Eat Your Veggies

In lieu of being able to write about what I really want to today, you get hamster!

Ami Eats His Broccoli

Ami loves his veggies. Especially broccoli and carrots.

I found out there is an upcoming Hamster Ball Derby at the Burbank Petco next weekend, September 9th. I'm torn, as I'm scheduled to work. I feel pretty dorky* that this is even an issue for me. I'd love for Ami to be able to race again, especially since the last race was so disorganized and I'm not convinced he actually won. So, I'm working on getting someone to work for me or working a half-day or something. I could always work 7:30-Noon, go back after the race and work 4-6. I have obviously thought about this way too much.

*I taught my Blogger spellcheck the word "dorky." It is about time, don't you think?


Lazy Monday Cross-Post

I'm tired so I'm cross-posting-once again-from my other blog.

Faces of Humanity

Cutie Pie

Conventional 5-7-5 haiku:
The eyes of a child
Full of innocent wonder
For too short a time

My attempt at a "free form" haiku:

My friends' daughter
So beautiful and well-behaved
I wonder who she'll be


Ever Have One Of Those Days?

Okay, so that's a leading question as there are lots of those kind of days. I'm referring to the type where you are just lethargic and not productive at all. That's been mine today. I slept in and when I did manage to get up, I did some minor chores and took a shower. I just felt like I had no energy though and E was feeling the same way. We watched part of a movie and and then I ended up taking a couple of naps...only a mere few hours after getting up. Pathetic. I had some grand illusion that I would at least go for a walk and that's not even looking too promising right now.

Especially since I just noticed that Office Space is on.

Apparently Blogger is having one of those days too.


The Dogwalker

A film opens theatrically tonight in Los Angeles called The Dogwalker. I may be a bit biased as it was directed by a good friend of mine, the talented Jacques Thelemaque, and stars his wife, another friend, Diane Gaidry. It is a beautiful film, which I think will be especially appreciated by dog lovers and/or Los Angelenos. If you are here in L.A., or one of the other few cities where it is playing, go see it.

It's been a long haul for this film and I'm so happy for Jacques, Diane, and the rest of the film's team that it is opening in theaters.


The Hills Are Alive

Originally posted on my photoblog.

This weeks prompt from the one deep breath haiku challenge is the sound of music. Music is definitely important to me, so I thought this would be a piece of cake. It's actually been a bit difficult as my mind has flown in a million directions. I have several haiku that I wrote, or started to write, but decided to just go with one that captures the essence of an aspect of music that I love.

Light go down, crowd roars
A magical night ensues
Music is best live

I love, love, love live music. When I can afford it, I go to a lot of shows. A few of my favorite concert photos follow below.

Ben Folds
Ben Folds at the El Rey Theatre, October 2004

U2 at the Staples Center, November 2005

Great Big Sea
Great Big Sea at the El Rey Theatre, February 2006

Tim Armstrong and John Doe
Tim Armstrong of Rancid and John Doe performing acoustically at the Steve Allen Theatre, January 2006


A Few Weekend Things

  • A friend's puppet show, complete with the gorgeous puppets he created - $10
  • Joe Sib telling great stories about The Ramones, Steve Jones, and Joe Strummer - Priceless


From His Villa In France...

...Nick Rhodes shares some good news.



I was sick of NPR this morning and wanted to listen to music, which I rarely do on my drive to work. I'd left my mp3 player at home, but luckily I did have a couple of cd's in the changer. I thought that I remembered that New Order's latest was in there, but not sure what else. On my way to Waiting For The Sirens' Call, I stumbled upon Mass Romantic by The New Pornographers and listened to them a bit. I really have a fairly short commute, so I only listened to snippets of each track.

I then made my way to the tune "Krafty" and found it to be a bit depressing.

"Some people get up at the break of day
Gotta go to work before it gets too late..."

Yeah, that's me. And on a Friday no usual "day off."
And I'll be here tomorrow too.

This was not at all what I intended to post, and certainly isn't very interesting. I'm very tired from two "event" nights in a row and can't seem to be very coherent right now. I felt the need to get a new post on here though to push the last one down a bit.


The Future Is Now

Earlier in the month, I alluded to a future (and potentially weird) post about sex, violence, and hamsters. What I'm actually referring to is a bizarre anime show called Ebichu The Housekeeping Hamster. E stumbled across the show on the internet and I wound up with a dvd containing most, if not all, of the episodes. I'm frequently fascinated by Japanese pop culture, especially when it has to do with hamsters.

At first I was disturbed, but now am mostly just amused at the snarky little hamster, who in one episode is a sexual psychic with a pizza delivery business who can tell a person's sexual proclivities by what they order. In another episode, Ebichu gets in trouble for washing her master's panties incorrectly. I haven't watched all of the shows yet, but my favorite may be when Ebichu and a friend protest the low price of hamsters at a pet store. So random.

Not only is there a lot of innuendo and sex, but a bit of violence too. Ebichu gets the shit kicked out of her quite often. When she "messes up," her master throws her against the wall and she slides down into a bloody heap. This of course bothers me a bit.

On a different note, the theme song is quite catchy and one episode is called "The Camembert Cheese Incident." Oh yeah.

Here's To Better Health

In case you're new around here, I was really sick for most of the month of July. I think that was the kick in the ass I needed to get back in shape. I've really let myself go by eating like crap, not exercising, and subsequently weighing more than I ever have in my life. It can't be good for my immune system. Last week, I went back to Weight Watchers. Yes, back. I did the program several years ago and lost more than 50 pounds. I just didn't maintain it. I didn't realize that I had to keep doing it (duh!), so here I am, in worse shape than ever, and starting over. At least I can start over and that's what I've done.

My first week was pretty successful and I'm already feeling a little better. So many things are chaotic in my life right now and I feel like what I to eat and how much I exercise are definitely things I can control. I don't plan on turning this into a 'monitor my weight loss' blog, but if I politely refuse to eat certain things, you'll know why. That's the beauty of Weight Watchers though...I can eat (or drink) anything I want, as long as I account for it.

*Wow, this post isn't very snarky or dorky. I'll try to do better.


Good Things

I've certainly had a weekend full of distractions from my previous week-from-hell at work. I'd be lying if I said things were 100% perfect over that past few days, but isn't that life? Among some expected unpleasantness, there were many, many good things.

E and I enjoyed the annual Tchaikovsky Spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl on Friday night. I always enjoy the program as I am pretty ignorant about most classical music, but do recognize quite a bit of Tchaikovsky's pieces. Every year, the evening ends with the orchestra playing his 1812 Overture, accompanied by the USC Trojan Marching Band, and some glorious fireworks. If you are in or near L.A. and haven't seen a pyrotechnics show at the Bowl, I recommend it.

Tchaikovsky Spectacular

I had planned on getting an early start on Saturday and possibly checking out this month's Felt Club with a friend. That didn't quite work out, mostly because I was feeling very ill from an antibiotic I'm currently taking.* E and I did stop by the craft fair, very briefly, much later in the day. I was distracted by another objective though, which was to find out if Meltdown would consider my book for its self-published section. Much to my surprise, the buyer took a quick look and said he'd buy three copies from me. I got really excited and subsequently turned off my brain. Only after E and I did some calculating, did I realize that I'd actually paid the store a small fee to sell Hamster Haiku. Oh book is for sale at Meltdown!!!

After leaving Meltdown, we took a quick detour down to Melrose for a quick slice at Albano's, our favorite place for pizza in L.A. Luckily, it agreed with my troubled gut.

We'd purchased tickets in advance for Miranda July's show at the Steve Allen Theater for Saturday night. It was a fun and very interactive show. In fact, E and I were picked near the beginning of the show to participate (one of my worst nightmares!) and it actually turned out okay. Our selection was based on us being the couple in the audience who had been together the longest. We were whisked out of the theater, given ill-fitting shirts to put on over our clothes, and brought on stage with Miranda where we answered questions about how we met. Her assistants then led us to the backstage area where there was a bed. They instructed us to lie in various positions (spooning, back-to-back, etc) with our eyes closed. There was a video camera above us and we were being broadcast onto a screen onstage while Miranda told a story relating to us (we were 'Donny' and 'Fiona'). Back in our seats, we enjoyed the rest of the multimedia program, which continued to tell Donny and Fiona's story. The groovy thing was that at the very end, Miranda wrapped up the story by bringing it around to our story, complete with details we had shared while up on stage. Initially, when we were chosen to participate, I was mortified, but it ended up being very cool. We even chatted with Miranda briefly afterwards and she seemed quite pleased with our "performance." Apparently, several people thought we were actors who were just part of the show.

After the theater event, we ended up going to a low-key party to see a friend of ours who lives in England, but was in town visiting family. It was good to catch up, not only with her, but with some of her other friends that we haven't seen since she moved.

I slept in later than planned on Sunday. I did manage to get up and take care of some chores and errands. It was a beautiful, cloudless day, but we didn't make it outside until nearly 5pm. We did take a nice walk around the neighborhood though for about an hour-and-a-half. Then we hopped in the car and went to Asssscat, a free improv show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Even though E and I were, by far, two of the oldest people in the mostly college-age crowd, it was a good time with lots of laughs.

Yes, I'm tired and up late again, but I am off from work Monday. Another good thing.

*Part of me my** hellish week was contracting some random infection in one of my fingers, which continued swelling and being quite painful.

**What the hell? I've turned into a pirate or a leprechaun!


Breathe In, Breathe Out

At least today I can slow down and breathe. I'm not at work again until Tuesday. Well, I did bring a bit home to do this weekend, but it will be without the chaos of this week. Things spun out of control. We're in a situation of being understaffed. You add to that an excused bereavement absence and then mix in a few unexpected illnesses and increased workload. We'd be busy if we were fully staffed. We advanced to whirling dervishes whose energy was quickly sapped and whose morale was negatively impacted by some who would not only not pick up the ball, but who stepped out of the way, completely avoiding the ball all together.

Okay, I'll stop trying to be all metaphorical and stuff. Geez. Basically, the week sucked, but now I have a few days off. I do have a lot of stuff to do around my house, but I can do it while wearing no bra and my Napoleon Dynamite pajama pants.


I've Got Nothing

I keep thinking I have topics to write about here, but sit down to do it and...nothing. I think it is because I've very busy, very stressed, and yeah, there just isn't that much room left in my brain. I'm not even sure I could write a haiku right now...never mind, no time to even try.


Haiku Cross-Post

For the one deep breath theme "Scenic Route,"
originally posted on my photoblog.

Yosemite Donkey

Scenic route to work
Move along the meadow path
Working class donkey

Yosemite has
Tuolumne Meadows and
Gorgeous vistas too

A walk after lunch
Along the meadow pathway
Donkey encounter!

Adventures In Hamsterland

Last night I experienced my first, true hamster escape...and near cardiac arrest. The thing that really gets to me is that was completely my fault. I'd removed one section of Ami's habitat for a long-overdue cleaning. I put the little door that goes over the connection opening, but I did not put it in properly. I went about the cleaning and some other chores for awhile. For some reason, I went back into the bedroom, looked up to the high dresser and saw the doorless opening. I froze. And panicked. I searched the cage, being foolishly optimistic that perhaps Ami was still in there. Yeah, right. I quickly scanned to see if there were any dogs in close proximity. Rusty was the only one in the room, eating his dinner in his open crate. I glanced over past the crate and there was Ami, sitting under the corner table. I froze again and worried that he'd bolt when I reached out for him. I couldn't think straight in the moment though, so I didn't come up with any better ideas. I went for it and scooped him up. So, I was relieved that my little hammy had not become an appetizer for one of my pets of the canine persuasion. Then, I wondered how the little guy had fared in his grand jump/fall from the tall dresser. I think hamsters pretty much bounce and he seemed fine on the multiple inspections I gave him before I went to bed. There's even the possibility that he landed in the full clothes basket that was nearby.

So, in conclusion, I think it's a good idea to always keep a full basket of laundry near my dresser to, you know, break any hamster falls.


I Only Stare This Way At You

Stewart Copeland's Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out played at Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre this past Thursday night as part of the Mods & Rockers Film Festival. I missed seeing it at Sundance in January, and even though it will start running on Showtime this weekend, I was really happy to see it on the big screen. The film is a must-see for fans of The Police. As Stewart explained in his introduction, it really isn't a typical documentary and you won't find "analysis of the creative process." It's his home movies, plain and simple. He tacked on an informative narration and a really cool soundtrack of Police music that he restructured.

Stewart Copeland
Stewart Copeland

Okay, most of my readers know about my love for Duran Duran. Only a couple probably know that even before I became infatuated with The Fab Five, my favorite band was The Police.* I bonded with a girl at my new school in 6th grade over the blonde trio. She would write notes to me with lyrics from their songs, having me give the title back to her. When I moved again, after 7th grade, "Every Breath You Take" was in heavy rotation. We heard it many, many times on the drive from Virginia to Texas. I remember where I was, in the upstairs corridor of my middle school, in 8th grade, when a friend broke the news of the group's break up to me. I was stunned and may have even cried a bit. I honestly don't remember, but it seems like something I would have done. It breaks my heart a little that I never got to see The Police live. In spite of begging my parents to take me, when I was in 6th grade, it never happened.

*I have a scrapbook of The Police and a folder full of articles and photos that is quite comparable to my Duran Duran collection.

More memories were sparked during the film that ran after Everyone Stares, Urgh! A Music War. I had never seen this awesome collection of live performances from 1981, which included various artists from The Police to X to Klaus Nomi. There was the "the beat" t-shirt Sting wore in their performances (oh, how I wanted that shirt!), footage of XTC performing live (alone and later with The Police!), not long before that was never to happen again, and Gary Numan pouting and posing in a motorized coffin he drove around a stage with lots of lights and gadgets. Some of the groups, like the Surf Punks, were just silly and fun, while others, like Dead Kennedys, were truly punk. The guys in OMD looked like cute little kids (and sounded amazing performing "Enola Gay"), while the lead singer of The Cramps frightened me. Exene's yellow eye shadow reminded me of time in 9th or 10th grade when I sported the same shade. Now come on, does that color look good on anyone's complexion?

Young Ian McCulloch took me back to a bizarre love triangle I was part of, but didn't fully understand until years later. I'll call the other two parties Matt and Jake, to protect the not-so-innocent. My family moved around a lot, so once again, at the beginning of 11th grade, I was in a new state and a new school. While waiting around for gym class, Jake said to his friend Matt, "hey, get that new girl to go out with me Friday night." Matt came over and talked to me. We ended up having some other classes together and struck up a friendship. After a couple of months, we realized we were spending a lot of time outside of school together and should maybe be "more than friends." Apparently, Jake was not too happy about this, as he still liked me. We were all friends and hung out together, often going to local punk shows, but Jake would do things to try to cause problems between Matt and me. This included inviting me, alone, to go to an Echo & The Bunnymen concert with him. (In retrospect, I sort of wish I'd gone, but if I had it would have crushed Matt). And then there was the friend that Jake sent to hit on me while I was working at my mall job, in hopes I'd "cheat" on Matt, which Jake could happily tell him. What completes this triangle, and what I did not realize at time, was that Matt liked Jake. Yep. In.that.way. I had no idea at the time, but I should have known.

It's pretty amazing how music can transport you back to such specific times, places, memories. When I see a lot of cool footage of live shows, like Oingo Boingo, from the 80's, I sort of wish I'd been a teenager in Los Angeles. But then again, if my parents had still been as strict as they were with me in Virginia, Texas, and Pennsylvania, I still wouldn't have been going to the Roxy.


One Day More

Ah yes, my regular "Friday" is just about here. Thursday is the end of a typical week for me since I work four 10-hour days and have actual Fridays off. Usually. This is the first week in awhile that I'm on my regular schedule and I'm quite happy to be looking at three days off.

Of course, I have tons of things planned for those days, starting Thursday night with a screening of Everyone Stares with a Q&A with Stewart and Miles Copeland. Also on tap for the weekend are two shows at the Hollywood Bowl and an all day and night event at the Mission Tiki Drive-In. And buttons...I've got to make some buttons.

(Oh, and somewhere in there I need to fit in laundry, cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, and reading my book club assignment!)

Coming Soon to Snarky Dork: Sex, Violence, and Hamsters
(or, how can I get Ami to clean my house?)


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