I left work on Friday and went straight to Target to get the rest of my costume for Monday. We're doing Peter Pan and I'm John Darling, one of the kids. I already had glasses, an umbrella, and a hat, but needed to get a nightshirt and slippers. So it's done, it's easy and yeah, I get to wear pajamas to work!
I then headed over to see the first performance of Twisted, "a terrifyingly hilarious experience in suburban lawn art," by The Fright Gallery. Eric did some video work for the show, so I've seen the set evolve and some early rehearsal. It really has come together and the audience had a great time. If you are in the L.A. area, this is a fun, free thing you can do this weekend.
We ran home and had a quick bite to eat before heading over to CIA for this year's Puppet Slam, put on by the L.A. Guild of Puppetry. There were a lot of fun performances, including several by friends of ours.
Now I'm waiting to be able to put the laundry in the dryer so I can sleep. Tomorrow we have a picnic, which is a potluck, meaning we have to get stuff to take, followed by another evening at CIA for The Zombie Ball, a charity event benefiting the National Search Dog Foundation, a cause I can get behind. The night may end up being capped off with a fashionably late appearance at a Halloween party some friends are having.
Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour!
Looks like I'll be needing that extra hour of sleep since I'll be up early Sunday morning for the Walk for Paws with Rusty. I didn't even bother to do any fundraising since we just recently did a charity walk. I'm planning to get involved with part of the organization that the walk is benefiting, so I want to participate and just make a personal donation.
After the walk, we are heading up to Faulkner Farm (finally! I've been dying to go!) to visit the pumpkin patch, go on a hayride, etc. We are supposed to be getting a break from the cloudy, overcast weather this weekend. I'm hoping for good sunshine at the farm so I can take some nice photos.
On Monday, I'll lots of Halloween fun at work. Since I work with kids, we get to be really goofy. After work, we'll give out candy for a bit at home, then head to West Hollywood for the annual Halloween Carnaval. It is always a blast with outrageous costumes and people. We are possibly going in our ketchup and mustard bottle costumes and taking Rusty in his hot dog costume. The official website is discouraging pets though so we'll see.
The U2 tickets I have are for Tuesday night, but I'm desperately trying to trade them for Wednesday's show as we have tickets for another event on Tuesday night. I've posted a trade requrest to craig's list and a few other places, but no takers yet.
I apologize if you have read this far, hoping for some witty commentary or insightful information. I'm really boring myself and beginning to see double due to fatigue, so I'm going to call it a night.
And on a totally unrelated note, why do people think it is okay to microwave fish at work? C'mon people! The whole office stinks and you can't use the microwave next without having your lunch taste like fish.
I complained and was told I could go eat my lunch elsewhere.
1. Ok, say you were having a dinner party and you could invite any 5 (living and real) people in the world, who would you invite?
-Leonardo da Vinci
-Capt. Jack Sparrow - got to have at least one drunk!
This is a very hard question for me as I am a somewhat picky eater AND a people pleaser. I can only imagine the stress. I wouldn't want to serve things guests don't like or are offended by. Yikes, the pressure! I think I'd have to go one of two routes. Either I'd just do a barbecue (and include some things like veggie kabobs and burgers) or have a Chinese food meal catered. There are lots of options with that cuisine and almost everyone likes it.
5. What would the centerpiece on the table be?
An unscented candle or candles.
6. What kind of music would you play?
Something mellow and not too loud so we could converse. Maybe something like Pat Metheny.
7. Say all your guests were shy, what would you say to spark a conversation?
That would be a big problem, as I can be shy at times myself. I don't think I'd have to worry about that, but say that I did, I'd ask if anyone has read any good books lately.
8. What would you serve for dessert?
Fruit tart, marshmallows to toast (if I went with the barbecue), and mint chocolate chip ice cream, just because I like it.
9. Let’s make it dinner AND a movie. What movie would you suggest?
Grizzly Man by Werner Herzog. It is a beautiful and compelling documentary. It is mostly observational without being too judgemental. I think it is a fascinating look at what happens when man crosses the line with nature. It would be great for creating ongoing discussion.
10. I see you need to get yukky candy for your trick or treaters, what do you think you’ll get that you won’t eat but won’t make kids hate you?
Something sour. Kids like that stuff and I don't.
I don't like eye stuff. Frankly, I can get really freaked out by eye stuff. I know I could never wear contacts and luckily to this point, my vision has remained really good. I detest going to an eye exam more than anything. That puff of air to the eye nearly kills me. I've had a couple of eye injuries that required medical attention. Not fun.
One was getting powdered laundry detergent in my eyes. I got it rinsed out of one completely before going to the E.R., but there was a little in the other. As the doctor explained, laundry soap dissolves protein and the eye is basically protein, so...yeah...ew...I only suffered superficial burns, luckily, but had to spend the rest of the weekend in the dark, not watching tv or reading or anything. Eric read the paper to me, which was very sweet and then I just slept a lot.
Another time, I suddenly started seeing tons of floaters and some flashes, indications of a possible retinal tear. I went to an eye doctor who did horrible, terrible things to me in order to figure out what was going on. I can barely think of the experience without getting nauseated. I've blocked most of it out, I think, but in the end everything was fine.
Eric made me watch this short documentary called Ocularist. It is fascinating that realistic prosthetic eyes can be made, but I really don't need to see the guy taking molds of eye sockets. Come on, I don't. I'd forgotten about the squishing-the eyes-with-the-thumbs scene in 28 Days Later until watching it again the other night. And yeah, there's that eye scene in Kill Bill 2.
I have a strong stomach for lots of things. I see all kinds of stuff at work that would bother many people. I've observed surgeries and even an autopsy. But, please, oh please keep me away from eyeballs. Ick!
I started making a to-do list and it's getting pretty long. It just occurred to me too that I didn't include any of the Halloween prep stuff that needs to be done, such as:
- Decorate the front lawn.
- Get the items for my work costume. We always have a theme and this year it was chosen on a day I was off and someone decided what character I'd be. Okay. Whatever. I'm one of the boys in Peter Pan...John, I think...all I know is that I get to wear pajamas to work, so that's fine with me.
- Figure out a costume for a party this coming weekend. I don't think I can be my work costume as I have to borrow Eric's top hat. He's planning to be Charles De Mar from Better Off Dead, so he'll need the hat on Saturday.
- Purchase candy for the trick-or-treaters. Preferably something I find disgusting, like something filled with coconut, so I won't consume the leftovers. We always have leftovers.
Oh well. Now I feel like an ass.
We wanted something on the spooky side for October, so opted for the theme of British zombies! We showed 28 Days Later and Shaun of the Dead, two great films. I'm not going to pretend to do any sort of intelligent film reviews. I often struggle just to put together a somewhat coherent sentence. But, I will say a bit about what I like about each of these movies.
First of all, I have never been much of a zombie or horror-film-in-general fan. That said, I was really scared to see 28 Days Later in the theater when it first opened. Somehow, I survived though and really liked it. One of the things I really like is Jim awakening in the hospital and wandering around London, realizing it is completely empty. It's terrifying. The performances are great and the story moves along nicely. I think I enjoyed it even more last night, which was only the second time I'd watched it since its theatrical release.
Shaun of the Dead is one of those movies that has it all. Humor, drama, horror, gore, satire. It switches modes well too and only adds to the picture instead of being a downfall. Simon Pegg is simply brilliant in the film, as is the rest of the cast. He has a comic sensibility that reminds me a little of Ricky Gervais, another favorite of mine. The comparison of people going through their daily lives on auto-pilot to zombies is pretty blatant, but very funny nonetheless.
- Make your own head in a jar!
- If you're in the L.A. area, go see a cool (FREE!) show.
- Visit Faulkner Farm, where you can pick a pumpkin, go through a sunflower maze and go on a hayride.
- Get a cool t-shirt to wear.
- Learn all about the history of candy corn. Sure, you hate the stuff, but since I love it, indulge a little why don't you?
- If you want to make a homemade costume, check out this link for some great ideas.
- This guy goes all out for Halloween. He even has a webcam feed. Frightening!
- Don't forget to be on the lookout for The Great Pumpkin!
- All kinds of Halloween projects can be found here!
- Lots of Halloween fun is happening at Goblinville. Be warned that the sound on that site can get a bit annoying though!
One more thing for me to
I can not stand it when people drive with their small dog on their lap. Think about it.
Most cars are now equipped with airbags, which have been known to bruise, burn, abrade, paralyze, and in a very small percentage of cases, kill people (usually us small stature women...don't put your seat to close to the steering wheel, girls!). So, what do you think would happen to a small, Pug-size dog?
Furthermore, if you have to suddently slam on your brakes or get rear-ended, that unrestrained pup becomes a projectile and potentially seriously or fatally injured. There is a lot of merchandise out there to help people be less stupid.
- Medical offices with pay parking lots.
- Trailers that practically show the entire movie.
- Watching people play video games.
- People who have no concept of "elevator etiquette" and rush to get in as you climb over them on your way out.
- Dogs that are such pansies they don't want to go onto the wet grass to pee and hose down the screened-in patio instead. (yes, that woud be 2 of my dogs)
- Going in to work on my day off.
That said, I did have a big smile on my face for nearly my entire drive to work this morning. Listening to Dicky Barrett on the Mighty Morning Show on Indie 103.1 has that effect on me. I think it's a combination of the Boston accent, the snarky attitude and the great music he plays that really works.
In this morning's "Punk Rock Minute," he mentioned that Gang of Four would be playing at the Grand Opening of Hollywood & Highland's Virgin Megastore today. He also mentioned that INXS would be performing with "their new lead singer Puck or Omarosa or whoever it is" (paraphrase). I love it!
Dicky played rain-themed songs this morning, so not only did I hear "Happy When It Rains" by The Jesus and Mary Chain, but he also played "Rainy Days and Mondays" by The Carpenters. Two of my all-time favorite songs that could not be more different.
I am a fan of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and enjoyed seeing them live in Orange County several years ago. (How can you not enjoy a band that has one guy who just dances?) But, I do like what Dicky's doing now and hope he's here for awhile.
- "Honk If You Love Pigs"
- "I'd Rather Be at a Rick Springfield Concert"
- Mel, the dog who plays drums
- Sheldon, the grumpy squirrel
- Left my flat iron (which I hadn't even used) on Saturday morning when I went to work.
- Stayed up for about 23 hours straight Saturday/Sunday. Really brilliant thing to do when you've been ill.
- Return of the Living Dead
- Shaun of the Dead
- Blackberry brandy is kind of nasty.
- Blackberry brandy mixed with Coca-Cola is less nasty.
- I attended the closing night of a play called One West Wacker. Too bad it's over and I can't tell people to go see it. It really was a great show. Congrats to our friends (Wendy, Jeff, Karla, Virginia) who were involved.
- I went to an entertaining, if not at times confusing, party. A few photos will be posted on my flickr site. A few of the photos will not be posted.
You Could Have It So Much Better - Franz Ferdinand- got it!
- The Hard and the Easy - Great Big Sea
- The Return of the Living Dead Soundtrack
Eric bought me a big bag of candy corn to help me feel better. He sure is a swell guy!
Now I'm addicted!
Okay, maybe not addicted, but I would be if I
I've also now discovered Web Sudoku, so I can feed my obsession even when I don't get the paper!
- Saw Jill Sobule and Friends at Largo. It was a good show, but way mellow. I'm hoping for some more upbeat stuff next time she performs.
- Went to the Janet Klein & Her Borscht Belt Babies vaudeville show at the Steve Allen Theater. My life is just not complete without at least a weekly trip to that venue.
- Helped Eric put on his 2nd Annual Short Screams Horror Film Festival at CIA. It went well, in spite of a disappointing turnout. I really thought spreading nearly 1,000 postcards all over the city, as well as listings in the L.A. Weekly and Alternative Press would get people out. I guess there are just too many cool things to do in one night here in Los Angeles.
- Participated in the 4 Paws for a Cure dogwalk with Rusty. Even though we only signed up and started fund raising within the last week, we managed to raise almost $200 for childhood cancer research.
Things That Make Me Smile
- Goldenboy's Shon Sullivan. He is a talented guitar and piano player, as well as a singer. Aside from his band, he has played with other favorites of mine including Elliott Smith, Neil Finn, and Eels. He is just adorable and obviously has so much fun making music.
- A random guy in a pet store on Saturday who was so excited to be buying a pig costume for his French Bulldog.
- Peeps! I put some Peeps links on the side of my page, if anyone reading this shares in the Peep love. I bought some Halloween ones (pumpkins).
- Ricky Gervais and the tv show Extras.
- Naps. I took a lovely one yesterday afternoon.
Things That Confound Me
- The generosity of friends. Several have done very nice things for me lately. Thank you, if you're reading. You know who you are and hopefully have been thanked properly by now.
- The number of incorrectly pronounced words during NPR newscasts. There were at least 2 I noticed this morning. The Nobel Prize was said as "The Noble Prize." Also, instead of saying that two politicians were going to wind their way up to central California, the broadcaster said they would wind (as in strong breeze) their way.
Things That Make Me Sad
- So many natural disasters, so much loss of life.
- Aardman fire that destroyed their archives.
- My allergies are really, really bad right now. Achoo!
- I didn't get to see either Franz Ferdinand or Green Day in concert this past weekend. Boo.
- My favorite Halloween candy is candy corn.
- The best costume I ever wore for Halloween had to be when Eric and I dressed as sock monkeys. I must find a photo to post!
- One of my neighbors in Reedville, Virginia would give out Rice Krispie treats. She lived across the street from me and was also the principal of my Primary School (grades K-3).
- Another neighbor would give out pennies. To me, that was as bad as getting raisins.
- My work environment is extremely conducive to dressing up for Halloween. We do group themes. This year, my group is doing Peter Pan and I was assigned to be one of the boys. I haven't gotten my costume together yet, but hey, I get to wear pajamas to work! How cool is that?
- Eric and I have fun decorating our yard for Halloween. We do a little more each year and get fewer kids each year. Maybe if we had streetlights on our street...
- I got to go trick-or-treating in my neighborhood two years ago when my nieces were visiting. That was a blast!
- I love going to cool events like The Fright Gallery puts on each year.
- But I do not like going to haunted houses where people jump out at you. No thank you.
- I do enjoy visiting a pumpkin patch, going through a corn maze, and going on a hay ride this time of year. Faulkner Farm is a pretty good place to do all of that.
- After the pumpkin is carved (preferably by someone more talented than me), I like to toast the seeds for a yummy, crunchy snack.
I'm sure I'll think of more things later, but that's it for now. I have just enough time of lunch break left to run out for a Pump-It-Up Pumpkin smoothie from Robeks. It's seasonal and it's delicious!
1. What’s in your pockets right now?
The pants I'm wearing right now only have one tiny pocket. I have my pager clipped to it. (No, I'm not a drug dealer...I'm at work still!) I generally hate to carry anything in my pockets.
2. What’s in your purse?
- Doggie shaped cosmetic bag with inhaler, powder compact, 2 Burt's Bees lip shimmers, hand sanitizer, nail clippers
- 3 wallets (I'm not even sure why. I guess I need to do some consolidation. There's about 80 cents total in them.)
- 2 digital cameras
- mp3 player
- Cell phone
- Palm Tungsten E
- Container with extra memory sticks for my cameras
- USB jump drive
- Tiny portable radio/mp3 player/recorder
- Pen and pencil
- 5 colorful gel pens
- Pill box with Sudafed and extra vitamins
- Employee phone list from work
- Emo Philips button
- Piece of paper with a quote from my dog calendar**
- Paradise Kiss, Vol. 1 (manga book)
- Target catalog with an orange purse in it I want (but Target doesn't have it yet)
- Birthday card from a co-worker
3. How many bags do you carry daily?
For work, usually 2. I have my purse (which is a large-ish shoulder bag, if you hadn't guessed by all of the crap that's in it) and a bag with lunch or at least water and snacks.
4. What would you consider “essential” for any given day?
wallet (the one with my i.d.), cell phone, 1 camera (preferably the one that zooms), inhaler
5. What one thing do you really NEED when you travel?
Lots of underwear. It's more of a compulsive thing than the fact that I have accidents (which I don't). I just feel better knowing I've got plenty just in case.
6. I like to read graphic novels (which is just a snooty way of saying LONG COMIC BOOKS) on planes. What do you do on the plane?
Usually I read (nothing specific) and/or listen to music.
7. I know you don’t like the fast rides at the fair and I don’t like the fun houses or bumper cars….what can we go on together?
The carousel? Or maybe the giant slide...I'd do that...I think!
8. Where is Viggo from? And did you see him on the Daily Show? He was pretty funny.
I have no idea where Viggo is from...okay, I just looked it up...Manhattan. Yes, I did see the Daily Show and he was very funny. He's odd, which I like. I also watched him on Charlie Rose where he got pretty political. I happen to agree with his politics.
9. It’s almost Halloween…do you have a favorite monster?
No, I can't say that I do, even though I love Halloween. I have a feeling that I may become a big fan of Were-Rabbits though!
10. How about a favorite trick or treat candy?
I love candy corn! Although, when I was a kid and went trick-or-treating in Virginia, our one neighbor would always give us Rice Krispie treats which was so cool. (We knew her very well and this was before the days of tainted stuff).
** "I hope if dogs ever take over the world, and they choose a king, they don't just go by size, because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with good ideas." -Jack Handey
Another concert was on the schedule for Friday night. Eric and I saw Keane at The Greek Theatre, a great outdoor venue. We were a little late, but caught most of the show. For a rather mellow band, the guys had a lot of energy and great stage presence. I dug their light show too. We grabbed a bite to eat at Canter's after the show. We noticed they've added a second, midnight Jon Brion show at Largo on Friday nights. It was tempting to stand in line to try and make it in, but our growling stomachs won over.
Saturday, the actual date of my birth, was pretty mellow. I got a couple of cool gifts, including a very bizarre one from my dogs.
I know you're saying, "I've got to get me one of those!" and you haven't even seen it lit up at night! **EDIT: I showed this photo to my friend Jill and she said, "I totally want one!"
Eric and I spent my birthday night at the L.A. County Fair in Pomona. I really wanted to see the farm animals, so we spent a long time watching the baby lambs and pigs in the nursery area. Both are such playful animals and such a joy to watch. It made me almost want a (small) pig as a pet and momentarily question why I'm not a vegetarian. I didn't really come up with an answer, but I did have a hot dog right after leaving the farm area.
Since I'm such a chicken shit, I don't go on most carnival rides. We did do the bumper cars and got out some of that aggression you can't legally and safely take out while driving on the freeway. There were also a couple of very silly funhouse rides we did. I almost got up the courage to go on a ferris wheel, but no, I backed down and played some skee ball instead.
Going to the fair means eating lots of "fair food." I decided to try the deep-fried Twinkie this year. It wasn't bad. The batter was a little thick, but it was better than I thought it would be. It's definitely not something I'd have on a regular or semi-regular basis. I'd mentioned to Eric earlier in the evening about wishing they had Frito pie at the fair. I was really craving salty and in line to get some kettle corn when Eric comes over to tell me he thinks they DO have Frito pie. Sure enough, there it is...but called by a rather embarrassing name..."Frito Feedbag." Come on, what the hell? Oh well, didn't matter...they were even serving in the bag like the school cafeterias in Texas do. My only critique is that they opened the bag from the top and it works a little better if you slice it along the side.
All that junk and I still had room for a slice of Carvel ice cream birthday cake when we got home. Ugh. My stomach was churning a little on Sunday. No surprise. We wrapped up the weekend by seeing A History of Violence. Eric and I liked it. Sherri didn't. Granted, I'd probably watch a film of Viggo watching paint dry and enjoy it!
We got our first dog, Cosette, as a puppy back in 1992. She has always been more bonded to Eric, so after seven years I really started wanting "my own dog." I received a certificate for my birthday, good for a dog. I knew I wanted to rescue a dog and thought I'd get another American Eskimo Dog.
After meeting one Eskie who was not going to work out, I got discouraged. Eric suggested checking out the shelters. It took a little time, but we found our ragged, sick Little Guy. It took some work to nurse him back to health and integrate him into the household, but it was worth it. He's very sweet and very soft. He has an eternal puppy quality to him.
However, if you are a squirrel, I don't suggest messing with him!