaahhhhh" Where did that come from?

Afterwards, our photographer suggested waiting a short while for the light to improve before taking more pictures. So I released the wedding party into the wild, where they must have each had at least 2 drinks a piece, for when I called them all back to take pictures I found myself confronted with an unruly bunch!





And then there was dinner. And a much celebrated speech from my father (who apparently channeled Dudley Moore for the evening).



And then there was dancing, and drinks sloshing all over the place (but none hit my dress... ha cha cha!).

By the end of the night it was time to slice the wedding pie and serve it up with ice cream. The caterer provided us with the world's largest knife, which prompted me and Devin to ham it up with stabby murder faces.



Seeing the pictures now, I'm not sure stabby murder faces were the right move.

But then it was time for more kissing. Yay!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Heads Will Roll

I must confess something. During the whole wedding planning process I've aimed to be described as "such a cool bride to be." I want people to say "she's so easy going about it all." "Even with all of the stress, she behaved like a sane person."

For a while it was easy to be this bride character I'd invented.

And then I actually took a look at the calendar and realized that -holy moses!- I only have a month left. And of that month there are only 8 weekend days in which to get everything done. 9 if you count Labor Day but I plan on day drinking, so.

8 days!

Then a switch went off somewhere in my brain. I swear there may have been an audible click. Now I'm a lunatic. I've been angry with Devin, my mother, my DJ for sending me a 4 word email response to my lengthy email to him, half of my guest list for not rsvping in a timely fashion, and the guy who manages the string trio for possibly vanishing off the face of the earth.

Oh, and another note about the string trio guy. This morning while in the shower I actually rehearsed (out loud!) the angry voicemail I'm going to leave him if he took over a week to respond to my last email. He has 1 day left. If I fire him I think that will make me feel better...for about 20 minutes.

I am trying not to feel stressed, even though really I am sort of a control freak and paranoid and I panic easily. I'm trying to ignore my instincts and be awesome.

But it's beyond me at this point. I'm going nuts and I keep feeling like I'm going to cry and I have no idea why this is happening.

Breathing in.
Breathing out.
Moving on...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Run Away With Me

Attention fellow Angelenos! (no, I don't care for that term either)

And also attention to my friends out there in Brooklyn and whoever lives near Ohio State Univ.

The Nike Human Race 10k is happening again! This is a worldwide race where humans (that's you!) are encouraged to run 10k. Run alone, run with friends, and if you live in LA, NY, or OH, you can run with a whole big bunch of strangers.

I did this event last year and had a lot of fun.

So why don't you get off your butt and sign up? Oh wait, no don't actually get up because I need you to stay at your computer and go to this website. Or, get off your butt but don't actually leave the area. Maybe you could try standing at your desk, or holding your laptop.

Where was I?

Oh, right. Go to the website and sign up. I don't want to hear your excuses.

But I have never run in a race before...
Why not start now?!

But it says here the race starts at midnight. That's awfully late.

Okay, I admit this nearly stopped me, but then I thought of all of the other trouble I've been known to get myself into at that hour and running around through the streets seemed like a more intelligent choice.

But I don't eat right or exercise regularly and I'm completely out of shape.
Big effing deal. So is everyone else. I manage to work out MAYBE once a week, I never totally gave up smoking, and I just had a large Coffee Bean Mocha Ice Blended with whip cream for lunch.

Hmm. 10k. That seems really far. That's like 6 miles.
Actually it's 6.2. Which is really only like running for an hour. That doesn't make it sound much better. But if you start practicing now and run a few times a week, you'll be there in no time!

No. Really, I can't run that far.
Fine. Can you run 3 miles? Because you can sign up for the 5k too. That's much more manageable.

Alright. I'll run. But I'm not gonna like it.
Why do you always have to be like that? Is there no pleasing you?

I'm sorry. I'm just a little tired and cranky.

You know what will lift your spirits? Exercise!

I knew you were gonna say that.
Sucker!

Friday, August 21, 2009

One Less Car Clogging Up The Freeway

I'm bummed out. In the past year a number of friends have packed up their apartments, thrown a goodbye party, and left Los Angeles for good. They've moved to go to school, to be closer to family, or to just try something totally different (Yes Monaghans who moved to freaking CHINA, I'm talking to you).

In the past week I've found out 2 of my closest girlfriends are leaving. One forever, and one for just a little while.

What's worse is that I know it's only the beginning. Certainly as we get older and more sensible, I'll lose even more friends to the call of A More Affordable Cost of Living. Who wouldn't want a 4 bedroom house with a yard instead of a 2 bedroom apartment with a standing-room-only balcony?

In some ways, I'm right there with them. For as long as I've lived here, I've had this on-going alternate reality fantasy where I live in Liverpool, NY, or Utica, NY (where Devin grew up). I work in the accounts receivable department of a company that manufactures hospital beds or lawn furniture or just some product I don't have to understand or know about in order to do my job. My hours are strictly 9 - 5. Sometimes out at 4 on Fridays! And then we all go out to TGI Fridays for happy hour, where I sip something like a sex on the beach and talk with my coworkers (Bev, Debbie and Carol). We exchange status updates on our kids and I make them laugh with stories of my DIY bathroom remodeling project from heck. At 5:30, I politely decline a second cocktail as I have to pick up the kids from the sitter and get dinner started.

On weekends Devin and I host bbqs. Much like we do now, except that in my alternate reality we have a house with a big backyard and a deck. We invite over our neighbors and Devin's coworkers from the fire department. They all bring their kids, who play with our kids on the slip-n-slide, while us parents drink frozen daiquiris and get mildly drunk.

At night, after the kids are in bed, we watch DVR'd sitcoms with TV-14 ratings, until we start to dose off on the couch. Then we shuffle upstairs (stairs! a second floor! imagine the glory!) and into our master bedroom with a walk in closet and partially remodeled master bath.

Ahh.

So I don't blame my friends who see a different life for themselves and want to give it a shot. Maybe some of them have the secret suburban dream like me. Maybe some of them are just sick of the scenery.

I'm just sad because I'm running out of friends. And it's so hard to make new ones. There are a lot of douchebags out there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Douchehags

That's the word my friend Miriam and I came up with last night to call women who are, well, douchebags.

I'm not a fan of calling women the typical insults. Bitch, slut, c-word. I feel like they are all over sexualized names and also probably thought up by men.

I just want to call her a d-hag without bringing down my whole gender. You know?!

So douchehag. I think it works. It's much less severe than anything else on the table.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mid Week Activity

Hey, how would you like to go to a party that leads to something good...for once!

Here's your chance!

Fundraiser benefiting the inspiring documentary ‘Defining Beauty’...the road to Ms. Wheelchair America

Brought to you by: The creators of Defining Beauty documentary

Host: Lisa Kline

Special Guest: Peter Wilderotter, President & CEO - Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

When: Wednesday, August 19 @ 7PM

Where: X Bar – Hyatt Regency Century Plaza

Cost: $30.00 for Industry members who purchase online, otherwise $40 @ the door. Discount code: beauty

Click Here to Purchase Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/77878

Sneak Peek of the trailer: http://definingbeautydoc.blogspot.com/ OR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6Cn09NIOZo

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Meteor Watching: What's Really Going On Here?

Yesterday, in the interminable hours of the late afternoon, my sister IMed me to announce she'd heard about the meteor shower taking place at night. She intended on getting something to drink, staying up late, and watching it.

Simultaneously, it seemed, Facebook erupted with status updates relating to the heavens. "Hey everyone, the perseid meteor shower takes place tonight. Prime viewing hours are 12am-5am." "Hitting the gym and then watching the meteor shower with my girlies!"

The news wasn't John-Hughes-Is-Dead huge, but it was pretty major.

Even my old pal Google was getting in on the action.



I know space is fascinating and mysterious. But I wondered...what's with all the commotion? Are we really this starved for free entertainment and a reason to be outdoors?

We are, aren't we? This is terrible!

In fact, staring up at the stars is the only time we allow ourselves to ponder the enormity of the universe, our own tiny part in it, and ask the inevitable and unavoidable question: Is this it?

I'm not getting any younger, and I've yet to accomplish anything, or even choose a career path. I've been broke all my life with no sign of fortune in my future. Or maybe, like most people, I'm placing too much value on my job and money. And if that's the case, then I should probably do more to help mankind or animalkind or plantkind. Maybe I should quit my job to rescue polar bears or march on Washington for world peace. But if I did that, I wouldn't be able to pay my bills and here we are back at the money issue. Perhaps, then, the answer is to just focus on the people in my life. To work on my relationship and the marriage I'm going to be one-half of in about 50 days. But does that mean I've closed myself off to the outside world?

It's enough to give me a headache. But if I don't take the time to stargaze and have a good think about it, these existential queries just poke their way into my thoughts at inconvenient moments. While I'm typing an email to a client I suddenly stop, and find myself confronted with the questions, "What is the point of this? Really? In the grand scheme of things?" But there's no time to stop and sort it all out. I have to send this email because I just do.

If I pursue the real answers I'll certainly wind up homeless, wandering the streets, mumbling to well-dressed people or carrying a cardboard sign warning them about End Times.

So best to save up the crazy, look up at the sky and wait for the meteors I was promised. And that's exactly what I did last night, after inviting myself onto my neighbor's roof deck. I sat there with him, my sister and her roommate, sipping sake and eating tater tots. Early on, we saw a huge meteor. It shot across the sky with a white tail. We all shrieked and applauded. It's really happening!

But then two more hours passed, and there were no similar sightings. Our spirits faded. My sister was certain if we were further out from the city we'd see more. But how could we get that far away on a weekday. Where would we go?

In the end, we each saw 2 or 3 smaller little streaks in the sky. Each one was an individual sighting, its appearance too fleeting to get the attention of anyone else. "Oh! There's one! Did you see it?" And then a collective "no." Maybe it didn't really happen. Maybe it was just the eyes playing tricks. Or maybe it was meant just for me.

This morning, as I stood in the office kitchen pouring a glass of orange juice, the office coordinator spoke to me from across the room. "There's a metor shower tonight! I think I'm gonna check it out."
"I thought that already happened."
"They say it's happening again tonight."
"Oh. I watched it last night. I barely saw anything. It wasn't that great." Maybe it was because I hadn't had my coffee and I was tired from staying up late. I certainly seemed hellbent on being the downer.

But as I saw her sitting there, positive and perky, at the very desk where I used to sit, I felt like maybe this wasn't the right answer. And so I added, "I did see one or two though. They were pretty. I'm sure you'll see more. I probably just needed to give it more time."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Showering With Others

I always knew that somewhere in this whole 16 total months of wedding pre-game coverage there was going to be a bridal shower. This made me nervous. I hadn't actually been the center of the extended family's attention since my college graduation/moving-to-California party. And that was rough! Trying to talk about my plans with each person individually, trying not to crack the same joke over and over again, trying to fight the urge to get another margarita even though I might be too buzzed to talk to the elderly.

I prefer to live without being that aware of myself. I don't like to have a clue what I'm doing or saying.

Still, as my mother and sister launched into planning the shower, I began to look forward to it. There would be finger foods! And colorful decorations! And a magician!

Wait, what?

Yes, Mom booked a magician that she'd seen at a local comedy club. His act really impressed her, and this blew me away because it is impossible to impress my mother. He also apparently had something of a potty mouth, and the thought of him swearing like a sailor in a room full of women was both creepy and intriguing.

And so the whole shower took on a theme my mother called "The Magic of Love." I know, it's precious.

There were rabbit-in-hat centerpieces.




Rabbit-in-hat party favors.



And a giant chocolate cake, which incorporated two kissing white rabbit cookies.



I narrowly missed the white rabbit cookie decorating fiasco, which took place the night before I flew into town. Apparently some non-hardening icing left my father and sister very frustrated when trying to decorate some 60 cookies.

My college friends Rachael and Yasi drove up from New York to hang out. I was ridiculously excited to see them. Of course, because we are all old people now, we went to bed about 20 minutes after they arrived. The next morning they worked with me to create this fruit kabob monster-thing. They stabbed themselves with sticks putting the fruit on, and then I stabbed the sticks into a watermelon's shell.



After that, Rachael, who is a brilliant photographer, went outside with me to take some pictures. I decided to help her by making a complete ass of myself and being un-photographable.



Eventually, I stood still. Look, I can pose nicely!



By 2pm, the party was in full swing. And because I am popular, the party had a great turnout.




I like this picture for 3 reasons:
1. I look crazy.
2. No one in the whole room is talking to me.
3. I'm one of only 2 people holding a drink.

Once I was feeling a little loopy, it was time to open presents in front of 30 people. This was terrifying. I wanted to show them how genuinely grateful I was without looking fake since I had to say the same thing over and over and over.

Oh, and you know how most people will tell you they look their worst when they've just woken up? Apparently I'm at my worst when opening presents. Good grief.




That's my lovely friend and bridesmaid Jackie helping me keep a list of who gave me what.

Once the gifts were opened and everyone was properly thanked, I had a lovely bow & ribbon bouquet, made by Devin's sisters.

Time to take pictures with it!




While I was outside frolicking, my mother was watching from the kitchen window and was heard saying, "Oh look. My daughter's been drinking."

Stay classy.

UPDATE: I was so busy trying to be clever that I actually forgot to tell you that the magician didn't show up! He didn't even call to cancel. It was probably for the best, since we were having such a good time without him.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Dating Toilet

Hi friends. If you like reading stories about other peoples bad dates, please check out my sister's new blog, The Dating Toilet.

Makes me wish I was still dating so I could have crazy stories to blog about.

Just kidding, that's a terrible wish.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pork

Last night I went to a very difficult toning class at the gym. One that was so ridiculously impossible that at one point I had no choice but to burst into laughter at how I was panting and flailing around.

Afterwards, I went home with visions of a nice shower, a big glass of water, and a light salad for dinner. I am fit! I am magnificent!

On the drive home, Devin texted me to say he was still out and asked if I would turn off the crock pot for him. Say what?! Is he cooking for himself? Sacrebleu!

When I walked in the door of my apartment, I was confronted with a smell that I would identify as meat fart. Like when you walk into an unfamiliar old person's house and the whole thing smells like there's a giant pot of deer meat cooking away on the stove, simmering in onions.

I wanted to barf.

I walked over to the crock pot sitting on the counter and stared through its glass lid. It looked like a rabbit had been skinned and hacked up. But that can't be right. I know we're broke, but we're not hunt-for-food-in-our-courtyard broke. When I removed the lid to look inside, I guessed that probably it was chicken? Maybe?

Could it be some special treat for the dog? Have we really achieved this degree of spoilery?

20 minutes passed, as I made my own dinner, frequently eyeing the crock pot suspiciously. When Devin finally got home, I inquired about the indiscernible meat wads in the pot.

Turns out, it was the makings of pulled pork. Hum. That's acceptable. It still struck me as odd, however, that he went through all this trouble since he hadn't recently expressed a desire for a 2 week supply of pulled pork.

His explanation of why he did it only led to more questions.

"Because Ryan dropped off this extra pig leg he had."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Here's The Thing About Chad...

I must interrupt my plans to tell you about the bridal shower to show you this marvelous find. It doesn't need an introduction. I'll just say that I was at the beer garden at Venice Beach when I looked down and saw a little piece of paper. There's a front and a back side. Haven't decided which I prefer.



Friday, July 17, 2009

Continental, I Can't Stay Mad At You

Hi. I'm back from my week at home. I have to tell you all about it, and I will. But I'm going to do this all backwards and start by telling you of my flight home.

I mentioned last week how United is a terrible airline and how if they were a person who was ever-so-slightly shorter than me, I'd punch them in the face. Well, they screwed over my sister on her flight back to L.A. from Syracuse, and she had to fly out Monday morning instead of Sunday night. They are jerks. Jerks!

And because nothing ever goes right when one is flying, I was worried when my father dropped me off at the Syracuse airport. I just wanted to get home and get there as soon as possible. I was scheduled to come in at about 10:45 am, which meant I could meet my friend for brunch and then have the whole day to unpack and unwind.

Guess how well that worked out.

I had a connecting flight in Cleveland, with a nice, short 50 minute layover. I got to the gate in plenty of time and waited, somewhat impatiently, as it neared closer and closer to our departure time and we hadn't been called in to board the plane. Finally, they made an announcement. One of those really awful ones that ends with a collective groan from 210 passengers.

"Flight 735 with service to Los Angeles will be delayed. There is a part on the plane that needs to be repaired, but we have to fly it in from Newark. It should get here by 11:30 am, and then of course we'll still need to do the maintenance...So expect delays of at least 3 hours."

The time of this announcement: 8:50am. Outstanding. Not to mention, I didn't care much for the idea of flying on a newly repaired plane. You know how sometimes at home you hang a framed picture or a shelf on the wall, and you fiddle around for 20 minutes and finally you think you have it set and you take a step back to admire your work...and then 3 minutes later it all comes crashing down? I pictured that.

So we were given $6 meal vouchers to go use in the airport to keep ourselves busy while we waited. That was nice enough, I guess.

Within an hour we had an update. The repairs would take too long and so they would need to fly in a new plane for us. But this one would have 30 fewer seats, and also wouldn't arrive until 12:30. After the announcement, I got away from the gate before anyone could bump me to another plane.

After many long hours of waiting at the bar, sipping a bloody mary and listening to two loud groups of Vegas-bound travelers make complete assholes of themselves, it was time to get on our new, smaller plane. I was miserable.

But then they gave us vouchers for 10% off a future ticket purchase AND made us fill out this other card that is mailed in and for a bigger cash voucher (amount TBD).

And there's more! Free headphones (I thought they were always free but I guess not) and free booze! Everyone was in a much better mood by the time we boarded.

From there, things were even better. They gave us sandwiches and salads and M&Ms. I can't remember the last time I was provided with actual food on a plane.

All of the seats had their own individual TVs, much like JetBlue, but instead of satellite programming we had 40 movies to pick from. I spent my flight sipping wine and watching A Streetcar Named Desire.



Yum.

It may have been a terrible delay, but the flight itself was fantastic and relaxing. Continental, you found the key to my heart. Free stuff!

We finally got to LAX at about 4, which put us in at just the right time to hit rush hour traffic on the way home from the airport. I didn't actually get to my apartment until 6pm. Okay, so 7 hours later than I'd planned, but such is life.

What's that? You'd like to see another picture of Mr. Brando, but with more sweat? Sure. I aim to please.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Making A List Makes Me the Opposite of Listless

There are 87 days to go until our wedding. I feel like it wasn't that long ago that it was 387 days.

[By the way, I want to point out that I'm not actually keeping count myself. There is a countdown feature on our wedding website.]

[By the way, when I actually mention that our wedding has its own website, I feel a little silly. Other events that have their own websites: The New York State Fair, Ozzfest, The Olympics. But they are a handy way to get information to your guests and practically everyone creates one for their weddings so I try not to feel like I'm getting completely carried away.]

[Great, now I forgot what I was going to say. And I'm abusing the use of brackets.]

[Oh! Right. The countdown.]

My mother and sister are hosting a bridal shower for me on Saturday. And then when I get back to L.A., I'm taking my dress for some alterations. And I need to send out the invitations in a few weeks. Basically all of the things that make it feel like this is REALLY happening are all happening from this moment forward.

I couldn't be more delighted to get this show on the road. Or, as Devin and I like to say, "Let's get this over with." {We kid, of course.}

{See how I've switched to these fancy brackets?}

Since the very beginning of this wedding planning process, I've been a pretty disorganized bride. I've meant to keep everything in a need order, take notes at vendor meetings, and make a calendar. Instead, I make calls from my cellphone while standing in the parking lot of my office, writing down unintelligible notes on scrap paper. The scrap paper then sits somewhere on my desk until I inevitably, accidentally throw it out.

I have succeeded in keeping all signed contracts in a binder. Everything else is stored entirely in my head. And it's getting crowded in there.

So a few days ago I decided I better type up a list of every loose end that needs tying up. No matter how big or small the task, from writing vows to buying stamps. I thought there'd be something like 15 "to-do" items.

Imagine my horror when I finished my list and discovered there were 48. And I'm sure even more tasks will present themselves as we get closer.

In fact, just as I was typing this, something else popped into my head. Outstanding. Must remember to order food from the macaroni and cheese vendor.

{Yes, I'm hiring someone just for mac & cheese.}

{Oh, and I just went over to type that on my list, and while I did that I remembered I have to make bathroom baskets.}

{Who the heck started this bathroom basket business? I know they are handy but they are also totally obligatory now because I don't want to be the one bride who doesn't put out bobby pins and tampons for the womenfolk.}

When typing up my list, I didn't rank anything in order of importance. I probably should go back and reorganize. But to get things out of my head I just typed up items as they came to mind. This is actually somewhat scary because I noticed that I thought of a lot of tiny things first:

#8- Check with site manager to make sure mason jars qualify as fire safe candle holders

And then there's this:

#47- How the heck do you get a marriage license and when?

I hope to god I'm not forgetting anything major. I don't think I trust myself not to.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Story In Which I Swear To Never Fly United Airlines Again But I Probably Actually Will If They Have the Cheapest Ticket at the Time I'm Buying

On Thursday night I'm taking the red-eye from here to Newark, and then getting on a flight to good ol' Hancock airport in Syracuse, NY. It's a pretty regular journey for me, as it's the way to get home and see my parents. But I always feel anxious about it because I hate having connecting flights. Oh, oh, how I hate them. And I never seem to be able to avoid taking them because, apparently, I don't travel anywhere large enough to have a major airport.

And that was exactly the case when Devin and I flew to South Dakota last month. I may have mentioned that we kind of sort of got ourselves in a bunch of trouble. I did not tell you why. But it goes down as the worst flying experience yet (which says a lot, considering I once spent the night sitting on the floor of Cincinnati airport, watching the luggage of 12 friends while they all went to sing karaoke at the bar of the airport Hilton...).

Our trip started off well enough (a sign I've taken to interpret as indicative of certain doom). We flew from LAX to Denver and made it in early, which was a relief because we only had a very short layover. We exited the gate from our first flight and made our way down the insanely long terminal, alternating between brisk walking and riding that human-conveyor belt thing. We passed 3 food courts and about 60 gates before finding ours, gate 86. Except our sign said GATES 65-86. I guess when you are taking a plane to a rather small city like Sioux Falls, they mush you into one stadium of a gate area with the people flying to places like Bismark and Boise.

The gate was chaos. Announcements were being made for 5 flights at once. There was some commotion about a delay to Louisville. Weird look people milled about everywhere. You know that scene in Men In Black when Will Smith's character is first introduced to the alien refugee area and there are life forms from other planets blobbing and bouncing around? It was like that.

Devin and I found some seats and commenced snacking while waiting for our boarding call. We waited and waited. Every time I looked up at the board there were about 8 different flights scrolling across and I couldn't really make any sense of it, especially after waking up at 4 that morning and getting no sleep on the first flight.

At one point, we very faintly heard Devin's name being called.
"Did you just hear my name?"
"Maybe? It sounded like it was coming from a speaker down the hall."

I got up and walked over to the desk to investigate. "Excuse me," I asked a flight attendant standing at the roped-off boarding area. "Are you boarding yet for Sioux Falls?"
"Oh that flight's closed," she said. It was her casualness that really irked me. "Closed" was like a sigh. Like she was a bank teller escorting me to the next window.
Immediately I felt a thud in my chest.
"N-n-n-n-no," I blurted out. "How is it closed already it didn't even board yet?"
"Yes it did. It's been boarding for a while and it just closed."
"But we've been right here the whole time. Right here." I pointed to our seats. Devin, who was standing a small distance away, sensed a problem and walked over with our bags. "Devin! The flight is closed! Do something!"
"N-n-n-no. We were right here. Just let us on."

At this point, another employee perked up at the sounds of an argument and was just thrilled to butt in. For the purposes of this story we'll call him Horace. He reminded me of Ken Jeong's character of the bitchy delivery room doctor in Knocked Up. The original flight attended just sort of glided out of the conversation. I didn't think it was fair she got to just dismiss herself. In a way, I blamed her for this entire event.

Devin and I were moments away from making a scene, so Horace moved us over toward the desk. We continued to plead our case. The speakers must be broken! We couldn't hear a thing! Horace assured us that they had paged us several times and that paging was just a courtesy (oh how courteous of them!) and that it was our responsibility to get on the flight.
"That may be," I tried buttering up to him, "But there is a lot going on at this gate and we were relying on the announcements. And when we thought we heard our names we walked right over and already the flight was closed."
"There were 40 people on this flight. Everyone else managed to get on." It was like a verbal bitch slap.
"The plane hasn't even taken off yet," Devin gestured to the plane sitting right outside of the window. "Just open up the door and let us on."
"We have procedures. The door is locked, we can't unlock it."
"Yes you can!"
"No we can't."
"Yes you can!"
At this point, a young guy came up to the counter and asked if Sioux Falls was boarding.
"Ah-ha!" I shouted, while pointing directly at the guy and smacking my other hand on the desk. I was like an over-excited prosecutor in a courtroom drama. Ah-ha! So you see this man didn't make it on his flight either. Ipso facto...quid pro quo... uhh...let me on the goddamn plane!

Before Horace could intervene I began talking to the new guy. "You didn't hear it either! They won't let us on! We're screwed." I'm helpful like that.

The argument continued for a few minutes and then I realized I was never going to win.
"Okay," I surrendered. "What can we do now? We still need to get to Sioux Falls."
"Well I can put you on the next flight. There are available seats. It leaves in 3 hours."
"What!" Devin was not pleased. "No that won't fucking work. I have to be in a wedding. I can't wait. I need to get on this fucking flight." My memory isn't perfect, so I don't remember where the fucks were, but they were liberally sprinkled throughout his sentences.

This is where things took a bad turn.

"Sir, don't insult me."
"I didn't insult you. I swore at you."
"I will call the police. I'm warning you."
"Call them."
At this point Horace picked up the phone and mashed away aimlessly at the keys.
"Please... don't," I said with no emotion. I know he just wanted me to stop him.

Then there was a bit more arguing between Horace, Devin and the other guy. We were now officially causing a scene and were, I'm convinced, mere moments away from hurling "Yo mama" insults at one another.

I had to intervene. "Horace, it's not personal, we just really needed that flight and we're frustrated. Devin, it's not personal, he is just doing his job and he can't bend the rules. Now please can we have the boarding passes for the next flight?"

Horace printed them out, mumbling something under his breath. As he was handing them over, Devin said "This is fucking unacceptable" as his final verdict on the situation.

"Alright, that's it!" Horace snapped, yanking the boarding passes back and tearing them up in front of us. "I tried to be nice. But if you won't do as I ask and stop it with the language..."

"Horace, please..." I begged. But I think we both knew he couldn't just rip up boarding passes. Still, he'd made his point. He collected himself and printed out new ones. We left quietly, searched around for a customer service desk, and then realized the whole thing was pointless and sat down at a bar to busy ourselves for 3 hours.

When it finally came time to board our flight, we waited right at the desk so as not to make the same mistake twice.

As we boarded, Devin was pulled aside for "random" searching. I can't help but wonder if Horace had something to do with it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Piss Or Get Off the Pot

I can't tell if I like that expression or not. But it's fitting. For months this blog has been circling the drain. I have trouble finding the time to write, and when I do I don't seem to have a lot to say.

I used to get many more comments than I do now (I blame myself). And I'm not the sort of blogger who claims to write just for herself. I do it for other people to read and chime in. If this were just for me, I'd keep my thoughts in my head where they belong. It would save us all a lot of trouble.

To make matters worse, a number of my favorite bloggers have closed up shop. Surviving Myself and Miss Minneapolis have peaced out. It's really very tempting to do the same.

But, I won't! I don't have a good enough reason to stop. And not only will I not quit, but I also will put more effort into it. For you, the 14 people who read this. All for you!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

That Cookie

Today is payday. Every other Tuesday, at midnight, money is magically deposited into my checking account by some cashflow fairy who takes pity on me. And when I wake up on Wednesday, it's just like Christmas morning.

I have to admit, most pay days, moments after I wake up, I log onto my bank's website to see that the money has been deposited. There's never been a glitch in the system. I've never been accidentally not paid. I just do it because I know the money is going to be there and it makes me happy to see those little numbers appear.

It's a glorious moment, but a fleeting one. Usually by the end of the day 70% of my bounty has been doled out to bill collectors. This morning, I immediately started making some calculations of who needed to be paid and how much and by when.

Then I felt depressed. And also, had wasted too much time to do my Jillian Michaels workout DVD. Instead, I decided to take Seamus for a quick walk.

The sunshine on my face made me feel a bit better. And without realizing why, my mind wandered to thoughts of high school, when I had a free place to live and worked 10 hours a week. Ah, that was easier. Everyone I knew was an idiot, but still.

And then some music started to filter into my thought, getting louder and louder. "But in reality...something something...put my heart in a blender and still I surrender." It was a song that seemed to play all the time. It must have been the song that reminded me most of high school because it popped into my head. "Like a chump. Hey like a chump."

What the heck song is this? I was humming at this point.

Suddenly, it dawned on me. It was Limp Bizkit. Ah, my old friends. Who didn't love those guys back in the day? And who still likes them now? Nobody. It's sad, in a way. We've turned our backs on them.

I feel like an old fart when I picture how I'd react if I heard the song for the first time ever at my age. The lyrics, oh sweet heavens, the lyrics.

did it all for the nookie (come on) the nookie (come on)
so you can take that cookie and stick it up your (yeah)
stick it up your (yeah) stick it up your (yeah)
stick it up your

To this day, I'm still not sure what "that cookie" is. Am I supposed to know? Does everyone else know and they're laughing at me?

What's that cookie?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Huh

I've always been pretty bad about death. I mean, I'm afraid of dying, sure. Like, really afraid. But whenever I hear about someone who dies, I'm always embarrassed about my matter-of-face treatment of the news. It's sad. It's tragic. And yet, I can never quite react in a fitting manner.

So Tuesday, I'm on set and someone in production tells me Ed McMahon died. I responded by saying, honestly, "I thought he was dead." I really was like 90% positive that had already happened.

Then this morning, a coworker turned around from her desk and told me Farrah Fawcett died. "Awww," I let out and then just kind of went back to typing an email. I saw (6 minutes of) her documentary on TV about her battle with cancer. It was really sad...but I don't know what I can do.

News of Michael Jackson's death broke out while I was at DQ with a coworker picking up a Reese's peanut butter cup blizzard. When we returned, totally unaware, several people at the office told us of the news at once. I made a face to indicate some level of distress, and then waited for what I thought seemed like an appropriate amount of time before shoving another spoonful of ice cream in my face.

When I got home today, I turned on MTV to watch 16 And Pregnant (because something is wrong me), and instead Sway was hosting a non stop Michael Jackson love fest with music videos and concert footage. I watched for a little while, and yeah it was kind of sad. But, here's the thing, and I'm sure I'm not the only person who has said this: the MJ we all know and love "died" a long long time ago. And since then we've been left with a zombie shell who does things that make everyone pretty freaking uncomfortable.

And when I was a kid I used to love him! So I think my sadness was used up a long time ago. But, I know a person died. I care.

And I don't know what this says about me, but today when I got home, I found that the basil plant I've been frantically nurturing for 2 weeks had shriveled up and died. I groaned and stared at it desperately for a little while. Indeed, I appear to have mourned a plant and not a person.

I'm sorry.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My laptop battery is dying so I'll keep it short

Made it back from our trip in one piece. We nearly got arrested in the airport on the way there, and we (along with several other wedding guests) were accused of ruining South Dakota, whatever that means...

Actually, I do know what that means, sort of. At least I'm pretty sure Devin's not welcome back to the state after his performance at the wedding reception and his speech which the country club management called "the most vulgar thing they'd ever heard."

Not that I'm in a hurry to go back anyway, as I suspect South Dakota is inside a biodome because it doesn't get dark there until 10pm. I'm not exaggerating. What the H is going on?

Lastly, you can smoke in bars there, which just feels feels wrong. So wrong that it feels right. And I couldn't help but enjoy the novelty of the situation by chain smoking like a scary grandmother. My lungs beg me never to return.

Monday, June 8, 2009

For Those Of You Who Might Be Interested



We're now less than 4 months away from the wedding. This is fantastic. And not just because I'm very excited for the big day (and even more excited to go to Hawaii afterwards), but also because I'll be glad to finally shut up about my wedding plans. Honestly, I hear myself yapping away and I think, "Dear god, woman. Stop talking about this at once!"

Aware that not everyone wants to hear every teency weency detail about it, I wait until someone asks me, "How's everything going with the wedding plans?" And then the poor souls are forced to listen to my debate over using an 8 person table versus a 10 person table. About why I'm not going to decorate with flowers and what I'll do as a centerpiece instead. I'll shove invitation samples in their faces and cringe as I hear myself saying "I like the shape and overall design of this one, but with this font, but with white ink. And I prefer this shade of red for the paper over this shade, but it's only offered on this particular design and I just thought the RSVP cards were too much."

WHAT?! How have I turned into this?

I assure you, and I am positive that friends will agree, I have in no way been a bridezilla. In fact, there are a lot of things I just haven't really cared much about. I mostly just want to make decisions as quickly as possible and then move onto the next task. As it stands, I have nearly everything done. Last night, I even made reservations for the rehearsal dinner.

The whole planning process started off really fun. It's been kind of a hobby, more than a chore. At first, I wanted my wedding to be as unique as possible. I didn't want to do anything that anyone else had done in the history of weddings. (A feat I soon learned would be impossible unless I could some how organize a wedding reception on the moon.) As time went on, and I realized everything costs a butt-loving load of money, I switched gears and just looked for the cheapest way to do everything.

But lately, since I have lost all motivation, I just want to throw money at the easiest solution.

I think all of my angst is owing to the foolishly long engagement period. I know, 16 months doesn't seem like that long. I sure didn't think it would be when we set the date. But now that a whole year has come and gone I am pulling my hair out. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? ARE WE THERE YET?

Next weekend we'll be going to the wedding of a couple whose entire relationship, from first date to wedding day, has taken place during the 4ish years Devin and I have been together. We also went to a wedding this past October for a couple with the same scenario. And all the while, I'm just over here, figuring out hairstyles and designing centerpiece mockups. When will it be my turn?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Just Embarassin' Myself!

Recently I watched Mike Barbiglia’s stand up comedy special “What I Should Have Said Was Nothing.” The title refers to the many many times he has said something that turned a fairly normal situation into a perfectly awful one. He could have just said nothing and avoided the whole mess.

I wish I’d thought of that clever way to describe my constant run-ins with myself in public places. I hear myself saying something stupid, and somewhere inside my head, there is a much cooler version of myself shouting, “STOP IT! JUST SHUT UP AND GET OUT OF HERE!”

I’ve written about this here, and here, and here (see! it happens a lot!). Yes, I suck at being around other people. But that’s not a catchy way to say it. So, until I think of a creative title for my idiocy, here’s my latest installment of What I Should Have Said Was Nothing:

I was at the grocery store after work, picking up a few things for dinner. Just before heading to the checkout, I remembered we were low on Coke Zero, which I don’t care for but which Devin drinks entirely too much of. And because I’m a wonderful fiancĂ©, I buy him some whenever I’m at the store.

While debating if I should buy 3 2-liter bottles to take advantage of the Vons Club sale, a young couple wandered into the aisle. I don’t mean to sound judgmental, but they looked like the sort of people I typically hate. For some reason, I began to focus all of my attention on them, instead of simply grabbing the bottles of soda and minding my own business.

“Baaaabe,” she whined, “I can’t find any diet root beer.”
“Maybe they don’t have it, babe.”
“I guess…but I want it.”

Now, what I should have said was nothing. And I very nearly stopped myself. I knew that there was in fact diet root beer because I bought it before. And she was actually standing right near it.

Then, I must have thought I would save the day by being helpful, so I marched right over and blerted out, “It’s right there. There is diet root beer!”

Trying to salvage my dignity, I started to immediately walk away.

“Oh…thanks,” said the girl. I couldn’t help but notice that she didn’t lean in to grab the 6 pack I’d pointed to. Somehow my lameness made her want nothing to do with that root beer.

In case you are thinking this interaction isn’t so bad, allow me to tell you what I said next.

“Yeah, no problem. Didn’t mean to eavesdrop on your conversation, but I heard you about the diet root beer. Just listenin’. “

At this point the tiny cool version of me inside my head some how took control and jerked my body so that I turned around and began walking away.

Just listenin’? I said that!

Just listenin, little lady. Didn’t want ya to go without yer sodypop.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ew, Facebook. You're gross.

Some of the more annoying things about Facebook (aside from my inability to navigate its realms) (and the site's existence in the first place) are the ads that pop up along the right hand side of the page. Invisible Facebook gremlins have spied on my profile (I only wanted my 238 friends to see it!) and posted ads for products and services for which I am the targeted audience.

They've seen that I'm Status: Engaged (which sounds like warfare weapons lingo) and so have presented me with 200 different ads for wedding photographers and honeymoon destinations, etc.

But today they have crossed the line and entered WTF? territory.



Facebook Ad Gremlins, are you suggesting that my mattress contains pounds of...how do I say this... sex fluids? Really? Lingering from ex girlfriends. Really? Way to tap into unfounded paranoia.

Nice picture, btw. She's all, "Hope you like the cake, Darling. I'm so glad we're not rolling around in filth any more. Wheee!"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

There's Something On Your Foot

I’ll never be one of those women who goes out and splurges on a pair of over the top, expensive shoes that she just HAS to have. I assure you, I have great taste in shoes, but at the same time, I operate with a hilariously limited shopping budget. I am aware of the brands Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, and Manolo Blahnik, but I’d venture to say I’ve never even seen a pair in person. I also had to google those names to make sure I spelled them correctly. That’s how removed I am from the world of fashionable shoes. I rock flops out of necessity (and partially out of love).



But with an upcoming wedding to foolishly spend a fortune on, I decided now’s as good a time as any to look for a pair of shoes out of my usual $25 price range (I know, it makes me sad that I’m like that). So I ventured online to try to find some sandals to wear with my wedding dress. I’d originally planned to wear white flip flops, but then the thought of them making that thwack thwack thwack sound as I walked down the aisle made me cringe.

Now, because I shop for shoes so infrequently, I often find myself overwhelmed at the hideousness of the latest trends. I’ve written about this before, and I’m about to do it again.

Can I just ask one of you fashion-forward and hip young readers about this?



An exploded leather eggplant engulfs your ankle, while the rest of your foot is held in place by a meager strap. And then your big toe is especially secured in its own little holster.

This shoe also piqued my curiosity for the same reasons:




Why would you want your heels and toes to be at such extremely different temperatures than your ankles? I could almost get behind the overall look of this black one, but then I picture wearing it to work one day and constantly shoving a pen down into it to pull it away from my foot and give my smothered ankle a breath of fresh air.

But before you go thinking I’m just worried about overly-constrained, over-heated feet, let me tell you that I also worry about shoes with no form whatsoever. Like this:



See that little barstool thing at the front? That and the 3 yards of rope at the ankle are supposed to keep your foot in this thing. I’m sorry, but I would never be able to make it down the block without stepping out of this shoe and having it drag behind me.

It’s a problem that would never happen with this foot cage:



Which looks like some kind of punishment or a cobbler’s mold to make boots.

And then there’s this leg brace, which prompted me to say “Oh my God” outloud at my screen.



You know, I don’t care how cool you are, you simply cannot get away with wearing this and I might be mad at you for even trying.

And I’ll leave you with this garden lattice turned foot entombment.



The trusty ol’ flop isn’t looking so bad now, is it?