On A More Serious Note

If you want to get into the Halloween spirit and see a really scary...I mean, go check out Jesus Camp. People who know me know that I am not religious, but they also understand that I have no problem with others' beliefs. I do feel like it is mostly a personal matter. I would never impose my atheism on anyone and I expect the same courtesy.

I have to admit that I am not so comfortable and open-minded when it comes to Evangelicals. In Jesus Camp, you learn how they "use" children to become "soldiers for God's Army." It scared the crap out of me and made me really angry. The kids at the camp that is profiled in the film looked pretty frightened too. I didn't see a lot of smiling, laughing, playful youngsters, but instead several crying, sobbing, terror-stricken children.

It's one thing if you are an adult and choose to adopt a certain set of beliefs and practices, but I find it disgusting to see innocent kids, with so much potential, being brain-washed and scared into that lifestyle. I'd love to see a follow up documentary in twenty years. Just out of curiousity.

That's all I have to say about that. I try to avoid serious, controversial issues on this silly little blog of mine, but this one has been gnawing away at my brain, which I thought was perfect timing for tomorrow's holiday.


Cry Baby

Have you ever burst into tears when someone told you some news, not because you are happy for them like you should be, but because you immediately think of how it negatively impacts you? I'm not proud of it, but it happened to me today. The effect was magnified by an extremely stressful day of the second of two very stressful weeks in a row. I felt like an ass afterwards and frantically contacted the person to apologize.

On the way home, I cried a little bit more in the car, maybe because I felt so stupid or maybe because I was so happy that my mp3 player randomly chose to play "Ziggy Stardust," just what I needed after another shitty day.

Short (On Time Too)

Thank you Christopher Nolan for making The Prestige, a wonderful film. And for including that scene with Hugh Jackman shirtless.


Might As Well Jump

My friend Elsa and I saw Van Halen perform during their 1984 tour. Her Mom went with us. And unlike Jenny's stepdad, who dropped us off for Sting, Elsa's Mom had a ticket too. We had awesome seats in the front row of an upper level on one side of the stage. As with a lot of things in the summer of '84, we were very giddy about this show. I remember agonizing over what to wear and I know what I came up with was pretty awful!

Van Halen put on a great show and Elsa and I decided to get up and dance, while her Mom sat quietly by. Well, the old stoners behind us didn't like that and decided to throw beer and nachos at us. We danced anyway. How can you just sit there at a concert like that? When you're 13?!?!

When I got home that night, I wrote out several pages describing nearly every moment of the first concert I'd been to since seing Shaun Cassidy in 1977. I have no idea what happened to my account, but really regret not holding on to it. I documented every off-color joke that David Lee Roth told and at what point in the show he sported his assless pants. Of course now that I'm probably older than the food throwing potheads were at the time, I have very little recollection of any of the details.


Meerkats And Cylons

A great way to avoid housework is by watching tv! Two of my favorite shows were on this weekend. A new season of Meerkat Manor has started. I love those critters! I was really bummed that the one meerkat housed at the L.A. Zoo was not around last Sunday when I was there taking photos.

And then of course, Battlestar Galactica. Holy Frack! Anyone watch this week's episode? E commented that it felt like a season finale, but it's only the fourth show of the new season. Finally, a show that knows how to move things along instead of dragging and not telling us anything new for weeks and weeks. We must have rewatched the ship descending through the atmosphere scene five or six times. Amazing!


Smattering Of Sarcasm

I have accomplished some things so far this weekend, but not the big things that need to be done. The primary thing looming over my head is the disaster that is my house. It's so bad that I'm overwhelmed by it and not working on it like I should be. And we won't even discuss my closet.

I did get my Halloween costume yesterday, which is a relief. I work with kids and we always make a big deal out of it. This year, we are going with a department-wide theme, which is "A Day At The Zoo." Some of my co-workers are extremely creative and will make very elaborate outfits. I am not so talented and was happy to be able to fit into a large child-size gorilla suit that was on sale for $15 at Rite Aid.

Serenity got a wash today and then made her first-ever trip to the Westside. Since I'm so underprivileged and live in The Valley, it was a special treat. I hadn't driven the new car west of West Hollywood yet. But now she's been to Santa Monica and will never be the same again. Why I thought she might just sputter out and stall on the 405 as we headed back over the hill. We may have better cupcakes here, but everything else just sucks. Now I'm so depressed that I live in such a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad place that I definitely won't get any of my chores done!

*Addendum: In all seriousness, I'm kind of annoyed that some Westside tree dripped sap all over my new, newly cleaned car. It may be awhile before we visit again.


Random 10 From Ren

Ten fairly random questions…

1. What is the last song you listened to?
  • "Sam's Town" by The Killers.
2. Who What makes you swoon?
  • Besides Viggo Mortensen and Nick Rhodes? Not what you were hoping to hear, right? Oh well, also Kiefer Sutherland...especially the time I met him and we had a "moment"...eye contact and a brief conversation. *swoon*
  • Many thanks to E for reminding me that Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies also makes me swoon. All it takes is his smile, paired with those gorgeous eyes. How could I forget?
3. What is your favorite cupcake?
  • I honestly don't have an answer to this question. I'm not that into cupcakes. Sorry, please don't hit or not make me cupcakes.
4. What’s your favorite sweet?
  • Peppermint Patty. Does that count? Well, it's my answer anyway.
5. What kind of writing instrument do you prefer to use?
6. What fascinates you, yet would surprise us that you are fascinated…by…it.
  • I'm giving a fairly broad answer here. The only thing I can think of that might surprise some of you (but definitely not a few of my known readers) is the inner workings of the human body, with a special emphasis on deformities, diseases, what happens with death, etc. One of the greatest experiences of my life was my Gross Anatomy class in college. I wouldn't trade that experience for (just about) anything. I loved Body Worlds, and went to it twice, the second time after they added some different exhibits.
7. What did you NOT do in high school that you wish now you had?
  • My answer to this is really lame and boring, but I seriously do wish that I'd studied Spanish instead of French. It would have been so much more applicable to my life now.
8. What kind of candy will you give out on Halloween?
  • Preferably something with coconut and/or something sour. The number of trick-or-treaters we get diminishes each year, so there will be leftovers I'll want to avoid.
9. What gadget would you love to have but wouldn’t spend the money on?
  • An Easy Button from Staples. I know they are pretty cheap, but come on, what a waste of money. And I doubt they really work. I like the idea though. I am that lazy.
10. Do you like horror movies?
  • In general, no. I often enjoy horror shorts though, as a lot of those tend to be comedic also.


(No) Cries Of Pity

So I'm a day late on my weekly concert tale. I've been really busy and just haven't had much time to devote to my little piece of nonsense on the web. I was amused that Sting was on Studio 60 last night, as I was already planning to write about the first one of his shows that I attended. This story is actually more about the 'getting there' and I honestly don't remember a lot of details from the actual event. I'm pretty sure it was in 1986 and I was either in 9th or 10th grade. Since I'd never gotten to see The Police perform live, I really, really wanted to see Sting on his first solo tour supporting The Dream of the Blue Turtles. I'd asked my parents if I could go, but they weren't big on letting me do anything...ever... go into the city (Houston, at the time) on school nights. I was so bummed and pretty mad at them for denying me such an opportunity.

Well, I had this friend Jenny and she was one of my best friends (I'd love to know what she is up to. I've searched via Classmates and MySpace and can not seem to locate her). She was a rebel and I tried to emulate that a bit. Jenny was not a big Sting fan, if I recall correctly, but she really wanted me to get to his show. She called a local radio station and begged for tickets. And it worked! She gave them a sob story about my mean parents, etc, etc. We went together...her step-father drove us...and had a great time. I dressed kind of like Sting did in the "Fortress Around Your Heart" video--tank top and utility type pants--yeah, I've always been a dork! Our seats were way at the top of the arena, but I didn't care. I was there and that's what mattered. I do remember Sting singing "The Yellow Rose of Texas," with the best twang he could muster. I also recall that Branford Marsalis was really cool to watch and pretty funny too. I wish I had a better memory, but I do know it was good. Very good.


Cool Beans

  • Ding dong, the Jetta's gone! That's right, I am now the owner of just one car! Woo hoo. Some of you received excited emails, texts, IMs, or phone calls a little over a week ago, when I found my buyer. We finalized the sale and transferred the title yesterday. Sweet relief.
  • I spent today at the L.A. Zoo Photo Day. I won't have time to review and upload many (or any) of the hundreds of photos I took tonight, but hopefully soon (see below).
  • We're off to The Magic Castle in a bit for an event. It should be fun, but is making for a very long Sunday. My feet are aching from trekking around the zoo all day, so I hope we get to sit a lot!


Friday Night Haiku

Friday night sci-fi
Battlestar Galactica
Rocks my frackin' world


Short Screams And A Mountain Getaway

This past weekend was very busy. Friday night was the 3rd Annual Short Screams Film Festival that E puts on at CIA. We had a decent turnout, some great horror shorts, and fun performances from a puppeteer and a magician. One of our filmmaker friends from Indiana was in town for another festival, so she was able to attend and see her movie in a pretty cool venue. We were up so late that night, we didn't even watch the Battlestar Galactica premiere that night.

On Saturday, we took a friend up on his generous offer to come stay with him in his cabin at Big Bear Lake. He even invited us to bring the three dogs, which we did. I'd missed the mountains since we haven't made our annual Mammoth trip the past couple of summers. It's so nice to breathe in the clean, fresh air. It was pretty cold at night (36 F), but we had heat and a fire, so it was cozy. Our host cooked a wonderful dinner for us Saturday night. We spent much of Sunday walking around the Big Bear Discovery Center, the Big Bear Village, and then later down to the lake with the dogs. It was a wonderful, albeit brief, getaway.


Rusty looking adorable (and really small!) in Big Bear.

Upon returning to L.A. Sunday night, we settled in for Battlestar Galactica. It was a pretty intense two hours and I can't wait to see what happens next!


I Am A Dork--Reason #87

Not only do I own a "Book Club" t-shirt, but I wore it to my book club tonight.


And My Heart Stood Still

The year was 1977 and I was in the second grade. Yes, I saw Star Wars in the theater later that summer, but before that, and what turned out to be a far more momentous occasion, I went to my first concert.* I'd received tickets in my Easter basket to see Shaun Cassidy! I went with my Mom, my friend Michelle, and her mother, who had been my kindergarden teacher.

I was such a huge Shaun Cassidy fan. I played his albums over and over. I even once wrote a letter to him, which I kissed with some lipstick I snuck from my Mom's makeup (a big no-no!). I could hardly believe that I'd be seeing him sing in person! I don't think I could have imagined then that years later, I'd be living in Los Angeles and would end up sitting right in front of him for a play at a tiny theater!

The show was amazing! At least what little I remember of it. My main memory is that when Shaun's set opened there was a large metal ring on stage, covered with paper. He stood behind it, singing, and we could see his shadow. At some point in the song, he jumped through the paper! Wow! I also remember that all of the members of the opening band wore orange jumpsuits. I called my Mom this evening to see if she had any other memories of the event, but she doesn't. All I know is that it was good. And there were no stupid boys involved.

*This is where E shakes his head and marvels how anything could supersede the greatness of seeing Star Wars.


Things I Don't Understand

Brandon Flowers' new look. I liked him with makeup, when he was glam. What is he now? Dork cowboy? Not that I have anything against dorks. I think it's the goofy mustache that I find really unappealing.

An anonymous comment I received today. "Your Gay" was all it said. My gay what? Please finish your thought or at least use proper grammar.

The practically unremitting headache I've had for the past two days. Ugh!


Baby You Can Drive My Car

I understand that lots of people have their sob stories. Hey, I have a few of my own too. Not the least of which is the fact that I bought a new car a couple of weeks ago and I really need to recoup the down payment I made on it as soon as possible. So, please won't someone buy my old car?

I'm so sorry, but no, I cannot put you on a monthly payment plan. It's a nice idea, but I'm not set up to operate as a bank.

Also, I understand there's traffic (Hello! We live in Southern California, remember?), but I left work early today, which you knew I had to do, and paid to get the car washed so you could come see it. But I am desperate and therefore will inconvenience myself again for you later this week.

If you drove the car over a week ago and decided you don't want it, that it fine. Even though you seemed very, very interested, I understand. Just please tell me and stop stringing me along.

I will be so happy when this aggravation is finally over.


Lost: One Metaphorical Small Dog

I'm posting a brief update on my progress with my recent return to Weight Watchers. In the past eight weeks, I've lost 20 pounds, or as E likes to put it, "the equivalent of a small dog." Now, some of you may have seen me and think I'm lying. Twenty pounds is a lot of weight, but I have much, much more to lose, so it might not be that noticeable yet. I can definitely tell, not only in how I look, but in how my clothes are getting roomier and I'm able to wear some stuff from last summer that I'd "outgrown." I've been sticking to monitoring my portions, etc. while not depriving myself. I even had a couple of drinks last Saturday night and those chicken and waffles on Sunday. I've found my focus in terms of food and eating, so now I need to bump up my activity. I am walking more than before, which is a start.

By my next update, I'll hope to be able to say I'm down a Standard Poodle.


Begin The Begin

For some reason, I often seem to be at a loss for what to write about on Mondays. Lately, I've been cross posting my haiku challenge from my photoblog, which kind of seems like cheating. So, until I get bored of the idea, which may be by next week, on Mondays I'm going to write about some of my concert memories. I love live music and have been to my fair share of shows. For some reason, on the drive home from work today, I was thinking about the first time I saw R.E.M. live and the tale surrounding it. So, that's where I'll start.

I first heard R.E.M. sometime around '83 or '84 on a college radio station I would listen to in my room at night that broadcast from Pasadena, Texas. (I lived outside of Houston at the time). I believe it was the Spring of '85 when my parents' friend's sister came to visit from Austin, where she was college student. She was really cool and had some records with her that she let me record. I made a cassette of at least one, if not two, of her R.E.M. albums.

Fast forward several years and I was in college myself, in central New York. It was the Fall of '88 and I was smitten with an artsy pothead that I'll call Mike. He made the coolest mixed tapes for me and I edited his English papers. That should've been a clue as he was the English major and I was a physical therapy student! We loved listening to R.E.M. together and whenever he hung out in my dorm room, he'd play one of my favorite songs, "Talk About The Passion," on my roommate's acoustic guitar. When we heard that R.E.M. would be doing a show the following Spring in his hometown, a city a bit north of school, my roomie and I were in! Mike went home the weekend tickets went on sale and camped out (remember when you had to do that?) with some friends to get great seats.

After Winter Break, things went downhill for me and Mike. I remember going to a frat party at a nearby college. Mike was very quiet and finally got up the nerve to tell me that even though he really, really, really liked me, he'd been cheating on me the entire time with his old girlfriend back home who was still in high school and who I had met one weekend when she had visited as a "friend." He'd realized it wasn't fair and he needed to choose and that he'd chosen ME and broken it off with her! I was pissed, but forgiving. Oh, I was such a naive little sucker. So we continued on, for what turned out to be a very short time, until the day he dropped by my dorm room and said he'd lied and never broke up with the other girl, blah, blah, blah....and in fact they'd been back together ever since he went home to get the concert tickets.

So there was no way in hell that I was going to the concert. I mean come one, SHE would be there! But wait, I'd paid for my ticket. I had every right to go. My roommate was very kind and said she'd defer to me. I was a bit crazed and changing my mind every other hour. It really came down to the wire and we had some people lined up who were willing to buy the tickets last minute if I just couldn't go. Well, I came to the conclusion that there was no way I was going to miss my chance to see R.E.M. live over a boy.

Mike drove me, Roomie, and one of his friends to the show. Once there, we went on to our seats, which were in the 11th row on the floor and with Mike's younger brother, who was so much nicer and cooler than he was. Mike, Girlfriend, and two other people were in the 2nd or 3rd row. Whatever. We ended up having a blast!!! The Indigo Girls opened and they were really great. The coolest bit was when Michael Stipe joined them to sing his part on "Kid Fears." Damn! I'd never heard of a headliner singing with the opening band! R.E.M. blew me away with their incredible music, Michael Stipe's energetic stage presence, and their multimedia show.

My bubble got burst right after the show when I found out we'd be giving Girlfriend a ride home. Mike was driving a Volvo station wagon at the time, so my roommate and I climbed into the very back with our backs turned on everyone else in the car. Yes, it was painfully awkward and well, just painful. After dropping her off, it was a very long and very silent ride back to school. I don't regret for a second going to the concert. I would have missed out on a great time that was only partially agonizing. I don't think I even remember how badly the whole situation hurt me as time truly does heal some of those wounds. Now I just realize how stupid I almost was.

I've seen R.E.M. three more times, all in Southern California. The second time had some drama surrounding it too, which resulted in a $300 international phone bill. But, that's another story for another day.


Southern Comfort

I decided to try something different for my birthday dinner this year. After catching Idiocracy at the ArcLight, we headed over to Roscoe's. Yep, THE House of Chicken 'n Waffles. I've wanted to eat there for a long time and figured gettting older was a good excuse to try it.


Roscoe's did not disappoint. The Hollywood location is small and cozy with an eclectic mix of diners. Tourists and locals of many races and nationalities filled the place. The fried chicken was delicious, like my mama used to make it when I was a kid in the South. The syrupy waffle was perfect as a side dish. I also had a biscuit, which was big and fluffy. It was music to my ears when the server asked if I wanted my iced tea "sweet or unsweet." That's not something you normally hear north of the Mason-Dixon Line or west of the Mississippi. (I ordered it sweet).


It was a treat to indulge in such yummy comfort food. I'll have to see how it affects tomorrow's weigh-in. Whatever the result, it was worth it.

Blog Template by