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8/31/2005

The Week in Music and Why I Love Frito Pie

CDs I bought this week:
  • Out-of-State Plates-Fountains of Wayne
  • Twin Cinema-The New Pornographers
  • The Bravery-The Bravery
  • Live at Tower Records EP-Ben Folds
Music related DVD purchase:
  • The Barenaked Truth, a Canadian BNL dvd with concert and interview footage
Concerts I have or will attend:
  • ABC w/Naked Eyes
  • L.A. Philharmonic conducted by John Williams (9/3)
  • Brian Wilson w/Polyphonic Spree (9/4)
  • Louis XIV performing with screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (9/5)

Good stuff heard on the radio this morning:

  • This morning on Indie 103.1, Dicky Barrett played his "favorite Simon and Garfunkel song: 'The Boxer.'" That's my favorite too and I got so excited I drove right to work, forgetting to go to the post office to mail something important.
  • Dicky and company on 103.1 were giving props to Stewart Copeland as being an amazing drummer.

Frito Pie rocks because:

  • It's a meal you can make right in the bag.
  • I love the crunchy combined with the gooey chili and cheese.
  • Great combination of flavors.

8/30/2005

The Weekly Top 10

1. THIS IS THE ONE I KEEP FORGETTING! And now you are going to think it's a really good question too, but it's not. If you had to give of one of your five senses, which one would it be and (briefly) why?

I'd give my sense of smell (which would affect my sense of taste, but oh well). I have a pretty "sensitive nose" and actually get sensory overload at times by various aromas. I get nauseated by various smells, such as omelets. I nearly barfed in my driveway last night after taking out the garbage because there was an extremely foul odor emitting from the black can. I know those are extreme examples, and I'm not saying I have the scent detecting abilities of a bloodhound, but I detect more subtle things too. I'm frequently saying, "Do you smell that?" and receiving only quizzical looks.

2. I recently wrote a little bit about Los Angeles and what I can love about it, even as I do not love living here. What do you love about L.A.?
  • I love that here in L.A. we have the best of many worlds. We have city with its theaters, coffee shops, free independent newspapers, etc. We also have massive amounts of "nature" such as canyons, hills, etc. I love hiking up into Griffith Park or Runyon Canyon and getting to certain spots where you are just surrounded by greenery (and brownery this time of year as it is so dry) and forgetting briefly that you are even in a city. In addition, we have the beach, mountains, and desert within close reach.
  • The variety of cultures represented by L.A.'s residents. I feel fortunate to work in a profession and location that forces me to interact with lots of people from a multitude of cultural backgrounds. I continue to learn new things almost daily from these experiences.
  • As a result of above, there are fabulous restaurants here. You can find just about any cuisine you have your heart set on. There is also a plethora of late-night and even 24 hour dining options which is important to me.
  • Great art deco architecture in various parts of the city, such as the Miracle Mile area.
  • There are a lot of opportunities through various organizations to see free film screenings. A few movies I have not paid for in the past year include: The Aviator (complete with Q&A with Scorsese), Crash, Madagascar, I *heart* Huckabees, Team America, The Incredibles, Batman Begins...just to name a few.
  • Great bands and musicians play here, often in smaller venues.
  • The Hollywood Bowl
  • The "weather". Yes, we really don't have much variety and yes, it has been "Africa hot" here lately, but that's what a/c is for, right? Having spent a fair amount of time in the Northeast and the Southeast, I found I don't really like weather too much.
  • In general, I find the beggars to be rather friendly (as compared to NYC and San Francisco where they can be downright scary!)
  • Museums.
  • Overall, this is a fairly "dog friendly" city.
  • I could go on and on, but I'll wrap it up by saying that there is so much to do and discover that I'm seeing, doing, and learning new things here in and about L.A. all the time.
3. You’ve been going to a lot of concerts recently. If you were a rocker, how would you rock?

Wow, this is a really tough question because I am about the most tone deaf and least musically talented person you could meet! I'd most likely rock some off-beat, avant garde, pop-punk type band. A girl band. Sort of like my friend's band kittenfreaky maybe.

4. And what would you play?

To go along with the incredibly insane fantasy that I would ever be in a band, I'd have to say keyboards and theremin. In reality, I'd probably do better off with a triangle.

5. And what would you name your band?

I have two, of course: Sparkling Cheese or Sapphire Underdog.
(Damn, those are pretty bad!)

6. I recently bought maps of Dublin and Edinburgh, two places I have visited and to which I would love to return. Both cities felt very comfortable to me. Where do you feel most comfortable (in that sense, not in like a jammies and bed sort of sense)?

I recently had the opportunity to return to Ithaca, NY, a place I really love. To visit. I don't think I could live there though. A couple of other places I really like, again as a comfortable place to visit, even for an extended time, is Mammoth Lakes, CA and New Hope, PA. (The caveat being that I visit neither of those places in the winter).

7. Speaking of comfort, it was to my surprise that I found that may ultimate comfort food is‚…tofu. Do you have a comfort food? (did I ask you this before?)

No, you did not ask this. I'm not sure I have just one answer as it depends a bit on mood. I can narrow it down to two though: dark chocolate and tortilla chips.

8. I know there are no better dogs in the world than your three but do you have a favorite breed (and I do not condone dog breeding or anything of the sort, but all dogs come from some breed way back).

I've truly come to love the small to medium sized "mutt," but I am also very fond of the "Spitz" breeds such as American Eskimos, Pomeranians, Keeshonds, etc. They are typically intelligent dogs and I like the fox-like features of snout and pointy ears. There are other breeds I do like such as long-hair Dachshunds, long-hair Chihuahuas, and Westies. I grew up with, and my parents now have, German Shepard Dogs which I also have an affinity for, but I personally don't think I'd have a dog that large anymore.

9. Other than dogs, do you have a favorite animal?

Non-human primates. Monkeys, chimps, apes, you name it.

10. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Mint chocolate chip. Yum!

Questions courtesy of Ren. Thanks!

8/29/2005

Dog in a Cone Monthly


Fun with Flickr!

Another Album Title Lyric

I can't believe I forgot this one on my 8/24 post!

Head on the Door
in "Close To Me" (The Cure)

***Okay, so the actual album title is The Head on the Door and the lyric is My Head on the Door, but I count this one.

8/27/2005

Help Me Now!

I was just in my local Sav-on (pharmacy, candy, school supplies, etc.) and was a bit surprised to see they've already stocked an aisle with Halloween candy. It's not even September yet! I'm trying to see the positive side of this and thinking of the possibilities for feeding my latest obsession with photographing things that are orange. How will I stop from feeding my sweet tooth though? Who buys this stuff in August? Only people who are going to eat it now! Ack! Help me!

Part of the reason it is taking me so long to read the book Candyfreak is that when I read its descriptions of various types of candies, many of which I've never even eaten, I start having mad cravings. I was reading it earlier which led me to pick up a Chris Ungar, er...Big Hunk...when I went to Sav-on. (I also got some pens...I love school supplies!)

The time between now and my favorite holiday is going to go quickly. I will hopefully be able to control myself and not over-indulge on the sugary goodness in the orange packaging. Temptation is difficult, but I will hopefully prevail. Besides, before you know it, Halloween will be a memory and the Xmas decorations will have replaced my nemesis.

8/26/2005

Tina, Come Get Some Ham!

I've said before that sometimes it's the simple things that bring some happiness to my day. I've been wanting the above Napoleon Dynamite quote as my cell's ringtone for ages now.

I have it. And I did not pay for it.

*Happy dance!*

Photo Friday: Chaos


This week's challenge: 'Chaos'

Firey destruction by Robochrist Industries' robots.

8/25/2005

Supermarket Orange

I have a friend who has gotten scolded for taken photos in a grocery store. I felt compelled to test the waters myself and got some shot of orange items in one of the supermarkets I frequent. Luckily, there were few employees around and I did not get busted.

8/24/2005

Sometimes It's The Simple Things

I've always loved it when the title of an album appears as a song lyric instead of a title of one of the songs. It's very silly, but one of those simple things that gives me a thrill. Of course, I can now only think of a few.
  • Whatever and Ever Amen in "The Battle of Who Could Care Less" (Ben Folds Five)
  • Under the Table and Dreaming in "Ants Marching" (Dave Matthews Band)
  • Awake is the New Sleep in "Whatever It Is" (Ben Lee)
  • Don't Tell a Soul in "We'll Inherit the Earth" (The replacements)

Super, extra double bonus points though to Culture Club. Kissing to be Clever is a line that appears in "Miss Me Blind" on the 1983 Colour by Numbers album. Kissing to be Clever was their 1982 release.

8/23/2005

Ben Folds, Night 3/Las Vegas

Or, Awake is the new sleep... (to steal Ben Lee's album title)

Or, the answers for those who have asked "How was Vegas?"

After last Friday's Ben Folds' show, I went straight to bed so I could get up around 7am on Saturday to do necessary chores before leaving the dogs alone overnight. Eric's plan was to stay up and finish a project for someone and then sleep until about 10am. We'd hit the road around Noon.

The best laid plans...yeah, yeah, yeah...Eric nearly collapsed due to lack of sleep and therefore came to bed. So, when he got up at 10, he still had to do the project. In the meantime, I'd attempted to go out around 9:30 and noticed I had a flat tire. So, I called Triple A who put on my spare and I headed over to the tire shop. The tire shop was swamped and I'd have to wait at least an hour and a half for them to even look at my tires. I didn't want to disturb Eric who was feverishly working, so a dear friend picked me up and brought me home. (Thanks James!)

Once the project was done, my car was recovered, and we were ready to leave, it was 4pm. Only running 4 hours late, which for us, isn't unheard of, but not good. We calculated that if we hit no traffic, we'd make it to the Ben Folds' show in Vegas in good time.

We totally forgot that OzzFest was taking place at the Glen Helen Pavilion in Devore, right along our route. It had started at 9:00 am, but apparently there was a lot of looky-loo traffic around the event. Traffic was awful until we passed that area, but we lost a lot of time. Luckily traffic cleared and we were able to go 90-100 mph the rest of the way, arriving at the will call desk 5 minutes before Ben Folds hit the stage.

The Joint
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, NV
08/20/05


We got to Will Call to pick up our tickets. We had a phone message earlier in the week from the ticketing company that our tickets had been returned to them, destroyed, so they'd have new ones for us at Will Call. Will Call had no record of us and no tickets in our name. Luckily, the show was not sold out and we bought new tickets. (Since that time, we've called the ticketing company and had the original money refunded).

It was somewhat of a bummer that we missed Ben Lee, having really come to like him over the past two shows. We found a good place to stand and Eric went over to the merch table. Ben Lee was hanging out there, so Eric bought his latest cd and had him sign it.



Ben Folds and his band sounded great. They did a mix of the previous two nights' set lists with "Carrying Cathy" thrown in as the one song we hadn't heard. The Vegas audience really seemed to be there primarily to see Rufus, who was performing after Ben. There was a group of people in front of us who just sat on the floor for all of Ben's set, which I found to be strange. At least they were quiet though. A guy in the back was heard saying "I have to keep talking louder because I can't hear myself over this band!" Well, fucking get out of the showroom dude! Even at the Wiltern in L.A., I was astounded by the number of people who just stand at the bar in the back and talk very loudly throughout an entire show instead of having the courtesy to go into the lobby (where there is also a bar).

Anyway, I got a cool red track jacket that says "Folds" on the front left. We left after the Ben Folds portion of the show, as did most of the people standing in the front 3 rows of the room.

We checked into Palace Station, where we'd booked a cheap ($76) room. It's a pretty gross hotel and casino from what we'd seen before. At check-in, the clerk told us we'd been upgraded to a mini-suite in their "tower." This is a newer section and is much nicer than the rooms we'd seen before. It was a very nice room, especially for the price, so we were satisfied. Seems they are doing a major remodel to stay competitive.

After dropping our stuff in the room, we headed over to Mandalay Bay to get some food at The Cafe at The Hotel, a posh, all-suite hotel connected to Mandalay Bay. It felt like a New York cafe. Very good food, fairly reasonable prices, open 24/7. We did some minimal gambling and were back in our room by 2:30 or 3.

We did get a later start than we wanted on Sunday, deciding to gamble a little and take some time to check out the newest hotel/casino, the Wynn. It's really nice and I had fun taking lots of photos there. I look forward to returning to the theater there to see "Avenue Q," which will be opening for an indefinite run in September.

I was pondering the saying that New York is the "City that Never Sleeps." I really think that applies more to Las Vegas, but since it's taken, I've come up with a couple of other slogans:

"Las Vegas: The City of Perpetual Construction"

DSC00319

I've been to Las Vegas an average of twice a year over the past 10 and there is always construction. It seems like now there is more than ever.

"Las Vegas: City of Imported Nature"

This greenery and waterfall are not naturally occurring desert nature. Neither are white tigers, dolphins, lions, or penguins which can all also be found in Vegas.

This entry ended up being much longer than intended. My head is hurting and I've taken lots of breaks while writing this, so it quite possibly make very little sense.

This Week's 10 from Ren

1. So you think George Michael was kind of sexy back in the day? Well who didn't? (neither of those were the actual questions though keep reading) Who is sexy now? Give me three please.
  • Viggo Mortensen
  • Taye Diggs
  • Kiefer Sutherland
  • Nick Rhodes (yes, still...his voice alone is to die for, but I find him physically sexy too.)
2. So what makes a person sexy?

A good sense of humor is a must. Good teeth help, but if there are enough qualities, that can be overlooked (hell, look at Viggo's teeth! Egads!). Intelligence, interest in the world outside of oneself, creativity, good hair or complete lack of hair, confident, but not arrogant. I find many different "types" sexy, so it is definitely a "whole package" sort of definition.

3. I use itunes on my computer but I can't use the random play feature because...ok, lets just say I have a lot of music that I rarely want to listen to but I still must keep. If you use a random play feature on your mp3 player or your cd player or whatever, what are the first 5 songs you get and will you skip any of them?

From my Samsung mp3 player on shuffle (random):
  • "Talking Loud and Clear"-OMD
  • "So Much to Say"-Dave Matthews Band
  • "Beating of Hearts"-XTC
  • "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"-Tears for Fears
  • "Slap and Tickle"-Squeeze
I'd honestly probably listen to all of those songs. It is rare though for me to listen in that mode and not skip songs. With 4,756 on the player currently, there are a lot of things I rarely want to listen to, but must have on there "just in case." I tend to be in very specific musical moods and go for a particular artist, track, or album. Random play is usually reserved for road trips.

4. How was Vegas?

I'm going to cheat on this one and say "see my next post!"

5. I know that you have some trouble sleeping sometimes, just like me. More about time to sleep really, but do you have and good tips for getting a good night sleep?

Personally, I have to have background noise to sleep...white noise. It can't be a tv or radio because then I stay awake listening to it. I always have at least my air purifier running in my bedroom, and often a fan and humidifier as well. That's my G-rated answer.

6. So, say someone gives you, I don'’t know a million and a half dollars but with the proviso that you can't spend it on yourself. What would you do with it?

Give it to Eric so he could make his feature film.

7. Can I go home now? I'’m really tired…

Sure!

8. Who is your favorite South Park character?

Timmy!

9. Oh, I have this really good question but I keep forgetting what it is! So...um..favorite color?

Currently, I'd have to say orange.

10. What did you have for dinner last night?

We scrounged in our freezer and cabinets. I had some frozen Mrs. T's pierogies. If I'd answered this on Monday when I received it, I'd have said a cheeseburger from In-N-Out.

8/22/2005

Spam Comments

Anyone else plagued by spam comments? I started getting them last night and my first thought was to disable non-Blogger member comment ability. I kept getting them under bogus Blogger sites that had been created.

Please, just leave me alone. I don't want your Cialis or acne medication. I certainly don't want to come to your online poker room either. Go bother someone else, or hey, get a life and don't bother anyone!

8/21/2005

Ben Folds, Day/Night 2

The Tonight Show
Burbank, CA
08/19/05


After 2.5 hours of sleep Thursday night, I got over to NBC Studios around 7:10 am to wait in line for tickets for the afternoon's taping. The tickets, which do not guarantee entry into the show, were efficiently passed out starting at 8:00 am. I was back in my car and on the way to Starbucks by 8:10, as I'd already decided that my original plan to go back to bed was not going to happen.

Eric had stayed up all night making a film. It had to get to the post office no later than 4 pm to be express mailed for a competition. He finished the piece, I ran it to the post office and then I went back at NBC around 1:30 pm to line up for the taping. Eric joined my by 2:15. We did get into the show, but ended up with bad seats. We could see fine for Ralph Fiennes (oh yes, Ren, he looks that good in person too!) and Carmen Electra. Unfortunately, we could not see Ben Folds when he performed. Well, we could see him on the monitors, but it's not quite the same. We did have a good view of the string section that was playing along to "Landed."

As we were leaving the show, we realized we were both way too sleep deprived to safely drive to the Wiltern for that night's show. We began to formulate alternate plans, as well as our foggy brains could at that point.


The Wiltern
Los Angeles, CA
08/19/05


We arrived at the Wiltern via the Red Line subway, which has a stop right at Wilshire and Western. The line wasn't too terribly long yet and we were relieved. We hadn't eaten much all day, so the fact that we ended up in line right in front of Denny's worked out well. We got some take-out and actually felt much more alert afterwards.

Since we arrived earlier, we got a closer spot for this show. Being a bit closer to the stage was not only good view-wise, but I couldn't hear the obnoxious people talking very loudly throughout Thursday's concert. I brought my camera along, as I found out from Security on Thursday we were allowed to. The Wiltern's website states "NO cameras," so I didn't risk it the first night.

Conclusions after Friday's show:
  • I enjoyed Ben Lee even more than Thursday. He and his band have some great new songs.
  • I really don't like Rufus Wainwright very much. Since he performed second, we stuck around for his entire set. I was bored.
  • Ben Folds' best night of the three shows I saw this weekend (more about Vegas in a future post) was hands-down Friday night. He played last, was on musically, bantered more with the audience, and even got an encore. I think he is truly one of the most underrated musical talents of the past decade.
"Ben Folds Weekend" to be continued...

8/19/2005

Ben Folds, Night 1

The Wiltern
Los Angeles, CA
08/18/05

Perhaps thanks to Rufus Wainwright's fans, I didn't feel as old as I normally do at a Ben Folds show. His audience is primarily college kids, so a couple of thirty-somethings stand out, sort of like someone's parents. The crowd at The Wiltern on Thursday night was a bit more diverse age-wise.

Ben Lee opened the show with a 30 minute set which was mostly upbeat and enjoyable. I'm not a huge fan of Lee, but he was good. In retrospect, I'd have preferred a longer set by him and less Rufus.

Since Folds and Wainwright are co-headlining their ''Odd Men Out'' tour, they are alternating sets each night. Ben Folds played a kick-ass, but way too short, set with his band, as well as a couple of solo numbers. Highlights included a duet with Wainwright doing ''Careless Whisper,'' Dr. Dre's ''Bitches Ain't Shit,'' ''Army'' with audience participation as the horn section, and the Ben Folds Five tune ''Where's Summer B'' from their first album. That's the song that brought us to Ben in early 1996. Unfortunately, there was no encore.

Rufus Wainwright didn't impress me and was a bit too mellow. He sounds the same in every song and has this strange voice in which he does not enunciate very much, giving him a cottony mouth sound with minimally decipherable lyrics. We lasted a few songs, then decided to take off.

Ben Folds goes on last tonight and will hopefully get an encore.

Written on my Palm at 7:30 am while waiting in line at NBC for Tonight Show tickets. Ben Folds is the musical guest. (And then I spent a couple of hours formatting it because I am a big dork!)

Photo Friday: One


This week's challenge: 'One'

8/17/2005

Good Things

  • Eric was awarded the 1st Annual Alex Kirkwood Memorial Spirit of FA Award by Filmmakers Alliance at tonight's VisionFest Screening. It's a well deserved recognition for Eric's dedication to the organization and independent filmmaking. I'm so proud of him!
  • Tomorrow is my Friday!
  • I went on a great hike with some friends from work last night. For various reasons, it had been way too long since I've hiked in Griffith Park. I remembered how much I love being able to escape into nature in the middle of the city.
  • We'll be seeing Ben Folds live for the next three nights!
  • Saturday night's show is in Vegas. Road trip!
  • I'm getting to bed pretty early tonight. I need sleep to ward off this major allergy attack/pre-cold I'm fighting.

I Say Blog, You Say Online Diary

So it turns out that I am erroneously calling this site a "blog." I'm debating whether or not to do anything about it or just leave it as is. I'm usually a stickler for grammar and proper word usage, so I am conflicted.

Any opinions?

Anyone even reading this? If not, I guess it really doesn't matter, now does it? I'm open for opinions and comments.


8/16/2005

10 Answers to 10 Questions

Once again, my weekly 10 questions from Ren. What silly fun!

1) Do you have a favorite "adult beverage"?
I have a difficult time choosing favorites, but I'll have to go with hard cider. In a very close second place is drinks made with rum.

2)
You see a lot of movies, is there one that stands head and shoulders above the rest as your favorite?
I think this answer changes for me depending on the day, my mood, the moon cycle, whatever. Maybe I can pick a favorite by genre...I don't know, this type of question is stupidly hard for me. I'll list 5 movies I love, in no particular order, as of today, August 16, 2005:
  • Babe
  • Empire Records
  • Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  • The Sound of Music
  • Murderball
3) Where would you like to go within the United States, that you have never been before?
Another list of 5:
  • Bryce Canyon, Utah
  • Eureka, (Northern) California
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Vermont
  • Alaska
4) What about in the world?
This is the easiest question I've been asked to date. New Zealand!

5)
You seem like the kind of person who is always up for something new. Do you see yourself as adventurous and adaptable or is that all a fa├žade?
I do consider myself adaptable, yes. Considering the numerous times I've moved, started new schools, and made new friends in my lifetime, I'd have to say I'm pretty good at adapting to new situations and circumstances. But, no, I do not consider myself adventurous. I am a big chicken and afraid of most things that could potentially result in my death or severe nausea (e.g. roller coasters, free fall rides, scary movies, etc). I have tried being a bit more adventurous and even rode on the gondola up Mammoth Mountain last summer (while there was lightning storm rolling in). Sounds like nothing to most people, but it was huge for me!

6) I
s there something (without reavealing a weakenss that you don’t want to reveal, remember, there are supervillians reading!) that you just can’t handle?
Well, I'm not so sure I can handle the idea of supervillians reading my silly little blog!

Seriously though, I don't do so well in confrontational situations in which I'm being yelled at or feel threatened for some other reason.

7) W
ell, let’s say you are a super hero? What is your name and what are your powers?
My name would be Vapor and I'd have the power of invisibility. I wish on nearly a daily basis that I could be a fly on a wall to observe or just hide from life for a few minutes. (Apologies if that is some kind of real super hero name. You know I'm not so up on all that!)

8)
What one thing about yourself are you willing to tell that would surprise your friends?
I can sometimes be very shy and have a hard time talking to people I don't know, especially if they seem really cool.

9) Do you have a favorite dessert?
No, not in particular. Feels like a good time to do another list:
  • Mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • Cannolis
  • Banana pudding with vanilla wafers
  • Frozen blueberries with a bit of sugar sprinkled on top
  • Green tea mochi ice cream
10) What talent are you most proud of?
The ability to touch my nose with the tip of my tongue. In general, I don't think of myself as someone who has talents, unless you count being sarcastic as such.

Thanks, Ren! I'm tired now!

Song on Repeat

I often get songs stuck in my head. Sometimes it's a bad thing, like "B.Y.O.B" by System of a Down. I don't really need that repeating in my brain over and over. At other times, I'm obsessing over a song, listening to it a lot, and don't mind the repetition so much. Today it's "Best of Luck" from Nickel Creek's new album Why Should the Fire Die? Sara Watkins' voice is amazing with an ethereal quality that reminds me of Fleming McWilliams.

8/15/2005

Emo Night

Once again, it's Monday night which means seeing Emo Philips at The Steve Allen Theater. It doesn't matter that this is my 4th time seeing him in as many weeks, I know I'll laugh my ass off. I really like his non sequitur style of humor. One of my current favorite quotes of his is:


"Someone asked me if I was a Scientologist. {Laughs} I said, 'No, I'm not even into non-evil forms of stupidity.'"

I'm still sort of recovering from the weekend. It was way too short, as always. I think I'll run off and get some caffeine before going to the theater for Emo.


**Updated with photo 08/16/05**

8/14/2005

Photo Friday: Violet


This week's challenge: 'Violet'

Things I Learned

I like to learn new things, so luckily, I'd say I've had a pretty educational weekend so far:
  • I make pretty good rum and ginger ale drinks.
  • Rum and ginger ale drinks cure headaches.
  • Russian vampire movies are confusing when I'm a little drunk.
  • I should be more careful when taking photos of cars. The driver may actually be in the car.
  • I don't like vomit porn.
  • Almost everyone likes to toast a marshmallow over an open flame.
  • I should have soaked the wooden skewers in water for 20 minutes.
  • Two of my friends have orange-ish hair.
  • The party goes on, no matter how unprepared I feel.
  • My backyard really does smell like a NYC subway.
  • I do like a man in a kilt. Especially if he has leg tattoos.

8/11/2005

Miscellany

My day started out fairly well, thanks to Dicky Barrett on Indie 103.1. On my way to work, he played "Oblivious" by Aztec Camera, one of my all-time favorite songs that I never hear on the radio!

Once again, I have way to many social options for one evening. Work barbecue, Hollywood Bowl tickets, a magic show I really, really, really want to go to. So, I've decided that I'll make a brief appearance at the park for the bbq (and drop off the beverages I signed up to bring) and then head over to the magic show. My Bowl tickets were very cheap, so no big deal. I've seen Fitzgerald perform before and he's hilarious, so I'm going for the laugh.

Tomorrow will be jam-packed with house and backyard cleaning. I have to prep for the potential of Ren coming over and drinking with me! Well, and the fact that several people are definitely coming over Saturday evening for sure. I have to work all day Saturday, so I have lots to get done tomorrow.

I saw The Aristocrats the other night. I know it is not a film for everyone, but I laughed my ass off! The humor is extremely scatological and beyond. If you appreciate South Park and would laugh at things taken oh-so-much further than Comedy Central would ever allow, go see it.

I love my dogs!

Anticipation

I'm getting excited about the 3 Ben Folds' shows we're going to next week...Thursday and Friday in L.A. and Saturday in Vegas. I posted some photos from the shows Ben did with William Shatner last October.



There's also a show in San Diego next Sunday. We don't have tickets for that one though...yet.

8/10/2005

Tuesday, Tuesday

I spent most of my day off Tuesday sleeping. That was good and bad. I needed the rest, but neglected to get lots of stuff done that has to be done by the end of the week. Oh well.

I left the house around 5pm to do some errands and the air and sky were quite smoky. Turns out there was a fire in the Hollywood Hills and the wind was blowing the smoke and ash in our direction. Luckily, no homes or people were harmed.

After errands, we went to Amoeba for the Nickel Creek in-store. Being the dork that I tend to be, I had the wrong time and they went on at 8, not 7. We were only able to stay for a couple of songs. Since we had time to kill, some purchases were made, of course. We picked up Nickel Creek's new cd and I got an import version of Rude Boy. Eric picked up some things from the deep discount bins (where we noticed that just about every Ben Affleck movie is available for $4.99!), as well as the Special Edition of The Muppet Show: Season 1.


We left Amoeba and headed over to Largo for dinner and Jill Sobule. There was a small crowd, but she was great as usual. She came out into the room a couple of times to sing. She sat on the empty table next to us and sang "Underdog Victorious." During the song she spotted my Underdog t-shirt and had me stand up to show everyone.

My blog is kind of repetitive. I'll have to think of some interesting things to write about as opposed to always writing "...we went to Largo again..." (well, we do go there fairly often).

8/09/2005

This Week's Questions from Ren

Here are the questions my buddy Ren posed this week:

1) What is your favorite word?
Currently, I'd have to say "absolutely." I don't know why, but I like saying it.

2) And what one word do you say the most (i know it'’s rude)?
How dare she! Well, she's right, I tend to talk like a sailor at times. Ever since Comic Con, the word "cluster fuck" has frequently flown out of my mouth.

3) Last 3 cd’s you bought? Were they any good?
This answer will be different tomorrow as I'm going to Amoeba tonight!
  • Joe Jackson Band-Volume 4: Good cd with a bonus live cd. I picked it up after seeing Joe Jackson live a couple of months ago and realizing my collection was missing some really good stuff.
  • The New Pornographers-Electric Version: It's great! I'm addicted to their sound. Their new cd comes out August 23rd, so we'll have to pick that up to hear the new songs prior to the show in September.
  • The Devils-Dark Circles: Nick Rhodes and Steven Duffy (original lead singer of Duran Duran). I honestly need to listen to it more. It's pretty mellow and a bit melancholy. Lately I've been in a more upbeat musical mood. I just haven't given it a fair shake yet.
4) Let'’s say you could be any character in any book you have ever read. Let'’s say you have to be a character in a book you have read. Who would you be?
This is a very hard question for me. I'm not nearly as well read as Ren, and a lot of people for that matter, and I have a difficult time retaining what I do read. I spent quite a bit of time reading the 6th Harry Potter book flipping through the 4th and 5th to refresh my memory on references.

While thinking about this question, I go back to two books I read as a child which have (somewhat) stuck with me. I think back to The Secret Garden and The Island of the Blue Dolphins. I don't think I'd want to be the girl on the island, alone and fighting off wild dogs, so I'll choose Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden. She does teach her sick cousin how to walk again, so perhaps in some ways this character inspired my chosen profession without my realizing it. (I doubt it though!)

5) Do you have a morning ritual? Because i know you used to have the diet coke thing going but no more…
I gave up aspartame (Nutrasweet, etc), so yeah, no more morning Diet Coke for me. My morning ritual consists of me snoozing my 5 alarms (I'm not kidding! 3 on my cell phone, 1 radio and 1 buzzer) for a bit. I have to know what's going on in the world first thing so I listen to NPR on KCRW in the bathroom and shower. I'm the type of person who has to take a morning shower and wash, blow dry, and straighten my hair in the morning (as opposed to the night before) so that is ritual on work days. I don't really have any food or beverage rituals currently. It depends on what's in the fridge. Lately, the fridge has been empty and I have been making some am trips to Starbucks. I can't afford to do that every day though, so I'm putting a stop to that asap.

6) Are there any programs you use regularly on your computer?
  • Photoshop- only basic stuff like cropping and brightening up a photo. I'd like to play around with that program more.
  • Napster-the program sucks, but my Samsund mp3 player demands I use it for uploading my music.
  • CDex-good ripping program.
  • V-com virus scanner
7) Why don'’t you just stop running around all the time and take a freakin' nap, woman?
Wow, that is a good question. I enjoy the running around, but as you know, I do get tired and crash. Eric thrives on running around, so I'm often trying to keep up with him. I do squeeze in naps where I can though. For example, after work yesterday, before going to the Emo Phillips show and then to the movies, I took a nice 45 minute nap. The other thing is, I do tend to get a second wind around 10 or 11 pm, so if I stay up that late, I can go until 4 or 5 in the morning. Not good I know. All sorts of studies are coming out saying that lack of sleep shortens your life. I might as well be smoking it seems.

8) I am kind of mildly obsessed with magazines. I always buy any new ones that start up and i buy all kinds of things just to see what they are like, teen magazines, wine magazines...right now i am v. fond of scientific magazines. What magazines do you like to read and why? And are there any you hate, hate, hate?
There are definitely some magazines I really like, but I'm not nearly as obsessed as Eric is with them. Right now my favorites include:
  • Paste-great music coverage with thoughtful writing. I like that it comes with a sampler cd and a dvd (if you subscribe, which I did).
  • The Bark-literary dog magazine. When I discovered this, I quickly put down my Dog Fancy which is mostly good for photos and info on pure breeds only. The Bark has intelligent articles, art, book reviews and more.
  • Q and Mojo-British music magazines. Q has great articles which I discovered by comparing their cover story on Green Day which ran around the same time as Entertainment Weekly did the same. There was a huge difference in the two. I found the British article to be funnier, much more informative, and a far better overall read than the American one (not a huge surprise). Mojo comes with great cds. I don't buy these often though due to the price.
  • Newsweek-I love the political cartoons and quotes section. I think Newsweek has good articles on current world events.
  • People-guilty pleasure. I no longer subscribe, but it is a must read whenever I fly somewhere or go to a waiting room.
  • Discover-good science magazine. I wish I read it more often.
  • National Geographic-gorgeous photography and wonderful articles.
I don't really like the home improvement magazines that Eric gets like This Old House and Handyman. I hate doing home improvements, so I don't really want to read about them.

9) So, you saw david bowie in your dreams, eh? What is the best real star sighting you have ever had?
This is another tough question. I've had quite a few and have trouble picking a "best." So, I'm going with recent. A few weeks ago, I went to the Sunset Laemmle Theater to see a movie with a few co-workers (yes, I was actually socializing with co-workers and I actually had a lot of fun!). Three of us went directly from work and were waiting for two others who were off that day. We were sitting at a table outside of the theater and Matthew Perry came over and sat at another table very close to us. He was on his cell phone. We got a bit giggly and he ended up getting up from the table and moving away a bit (I think because of us). It was fun to see the others' reactions when they arrived. He went into the theater with a female, but not to see the same film as us. So, it wasn't necessarily "the best," but it was one of the most fun being with other girls, who are far more girly than me, of course.

10) Going back to the no more diet coke thing...I know you drink tea more now. is there a specific type you like? (pg tips makes great iced tea. v. dark. like your soul!!)
Well, I like to make iced tea from the passion fruit flavored "Paradise Tea." Trader Joe's has a store brand of regular 'ole iced tea bags that make nice tea also. Yes, I may have a very dark soul, but I don't like my tea very dark. I water down my iced tea and will add a bit of milk to hot tea if it is too dark.

11) Do you want ten more next week? because i can ask stupid questions for a looooong time....
Absolutely!

8/08/2005

Dog Tired

It's not unusual for me to be pretty tired on Mondays (or any day for that matter). Today is exceptional though. I'm so tired, I hurt. I want to cry. I may before the day is over. I wish I was a dog or a cat (no, not actually...I'm not a Furry, for you sickos who are thinking that!) in the sense that if I wanted to just curl up on the couch or floor and sleep for 17 hours or so I could. It's important to have dreams.

At least I have good reason to be tired. My weekend was jam-packed with activity and very little sleep. Friday night included live robot warfare courtesy of Robochrist Industries at The Steve Allen Theater at The Center for Inquiry-West. No, it is not a cult as I overheard someone supposing at the event. It is actually an organization that is anti-cult and promotes skepticism and humanism. I've never defined myself a secular humanist, but have found that pretty much describes how I think and view the world. Okay, so that was a bit of a tangent.

Anyway, the live robots were cool. There was a band, Captured by Robots, that played first followed by the fiery robot show. There was a lot of political symbolism with a whole blood-for-oil type theme. Another band (I think called Stigmeta) played a soundtrack to the destruction.

As the Robochrist Industries team cleaned up the wreckage, we headed over to Rosemary's Billygoat Odditorium in an attempt to catch some short films a friend was showing. We missed out, but stayed and chatted for a while. Eric had his 3D video camera set up with him, so lots of people were asking questions. I wanted a drink from the cooler that was in a coffin in the middle of the space, but they were all gone.

I had to be at work at 7:30 am both Saturday and Sunday for a continuing education class. It was good, overall, but my brain got really full shortly into Sunday's session and I was done. I'm not sure how much I absorbed on the second day.

After class on Saturday, I went home and napped, briefly, before changing clothes. I drove back to Hollywood for a friend's son's art show at UponShop Records in Sunset Junction. I only stayed for a very short time and then headed over to CIA for Rasputin's Marionettes. I was mistaken and thought I'd see the puppet show of circus sideshow freaks they've done before. No, they have an entire new show and the opening acts were all part of the show. I really didn't care for it too much. It was a minstrel show with the performers in black face, etc. Good puppetry, but the acts and songs were very redundant. Plus, the show started about 2 hours late. I will just stop here before I launch into a huge rant.

So I think I'm justified in feeling a bit overly fatigued today. Since I'm working this upcoming weekend, I have tomorrow off and I plan to sleep in. I'll definitely need it as I'm going to watch last night's Six Feet Under tonight. I cried during the promo last week, so I just know it's going to be a very emotional episode.

8/07/2005

The Best Laid Plans

I just completed a massive photo upload to my Flickr page. My intention was to then write a description here of this past weekend's activities. I'm too tired for that now though.


Robochrist Industries' Live Robot Warfare

I did get to do one of my favorite things this evening...take a nap. It's been an exhausting few days and the sleep was quite a treat. Right before I woke up, I was dreaming that while waiting in a restaurant for a table, I spotted David Bowie standing right in front of me. He turned, made eye contact and left. I was madly trying to send a text message to Ren to let her know I'd just had the best.starsighting.ever!

8/05/2005

Long Weekend Complete with Fighting Robots

My long weekend is not one in the good sense. It's going to be a very long weekend in the sense that I have to go to work both days and have plans at night. So, I'm very happy to not be at work today.

Tonight's agenda includes Live Robot Warfare, which sounds pretty cool, if not loud. I'm not very fond of really loud noises, so I'll just plug my ears if I have to.

All day Saturday and Sunday I'll be taking a continuing education course at work. Since my department is sponsoring the course, most of my co-workers are going and we did not get to take the normal education comp days we get to take.

Tomorrow night I'm going to try to make a quick appearance at a friend's art show before heading over to CIA for Rasputin's Minstrels, which will include the traveling marionette puppet show of circus sideshow freaks. I love it. Following that show, there is midnight comedy that I just may have to skip seeing as I have to be somewhere at 7:30 am Sunday morning. Okay, how much does that suck?

I've listed a few fun things to do in L.A. this weekend. I also want to plug a movie that is opening today in L.A., N.Y., Chicago, Dallas, and Philadelphia called My Date with Drew. It will be opening in many other cities including Phoenix, Vancouver, and Boston on the 12th or 19th. You can look up theaters on the movie's website. I saw a screening a few weeks ago and the film is a very charming documentary. So, I'm doing my part to spread the word about this small independent film that really needs to bring in some box office this weekend! If I'm still awake Sunday evening, I may try to see it to help their numbers.

8/04/2005

Live Music

One of my favorite things in the world is live music. Anyone who knows me knows this fact. So considering that and my fascination with lists, I thought I'd make a list of some of the music I've heard in person over the past year. I didn't include most of the orchestral shows I go to during the summer season at the Hollywood Bowl.
  • Jill Sobule (multiple times)
  • California Guitar Trio with Tony Levin
  • Nickel Creek (twice)
  • Sting
  • Tears for Fears (twice)
  • Duran Duran (twice)
  • Billy Idol (twice)
  • Colin Hay
  • Cecilia Noel and the Wild Clams
  • Todd Rundgren
  • Joe Jackson
  • Ben Folds (three times)
  • William Shatner (twice)
  • Peter Murphy
  • Howard Jones
  • Psychedelic Furs
  • The Fixx
  • Gin Blossoms
  • Tenacious D
  • Stolen Babies
  • The Kids of Widney High

Upcoming shows in the next few months that I'm definitely going to:

  • Ben Folds-2 night in L.A. and 1 night in Vegas!
  • ABC/Naked Eyes
  • Brian Wilson/Polyphonic Spree
  • Jill Sobule
  • Nickel Creek in-store appearance
  • The New Pornographers (thanks Ren! I *heart* you!)
  • Keane (I bought tickets this evening!)

Upcoming shows I hope to attend:

  • Green Day

8/03/2005

How Many Times Can I Edit This?

Note to self: Don't try to write coherent thoughts when operating on a cumulative sleep deficit for the week. Also, there is a spell check function...Use it!

Last night we went to one of my very favorite places, Largo. It's an intimate venue where some pretty cool artists perform. I go there mainly for music, but occasionally comedy too. Nickel Creek played their upcoming new album for the sold out room, followed by some older favorites. They are best described as a bluegrass band, so unfortunately most of their exposure comes from country radio and CMT. KCRW does play them however, which is how we discovered them. I was blown away by a show they did at the Hollywood Bowl last season, complete with the orchestra backing them for a few tunes.

Largo


After the show we wandered around Fairfax a bit and ended up at the
Nova Express Cafe. We've walked by it a million times and I have no idea why we never stopped in. They have a great menu and the food was very good. They are also open until 3am during the week and 4am on weekends. We are always on the lookout for a new latenight eatery, so we can add this find to the list. The decor is sci-fi, outer space, robots, action figures, comic books, etc. Very cool. Eric wanted to take some of the lenticular art home with him. I happened to dig the lava lamps on every table.

Lava Lamp Up Close

No wonder I slept through my alarm this morning!

8/02/2005

A List of 5's

I nicked this from justJENN. I can't resist making lists!

5 CDs in your Player:
  • Devil's Playground - Billy Idol
  • Waiting for the Siren's Call - New Order
  • Mass Romantic - The New Pornographers
  • Astronaut - Duran Duran
  • Welcome Interstate Managers - Fountains of Wayne
5 Movies You've Seen Recently:
  • Sin City
  • Murderball
  • Me and You and Everyone We Know
  • Rize
  • March of the Penquins
5 TV Shows You TIVO:
  • Six Feet Under
  • The Shield
  • 24
  • Lost
  • Scrubs

5 Nice Things That Happened To You Lately:

  • I had a 3-day weekend
  • I got my bangs trimmed for free
  • Spent time with college friends in NY
  • My husband gave me a compliment
  • I ran into a work friend outside of work

5 MP3s on your playlist:

  • Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
  • Dammit - Blink-182
  • Late Bar - Duran Duran
  • I'll Be You - The Replacements
  • Kissing The Lipless - The Shins

5 things you are obsessed with:

  • purses/bags
  • dogs
  • Flickr
  • monkeys
  • trying not to sweat

8/01/2005

Questions from Ren

My friend Karen sent me a list of questions that I agreed to answer here on my blog. I think she and my sister are the only people that even read this, so anyway, here goes:

1. so…if you weren’t reading this right now, what would you be doing?
Packing up my stuff to leave work.

2. ok, if you could do anything in the world as a career, other than what you currently do, what would it be?
This one is tough. I've known what I wanted to do since 7th or 8th grade. However, I always fantasized about being a professional ballet dancer!

3. i know you love dark chocolate but do you have a favorite type?
Lately I've really been into Scharffen Berger, especially the one with espresso bean bits.

4. since we’ve both become a fan of “candyfreak”, is there a particular candy (other than above mentioned chocolate bar) that you really like or even have fond childhood memories of?
This is a tough question because I really loves lots of different types of candy! As a child, I really enjoyed Jawbreakers and Atomic Fireballs. I was wimpy though and would "take breaks" from my Fireball and soak it in water. Both candies had the same consistency after being softened somewhat when I would bite into them and chew them. I'm surprised I didn't break my teeth!

-how about one that totally creeps you out (ewww! coconut cuticles!)?
Yeah, anything with coconut is pretty gross to me. I also really despise Jolly Ranchers and any sour candy.

5. i know you just finished reading “harry potter and the half blood prince”. do you have a favorite harry potter character?
Absolutely! Ron Weasley. why? He's a regular, dorky guy who's kind of a slacker, but has a big heart and would do anything to help a friend. I think we'd get along.

-and would you eat a chocolate frog?
Sure! I have a hard time saying no to chocolate and I bet it would be a little crunchy. I like crunchy.

6. how about other books? what’s next on your reading list?
Besides the various things I got at Comic Con, I'd like to read Death's Acre, a book about "The Anthropolgy Research Facility" (aka the Body Farm), a plot of land near the University of Tennessee Medical Center where forensic anthropologists study the decomposition of human corpses in various environments.

7. um…yeah… well, we have both had housekeeping related accidents. do you have any handy cleaning tips you can share? preferably ones that will not injure me?
Hairspray usually gets ink out of clothing. Sorry, that's the best I can do. You know I don't do cleaning well.

8. tell me one little thing that makes you happy.
Taking a nap.

9. are there any internet sites that you visit every day?
Flickr, Dooce.com, Rusty's Blog, Monkeys in the News

10. you like comics, that’s good, but who have you discovered recently that you’d like to sing the praises of?
I'm not sure if by "comics" you mean comic books or comedians. I'm a little dim sometimes. I read it as the former originally, but am now thinking you mean the later. There is a really funny comedy-magician called Fitzgerald who is hilarious. And Greg Proops makes me laugh so hard I cry. I saw him open for Jill Sobule a few months ago and I cried twice!

Edit 08/02/05: So, she was referring to comic books, it turns out. It's a tough question as I haven't gotten around to reading any of my new books. I'm looking forward to Steven Cloud's "Boy on a Stick and Slither" as well as Andy Runton's "Owly." I love the online comic "Patches" by Kelly Vivanco. It makes me laugh outloud...my type of humor.

11. can i ask you ten more questions next week?
Absolutely!
-what about if they are better than these ten?
Sure!
-what if i give you a dollar, then can i ask more questions?
Cool! A dollar...I could buy some candy! : )

Thanks, Ren!

Peace!

I Don't Like Mondays

After having a great weekend and in spite of getting very little sleep last night, I started today off in a good mood. I'm half-way through my workday and am now in a shitty mood. I just hate the feeling that Monday has to be "start over" day and all of the things I put in place last week are ignored or not followed. I don't like spinning my wheels.

While I'm in a ranty kind of mood, I'll just say that I am underwhelmed by Oldtown Pasadena. Everyone else seems to love it, but honestly it's just another area of chain stores...Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Urban Outfitters...that I can't afford to shop in anyway. Also, Pasadena f---ing reams you in parking. You have to pay at the meter even on Sundays!!! It's that or $5-$8 in a lot.

I won't start a "parking in L.A." rant because honestly, I'm usually able to find free parking when I'm in an area of the city or county where it exists. Or I take the subway. Maybe I should've just taken the Gold Line to Pasadena and it wouldn't be an issue.
 

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