Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm ripping myself off

By posting something here that I already posted on facebook last night. It's one of those 25 Things About Me lists that are going around. I avoided doing one for like, 1.5 days, and then I gave in. I used to hold out longer. I'm getting weak.

Anyway, apologies for the unoriginal material, but I've been sucked into a work cocoon yet again this week so I'm doing my best. Also, does this make up for the meme's I never did on my blog? I'm just trying to take up space, people.

1. I ate too much pizza for dinner.

2. There's nothing good on TV tonight.

3. Devin thinks it's annoying I'm doing this list right now. He just said, "Aw, no. Don't..." But I think tomorrow he will read this.

4. I'm really into flossing lately.

5. If I want a guy at a bar to stop talking to me, I start talking about my favorite cereals.

6. I don't really like swimming, particularly in the ocean. There are sharks. And jelly fish. And floating bits of garbage.

7. I want to be the sort of person who likes tea, but I prefer coffee.

8. I just did my taxes. I couldn't help but note how much money I spent on alcohol this year.

9. I haven't washed the dishes in 5 days. The laundry in 3 weeks. My car in 7 months.

10. Sometimes I pretend I'm really preoccupied with wedding planning, but really I have nothing else to talk about.

11. I feel threatened by people who can memorize a lot of facts about particular bands or singers. I know which songs I like, but I'm not sure that's enough, sometimes.

12. I just glanced up and gave the news 2 minutes to draw me in, but I don't know what Rachel Maddow is talking about, so here we are.

13. I don't know when my favorite color became red, but it is now. It used to be purple. For a little while I would tell people pink, but I have no idea why I did that. Pink's a pretty lousy color.

14. I've watched "Vacation" 2 times in the past 10 days.

15. The other week I was watching a documentary about gangs in L.A. and I had to look up South Central on google maps.

16. If I had the chance to marry George Clooney, I totally would, even though I think he'd probably cheat on me. But then I think that I could also cheat on him and we'd be even. And I think my position as Mrs. Clooney would help me attract a lot of hot suitors because I think guys would probably have a thought like "If I can bang George Clooney's wife, I must be as hot as he is."

17. I don't remember the last time I ate a vegetable. I'm probably dying.

18. In any given week, I actually get plenty of sleep, but I always have to say that I'm tired to fit in with everyone else.

19. There's a good possibility that I'm irreversible scarred from high school experiences. But saying something like that makes me sound like a loser.

20. I would pay any amount of money to hear my pets talk for a day. And if I could find a way to make animals talk forever, then I wouldn't have to have kids.

21. I think I'd look pretty lousy as a blond, but then I wonder if I should just try it to say I did it.

22. No one ever really reads these things. People just enjoy writing them. That's not exactly a fact about me, but really, it's a fact about facebook users in general, and therefore sort of a fact about me.

23. I like elephants, but everyone already knows that about me.

24. Between my broken digital camera and carelessness with digital photo saving, in the future I will have no photographic evidence of my life from ages 17-26. So if my grandchildren and I can't look at pictures, we'll have to do a jigsaw puzzle.

25. I like jigsaw puzzles, but I'd never buy one for myself. Hopefully I'll get one as a gift.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Bad Date vs. The Mexican Shrimp Wrap

On Saturday night, I went out with Devin, his cousin, and her boyfriend to see an improv show at UCB.  Afterward, we went next door to Birds for dinner and drinks.  And I was completely thrilled because this meant being reunited with my favorite item on the Birds menu: The Mexican Shrimp Wrap.

I am embarrassingly obsessed with this sandwich, though I'm not entirely sure what makes it so awesome. It's just shrimp, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and some sort of orange-colored sauce.

Anyway, while I was happily shoving my shrimp wrap in my face on Saturday, I was so enamored with it that I felt it necessary to force my dining companions to hear the story of the first time I tried this particular dish.

Yes, there's actually a story about this experience. And because it's a freshly resurrected memory (and because I have nothing else to write about) I'm going to share it with you.

Back when I first moved here, I was an innocent PYT with no job, no place to live, and no circle of friends. I did, however, have Kristen, who I'd buddied up with during my last semester of college because we both knew we were moving to L.A.

The second weekend I was in town, I went with Kristen to the birthday party of an acquaintance of ours. It was at this party that a guy started chatting me up. He was nice enough, but I wasn't at all attracted to him and we didn't appear to have anything in common. Still, I accepted his invitation to go out to dinner.  At this point in my life, I was desperate for free food and new friends, so I didn't think it wise to turn down an opportunity for both.  

And though I didn't know much about him, at the very least he didn't strike me as the sort of person who would suck me into a cult or expose me to intravenous drugs, so it didn't seem like giving him my number was the world's worst idea.

But Kristen did have quite the look on her face when I told her what I'd done.

He called me the next day.   He was bad on the phone and immediately got on my nerves.  He wanted to have dinner that very night, which bothered me because I would've liked him to at least entertain the idea that I might already have plans. 

But, of course, I didn't have plans.   And even though I just wanted to sit alone, drink wine and feel sorry for myself, we arranged for me to meet him at his place in Hollywood.

When I arrived at his doorstep, we had 2 minutes of awkward conversation, followed by a quick and unsolicited tour of his apartment. Then, he asked me where I wanted to go for dinner.

Annoyed, I reminded him that I'd just moved here and the only places I'd been so far were the bar where we met and a burrito stand near the place I was staying. So he thought about it for a while and then decided we should walk down the block to Birds.

As we set off on foot, I seriously began to regret my decision to go out with him.   We walked passed my parked car and I stared at her longingly, tempted to just make a run for it. But, realistically, I had nothing better to do with my evening than have dinner with this guy.

When we arrived at Birds, we were seated outside.

Me: This place seems really cool.
Him: (snotty) I can't believe you've never been here!
Me: I...just...moved here.  

I scanned the menu and then ordered the one non-chicken-based item on it: The Mexican Shrimp Wrap.

After 15 minutes of lousy conversation, the food arrived. I was pleased to learn that the wrap rocked my world, so while he prattled on about "the industry" and how much he hates hipsters, I zoned out and focused on eating without getting sauce on my face or seasoning stuck in my teeth.

Now, the wrap was sliced into two very sizeable halves. After I'd polished off the first, I hesitated to start on the second. If I just saved it for later, I'd already be set for lunch tomorrow. I had an opportunity to get 2 free meals outta this mess.

So I boxed up the second half, turned down the offer for dessert, and hurried us out of the restaurant. We walked silently back to his apartment.

Him: You wanna come inside and watch TV?
Me: Sure, why not?
Him: Cool. Six Feet Under is starting soon.
Me: I've never seen that show.
Him: What's wrong with you?!

What's WRONG with me?

Me: I just...I've been in school the past 4 years. I guess I didn't really have a lot of time to watch TV.
Him: Can we watch it tonight anyway?
Me: Fine. Is it something I'll be able to follow?
Him: Not really.


While we watched the episode, he was sweet enough to try to explain each and every character's background and motivation. But then while he was talking he'd miss what happened in the scene, so he'd just have to rewind it, then watch it, then explain what all of that meant. In the end, it took us 45 extra minutes to get through the one-hour program.

When the end-credits rolled, I jumped up from the couch.

Me: Welp, guess I should get going! You've got work tomorrow.
Him: Oh...okay. Don't you want to stay and watch 24? I have last week's episode on tivo.
Me: I've never seen that show either.
Him: Oh my God!
Me: Aaanway...thanks for dinner! (Forced hug good bye) See ya later!

I walked quickly down the pathway from his door to the street. I'd almost made it to the sidewalk when I realized I forgot to grab my box of Mexican Shrimp Wrap goodness.


I stood in place for a second to figure out my next move. Do I go forward and just forget about this whole evening? Or do I go back, risk him thinking I just can't get enough of him, and then have to explain how I'm too poor to give up my precious ingestible resources?

Ah, who was I kidding? I want that effing wrap! So I marched back up the path and knocked on his door.

And when he opened it, he wasn't wearing pants. Boxers, yes. Pants, no. Of course, I believe everyone has a right to be pantsless in his or her own home. But there were a number of things wrong with this scenario.

First of all, I'd only been gone for 15 seconds. Which means he would have had to close the door behind me when I left and then immediately un-buckle his belt, take off his pants, and put them somewhere clean out of sight.

And second, he could have only assumed that it would be ME knocking on his door. So why did he look so surprised and embarrassed? And, more importantly, WHY DIDN'T HE PUT ON HIS FUCKING PANTS?

Lucky for me, his vulnerable state meant that I no longer needed to explain myself.

Me: I forgot my leftovers.
Him: I'll get them.

He closed the door. I waited. He returned with my food.

Me: Thanks.
Him: Bye.

He didn't call me again after that. And that was obviously just fine by me.

This is the memory that, unfortunately, comes to mind whenever I have the Mexican Shrimp Wrap. 

But it's totally worth it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Time of Great Change

Today was a momentous one in American history. And probably a lot of important words were spoken by our new president. And I care, really I do, but I was swamped at work and I missed it all and by the time I got home tonight and turned on the TV it felt like everyone on the news had inauguration-coverage hangovers and couldn't even half-ass it. So, I started watching The Cosby Show. In tonight's episode, Cliff was hiding chocolate donuts from Clair. You think he'd know better than to eat that stuff, since he's a doctor. And now I want a donut.

But anyway. It's time for change we can believe in. And so I painted my cabinets.


I don't have a Before picture to show you. I should've thought to take one. Picture poorly constructed, yellowing varnished wood cabinets wearing the same filth that they've worn since the 70s. Picture the inside of a backwoods bunker inhabited by a pervert fleeing the law. Picture something like this:

Before you think I'm exaggerating, you should know that friends who have been to my home will agree that this picture isn't entirely off. If you don't believe me, then look at the after picture again, and notice the army-green torn piece of canvas serving as "curtains."

This is the first of many homemaking projects that I'll chalk up to pre-marital "nesting." Also, this is all part of my Be Better At Life Plan (also known as the Don't Suck At Life Plan) that I've kicked off for 2009. I will live in an apartment that looks lived-in by adults, I will not leave dishes in the sink for a week, I will remember to mail birthday cards, I will not drive around in a car full of balled-up taco bell wrappers.

Yes, times, they are a changin'.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Revisiting Small Disasters In Everyday Conversation

Last year, in early summer, I had a series of awkward and unusual public encounters with strangers. I wrote about two of them: The Staples Girl and The Guy With The Shirt. I wrote, at the time, that I am the reason for these run ins. I am incapable of saying anything not-loserish when making small talk. I make other people uncomfortable.

But lately it seems the tables have turned (not entirely turned, just rotated about 80 degrees) and now I'm certain that other people are at least a little bit responsible for making me want to slap myself in the forehead.

I have two examples. Please note that while both of these examples involves me purchasing alcohol, I maintain that I drink just as much as the next person my age.


1. The Grocery Store
Last week I made a trip to the store after work to pick up some things for dinner. Among them, a bottle of wine. At the checkout, the cashier, a man in his 40s, asked to see my ID. I presented it to him, he took it, then typed my birth date into a keypad. He waited a moment, then nodded, then handed me back my drivers license. "How very thorough," I thought to myself. (But did not say out loud. See? I'm improving.)

Just as I was stuffing my license back into my wallet, he asked, "Do you know what day of the week you were born?" The former fake-ID-user in me froze up. He's trying to trick me! Think fast! Wait, I'm 26. What's his damage?
"Uh..." was all that came out of my mouth.
"How do you know that?"
"It comes up on the machine when I type in your birthday."
"Wednesday. Well, guess I brightened up Mom's week!" D'oh.
"Yeah it's a fun fact." This guy may seem like he was just being tons o' fun, but in actuality he was not laughing or smiling or joking. Just talking. No emotion, just words. As if he were reading a dinner menu aloud or something.

By I was trying to laugh and make jokes like a normal human. And so even though I came off looking like a buffoon, he was the asshole with the secret little ID machine, asking me if I knew what day of the week I was born. So there!

2. The Liquor Store
On Saturday evening, I left the nail salon, where I'd gotten a relaxing pedicure, to go meet up with Devin at a friend's house. Knowing that he and the friend were probably drinking their usual, vile drink --diet Sprite and vodka-- I figured I should pick myself up something more appetizing. So I stopped by the liquor store to get some wine.

After buying the bottle without doing anything stupid, I walked out of the store. At the same time, a guy was walking in. He peered at my brown paper bag and then said, "Wine. Simple."
What the effing eff? I didn't know what to say so I just let out a forced laugh. You know the kind that sounds like "Heh...."

I got in my car and tried to figure out why he would say that. I get that he meant like I was keeping it simple. Not drinking any complicated, fruity cocktail. Either that, or he thought I was simple-minded. But what I was really stuck on is why he would say "Wine. Simple," when he could have just said...oh...nothing?

Which meant that I was not at fault for this stupid exchange. I felt better.

In conclusion, I may not be charming and cool as a cucumber, but there's always someone worse than me.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Scrub a Dub

Can't get enough Devin and Scrubs? Watch the webisode he wrote! (And then watch the other 2 because they are also good.)

Bonus points if you spot Devin walking in the background!


Monday, January 12, 2009


I've been a bit busy lately.

Please enjoy this entertainment.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Traditional Cookies

To celebrate Devin's very exciting appearance on Scrubs, a bunch of our friends came to our apartment to watch the episode.   I love hosting and so I went out to the store after work to pick up beer and snacks (including pub cheese...have you had pub cheese? it's from Trader Joes and I'm obsessed).  

My sister brought over some treats too, including cookies that she bought solely because they were such an oddity.  

Presenting "Traditional Cookies":

I know.  The word "traditional" doesn't come to mind when I look at them.  The word "green" does.  

And they aren't even a fun green.  They aren't the shade of green that someone would tolerate in, say, a gummy worm.   I didn't try any of them because I worried they'd turn my skin green.

What makes these cookies so remarkable is that the label doesn't make any mention of their greenness.

My sister and I set the cookies out on the coffee table with the other snacks, eager to see if anyone dared try them.   And someone actually did, but I don't know who because they ate it while I was watching Scrubs. 

And so this morning, I found myself confronted with a nearly full box of Traditional Cookies sitting on my kitchen counter.  I couldn't bring myself to throw them all out, but I also couldn't bring myself to do what I would normally do with a bunch of leftover goodies: bring them to work.   It's really a delightful experience to set out a tray of cupcakes or cookies or whatever, and spend the whole day hearing coworkers sighing at the sight of them.  And then they come up to me one by one, moaning "I hate you," while chomping on a brownie.  

But with this batch of green gems, I didn't feel so comfortable.  I then began to think of what fun it would be to just leave the cookies on the counter and not own up to them or explain their existence.  Or, even better, to remove the cookies and set them on a plate and claim to have made them.  Perhaps I could guilt everyone into eating them.

Until I decide what to do with them, the cookies remain on my kitchen counter.  Green.  Terrifying.  Traditional.  

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oh! Oh! Also!

Watch Devin playing the role of "Chubby Guy" on Scrubs tonight at 9:30 on ABC!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Let's try this once more. This time, with feeling.

Thank you to those of you that commented that you would also have failed to stick to the resolutions I set out for myself at the beginning of 2008.  Either you're all a great support system, or you're as lazy as I am.  I'll leave you to answer that for yourselves.

So for 2009, I'll need a new list. 

1.  Lose weight before my wedding.  
Notice how I didn't say how much.   Trust me, anything will be quite the accomplishment.  

2.  Save at least SOMETHING from each paycheck.
I may not have devoted an appropriate amount of blog space to this topic, but I am disastrous with money.   To be fair, I am getting better.  Sort of.  But it's still a very sad state of affairs for someone nearly 5 years out of college and soon to be a Mrs.  
For goodness sake...I'm supposed to own a 4 bedroom house by now!  So maybe if I save some pathetic amount.  Say, $20 per paycheck--that's $40 per month.  Which is $480 per year.  And that's 480 times the amount I saved in 2008.  Progress in tiny tiny steps.

3.  Cook more meals at home.
This is a cop-out.  I cook at home all the time.  Whee!  

4.  Run another race.  
And it can't be another 10k because I already did that.  Crossing that finish line was one of the high points of my life.  It reassured me that, yes, I can complete something.  

5.  Finish a screenplay.
This sounds like a real blowhard thing to say.  Don't a lot of d-bags have unfinished screenplays?  Well so do I.  Unstarted ones, actually.   But this year will be different!  And to that end, I've signed up with a writing group.  Me! In a writers group.  We meet weekly at various apartments and coffee shops.  It's so freaking adorable.

6.  De-flab my arms.
I practically have wings.  When I wave I can feel the distinct underarm swingery one normaly finds hanging from middle school teachers.  

7.  I just ate a slice of American cheese.
That's not a resolution.  I just wanted to throw that in there to give you a sense of perspective on my situation.

8.  Keep a clean house. 
You know, it's funny, but the more pets you keep, the worse your apartment looks.   

9.  Get organized.
I don't have to bother expanding on this because I know I won't follow through with it.  So.

10.  Watch classic movies.
Lately, in spite of myself, I've been drawn to black and white movies.  I don't know what it is. Something about the clothing.  And the constant smoking.  And the peculiar cadence in which the actors deliver their lines.  And the supper clubs.  (I'll never go to a supper club!)  

And that's it, folks.  Now, we wait...