Ella Tiene Quince Años

Back in November, I mentioned that our American Eskimo Dog, Cosette, turned 15. Not too shabby, especially considering that she had a pretty extensive cancer a few years ago. In spite of being pretty deaf and a bit arthritic, the old girl has plenty of spunk left in her. Leading up to her birthday, I thought it would be fun to take some photos of her at the Mullholland Fountain on Los Feliz near Griffith Park.

For years when I've worked my once-monthly or so Saturday, I've driven home past the fountain and it's usually still been daylight. On sunny weekend afternoons, there are usually one, if not several, groups of people in fancy dress getting photos taken. At first, I assumed they were wedding parties. Doing a double-take, I realized they were usually comprised of kids. Teenagers mostly, but kids nonetheless. Latino kids. It slowly came together that these were not brides, but girls who were celebrating their Quinceañera.

So, you can see where this is going and yeah, I dressed Cosette up and took some photos of her by the fountain. If I'd done it properly, and had about ten others to help me, I'd have had a slew of young, male dogs to pose with her. Oh well. I also didn't dress her in white, as most of the birthday girls do, since she has white fur. And if you hadn't guessed, we're not even Mexican, so this was just all for my amusement anyway.

Quince Años (Fifteen Years)

Pretty Pretty Princess

Yes, I have become one of those people I used to make fun of! I didn't go so far as to rent a Hummer limo for the 'Caninceañera', but just wait until you see what I'm cooking up for her Sweet 16!



Starting with one of my favorite photos that I took of Rusty a couple of years ago, E treated it in Photoshop to make it look a bit like a painting, made an enlarged print, and matted it and framed it himself. It's gorgeous.


This One's Real

Santa Ami

Ami, my real hamster, modeling a craft Santa hat.



Well, Did You See Alien? When The Creature Was In That Guy's Stomach? It Kinda Feels Like That.

Out with the bah-humbugs and in with the I-really-don't-have-it-so-bads. I've been bitching about having to work today, Christmas Eve, the 26th, blah, blah, blah. Luckily my job, besides being something that I do really enjoy doing and earning me a living, helps me keep things in perspective. One of the teenagers I was working with today said to me, "Having cancer sucks. All this stuff you have to go through." He was right. I could only agree with him and encourage him to hang in there.

So yeah, between my paying job and the volunteer work I do, I am constantly reminded that I have it pretty good. Sure, I have a bad cold right now and my house is a disaster, but in general I'm in good health, I have a loving and extremely supportive and patient husband, I have a house, my oldest dog just turned 15...I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Oh, and if you missed yesterday's post, I was linked on the Craft: blog!

Merry Holidays to all of you readers and your friends and families.


Craft Hamster How-To

If you know me in the slightest, you probably know I'm obsessed with hamsters. I make craft hamsters using pom poms, craft foam, fishing line designed for beading, and hot glue. Acrylic fillable ball ornaments make good exercise balls. I've sold them at Comic-Con and a local craft fair.



The pom poms for the eyes, nose, and tail are very small and hot glue is,, so I use tweezers to hold onto and stick those onto the larger hamster body pom pom.


I cut 3 pieces of fishing line for the whiskers. I glue those to a pink pom pom, which will become the nose. I find this to be the trickiest step.



I cut ears out of craft foam. I struggle to make them fairly symmetrical.


After I glue on the ears, I add the nubby tail.


The hamster is then loaded into a plastic ball and a piece of twine is added, along with a tag and/or ribbon. They can be used as Christmas tree ornaments or simply as a care free pet.


Oh Hamster Tree


Optional Santa hat constructed with a triangle shaped piece of red felt folded into a cone and secured with hot glue, a pom pom and a piece of pipe cleaner.



*Linked on the Craft: blog!


It's Never Enough Until You've Got All The Stuff

I'm off today. No, not for the start of vacation, but just a comp day for working this coming Saturday. It's the nature of having a job in a facility that NEVER CLOSES. Luckily for me, my work area is closed on certain days and one of those is Christmas Day. There will be one person from my department that will be there that day, at least for a few hours. My department is also closed at nights, so that is a good thing.

So far, I have not been as productive as I'd intended. I slept later than I wanted and am having a hard time getting started on the multitude of projects that need attention. I did start some laundry, but used up the fabric softener. I'm changing my game plan and thinking of heading out to buy some more and perhaps do a little Christmas shopping.

"Egads!" you might be thinking. That's so last-minute for Christmas shopping!!! Um, no, it really isn't for me. Trust me, no matter what I get done today, I will be at Target, after work on the 24th, really doing some last-minute stuff. Ever been to Target around 8 or 9pm on Christmas Eve? It's INSANE. You get to see the true nature of people and it's not pretty.

For all of you venturing away or at least off from work for the holiday, I wish you a very good time. I have my usual itinerary of fun planned, working or not, so it will be quite merry for me too. Plus, I have my two weeks of vacation in January to look forward to.




Vote for gigantic Ami here!


Time, Time, Time, See What's Become Of Me

It's a good feeling to get an email from a friend that says, "What's up with you? Haven't heard from you in a while, hope you're not working too hard." Especially when that "a while" is truthfully only a couple of days. Life seems to be in high gear right now, partially due to the holidays as that has added a few items to the social calendar.

I have piles of laundry, both clean and dirty, a sink full of dishes, and way too much other clutter to list. I haven't updated my blogs, read yours or hers or his, or taken many photos lately. Twitter informed me that I haven't updated in over 24 hours and I didn't watch 30 Rock yet. I have some things I really need to get out into the mail also.

It's not that I'm just napping and eating bon bons. I've only done some of that in past few days. This week I did see American Werewolf in London in a theater, hosted by Edgar Wright and with a John Landis Q&A. I also saw Ben Lee in concert and went to a Scrubs panel at the Paley Center for Media. I also took Little Guy to the vet and bathed Rusty for some volunteer work we are doing today and tomorrow. Oh, and I worked 40 hours.

I guess my point is that I look around the pig sty where I reside and glance down my To Do list and feel lazy and unaccomplished. I sure that I'm not alone in feeling this, especially at this time of year when time demands and pressures seem to multiply. I could probably go on about this, but Rusty and I have a very important date.



Absurd quotes from today, which was a bizarre one:
  • "My pants are making me dizzy!"
  • "When my Mom would find lice in my hair, she'd snap them on a coconut shell. I loved the sound."
  • "There should not be rats where there are naked people."
  • "Wow! I just got a Hamster Club newsletter! I didn't even know I was in a hamster club."*
A conversation E and I had after getting home Saturday night:

Me, opening my purse and pulling out an item of clothing:
"I took off my fat-sucking undergarment in the bathroom at the party."

E, looking quite perplexed: "Why would you do that?"

Me, still tipsy and a bit smug even: "Well, I had it on over supportive tummy control stockings. I felt like I was overachieving."

E: "Overachieving? Maybe you should go to the gym more than once a week and then we can talk about overachieving."

*Yeppers. I said that one.


How In The World Will I Make It To Work In The Morning?

I've been drinking since we clocked out and now it's 4 am...

Not really. I did my imbibing last night and didn't have to work today. It's been a good weekend (besides the latter part of Friday night...see below) and I hate to see it end. Since I have Fridays off, my weekend starts Thursday night. We went to a holiday party/open house at a facility that does digital post production work. It was nice to see some familiar faces, but the demo we sat through was way over my head.

Before the Largo fiasco on Friday, we went to the annual Toluca Lake Holiday Open House, primarily to get Rusty's photo taken with Santa. I haven't scanned it in yet. It's not that great and I had to be in it, so we'll see. I'm just really glad the rains let up for the event.

E had to work most of the day Saturday, so I ran a bunch of errands. He finished around 8pm, stopped home briefly and we were off to a Christmas party thrown by one of the guys E is actually working for. We had a great time and caught up with some friends we hadn't seen in ages. I even ran into a guy from my book club. We both did that, "Whoa, this is totally out of context" stare at each other before saying hello. Many laughs were had with our buddy H, who I actually refer to as Lady J, but that's another story. I got a bit tipsy, especially after the shot of Scandinavian turpentine beverage Akvavit. Blergh. My apologies for any inappropriate drunken texts or photos of toilets that went out.

Today was a gorgeous, warm and cloudless (one benefit of rain!) day. We went to the Rose Bowl flea market, briefly, where I picked up a bunch of little Hamtaro character figures. E picked up a 1985 issue of Playboy for a fascinating interview with Steve Jobs, who was talking about essentially an iPhone back then. We invariably spot a celebrity at the monthly flea market. Today it was Alice Cooper, which was pretty cool. I was alone though as I'd gone off in search of kettle corn.

After our modest purchases, we drove further east to Ontario to see our good friend, Scott Land, perform as Willy Wonka in a musical starring mostly high school students. The Chaffey High School Thespians are an impressive group of youngsters and they put on a great show. We got to have dinner with Scott and an old friend we haven't seen in a long time.

All in all, a great--but too short, as usual--weekend. How was yours?


Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me

Ever been really excited about something, only to be thoroughly disappointed? It's happened to us now, not only once, but twice, in trying to see Jon Brion* perform at Largo. From time to time over the years, we have seen Jon pop onto stage for a song or two with Jill Sobule, Colin Hay, or Aimee Mann, but we never managed to book a table for one of his locally legendary weekly gigs, which often includes surprise guests.

I don't even remember how long ago it was (early '06?), but we had finally gotten a reservation for the show that fills up months in advance. We queued up on Fairfax Avenue and waited. And waited. What was going on? Why aren't they opening the door? It turns out there had been a three-block or so power outage. Largo could not operate their kitchen or safely have an audience in their space. They canceled the night and sent a bunch of disappointed people on our way.

Shortly after that fateful night of the no go show, Jon developed tendinitis that kept him from performing for some time. So, we were quite excited when he started showing up again on the Largo calendar. With great anticipation, we booked a table for last night's show. The listing had another name on it as well, which we assumed was an opening act. When JON BRION is written in big letters with the other name, Nels Cline, written in small letters under it, that's what you think. How wrong we were.

Jon Brion and Nels Cline took the stage together and stayed on the stage together for, what was a surprise to me, "an evening of improvised duets." There was a lot of experimental electronic, and at times downright psychedelic, sound being produced. It was not what I was expecting at all. I wanted to hear Jon Brion sing some pop songs. He rarely sang at all during the set. I know some folks enjoyed it, but it was just not my thing. I don't think the people I saw sleeping through most of the show (I'm not kidding) were that into it either.

Sigh. So, do we try for a third time? I'm not so sure. With so many favorites of ours on the upcoming schedule--Watkins Family Hour, Glen Phillips, Colin Hay--I don't know that I need to risk it again with Mr. Brion.

*You may not know Jon Brion's solo work, but you have surely heard some of his film scores and/or some of the popular music he has produced, including my favorite Spoon song "The Underdog."


It's Not My Bag, Baby

So, yeah, I bought a diaper bag at Target* the other night. Now, don't get excited. Even though it's not a gift, I'm not pregnant. Let's not even go there. Actually, I got the bag for Rusty, my therapy dog. When he goes to work, there are certain supplies I need to bring along. Some of the items we carry include a Polaroid camera, a towel, a small photo album, a dog brush, possibly a couple of costumes, poop bags, water and a collapsible bowl, etc. I've used various tote bags, since I have plenty of those, but nothing was quite doing the trick. As I whined about needing a better solution, E suggested a diaper bag. "They have lots of compartments," was his reasoning and I agreed.

This is what I got and it's perfect:

Part of the reason I was so desperately in search of a new bag was that Rusty and I were preparing to attend a big even this past Saturday. Snowball Express is an amazing organization that I feel honored to have taken a small part in. Children, men, and women who have lost parents and spouses in military action during the past six years were flown to Southern California for an all expenses paid weekend. There was a big event at the Oakley in the O.C. There were a lot of activities going on and most of the kids seemed to have a fabulous time. Rusty was a friendly face and a warm being to hug. He generated a lot of smiles and laughter, as well as gratitude from the parents, a few of whom said, "Thank you so much. The dogs were my kids' favorite thing today." Admittedly, the day was pretty draining, physically and emotionally, but I was happy to participate. It certainly put real faces to what is going on in the world and was quite profound not matter where you stand on certain issues.

So, I may be kind of a scrooge this time of year, but not in terms of giving to those in need. I don't have much money to give, so I give my time and share my snuggly little teddy bear-like dog and his unconditional love.

*For more great Target stuff, check out the Inside My Target Cart blog.


How Do You Get A Man To Clean The House?

It's a simple answer really. I'm sure Will could take a guess. Yep, you got it. Robots. That's all it takes. Get a couple of housecleaning robots and you'll get a guy to clean on a daily basis. I've seen it with my own eyes.

E and I recently picked up a couple of refurbished home robots at a great discount. The Roomba is staying on top of the dog hair that so quickly accumulates in the living room and the Scooba has been tackling the bathroom, kitchen, and the covered patio, which gets some abuse from the dogs. Especially with the recent rain. I'll leave it at that.

So, ladies, if you want some help around the house this holiday season, you might want to ask Santa, Hannukah Harry, or whoever it is that graces you with gifts, for a housekeeping robot. The future is now.


Happiness Is...

...being able to watch Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales at the gym while enduring the elliptical machine. It helped with torture of it all. A little.

Not Tonight Dear

The double feature we went to started an hour and a half late. Rusty and I will not be blogging tonight.


More To Come

Even thought NaBloPoMo ended, I did intend to post something yesterday. It ended up being a very long and fun, yet incredibly exhausting day that didn't end until close to 2 am, when I just gave up. Today has consisted of sleeping quite late, laundry, dishes, some robotic housecleaning, and now a scramble to get ready to go out into the world. I intend to write something later, as does Rusty, who has quite a bit to say about our adventure yesterday.


The First Decade Of Jodi

Wrapping up NaBloPoMo 2007 with a timeline* of the first decade of my life. I've had fun posting every day this month, even though many days it was just to post something. But, I did it and that's what matters.

Year 1: I obviously don't remember, but according to my family, we lived in a "shack" in Northern Virginia. I really wanted to see it later on, but there is a road where it once stood. My Mom strung popcorn for our Christmas tree and mice ate at it. We did have indoor plumbing (I asked).

Year 2: Again, I'm not remembering too much of this time, but I know we moved to the "beach house." The one with huge staircase I tumbled down resulting in my first (and so far, only) ambulance ride, but no injuries.

Year 3: I became a big sister. I don't really remember my sister too much as a baby. There will be stories later though.

Year 4: Because of an autumn birthday, I started kindergarten. I walked to the primary school, which was very close to my house. Sometimes, my Mom substitute taught in my class. I got in trouble at nap time for giggling and it took the entire school year for me to learn how to skip.

Year 5: I had a cool blue coin purse shaped like a fish. The mouth of the fish is where it opened. I tried to sleep away from home for the first time (literally, right down the street), but had to call my Mom to take me home around 10 pm. My parents got divorced.

Year 6: My best friend, Vickie, and I had a crush on the same boy. This went on for a while until he moved away. I'm not really sure how he felt about either of us. I participated in my town's Bicentennial parade.

Year 7: I was a cheerleader for the local equivalent of Little League for football. We had HUGE white pom-poms and thought we were hot stuff. Practice was often held in my back yard. Go Eagles!

Year 8: Moved up from primary school to secondary school, which meant that I got to ride a school bus. I also got paddled in front of my entire class for laughing when someone else got paddled.

Year 9: I caught the chicken pox from my sister on Halloween (she broke out the next day). It made me cancel a sleep-over. The good thing was that my friend Carol, who lived down the street, caught them the same night, so we got to play together while staying home "sick" from school.

Year 10: My Mom got remarried and we moved to a big city. I had my own room for the first time since being a big sister. I also got to experience the first of several times of being "the new girl" at school. I learned to never get a home perm the night before starting a new school ever again.

*Timeline idea from page 51 of:
No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog.


A BALD Monkey?

We went to a 25th anniversary screening of E.T. tonight by 'The Academy'. The only big screen I'd ever seen it on was one at a drive-in back in '83 with my sister and grandmother. It holds up pretty well and the new print we watched looked great. I'd wager that 99% of the audience at least got a little misty by the end of the film, aside from those who were sniffling quite loudly. A Q&A followed and included several crew members as well as Dee Wallace and Henry Thomas, little Elliot all grown up.

I was a bit astonished that someone coming to the gorgeous theater we were in, complete with giant Oscar® statues at the front of the room, would bring a baby with them. A noisy baby. Security eventually kicked them out, thank goodness. Oh, and there of course was the couple of cell phones that went off during the movie. I guess it's now just part of the moving-going experience. Ugh.


Phone Home

Total cop-out, poorly written moblog as I won't be home by midnight. Rules are just to post though, right? Sorry if I don't pique your interest.


The Devil's In The Details

I really enjoy the show Reaper. Sure, it's silly and often predictable, but whatever. I like it, shut up. Ray Wise great as Satan. I'm also quite fond of the lead, Bret Harrison. I got a kick out of him back when he was on Grounded For Life. Now he's all grown up and quite funny.


The show kind of makes me home sick in a way. Yes, because I'm a spawn of the Devil. No, seriously, Bret Harrison looks a lot like my youngest brother. Or vice versa. I don't have a good current photo, but here's a not-so-good one from a couple of years ago.


Hopefully, the similarities end there and K isn't having to spend his free time capturing souls who have escaped from Hell.

*Update: Swiped a more recent photo of my brother from MySpace:




No, I don't have a cold. Just a little weepy. I'm okay though. I just saw a fantastic film, that I knew I wanted to see immediately upon seeing the trailer a few weeks ago. LACMA did a preview screening tonight.

Seeing as I just got home and I need to eat, do laundry, take out the garbage, watch Heroes, and post this by midnight, I'll share more later.

P.S. RIP Peanut.



I screamed and nearly bit E tonight as we drove by the actual Hollywood Tower building on Franklin Avenue. I swear, I'm traumatized for life.


Crap Fair

Geez. The Tired Girl Collective's first real 'craft fair' experience could not be summed up as successful. Granted, I'm not too sure many of the vendors who participated in the Handmade For The Holidays show did gangbusters business. It was pretty pathetic. Several sellers didn't even show up today. We were optimistic that today would be much better than Black Friday. It was worse. Worse. Between the three of us, we did not even make the cost of the table back in sales. Eep. I don't think we were completely a wrong fit for the event, which though fairly well organized, suffered from timing, lack of promotion, and location.

All was not completely lost. The lovely Nina, who professes to really dislike crafts, stopped by to say hello anyway, along with her mom. I also got to meet a certain Ambitious Hamster's dad! That was a fun surprise. I also did have a couple of completely insane-for-hamsters customers.

I guess one of the benefits of not selling out of merchandise, as I'd hoped to, is that I already have prizes to send to my two contest winners: Nanette and Nicole! Not that it did anything to boost comments. In fact, I got fewer than on some other posts. Maybe I should not try to bribe folks!


What Now?

Reading: Roasting In Hell's Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay. It was a blast to see him in person this past week. It was a little disappointing to not have him yell at me. I'd probably cry though, so it's for the best.

Listening: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga by Spoon. This is a great album and I can't stop listening to it. We saw them live a couple of weeks ago and they were fantastic. I was really happy they had a horn section on stage.

Watching: Pushing Daisies, one of the newer shows I like and will miss when all of the current episodes have aired. It's wonderfully quirky.

Selling: Hamster balls and Hamster Haiku with the Tired Girl Collective at the Handmade for the Holidays Craft Fair.

Dreading: Work tomorrow. Ugh. I'd rather be at the craft fair (see above).

Dreaming Of: Sleep. I will be fulfilling this very, very soon.


Moblog From Disneyland

Went on the Tower of Terror ride @ California Adventure. I hate rides like that and got talked into it. I bit Eric on the arm. After punching him in the same arm "about 12 times." (That's his count).


Just Plain, No Whipped Cream Please

Even though I can hardly believe it's Thanksgiving tomorrow, I'm suddenly craving pumpkin pie really badly. Hopefully, there will not be a repeat last year's incident though. We shall see what happens.


I Love My Hamster, But...

...I thought I was going to commit rodentcide in the wee hours of the morning. Now, Ami's prime workout time usually begins between 1 and 3 am. No big deal. He runs in his wheel, which is actually pretty quiet, and does this running back and forth and over and under circuit training between the two habitats that are connected as his luxurious home. Fine.

Well, this morning, sometime between 1 and 2 am, I was awakened by this noxious gnawing and crunching sound. I'm not an especially light sleeper, so this was LOUD. I realized that Ami was trying to chew through his thick plastic wheel on the outside of one end of his condo. I hop out of bed, using my cell phone as a light and try to reason with the little dude.

Snuggled back under my covers, drifting off, he started up once again. I yelled at him, "AMI! STOP!" The two dogs who were curled up on the bed with me confirmed how crazy this sounded with looks of disbelief before they went back to dreamland. I got up, turned on a light, and opened up the container containing All Things To Amaze And Delight Your Hamster. I grabbed a tiny cob of corn, yogurt covered blueberries, sunflower seeds, and two wooden chew toys. I tossed them in the house. He sniffed each item, looked back at me, and went to the lower level of that section, ignoring the treasures I'd bestowed upon him. Lights off and back to bed I went and sure enough, the little brat started with the chewing again. Ugh.

In the end, the hamster lived and I least a little. He's so darn cute and it's in his nature to try and escape from captivity, as all good hamsters do. You all know I'd never hurt him! At least on purpose. Let's hope he's forgotten about that time I dropped him.


"This pumpkin is shit."

***Don't forget! You still have just about 24 hours to enter the contest by leaving a comment! On that post. Good luck!


The Strike Affects All Of Us

I am in support of the Writer's Guild and what they are trying to accomplish. No, I'm not a writer or even in The Industry. But, as the WGA strikes, we are all affected, in some way or another. I have some very good friends who are actors, another who is an Emmy winning editor of a very popular television show, and one who works post-production on a drama. They are feeling the pain of their livelihoods being completely shutdown.

But, let's talk about ME and how this whole thing impacts my life, or specifically how it had a direct effect on things this very night. About a month ago, I got word from fellow SoCal Duranie (shut up!) that we could get free tickets to an outdoor mini-concert Duran Duran was to do in Hollywood. I secured my two tickets and found a friend who was excited to go along. This free event was in conjunction with the band's appearance on a late night talk show and they were going to perform five or six songs on the stage behind the building on Hollywood Boulevard.

Of course, due to the strike, the program is in reruns and free Duran Duran show. So, as you can clearly see, we can all potentially suffer and should get involved to get this industry moving again.

Granted, I haven't even bought the new Duran Duran album and probably didn't deserve a free show after all. Part of the reason is that I didn't really like the first song I heard. I blame Justin Timberlake.


You Got To Leave Me Now

Feeling melancholy about seeing Nickel Creek for possibly the last time ever. More later.



My computer has been defragging for HOURS. If I can even get into it before the end of the day, I'll do a real post.


Cheap Trick

In the spirit of holiday giving, needing a post for NaBloPoMo, and wanting more comments, SnarkyDork Blog is having a contest! Yay! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by next Wednesday, November 21st by 11:59 pm. You do not have to have an account or enter any verification codes. You can even log in anonymously, but then it'd be hard to get your prize to you. So, no excuses for not leaving a little note here. And hey, you may just get something in return.

So, what do you get? Well, two lucky, randomly picked visitors will get a one-of-kind handmade hamster ball, complete with an optional Santa hat if you want, and a signed copy of my book, Hamster Haiku. The hamster ball can make a cute ornament and both things can make great holiday gifts if you aren't so into adorable little fluffy rodents yourself.

Comment away and good luck to you all!


Bore, Bored, Boring

I'm completely bored with the look of this blog, not to mention the content, but that's another topic all to itself. I've played around a bit with templates that made it even bleaker, so I switched back to what you see. I'm not talented enough to do something completely awesome and custom on my own, and I'm too cheap to pay someone to do that. If anyone has any good, easy, and free tips, I'll gladly accept.

Instead of updating my blog, I really should be making hamsters for an upcoming craft fair. No, not Felt Club. I didn't get accepted into that one. However, I will *sort of* be a part of Felt Club this coming Sunday. At the event, there will be the "all-new" Maker Square, a scaled down version of the Maker Faire that we participated in this past Spring. E was invited to participate with all of his exhibits, including our Dorkbake oven, so I'll be there to help out. So, if you are stopping by to see the crafts, come say hi.

Speaking of's time to makes some hamsters.

*I obviously changed the look of this place after posting the above.


Shake, Rattle, and Roll

When I lived in places that actually had significant weather, I like watching the Weather Channel. It fascinated me. Especially when we lived on the coast of Texas and had hurricanes threaten us, I'd check in frequently for the latest status. Keep in mind, this was pre-internet.

Now, whenever there is the least bit of earth trembling, I log in to this site to see where the earthquake was located and its magnitude. Some kind of sick fascination? Maybe. More likely, I just like to be informed.

Naturally, I love a Firefox addon called eQuake Alert that I recently discovered. Every time the earth shakes somewhere in the world, your browser shakes and the magnitude and location show up in the bottom of the window. Besides the major activity in Chile today, there's been quite a bit of 2.5-3.0 shaking in Central California. Good to know.


Blow Out That Cherry Bomb

So, we're winding down on the birthdays around here. We had a good time celebrating E's transition to the next decade this past weekend, in spite of me getting sick toward the end. We hit an artsy street fair in Burbank and chowed on some Hawaiian food Saturday afternoon. Then we went on the Neon Cruise, which was fabulous. At some point, I'll be posting photos, but I haven't downloaded them yet.

On Sunday, we got a later start than hoped, but enjoyed running around the Rose Bowl Flea Market for a couple of hours. E had a conversation with someone he had met 22 years ago and also picked up an old game from his childhood. I found a $3 pink dress for Cosette to wear when I get around to doing some photos for her 15th birthday, which is today.

After that, we ran a couple of errands then headed home to get gussied up for the Magic Castle. The night there was a lot fun as we celebrated with 10 of our friends. I'd heard the food has vastly improved since we'd eaten there before and it's true. Now, I've never eaten a fancy gourmet meal like Jenn and Nanette have, but I do appreciate a good filet mignon from time to time, which is what I ate. It was one of the most tender steaks I've ever eaten. We also had really good performers, so the evening ended with great entertainment following the fantastic meal.

Unfortunately, I'm still under the weather and will be heading back to bed now. I hope you, my loyal three readers, are all better than I feel.



Well, I didn't listen to a certain ambitious hamster and put my mantra in positive terms and I got sick. Boo. A nasty head cold that I'm hoping will pass with fluids, vitamins, and rest. We'll see how that goes. Hopefully, loud music will help too since I have a concert (seated, thankfully) tonight.

In the meantime, in an effort to not fail NaBloPoMo, I'm blathering on about nothing in particular. I had a couple of post ideas, but instead I'm just being boring and annoying myself. I'd better sign off.

Here's to feeling better tomorrow.


Sign Of Rain

We may actually get a drizzle today (they are calling it a "storm" on news reports, but only .02 inches are predicted). That won't put a damper on E's birthday festivities though, dammit. I'm hoping this cold that I'm starting to develop won't either. Ugh. Bad, bad timing.

So, I'm interrupting this blog post-which honestly was going nowhere fast-to chant today's mantra over and over:

I will not get sick. I will not get sick. I will not get sick. I will not get sick. I will not get sick. I will not get sick. I will not get sick. I will not get sick.


The Weekend Of The Big 4-0 Is Upon Us

We are celebrating the 40th anniversary of E's birth this weekend. Well, I'm forcing him to celebrate and he's going along with it, sort of groaning all the while. Yeah, getting old sucks, but it certainly beats the alternative. Last night, we saw Blade Runner: The Final Cut. We could be more like the Replicants and only have a four-year life span, you know?

Tonight, we'll be freezing our asses off on enjoying a three-hour open top double decker bus neon tour of Los Angeles. Yes, we sort of did this before, but it was for a private party and therefore, abbreviated. We've been wanting to experience the whole thing. I just have to dig out my hat and gloves. While the days are still quite pleasant and warm, the nights are getting to be a little chilly. I'm still sleeping with a fan though. Go figure.

E's actual birth date is tomorrow, Veteran's Day. Weather permitting, we plan to go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market early in the day. Later, we have a group joining us for dinner and magical good times at the "world famous" Magic Castle. My goal is to prove to E that you can be as old as dirt, but still get out on the town and have a great time. Ha!


Ho, Ho, Ho...No, No,No

Maybe since Christmas is promoted earlier and earlier each year, or so it seems, I get scroogier earlier each year. I'm not ready for the bombardment of ads and seeing the decorated tree and Santa setup at the mall. I'm still munching on candy corn, for crikey's sake!

I need to get it together a little though and at least pretend to feel festive. In a couple of weeks, the Tired Girl Collective will be participating in the Handmade For The Holidays Craft Fair. It's November 23rd and 24th at Fairfax High School. So, it's time to break out the hot glue because I've got a lot of hamster ball ornaments to make before then.

This should prove to be an interesting undertaking, as I'm currently reigning as The Laziest Person In The World.


English Blood

Another outtake from my non-unicorn decorated dream journal:


We're somewhere with a group of people. At one point I think it's Sundance and wonder where D. is. For some reason, I go to a doctor. The nurse draws some blood, but says it isn't enough.

All of as sudden, I'm getting an IV hooked up to me and a bag of blood for a transfusion. I start freaking out and say, "I won't ever be able to donate blood again since we're in England!"

Someone says to me, "Well, you probably shouldn't have eaten that cheeseburger either."


Sure, Mr. Poop

Michael: Children cannot lie, they are innocent and they speak the truth. Out of the mouths of babes, Michael Scott is freakin' cool.

I love kids. Other people's kids. I work with children and am quite often amused by them. I have a particularly animated and funny (all boys) group right now. One of them has taken to quoting Nacho Libre, which I've never even seen. A younger boy is now imitating the one who started it all, so we have a 9-year old and a 6-year old going around saying things like, "I believe in science!" and "Don't be judgin' me." There are a couple of teenagers who also get in on the act and yes, I guess you have to be there, but it gets silly and makes me giggle.

THE word of the past couple of days has been "whatevah," said with some sort of Brooklyn accent. I'm not sure where that one came from, but the One Who Is Six now greets me that way, complete with a dismissive hand wave. This afternoon he told me how for lunch he ate, "A whole chicken. Even the bones," while chuckling gleefully. I suggested that he might have also eaten the feathers, but that was too much and was deemed, "Ew."

Besides the Funny Ones, there is the Confused One who cannot ever remember my name. Each day, he runs through a list, "Lesley?" "Stephanie?" "Christina?" At some point, I cue him, "It starts with a J..." and he continues "Janie?", occasionally getting to "Jodi," but often not until I've given him the first sound, "Jo..." and then it's usually "Joanna" as the first guess. Yesterday , after a few tries, he grinned and said, "Oh, I know! Big Head! Yep, that's your name. Big Head." So, maybe he's not so mixed up after all. I mean, it's a fact that I do have a big baby head!


Phoning It In

Not sure I'll be home in time to post. Long terrible day. No lunch. No dinner yet either. Blergh.


Attention Hamster Fans!

...or those of you who just want to humor me...

A couple of delicious links of hamstery goodness:

Check out this adorable webcomic called Hamleto The Hamster.

For something a bit more twisted, I give you Hamster Deathmatch!

Introducing the Mark II model of the Hamster-Powered Paper Shredder.

And of course, hello to all from Ami:



Pretty Pretty Princess

I smell like a wet dog. Charming, I know. Rusty gets bathed regularly for his work as a therapy dog. Cosette and Little Guy were way overdue for a good scrubbing. It wasn't just washing, but also teeth brushing, claw trimming, paw hair clipping, and lots and lots of brushing. Neither of them enjoyed the process too much, but they certainly look--and smell--much better. I collected the equivalent of a small dog in fur from Cosette. She is now dematted and looks slimmer.

Fourteen and Sassy

In a little over a week, my forever "puppy girl" Cosette will be 15. She's a tough girl, who survived an extensive cancer surgery nearly three years ago. Even though she's mostly deaf and at times a little spacey, she is still pretty smart. And while she indulges in more naps than usual, she definitely has spunk and gets pretty energetic at night.

Easy Breezy

It only seems fitting that for Cosette's upcoming birthday, I should get her a pretty princess dress and do a photo shoot at the fountain on Los Feliz. That's what most girls celebrating their Quinceañera do, right?


It's Only Day 3....


...and I'm already resorting to a photo. Crap. This posting every day thing is gonna be harder than I thought. What was I thinking?


Brain Overload

I was up super early today, normally my day off, to go to a continuing education course in the O.C. I go back tomorrow and Sunday as well. It was an informative day in which I learned new things and validated some things that I already do. I actually stayed awake for all of the lectures, even when the a/c broke in the afternoon, causing the auditorium to heat up.

I'm attending the class with one of my favorite co-workers, which makes it fun. Even if we did get rear-ended on the way home this evening. Her car, not mine. Only a scraped bumper, which she did not seem too concerned about. I'm driving tomorrow, so I'm hoping for a little less excitement.


Halloween Recap

or How I Could Never Be A Street Walker...

Once again, I enjoyed a marathon Halloween. I read over last year's post to make sure I wouldn't be too repetitive, as some things are sort of tradition. As much as things stay the same though, it's always different.

In terms of costumes this year, Halloween was quite easy and economical. My department at work voted to do 101 Dalmations. A smaller group of us had done that 10 or 11 years ago and fortunately, I kept everything. For nighttime, E wore his Ro-Man costume from last year and I dressed up as the space girl that accompanied Ro-Man in the Dorkbake competition. Unfortunately, I've gained some weight since then and tore the dress a little putting it on. A quick sewing job took care of it, but I'd prefer to lose some pounds before wearing it again.

We didn't really have many trick-or-treaters this year. Of course, a group of greedy people only with babies did come by. I gave them candy, but wasn't happy about it. The fact that we didn't decorate this year might be one reason why the crowds were thinner.

Once the trick-or-treating had died down, we donned our costumes and made a couple of local stops before heading to West Hollywood. E had promised to show off his outfit to some friends. We then stopped by a house with an elaborate animatronic yard display put up by another friend.

The West Hollywood Carnaval was as wild as ever. Lots and lots of people. Tons of fantastic and creative costumes. We walked up and back along Santa Monica Boulevard for three hours. We were both hit on by men. No kidding. Damn were my feet killing me! I had on my silver platform boots, which nearly killed me after all that time. I resorted to taking them off at the end, stepping on pavement gingerly with my sore, raw feet. I ended up sitting on a curb in Beverly Hills while E walked the remaining few blocks to get the car. I don't know how hookers, trannies, and go-go dancers do it.

All in all, an enjoyable Halloween that has come and gone. The only disappointment is the fact that I did not take a single photo.


Count Me In

To make up for my recent slack in blogging, I've officially committed to NaBloPoMo. I unofficially participated last year, but in looking back over my November archive, I realized that I missed a day (Tuesday, November 28th), so I failed. Even though I posted twice a couple of days, that doesn't count.

Since October seems to have whizzed by, with me barely catching my breath between my birthday, which was 30 days ago, and today, Halloween, I have a lot of things I can potentially write about. Hopefully, I can pull it together and not just end up sending grainy cell phone photos to the blog every other day. I imagine that's cheating.

Wish me luck!


Faulkner Farm
Santa Paula, California


Kisses With Kevin Smith

From a dream journal that I keep very sporadically:


Riding in a car w/ Kevin Smith eating red, green, & silver chocolate kisses.


We're Okay

My sister, who lives quite far away from me, checked in to see if E and I were anywhere near the fires that are consuming homes and land throughout Southern California. Just in case any other long distance friends or relatives are reading here* and are concerned, please rest assured that we are pretty much out of harms way. We're just dealing with thick, smoky air, very dry conditions and subsequent headaches and nosebleeds. Small potatoes compared to having to evacuate and then possibly lose your home. Living in Valley suburb does have its benefits.

*I've heard rumors that there are some of you lurking about. Feel free to leave a comment every now and again. Months ago, I changed my settings so anyone can comment (you do not need a Blogger account) and you don't have to type in that pesky verification word.



What do you people do on weekends? I do a lot of fun things, but clearly I'm missing something. E produced two fantastic events this weekend, one free and one a mere $10. While the turnout was okay, it was not at all what we had worked for or hoped to have. That being said, the events themselves went smoothly and those who did attend* gave positive feedback. I just can't help but wonder what really outstanding things I missed by being there to help him pull off a film fest and a drive-in movie.

I know it's tough in a city like Los Angeles to get people to pick one particular cool thing over another to do. There are a lot of choices. It's just a little disappointing to pour your heart, soul, and money into something that very few friends attend. Especially those who promise they'll be there and then don't show or call. There are a lot of excuses...I've heard them all...and some are actually valid. That's okay though. We always try to support friends and will continue to come to you screenings, plays, art openings, etc. No hard feelings. Just wonderment.

So, maybe there will be no 5th annual Short Screams Film Festival. Or maybe we'll take the advice of having naked women. Because nude chicks always pack the house, right? And the talking bunny isn't enough.

*Thank you, thank you, thank you to those of you who did show up! It is really appreciated and hopefully you had a great time!


Can't Think Of A Witty And/Or Clever Title

My photos from dog camp are finally uploaded. Yep, lots of dogs, trees, lakes, more dogs. Boring as hell for some of you. So don't look. Rusty and I have spent a lot of time together the past couple of weekends, doing some fun things. Hopefully, he'll write about it on his blog, which has been neglected for quite some time now.

Suddenly, we are going to lots of free movie screenings again. Last week we saw 3:10 To Yuma, which I thought was FANTASTIC. It was followed by a Q&A with the director, producer, editor, costume designer, and a few others. We also took in a new adaptation on Sleuth, which screened at the Pacific Design Center. That in itself was pretty cool. Even cooler though was the Q&A after the film with director Kenneth Branagh! I didn't hate the movie, but I think I enjoyed the conversation following more. Coming up this week is Eastern Promises. Viggo is not scheduled to be there, but David Cronenberg is. Skipping book club for that one. Oh yeah.

I mentioned before that October is incredibly busy and it is. This week alone we have at least one film, a concert, two theater events, and a museum exhibit.* We are also trying to get the house in order for an impending family visit. With so much going on, I don't even have time to tell you about who I met at an art event yesterday. I will say that she is on Flight of the Conchords and has an adorably bizarre internet series that I love. Now, I just need to meet Bret and "Murray."

We discovered our favorite pumpkin patch is open again this year (it was closed in '06), so we are going to try to squeeze that in sometime this month too. Bring on the candy corn! I need energy!

*The movie is free, one of the theater events is half-price, and the concert tickets were bought with some rewards points and were very inexpensive. Lest you think we are suddenly well off.


Dog Tired

This photo pretty much represents how I'm feeling right now:


This is Rusty, crashing after our third mountain hike in two days.

I am happy it's October. It always starts out good, being that my birthday is on the first. I kind of wanted to do something similar to last year, meaning take in a movie at the Arclight and eat some chicken 'n waffles. Well, the latter part of the plan worked out and may just become my yearly birthday tradition. I can't really see eating like that more than once a year. Well, I can, but I shouldn't. It's been seven years since I had a big party for my birthday and probably even longer since I've had a smaller gathering, so maybe next year I'll do it up. Or wait a few years for THE BIG ONE.


I love autumn, pumpkins, candy corn, Halloween. It was lovely to see the leaves starting to turn this past weekend. It's going to be a very busy month involving family, cleaning, friends, music, film, art, volunteer work, and of course sweets and costumes. One thing I don't have to stress about is either of my costumes this year. We are doing something at work that we did about 10 years ago and I still have the key elements. E and I will be wearing costumes we devised for another occasion earlier this year. I'm just hoping mine still fits. I guess I'd better lay off the candy corn.


12, 12, 12, 12, Let's Sing A Song Of 12!


We go through this every year. The debate over Little Guy's age. He is 11 today, not 12. I pulled out the original paperwork from the shelter that estimates he was born in 1996. Of course, it's all just guess work. For all we know he could be 15 or 8. It doesn't really matter. I just want him to be around for many more years to come.

I went ahead and left the original post from this morning below.

How many is 12?

Apparently, it's how old my Little Guy is, as of today. I've been saying all year that he is 10 and would be turning 11 today, but once again, I am very wrong about this. I'm not sure what it is about his age that I can't get right. I guess I'm just in denial that he's getting up there in years. Being 12 explains the increased problems with his hips this past year, including his need to start using steps to climb onto the bed. He's not as stubborn as 15 year old Cosette, who just doesn't bother getting up on the bed anymore. Little Guy needs to be with his humans.

When I got home from my mountain getaway with Rusty last night, Cosette could not have cared less. She just stared at me, but happily took the special treat I brought for her. On the other hand, Little Guy greeted me with an enthusiastic happy dance and then proceeded to hop up on my lap (no stairs required) and nuzzled his bunny soft head under my chin. If you can get past his dragon breath, this move is sure to melt your heart.

P.S. It is my birthday today too and I definitely know how old I am. I felt it while hiking in high altitude this weekend for sure!


The Weather Is Here. Wish You Were Beautiful!

I love being in the mountains. There's nothing like the tall evergreen trees, the clean crisp air and that wooziness you feel for the first day or so while you adjust to the altitude. Rusty and I are enjoying ourselves at camp. We've met a lot of nice people and dogs. After this and last Fall's trip up here to Big Bear Lake, we may just have to make this a yearly getaway.

Today we've been on a hike, gone out to breakfast (yes, with the dogs in tow), and done a craft project. Soon, we leave for a lakeside romp and lunch, which will be followed by an evening hike, dog-friendly dinner outing, and s'mores around the campfire. We will be sleeping well tonight.


Duhn Duhn Duuuuuhhhhhnnn!

Tonight I got to pet* a very dramatic prairie dog. Photos will be posted to my flickr site someday. I will post a link.

*Yes, I washed my hands.


All The Boys With Their Homemade Microphones...

...have very interesting sounds.

It's kind of bad when I get this behind in blogging*. I go for days being really busy and/or thinking I have nothing to say and then all of sudden, I want to share what is almost now a week's worth of stuff. And mostly just the good things. However, I don't want to write one of those long and winding posts that I have trouble finishing in one sitting. (Let's hear it for ADD!) So, here are some highlights**, in reverse chronological order (sort of):
  • After having a fairly crappy start to the week and having things almost not work out, not only did I get to see one of my favorite bands, The New Pornographers, play last night for free***, but I also got free ice cream and met Jemaine from my new favorite show Flight of the Conchords!!! Oh, and I bought the last live-and-only-sold-at-shows cd. It was the one taped to the merch counter. Oh, and did I mention that I MET JEMAINE!!!???
  • I was able to score some half-price tickets, for pretty decent seats, to Ave. Q, which I loved! I'd read some shaky reviews and it's not for everyone, for various reasons (some people just don't get puppets), but it worked for me and really, that's what's important. At least to me. It's all about me.
  • Wired NextFest was pretty cool. All sorts of new-fangled technologies were on display that will hopefully come to be used in health care, energy efficiency, entertainment, design, education, etc. Favorite exhibits of mine included the video game you play with your live pet hamster (!) and meeting a former soldier who is using two C-Legs. I took photos at the event, but have yet to post them.
  • Pink Martini always puts on a great show and closing night at the Hollywood Bowl was no exception, even if the show went on a bit long. I blame Carol Channing for that though. Thomas Wilkins conducted and I confirmed that he is my choice to take over as the new director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Like I have a say in the matter. Oh, I wish I did!
  • I only had to wait six months to see Ira Glass speak in person again. As usual, he was a joy to listen to and we got free t-shirts and tote bags from USC when the show ended!
  • Due to the above event, we missed the actual performance of Puppets After Hours, which took place under a bridge downtown. We stopped by anyway to chat with the myriad of puppeteers we know who were either in or watching the show.
  • Again, we missed a party some friends had, but they told to come over anyway for some midnight hot-tubbing and swimming in their gorgeous hillside Gilligan's Island-esque pool. We enjoyed the view of The Valley, which is much like the one E.T. saw.
  • I was home alone for a night and decided to bake. It was from a box, but got good reviews when I shared it with friends the next day.
  • Even though I'm not much of a baseball fan it was fun to take in a free Dodgers game with friends. Too bad the home team sucked (bases loaded, no outs, yet managed to strike out...come on!).
  • We to a test screening of a horror film, which isn't a genre I enjoy. We did get to hang out with some friends for a late dinner and that was a good time and the best part of the night for me.
Wow, I actually do a lot and realize I keep complaining about not having a vacation in a long time. My life is often like perpetual summer vacation. I was also supposed to go to a film fest in the mountains among all that, but stayed in town to support a friend. I love my city and all it has to offer. Maybe I don't need to leave it to appreciate it after all.

*You can follow me on Twitter if you want more frequent (and far more nonsensical) updates.

**If you want more details, let me know.

***Thanks, Metroblogging Los Angeles!!!

I Took A Plane, I Took A Train...

...Ah, who cares, you always end up in the city...

Long overdue update in the works. I'm trying to squeeze a lot into today, which is my day off this week. I've done three of the five 10-hour (at least) days I'm working this week. No overtime, but I'm making up for it next week by only working two and a half days. It all works out in the end.



Sunday: 4
Monday: 3.75
Tuesday: 4
Wednesday: 4.5
Thursday: 12

Number of hours I've slept each night this week.


Eastern Promises

I'm typically not a fan of violence, but...Viggo...naked!...tattoos!!...blood...I may have to peek through my fingers, but I am so there.


Cruisin' On The Scion Superhighway

I've posted my photos from Sunday on flickr. The event was really fun. I knew there'd be SWAG and was pretty confident I'd come away with a new t-shirt or something. I had no idea that I'd get rims, a cargo liner, a rear spoiler, and multiple other things I can use to trick out my car, if I so choose. The jury is still out on the rims. I may get them put on or I may give them to E for his xB. Scion rocks and throws a great party for owners.*

*Even if I had to resort to peeing behind a bush at Elysian Park, while waiting around for over two hours to get on the road.


Mr. Blue Sky Is Living Here Today...Hey, Hey

I fully intended to share some of my weekend. However, I am too exhausted, too sunburned*, and way too behind on some household chores that must be done tonight. Instead, I'll leave you with a few photos and the possibility of explanation in the not too distant future.




*Yes, even after being lectured, just today, by my mother to go to a dermatologist after she told me about various friends and family who have or who are dealing with skin cancer, I got burned. But, not on my nose.


Jump Ami Jump!

Ami is set to compete in his 4th Hamster Ball Derby today. We actually didn't train at all this time, so I'm not sure how it will go. It can't be worse than the last one. Yeppers, that's the one where he didn't even try. Silly hamster. If only it was a jumping contest, we might have a chance.

****Update: Ami won his first heat, but lost in the semi-final.


Hall & Oates fans get really pissed & boo loudly when there is no encore.


Maybe It's The Heat

I can't seem to formulate more than a sentence or two lately, so here's a list of things ruminating in my dusty brain:
  • I saw two FANTASTIC concerts at the Greek Theatre recently. Squeeze and Crowded House. I wrote a little about Neil Finn, but not about how great Difford & Tilbrook were.
  • As awesome as the shows at the Greek were, I'm truly baffled that they were selling Kettle corn at one and not the other. Way to get my hopes up. Damn.
  • I'm really behind in seeing movies. I think the L.A. Film Fest burned me out. I'm hoping to catch Superbad this week though.
  • The last couple of Saturday nights have been interesting. They included things like midnight swimming overlooking The Valley and hanging in an underground lair in Chinatown. Both included "late night" frozen treats (although I contend 8:3o is not late!)
  • I've hung out with lots of friends recently for concerts, frozen yogurt, birthday lunches, swimming, and puppet shows. Good times.
  • E and I did the standby line thing for the closing performances of the two summer shows of the Troubadour Theater Company: Alice in One-Hit-Wonderland and OthE.L.O. I highly recommend seeing them to anyone in the area. They do a holiday show every year. And they sell out very quickly.
  • I'm dying for a vacation, but have accepted that I won't be having a real one for quite sometime. I'm going to look into planning some weekend getaways. Better than nothing and it will keep me going.
  • Ami, my hamster for those of you who don't know, may be competing in his 4th Hamster Ball Derby this coming weekend. I'm going to see what the weather does because I don't think I want to take him out in 100+ degree heat. Not at his age.
  • I'm kind of sad the "summer" is officially over (although, it won't be 'over' for a while yet here in SoCal) and I didn't go to the beach.
  • I am looking forward to things I love in autumn, such as my birthday, candy corn, and Halloween.
  • Life has been quite stressful lately, so I might have wished for a reprieve on that shooting star I saw the other night. But, I can't really say or I'd have to kill you it wouldn't come true.



Ack...I've once again, suddenly gotten behind in updating here and reading your blogs that entertain me so much. My reader is listing 3-10 unread entries from my favorites. Considering that I have to work tomorrow (my normal day!) and Monday (a "holiday" for most of you), it doesn't look like I'll be catching up anytime soon. Don't miss me too much. Ha!

I'm fine and still love you. For the most part. Just sayin'.


Flight of the Crowded House

I'm amused by Neil Finn's similarity to Murray from Flight of the Conchords.

His voice and accent are similar and he also says some out-there things.

Like E said: "If only he had a goatee," to which I naturally replied, "Then he'd look like a goat," and E said, "And Murray."

I can just imagine the band meeting now.

Neil: "Nick."
Nick: "Present."

Neil: "Mark."
Mark: "Present."

Neil: "Matt."
Matt: "Present."

Neil: "Liam."
Liam: "Present."

Neil: "Neil?"
Neil: "Present"



I often make the blanket statement, "I HATE reality shows!" and act as if I never watch any of them. Okay, okay, it's simply not true and the ones I choose are not any "better" than the ones you watch. I know that.

The one that currently fascinated me is How Clean Is Your House? on BBC America. They find some filthy dwellings and actually take samples of dirt for analysis for various germs. They find things like salmonella, e.coli, listeria, and other gross bacteria. I've gagged more than once.

I think one of the reasons I like it is that it makes me feel better. My house is not pristine, but it's not that bad. I'm sure Kim and Aggie might disagree.


I Am A Dork--Reason #42

E and I were at a play earlier today. It was the closing performance and it was also sold out. We did the stand-by thing and got lucky. Our plan was to do the same for another show at the same theater three hours later.

I was really enjoying the production, which seemed to come to a sudden and quite unsatisfying end. I was only briefly annoyed.

"Oh well, gotta get to that stand-by line," I thought as I bolted from my seat.

Admittedly, I was somewhat perplexed that E was still sitting there, but nevertheless made my way out the front door. There was a kid sitting on a bench outside the door reading.* I looked around and no one else was exiting and I briefly got excited that I'd be first in line!

As I turned and looked back into the lobby, I noticed a big crowd of people at the concession stand. It dawned on me that the play was not over, but merely at intermission. No wonder the ticket guy was giving me that look.

The real conclusion was quite surprising, funny, and extremely satisfying.

*I was fourth in the next line. That bookish kid, his brother, and father were lined up when the play actually ended.


Cure For The Common Blues

It's been a pretty crappy week, which has made me quite cranky. Things got a bit better last night though when for the first time in more than a year, I got to see one of my favorite bands. Cecilia Noël & The Wild Clams perform at the Skirball Cultural Center (for free!) to a diverse and excited audience. We used to see Cecilia and her 14 to 17 piece band play monthly at the Key Club, but they haven't been there for quite some time. It was fun to see them play to a crowd that included kids, octogenarians, and people from many ethnic backgrounds.

The cool thing is that almost everyone was up dancing, as that is what Cecilia's intensity and The Clams' music does to you. Even non-dancers, such as E, have to move. Admittedly, there were a few folks who just did not enjoy it. The two elderly women next to us just sat expressionless until they left about two-thirds of the way into the show. And there were the women behind us who decided to stay "for one more song" to see "if it got any better" because it was way too "noisy." Apparently, it didn't improve.

I did get a little sad during the show because it made me miss a friend who has been living in New Zealand for quite a while now. He used to go see the Clams with us frequently and it felt weird not having him there. In spite of that, the energetic show really did lift me out of my funk some. I recommend Cecilia Noël & The Wild Clams to anyone feeling down.

One of the bonuses to seeing Cecilia Noël play live is that quite often her husband, Colin Hay,** joins her on stage. We saw him lurking around in the audience, clapping along to the music and hoped he'd make an appearance. The next to the last song was a rousing version of his "Down Under," which The Wild Clams have gotten down pretty good over the years. That song brought the few remaining sitters to their feet.

So, yeah. A pretty good start to a four-day weekend.* I plan to do some exercising, some organizing, a little socializing, and even some notarizing, not necessarily in that order and definitely not with equal amounts of enthusiasm. I've already been to a yoga class this morning and taken a friend's dog for a long walk in the hills. I'm seeing a nap in my future. Well, another one. There is that awesome little one that you get to take at the end of a yoga class. Looking forward to that gets my stiff, out of shape body through the difficult poses and moves.

*Don't be too jealous. I'll be working when you are at the beach or at a barbecue on Labor Day.

**We discovered Cecilia through Colin. For the past 11 or so years, we've seen him pretty regularly at Largo and she started popping up, singing backing vocals occasionally. One night, he broke a guitar string and had her perform while he regrouped. Even a scaled-down version of what she does, on that tiny little Largo stage, got us out to see her in full swing.


Trixie Little Hobbitses

While hanging out at the Golden Gals Gone Wild exhibit weekend before last, I got to meet one of my favorite bloggers, Will, and his lovely wife Nina. It was hot, crowded and loud so we didn't get to talk much, but it was cool to connect in person. There is even photographic evidence.

E and I were invited to the event to celebrate a friend's birthday. He was late, but we hung out with people waiting for the birthday guy. One friend of ours can never remember my name and called me Donna. His friend thought "Trixie" was more fitting and called me that for the rest of the night. For some reason, I kind of liked it.

While I am short, I am not actually a hobbit or even a little person. I am TWO inches too tall to qualify. E insists I still may be one and if not, I will eventually be with the loss of height that comes with aging. I'll have to deal with that when it comes. Maybe when I grow old I can become a Christmas Midget and bring joy to kids at the holidays.


French Dipped And Pink Flamingos

Geez. I complain about having nothing to post about. I come up with a somewhat interesting story, type half of it up, and then realize I've already told it. Well, I do have a follow-up at least.

You might recall my post about the very dorky me of 1986. Recently, J & M, my temporary guardians for part of that year, visited Los Angeles with their three children. E and I met up with them at Philippe's in downtown L.A. A good time, and cheap food, was had by all.

True to form, and much to my delight, J & M travel with one of their pink flamingos for photos ops. Here E and I are with J & M and a plastic friend:




When I'm busy and have stuff I'd like to write about here, I don't have time.

When I do have time, it seems I can't think of anything to say.


I'm Back

My reemergence into society has been slow over the past few days, but seemingly successful. I'm back to a full 10-hour day of work today and while it does seem like the, it does feel good in a way.

I took baby steps with a couple of social outings over the past few days. One involved naughty old ladies, another was a reunion of sorts with longtime friends, and the last was a fantastic concert at the Greek Theatre.

I hope to get a chance to write a little bit about each of those things soon.


Little Guy

My sickbed buddy.


Getting My Ducks In A Row*


*Not really. I just don't have anything interesting to say.


Accio Good Health

I've succumbed to the sickness so many seemed to contract upon returning from the San Diego Comic-Con. I have no nifty report on fun things I did this weekend because I spent much of it sleeping and trying to fight off the nasty virus that's been plaguing E.

The only bright side of it is that I've had some down time to really dig into the last Harry Potter book. I'm trying to savor it, but can't seem to put it down for too long. Just long enough for those 2-3 hour naps.


Once More, With Feeling

I forgot to mention the nerdiest/geekiest/dorkiest thing I did at this year's Comic-Con. I went with E to the sing-a-long screening of the musical Buffy episode "Once More, With Feeling." I'll happily lose a bit of my nerd cred by admitting that I never really got into Buffy The Vampire Slayer, so I'd never seen it. However, 95% of the other people in the room had watched it over and over again. They were belting out the songs with all of their heart. The enthusiasm in the room made it a fun experience.


Con And Gone

Comic-Con was once again an exhausting blast. I'm still reeling a bit from all of the past week-and-a-half. I took the few days before Comic-Con off, which was a good thing. I had really procrastinated in getting ready for the Tired Girl Collective table, that the weekend before the show was a frenzy of button and hamster making. In the midst of manic crafting, all three of the dogs got sick. I fed them something different, and apparently bad, which did not agree with them. My work was interrupted by frequent bathing of the long butt fur two of them have had. After the fifth bath or so, I took scissors and hacked away. It's not pretty, but it had to be done. After a couple of trips to the vet, some medication, and a prescription diet, all seemed better and we determined we could actually leave them, with a friend looking in on them a couple of times a day.

We'd hoped to make it to San Diego before the doors to Preview Night opened, but with traffic and a stop we needed to make in La Jolla, we were a little late. But, we arrived before it was over, which is better than previous years. Frantic set-up ensued and 3/4 of the Tired Girl Collective had a nice, quiet Mexican dinner.

I remember bits and pieces of the next few days, but in some ways it is kind of a blur. Maybe it's like what they say a lot of people's wedding days are like. Having eloped in Vegas with a 7-minute ceremony, I pretty much have a clear memory of that event. Anyway, there was lots of traffic at our table and it seemed like we were all selling pretty well. Sherri noted that it was cool that we all got excited when any of us sold something. And we all talked up each others' merchandise. It was quite a collaborative collective.

I was able to sneak away for two panels and one film. I was skeptical about the 24 panel, as the past season was lackluster. The director and writers/producers who spoke were quite funny though and gave us some insight into what went wrong and how they are working to make it a good show again. No, no Kiefer. I also made it into the Heroes panel only because I ran into Chris and his lovely family and they let me to cut in line. It was lots of fun and I took lots of photos. The film that E and I watched was Big Top Winkle. I've been a Mr. Winkle fan for a long time and was delighted by this charming movie.

Besides the table, the exhibit hall, the panels, etc. Comic-Con always seems to be about friends...old and new. Since starting this blog for a couple of years ago, I have met blog-world friends the past couple of years. I also get to hang out with some people...Jason Ho!...that I don't see very often. Invariably, we run into people that we didn't know were coming.

Comic-Con ended with a flurry of packing, getting the car out of valet (apparently Lou Ferrigno's truck is more important than our car), and driving up to Orange County to see Tears for Fears in concert. I realized that after the 2005 Comic-Con, we also went to their show. They were really good, by the way, and we had amazing seats! We also ran into a friend who had also driven up from Comic-Con, but who we did not see among the thousands of other people.

We returned to San Diego for one more night of sleep. It was so nice to sleep in on Monday as I'd been getting only 3-4 hours a night for over a week. We had a nice lunch at Seaport Village and then went exploring on the USS Midway, a decommissioned aircraft carrier. It was fascinating and took about 3 hours. I will eventually post a few photos from that day.

So, the photos are being uploaded and tagged. I finally opened my Harry Potter book the other night and will probably be savoring it over the next couple of weeks. Sure, I've heard some spoilers, but that was inevitable and I think I'll still enjoy it. Oh, and the dogs are fine.


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