We will return to Disneyland on Sunday. New Year's Day.
I hope I'm not too hungover.
In spite of being in such a bah-humbug mood this year, I really ended up having a wonderful weekend. It was a crazy week of shopping, since I did it all last week, but I got it done. On Wednesday night, we got really lucky and were able to get tickets to a show in our neighborhood that has been sold out.
The Troubadour Theater Company, or The Troubies, put on an annual holiday show at The Falcon Theatre. This year it was Little Drummer Bowie. I was dying to see it, as I love David Bowie. I've only seen one of their show before which was It's A Stevie Wonderful Life, which was hilarious. They parody a well-known holiday story as a musical with songs based on the artist. I laughed so hard that I'm surprised I didn't pee in my pants.
On Friday, we headed up to Solvang with the dogs. We got a late start and the town shuts down pretty early. We were really hungry, but all of the restaurants were closed. So, we put the dogs in their crates in the hotel room and went to a nearby Native American casino for food. It was pretty crowded as the Brian Setzer Orchestra had just finished a show.
We got up early on Christmas Eve morning and had a nice breakfast, then walked around Solvang with the dogs. Of course we indulged in Aebleskivers, a Danish treat. Basically, it's a pancake ball covered in raspberry jam and powdered sugar. So delicious!
Solvang shuts down at 2pm on the day before Christmas, so we were back in the car and hitting the road around 3. We got back home just in time to hit the Griffith Park Light Festival, a drive-by holiday light display put on by the Department of Water and Power every year.
I'm hoping to upload those photos soon! There are some photos here.
After dropping the dogs off at home, we took in a quick meal at an Asian buffet and headed over to our neighbors' house for their annual Christmas Eve shindig. It was fun and I stayed way too late. I also had a little too much holiday cheer and was admittedly a bit buzzed when I went to feed Ren's cat and wrap Eric's gifts. Oh yeah and first I had to go buy some wrapping paper. So, I got to bed around 4am. Eric was snoring away already and Santa had visited!
We slept in and took our time opening gifts. We each got an out of print book for each other, ones we'd had as kids that we missed. Neither of us had any idea we were doing that, so it was pretty cool. Christmas Day means going to the movies for us. We actually went to two films, two of the most politically incorrect movies out in theaters right now: The Ringer and Jesus is Magic. I enjoyed both of them.
Since we'd had Asian food the night before, we went to a Jewish deli for Christmas dinner. Since Hanukkah started the night of the 25th, we also lit the menorah and exchanged a gift. It was a bummer to go back to work on Monday. I was exhausted.
The holidays continue on for us with five more crazy nights of exchanging gifts. I'm working this coming weekend, so I have the next two days off. We really missed our Thanksgiving trip to Disneyland, so we are going tomorrow! Good times.
Thanks to everyone who shared their holiday traditions with me. I enjoyed reading about them. I hope to have more links to photos soon.
For one thing, we are secular and celebrate the holidays in fairly non-religious ways. Our families live very far away and most of our friends head out of town. Also, due to my job, I don't get the standard time off, unless I put in a special request that gets approved. I have today off because I always have Friday off. I'll be back at work on Monday.
Some years I put up a small, artificial tree that I enjoy decorating with ornaments, many of which I've had since childhood.
Typically, I ask for Christmas eve off from work and am lucky to be off again this year. We like to go to Solvang, a Danish town a couple of hours northwest of us. (For anyone who saw the movie Sideways, [I haven't yet!] it takes place in and around Solvang). Anyway, we usually spend the 24th walking around the town and window shopping. This year, we are actually going up there later today, with our three dogs, and staying the night. We found a pet-friendly hotel and thought it would be a fun overnight get-away. That way, we can get in plenty of window shopping tomorrow and get back home early in the evening.
As for the night before Christmas, there are a few more traditions. A couple of our neighbors have a party each year that coincides with the arrival of the Magical Christmas Caroling Truck (no, I not kidding!) in our neighborhood. Everyone heads outside to enjoy the festivities and then return to the party for more merriment. After that, we usually build a fire in our fireplace and watch the A Christmas Story marathon. I usually go to bed first, but set my alarm for some weird hour, like 4 or 5am. Eric will put my gifts out after I'm sleeping. I get up after he's gone to sleep and put his stuff out. We really like trying to surprise each other.
After opening gifts on Christmas morning (or afternoon, depending on how late we sleep!), we usually go to the movies. My recommendation for this year is Jesus is Magic, the Sarah Silverman film. It just seems appropriately wrong somehow! Or is that wrongly appropriate? After the movie, we'll try to find somewhere to eat. I think we often end up at an Asian restaurant.
In addition to the Christmasy type stuff, we light the menorah as well, exchanging gifts for eight crazy nights. Many of those nights are silly little things like dreidels or chocolate coins. I've been pretty scroogey and bah-humbuggy this year, but now that I'm not so sick, have done my shopping, and have a couple of days off from work, I'm feeling it a bit more. I'm really looking forward to Solvang, Christmas eve with the neighbors and Christmas day with Eric. I pick up Hanukah candles today.
I won't even get started on New Year's Eve though. Now that drives me crazy! I find it to be so overrated and my expectations always outweigh whatever I end up doing. We actually have a couple of cool ideas this year and if something good pans out, my attitude may change.
So, anyone want to share their holiday traditions with me?
1. Did you have a new year's resolution this year?
Yes and I did not keep it. And I'm not telling what it was.
2.Who kissed you at midnight?
Eric. I probably kissed him though.
3. Does it snow where you live?
No, thank goodness!!!
4. Do you like hot chocolate?
Yes, especially with a bit of peppermint extract and lots of marshmallows!
Or with rum. Lots of rum.
5. Have you ever been to Times Square to watch the ball drop?
No, but it would probably be fun. Just too cold. New Year's Eve tends to be a bit of a letdown for me because I build it up too much. I've had some good ones though.
1. Who was your Valentine in 2005?
2. What did your Valentine get you?
This is terrible, but I don't remember. I'm pretty sure it was a dvd, but I don't know which one.
3. When you were little, did you buy valentines for your whole class?
I don't think so, but don't really remember.
More important than Valentine's Day, is that Eric and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary in February '05. It happened to fall on the same weekend as the Academy Awards, which we usually have a big party for at our house. So, we booked a restaurant and held an Oscar/Anniversary party for about 100 guests. It was a blast!
(Oh yeah, and we saw Duran Duran in concert that weekend and were given a new car--Scion xB--as a gift! So, February was probably the best month!)
1. Are you Irish?
Not that I officially know of. There is a lot of Western European lineage in my genes, so maybe a little, but not enough to count!
2. Do you wear green on St. Patty's Day?
I do because I work with kids and know I'd get pinched! I wear a green and white bracelet that someone made for me that is sentimental.
3.What did you do for St. Patty's Day in 2005?
Went to work, ate some dinner, probably watched tv. I have no idea, but know I did not do something celebratory.
1. Do you like the rain?
Nope. I detest it usually. I'm happy to live in a place that rarely has rain.
2. Did you play an April fool's joke on anyone this year?
Probably. Remember, I work with kids. I don't remember anything specific. (Do you see a trend with my memory?)
3. Do you get tons of candy on Easter?
No. I don't celebrate it. I do buy jelly beans and Peeps for myself though since I love those and they are on the shelves then.
1. What's your favorite kind of flower?
2. Do you like the spring?
3. Finish the phrase: April showers bring may flowers, what do May flowers bring?
4. What would you think of as a spring color?
Pastel green, pastel blue, yellow, pink.
1. What year did you graduate from school?
High School: 1988
2. Did you go on any vacations last June?
No. We were supposed to go to a family wedding in Philadelphia, but Eric got very ill and couldn't travel.
I did attend the L.A. Film Festival though, which was lots of fun for 10 days.
1. What did you do on the 4th of July?
I worked during the day.
That night, I went to the Hollywood Bowl for the annual 4th of July with fireworks show with a group of friends.
I was a little sad because we usually go to Mammoth Lakes with the dogs for 4th of July, but couldn't this year. I hope we get there next summer.
2. Did you go on any vacations during this month?
Yes. I went to a conference in Niagara Falls, NY, but also took a couple of days to visit friends in Ithaca and Lewiston. I also went to Comic Con in San Diego, something I do every year.
1. Did you do anything special to end off your summer?
I went to a couple of concerts and took a class.
2. What was your favorite summer memory of '05?
Visiting with college friends in New York.
3. Do you go swimming a lot in the summer?
No, but I do like to swim.
4. Do you go to the beach a lot?
No and I love the beach. We didn't go even once last summer. Boo! My favorite local beach is Westward Beach. It's quiet and beautiful. I enjoy hiking up and around Point Dume.
1. Did you attend school/college in '05?
2. Who is/was your favorite teacher?
Ms. Shaw, my 11th and 12th grade French teacher.
3. Do you like fall better than summer?
Here in Southern California, fall is often an extension of summer. I like both. I do miss the autumns of the Northeast.
1. What was your favorite halloween costume ever?
Wow! I love Halloween and getting dressed up. My favorite costume ever was a sock monkey. Eric and I made costumes and they were a big hit. We used them a couple of times.
2. What's your favorite candy?
At Halloween, candy corn.
3. What did you dress up like this year?
I had 3 costumes! For work, we did Peter Pan and I was John Darling.
For a zombie ball I went to that weekend, I was dead Raggedy Ann.
On Halloween night, I was a bottle of ketchup. (Eric was mustard and our dog Rusty was a hot dog).
1. Whose house do you usually go to for Thanksgiving?
Most years, we go to Disneyland on Thankgiving. This year we went to Eric's mother's since we were back East for his 20th year high school reunion.
2. Do you like stuffing?
Yes, usually. I'd rather not have oysters in it though.
3. What are you thankful for?
Being alive and relatively healthy, my husband and family, friends, my dogs, good live music, the internet.
1. Do you like Christmas?
It's okay (see previous posts).
2. Have you ever been kissed under mistletoe?
3. What do you want this year for christmas?
World peace would be nice, but is unrealistic.
I want Eric to like his gifts.
I'd love a new camera, but don't really need one, so that's just selfish.
4. What's the best present you ever got for Christmas?
As a kid: Charlie's Angel's tree house, Weeble's Marina, Bionic Woman board game.
Last year was hilarious because Eric and I bought each other the exact same juicer for Xmas!
5. Do you like cold weather?
Love bites, my ass.
I know she's pissed off because her mom left her alone for the holidays, but geez! I feed her, I coo at her (oh, maybe that's the problem?), I pet her, I wiggle that feathery thing on the long stick in front of her (cats like that, right?) and what do I get?
Hissing and biting!
Ungrateful feline! Luckily, I don't believe in cruelty to animals or I'd let her starve!
Maybe I smell too much like my dogs.
Ren, if you are reading this...I am totally kidding. I would not not feed Audrey. I'm sure she'll settle down a bit soon and we'll rekindle that bond we once shared for 10 minutes. : )
It's a little green Starbucks tote bag with a travel cup and a package of coffee. I know, I know, I've had a beef with Starbucks lately, but I'm a sucker for a tote bag, especially a cute little tote bag I can use for work.
As for my snarky co-worker, well I gave her some snark right back later in the day.
Happy Annoyingly Expensive Pain-In-The-Ass Time of Year or whatever you like to call it. I'm going to take a nap.
Well, aren't I just Miss Mary Sunsine today? I guess I just have a bad case of the Mondays!
(okay, I just watched Office Space when I was home sick last week. I keep hearing that chipper woman's voice in my head today!)
We saw Nickel Creek at The Wiltern last night. They were great. Just fabulous musicians who build a great rapport with the audience. My only complaint was the 7-foot tall giant who was sitting in front of me. I am not exaggerating, in fact I may be underestimating his height. He was at least 7-feet tall. Luckily, I was on the aisle and was able to lean out and even take a couple of photos.
Seven Things To Do Before I Die
1. Travel to New Zealand
2. Get out of debt
3. Get in shape
4. Travel around the continental U.S. in an RV
5. Publish a book
6. Make another film
7. Learn how to use Photoshop proficiently
Seven Things I Cannot Do
1. Carry a tune
2. Accept a compliment graciously
3. Finish most things I start
4. Wake up without snoozing my alarm clock
5. Speak another language fluently
6. Get into the "holiday spirit" this year
Seven Things That I Admire in Others
3. Sense of humor
Seven Things I Say Most Often
5. No f--kin' way!
6. Off!!! (to my dogs)
Seven Books (or Series) I Love
1. Harry Potter (all 6 so far!)
2. The Secret Garden
3. The Catcher in the Rye
5. Travels With Charley
7. To Kill a Mockingbird
Seven Movies I Have Watched Over and Over Again
1. Empire Records
2. The Sound of Music
4. A Christmas Story
5. Sing Blue Silver
6. Shaun of the Dead
7. Lord of the Rings Trilogy (okay, I know that's 3 movies...)
Seven People I Want to Join in Too
6. Anyone else who wants to
7. Yet anyone else who would like to
In spite of my illness, I did go out Tuesday night. I've had tickets to see Barenaked Ladies for a long time and couldn't miss it (no Jerry, not real naked ladies!). They played the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, which is a very strange concert venue. I bought floor seats, in the center section, thinking it'd be good. I was so wrong. The floor barely had any slope to it and we were far enough back that I could not see at all! I am absurdly short, but had worn big shoes to compensate and that still wasn't cutting it.
Luckily for me, the show was not quite sold out. I noticed some empty seats in the upper section and figured I'd rather be further back and able to actually see, so we headed up there. It was great. I could see the whole stage and I got to sit. Now, I am not one to sit at shows. I'm usually up and dancing my ass off, but being sick, I was probably better off taking it easy.
The show was great. I've seen BNL many, many times. In fact, the first time I saw them was almost 10 years ago to the day. They are on a Holiday Tour right now, the stage complete with fireplace, stockings, a Christmas tree, and Santa Claus. Along with many of their regular songs, they sang holiday covers and originals as well.
Outside the venue were big signs stating, "NO PHOTOGRAPHY!" I nearly got busted for my camera by security going in, but the woman checking my purse was a bit daft. I had my camera, which isn't small, in an inside pocket in my bag. She was feeling it, saying, "I feel something here...hmmm...is it an iPod?" She then looked and said, "Oh, it's this makeup case. Okay, go on in." So, I snuck some photos using my new telephoto lens. My camera doesn't have a great zoom, so Eric got me the lens and it worked well.
I got some pretty decent shots, considering I was in the upper back of the place. More can be seen in my BNL flickr set. The band was "on" and seemed to be having a good time. The set list was great (apparently picked for the night by Jim Creegan, bass) and included "King of Bedside Manor," "The Flag," and "These Apples," a few songs I really didn't expect to hear. The concert didn't cure me, but helped me forget feeling so shitty for a couple of hours.
Back to bed for me. I have a virus to fight off.
I guess I should get me one of these. Especially if I end up going to work tomorrow.
There's a new 30-second movie parody with bunnies and it's wonderful. Check out A Christmas Story.
None of my haiku quite compare to these wonderous Peep Haiku.
If you'd like to see the better of two photos my dog Rusty took with Santa this year, click here.
Okay, here's the link for the not-so-good photo with the better Santa who looks like he's choking Rusty!
One bright spot in my weekend has been the discovery of the joy of frozen Peeps! I was clued in by a couple of co-workers last week, so I marched out and got some festive Peeps (snowmen and Christmas trees!) and stuck them in the freezer. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the results are wonderful.
Freezing the Peeps is a way to get the stale Peep consistency, but much faster. You get a somewhat crunchy outer layer and a soft, but not as gooey, inner layer. Yumtastic!
I'm going to have some chicken soup and go back to bed. I just can't seem to get enough sleep.
P.S. Possibly only one of my readers knows about this, but the "lost" PSP was found today...by me. We were about to write it off as gone though. I'm glad we found it, but now I have to think of something to buy him for the holidays instead of just a replacement!
What I wanted to say was it's the time of year when our opportunities for free film screenings multiply. As the year comes to an end, the studios want their films out there for Oscar® consideration.
Last night we saw King Kong. Since it hasn't opened yet, I'll reserve comments and any reviews for a later date.
A total non sequitur, but one of my co-workers just totally burned me. He was talking about a conversation yesterday and referred to it and I said, "Well, I guess I was not listening to you because I don't remember that." He said, "Well, Jodi, it seems you don't listen a lot, but you sure do chip in all the time!"
So true, so true. I am an ass.
Why is it that only about 50% of the various stores I've been to for the aforementioned beverage (5-6 total) bother to put on the red sprinkles? Also, if your perky barista is going to "get something started" for me before I get up to the register, why is it that the six people in line behind me get served before I do???
I will note that one of your locations in Los Feliz has the friendliest staff, the best service, and the most consistency with the drink-making. I will try to take most of my business there.
I just don't think I'd experience these same frustrations at Dunkin' Donuts. Oops, there I go again with my assumptions. You'd think I'd learn by now.
It’s the return of TEN QUESTIONS FOR JODI!
This time though, we have structure and rules!!! This time it’s called “Either/Or” and the only rule is that you have to pick one. You can’t say NEITHER but you can qualify your answer. You COULD say both if you felt like it though.
1. Vanilla or Chocolate?
The first question is the easiest!
2. Left or Right?
Okay, this one is a bit tougher. I immediately thought hand dominance, but then thought it could be related more to politics, etc. Hmmm...
3. Batman or Superman?
4. Sun or Rain?
Sun, sun, sun!
I'm just not a fan of rain, or any precipitation come to think of it.
5. Cold or Hot?
Again, this is a tough one. It depends, but I can't say that.
6. Tea or Coffee?
Generally, I prefer tea, but have been on a real coffee kick lately. However, I can not make coffee for myself, so if I'm left to my own devices, there is only one answer.
7. Hogwarts or Durmstrang?
8. Fire or Ice?
I've been known to have a little pyro in me.
9. Monkeys or Dogs?
Dogs...I mean...BOTH...you did say I could say both!
10. Comfort or Style?
I've been trying to kick my haiku obsession, but it just isn't working. I wrote several for/about various co-workers today. I have a problem.
My title obviously has nothing to do with this entry. It just happens to be one of my favorite quotes from The Muppet Movie, which was excellent as a midnight movie last Friday, by the way.
I made an ass of myself today. It provided some humor for a few co-workers. I'm sorry, but if someone steps out of an elevator with a big wreath, complete with packages, on their head, I think that warrants an outloud "wow!"
I obviously don't have much to say.
I guess I'll just go bowling.
Who is Dianna?
Sister, friend, mother and wife
I miss her a lot
She is manic now
Awake all night, sleeps all day
May she find peace soon
He is Earl's younger brother
He makes me giggle.
Okay, this is what my blog is devolving to. Haikus. I got on roll and was cranking them out last night. Eric joined in and it was almost a competition. The above one is a variation of the one I shouted out from bed...I just couldn't stop (I can't remember the original).
Cosette is our dog
She has a wart on her snout
She is getting old.
Little Guy is soft
He likes to snuggle with me
He needs a diaper.
See? I think perhaps my brain is so tired and full that I can only blurt out thoughts in these 17 syllable poems. Not sure they are worthy enough to be called "poetry" though. Oh no, here comes
It is time for lunch
I don't want to socialize
I wish I could nap.
Aaron in Thailand
Happy Father's Day to you
And little Rayluk
As the festivities progressed, there was this odd feeling I started having (no, not from the wine...that's a good feeling!). I shared some glances with Ren and Ms. S, knowing they were experiencing some of the same thoughts. This happened more frequently after a couple of guests arrived late.
Most of the women at the get-together seemed to be in their mid-30's to early-40's, near as we could tell. The event location was in a fairly new development 20-some miles north of L.A., where the houses on every precious street are one of three models. The competition with the Christmas lights has clearly begun, but that is another topic.
Anyway, I think in many ways, the three of us city girls lead quite different lives than most of the women we met. I'm not saying we're better and I'm not judging, but I'm just observing. For one thing, we all have full-time jobs. We're married or engaged, but none of us have children. Two out of the three of us enjoy and have a talent for cooking.
There was something "Stepford" about a few of the other women and their practically identical houses, their inability to cook a meal for their children, and their involvement with The Girl Scouts. Everyone was very nice and a few were quite funny. It was fun to share some laughs, but I am still struck by how different are the lives we lead.
I almost felt like a kid at a party my Mom was hosting. I can't put my finger on it, but I'm wondering if the other women are more mature and if we are childish. Or are they "older" for their age and are we are "younger?" I don't know and I guess it doesn't really matter. I just found it interesting.
I do have a long, odd day ahead of me.
10:00 am: I'm going to a meeting for a film festival I'm involved with promoting.
1:00 pm: Caryn's funeral.
6:00 pm: Toluca Lake Holiday Open House. This is an annual tradition. Rusty will get his photo taken with Santa, once again.
11:55 pm: Midnight screening of The Muppet Movie at the NuArt Theatre! Good times!
Work is stressful.
Asshats making bad decisions.
Too much paperwork.
I'm going to a funeral tomorrow.
A funeral for a woman only two years older than me.
I have no clue what to wear.
It's December already.
The "holiday season" is now in full swing.
I'm not in the mood.
I don't want to hear your damn jingly bells.
And I'd rather not listen to Christmas tunes on the office radio.
I'm tired and cranky.
I need a nap.
I'll settle for some caffeine. A peppermint mocha may be the pick-me-up I need.
Off to the coffee bar, I suppose.