Driving In L.A.

Yesterday was remarkable in that E and I were both feeling reasonably well enough to leave the house together and participate in life. What a nice change! Granted, we got a bit of a late start, but journeyed down to the California Science Center to check out the Star Wars exhibit.

After the Star Wars fun, we drove around in my little Scion xA some more. Our adventures included:
  • Desperately looking for a relatively affordable gas station, as my needle was on 'R.'*
  • Driving by a friend's new house. Well, he's still in escrow, but it will be his soon. We can't wait to swim in the pool!
  • Helping Rescuing an aging, somewhat chubby Chihuahua.
  • A yummy, Japanese dinner.
  • A hilarious show called 'Dirty Found,' put on by the guys from Found Magazine. Dirty good times!
I may discuss one or more of these things in more detail at some point. Right now, I have a lot to catch up on in terms of cleaning up my yard and house. We've really neglected things during our recent illnesses.

*Instead of E for 'empty,' my fuel gauge has an 'R.' We joke that it means "Rutrow!" but that's just because we are silly.


Walking In L.A.

Back in 1982, Missing Persons claimed that "nobody walks in L.A." To some extent, that still holds true. Compared to other cities, such as New York, we definitely have more people in cars than on the sidewalks. E and I like to walk. Luckily, there are several restaurants within a mile or so radius of our house that we enjoy strolling to. Not as often as we should.

A couple of Fridays ago, I shared with Jenn that I was planning to take my car in for an oil change and then walk home. Her response, via email:

"Are you high? Nobody walks in l.a."

I laughed and headed over to the dealership, which I had determined was 1.3 miles from home. I dropped the car and set out for a nice walk. It was warm, sunny, and breezy. In fact, it was the day after high winds in L.A. had caused fires, power outages, and various other bits of destruction. I'd brought my camera along and snapped a photo of a broken tree.


Just as I set out on foot, I got a text message from Jenn saying:
"Don't do it!"

Too late. I was footloose and fancy free!

I made pretty good time and upon walking up to the front of my house, I realized I'd left my house key with my car keys at the dealership. 1.3 miles away. Sure, E was home, but he was quite ill and I assumed he was asleep. I did manage to break in to my house. However, I thought maybe it wasn't a great idea to have my key in the possession of people who had my address. Not that they couldn't just break in, like I did.

I updated Jenn, as I figured she might appreciate the turn of events.
Her response:

"See?! Bad things happen. No good has ever come from walking.
Ask Jesus."

So, I had something to chuckle about as I hoofed it 1.3 miles back to get my car. It was actually ready when I got there, so I didn't even have to wait.

If I was to say I learned a lesson from this experience, it was that I should separate my keys before leaving them with someone. I will walk again though. And continue to drive much more.



I don't consider myself to be particularly crafty. I've had spurts of inspiration and ability to do some crafty things throughout my life, but it isn't something I've consistently done. I've mentioned the baby quilt tradition in my workplace. In my over 12 years of employment there, I have worked on quite a few. I also burned out for awhile and either did not contribute at all or bribed someone to put my initials on their square. I've done iron-ons and even partially painted a few things. Mostly for the past several years though, I've done nothing. Nada.

We're having an upcoming shower for someone who is actually a good friend of mine. I decided that not only would I do a square for her quilt, but I'd do it all on my own. I used to do a fair amount of cross-stitching, so wanted to incorporate that. Her request for the quilt theme was "Pink and Girly." I looked around at the craft store and found a cute little butterfly cross-stitch kit. The only problem was the colors, which were green, blue, orange, and black. So, I modified the colors to pinks and brown, which are the colors of her baby's room.


Since I had a white square, I needed something to accent the cross-stitch, which is on white fabric. Ribbon was on sale at Michael's, so I bought several rolls that were in pink and brown. I settled on the one with flowers and I quite like the results. Simple, but cute. And yeah, the corners did not come out perfectly, but like I said I'm not all that crafty after all. I am getting better with my hot glue gun though, which is coming in handy on another project, which I'm working on for the summer.


I'll try to get a photo of the final quilt at the shower next week. I think this one is going to be really cute. And pink. And girly.


On The Mend

This latest virus that invaded my body seems to not be as bad as the last, or the one that E recently had, thank goodness. While not 100% well, I am feeling much better and I'll take that. I just have a really bad and annoying headache that has hounded me all day and won't relent.

Yesterday was a sick day, but I was already scheduled to be off today for working the upcoming weekend. I could tell I was feeling a bit better as I actually accomplished a couple of things such as cleaning the hamster's habitats (I'm sure he'd thank me if he was bad!) and finishing up a craft project that is due tomorrow.

Now I have some last minute laundry to do and oh yeah, I have to turn on my tv for tonight's new episode of The Shield and possibly one of the shows from last night I haven't watched yet. I don't have much to say, so I'll close with a few photos I took yesterday.

Little Guy Chomping On Some Grass
Little Guy making a really goofy face.
He was actually chewing on some grass.

Enjoying The Return of The Sun
Rusty enjoying the return of the sun.

The Old Girl Joined Us Too
Cosette, the stubborn old girl that she is, joined us in the back yard too. I'm trying to teach her to use these Doggy Steps we got for her to get onto the bed easier, but she' having none of it.


Must Not See TV

Well, it's that time of year again. National TV-Turnoff Week. Yeah, I don't think so. Come on, Heroes, which I worked hard to catch up on, is back tonight* and there's a new episode of The Office this week, complete with one of the best Jim pranks ever. It's all about moderation anyway. Watch a little tv, read a little, exercise a little. It's all good, right?

I will participate in one respect by not watching the relatively new comedy Notes From The Underbelly. I was recently working with NINE (now seven, thanks to two healthy baby girls being born) pregnant women! I really don't need to experience any more of that kind of humor at home.

*Not to mention that I'll also watch 24, The Riches, and Drive tonight. Okay, so maybe I'm going a bit overboard and not doing this in moderation!



Inquiring Two-And-A-Half Year Olds Want To Know

Adorable little Donovan indulged my request for him to interview me.

1. I have lived in California and North Carolina. Did you ever live in North Carolina? (Where have you lived?)

I have lived in quite a few different places, but never North Carolina. My sister did live there several years ago and I visited her once. However, the first place I ever lived was just north of where you are...Virginia. I lived in a few different places in Virginia from the time I was born until I was 12 years old. I then moved to Texas, near Houston, for a few years. My last two years of high school were spent in Pennsylvania, about an hour outside of Philadelphia. From there, I went on to college in Ithaca, New York, which is where I met your Daddy. My last year of school was 12 months long and for much of that time, I lived in Rochester. After college, I moved to Florida, where my family was then living, but only for a couple of years. After Florida, I moved here to California, where I've lived for over 12 years now...longer than I ever lived anywhere else. I hope you like living in North Carolina as much as I like living in California.

2. Do you have anyone at your house that I can play with?

Well, I assume by that question you mean do I have any kids and the answer to that question is no. However, E and I are both pretty good with kids and I think we'd have lots of fun playing together. We have a whole bunch of toys and puppets too. I have some furry friends, but I think you'd be afraid of them. There is a little boy next door, who is about your age, so you'd maybe be able to play with him too.

3. I went roller skating today for the first time and it was fun. I also like playing in the dirt. Do you like roller skating? (If not, what is your favorite way to have fun?)

I have not been roller skating or played in the dirt for a very long time, but when I was a kid, I loved doing both of those things! I had my very own roller skates that were white with blue and red stripes. I had a giant red and white pom-pom on each skate. I thought I was bad ass, but I've also been clumsy and was never very good at it. These days, there are a lot of things I like to do for fun, but one of my very favorites is taking pictures of things. And lately, my favorite thing to photograph are squirrels.

4. I am 2 1/2 years old, so my Mom and Dad never give me their beer, even tho I say please. If I came to your house, what kind of drink would I get from you?

You shouldn't be too sad about the beer. It's pretty nasty stuff. Anyway, I'm not sure what I'd give you to drink as I'm sure you have restrictions. The one thing I always have on hand is ice cold filtered water. Other than that, there might be some apple and/or orange juice and possibly some unsweetened tea. I like my Diet Coke, which I'm sure would be off-limits for you, but I rarely keep it in stock. There is also always some sort of rum in the cabinet, but we'll have to wait until you are older to share that.

5. I am afraid of grampires and dogs. What are you afraid of?

I'm definitely not afraid of dogs, but there are lots of scary things out there. Your Auntie Karen has witnessed first-hand my fear of roller coasters (going fast and dropping). I'm scared of black widow spiders, but have gotten pretty good at killing them. Rattlesnakes spook me a bit too. There are lots of vague, grown-up type things that scare me, but I won't go into those right now. The strangest thing I'm afraid of is milk.

Thanks, Donovan! Those were fun questions!

If you, any of my readers, want to be interviewed by me, please leave me a comment or send and email saying "Interview me!" (or the like).

*I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
*You will update your weblog with the answers to the questions.
*You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
*Then others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions and so on.


Nighttime Sniffling, Sneezing, Coughing, Aching, Fever...

I wish there was a fun explanation for the lack of posts around here lately like I've been off traveling the world or something. But, in reality, it's nothing exciting or fun at all. E is recovering from a 12-day bout of bronchitis. Due to his illness, we were pushed up to the last weekend to do our taxes. That took a lot of time and consumed my laptop, which is where I usually write. Work has been pretty hectic and stressful lately. I guess I took a bit of a break so I wouldn't come here to whine and complain.

*WARNING: More whining and complaining ahead...

Toward the end of this week, things were looking up. Although E is still coughing, he is much better and feeling human again. My throat started feeling scratchy yesterday and by last night, I was sick. Feverish, achy, sore throat, headache. Grrr. Having been so sick in February and seeing how many days E lost, I can not have this happen right now. So, I've been loading up on vitamins, water, fruit, tea, and various other remedies. And sleeping A LOT. Speaking of which, I'm heading back to bed.

Hopefully I'll be feeling better tomorrow and be able to do some fun things this weekend that I can report on.


I appreciate the two of you who were concerned by my recent absence from my blog. I will hopefully get around to an actual post soon.


Good Question

I was amused to find that someone in Morrisville, NC arrived at my blog by searching for "Why are there so many bad Jodis?" The ones I've known have seemed pretty okay, but if you find out, please let me know.



It's Rex Manning Day!

Stolen from Nicole.

The Movie Meme

1. Name a movie you have seen more than 10 times.
Ghostbusters. It was one of the ones my younger brothers watched over and over and over. Luckily, it's good and funny.

2. Name a movie you've seen multiple times in the theater.
Lord of the Rings: all three of them.

3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie.
Viggo Mortensen

4. Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie.
Will Ferrell

5. Name a movie than you can and do quote from.
Empire Records, Shaun of the Dead, and Babe
(sorry, I just couldn't keep that to one)

6. Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.
The Sound of Music

7. Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with.
The Sound of Music, Grease, Rent

8. Name a movie you would recommend everyone see.
I don't really do this. People have very different tastes and I respect that. Since I've been going to the Sundance Film Festival for the past few years, I do get asked for suggestions from what I see. My recommendation from this year's fest for most folks to see is Rocket Science. It will have a limited release in the U.S. this coming August.

9. Name a movie that you own.
Well, there are hundreds, but I'll go with Sing Blue Silver, the 1984 Duran Duran tour documentary.

10. Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.
David Bowie. Okay, not really surprising, but I like him as an actor too.

11. Have you ever seen a movie at a drive-in? If so, what?
Yes. The first movie I saw at a drive-in was E.T. More recently, I've seen Over The Hedge, Mission Impossible III, Forbidden Planet, and The Tingler from my car. Actually, I saw an indie film called Kill House at Eric's mobile drive-in last Friday.

12. Ever made out in a movie?
No, I can't say that I have.

13. Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven't gotten around to it yet.
Monsoon Wedding

14. Ever walked out on a movie?
Yes, in high school I walked out of Ice Pirates. There are so many more I wish I had.

15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.
Geez, what movie doesn't make me cry? Grace Is Gone, the John Cusack film I saw at Sundance this year. It was a great film, I'd recommend it, but yeah, I cried through nearly the entire damn thing. Before that, I think it was The Fountain.

16. What was the last movie you saw in the theater.
The Last Mimzy. It was okay.

17. What is your favorite/preferred genre of movie.
It really depends on my mood. I love a good comedy, but probably prefer dramatic as a genre. Followed closely by documentary.

18. What is the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?
I remember seeing The Sound of Music, but I'm not sure if that's true so I'm calling my Mom to check my facts. (Confirmed!)

19. What movie do you wish you'd never seen?
Highlander III. I really should have been smart like Sarah, saved my money, and stayed home.

20. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?
Kung Fu Hustle

21. What is the scariest movie you have seen?
The Ring. Hated it.

22. What is the funniest movie you have seen?

Oh, and not that it was asked, but my favorite movie snack is popcorn (no butter) and a Diet Coke. And I like to sit in the middle of the theater, or Middle-Middle as I like to order my seats at the Arclight, my favorite theater.


Pam. Please call security!

So, as many people know, I'm a bit obsessed with The Office. I can't help myself. It's just so funny. However, that does not mean that I want to have real-life experiences similar to events on the show the very same week. I did not really appreciate some asshole spraying pepper spray into the intimate Henry Fonda Theater right when the band came on last night. Luckily, we'd been hanging out in the rooftop lounge area and were heading downstairs just as the Danish indie rock group Mew was hitting the stage. I saw several people rushing out of the theater, coughing and covering their mouths and noses. Once we got to the bottom of the stairs, it hit me too. Shit. My asthma is triggered by chemicals and I started coughing and wheezing, as my lungs constricted. When I have a bad attack, I tend to panic, which only makes it worse.

After hanging out by the open front doors for a bit and using my inhaler a couple of times, I could breathe again and we went inside, but on the opposite side. They had opened all of the doors and the air had cleared. I somehow felt violated though and pissed off that some jerk created such a scary situation. Security never found the guilty party.

Oh yeah, the band. I was not very familiar with Mew, aside from one song, "Comforting Sounds." Their Wikipedia ("the best thing ever") entry quotes them as saying they are "the world's only indie stadium band." They are loud, that's for sure and not necessarily a great match for the crappy acoustics at the Fonda. I can't say I have a new favorite band, but the performance was enjoyable (once I calmed down and could breathe) with some really interesting, and occasionally creepy, visuals. E describes them as having a very 70's prog rock sound, like early Genesis, which is I'm sure what drew him to them initially. Through in a dash of Metallica and you have Mew. Not to be confused with the Pokémon character.


Michael: I could go for an appeteaser. Do you have any bagel bites or something?

I complained to Ren that I needed some blog ideas. I wasn't fishing for questions from her, but she sent me some anyway. Of course, she admitted her ulterior motive of being able to answer the same inquiries and get a "free pass" for an entry. She is a clever one. By the way, her answers will most likely be much more in-depth and interesting than mine. That's how she rolls.

1. What is your favorite ride at Disneyland?
I'm really bad at picking favorites.'s annoying that I make it such a hard task. It is really hard for me to pick just one, so I'm going to say the Indiana Jones ride with The Haunted Mansion following closely behind.

2. What is your favorite candy bar?
I don't know if a Peppermint Pattie is considered a bar, but that's my answer and I'm sticking to it.

3. What is your favorite breakfast, lunch and/or dinner? You know, the easy go-to one that you can always rely on making you happy and full.
Pizza, pizza, pizza. If there is cheese and sauce readily available, I'll make pizza toast, pizza pitas, pizza whatever. I'll even eat frozen pizza, such as Bagel Bites or Lean Cuisine's French bread pizza. My favorite pizza is thin, New York style, with pepperoni and the place I like the best is Albano's. I was bummed when they recently temporarily closed their Studio City branch, but I did get a $5 discount for driving over to Melrose to pick up a pie last weekend. I also really love the "Emerald Alien" personal size pizza at the Nova Express Cafe. I get it on a honey wheat dough crust. It has olive oil, mozzarella, pesto, and broccoli. Yum!

4. Who is your favorite cartoon character (or Muppet)?
I'll just go with Snoopy (and Elmo). This may be one of the easier "what is your favorite..." type questions I've been able to answer.

5. Do you have a favorite food that you are slightly embarrassed to admit? (It should be FRITO PIE!)
I am in NO way embarrassed by my love of an occasional Frito Pie. I also refuse to be embarrassed by my love of Peeps, which apparently is pretty well known at this point. I'll just put it this way...I haven't really had to buy any this season...people just keep giving them to me! I'm probably more ashamed of being such an incredibly picky eater and not liking so many things that I feel like I should enjoy like sushi (or most fish, really), meatloaf, eggs, milk, etc.

6. If you could have any kind of car in the whole world, what kind would you like?
This is a tough question because in spite of my obsession with Car Talk, I am not a "car person." I really, really wanted my little Scion xA and I love it. I guess if I could have anything though, I'd like something electric.

7. You know that phrase you had in the high school yearbook? Like they may have put it under your name or in your profile or something? The quote that was supposed to define and sum up your high school years? If you could write that NOW for THEN, what would you write?
Okay, I thought I had answers to more of these questions than I actually do. Um, I didn't have this in any of my yearbooks. I guess I'd say something like Once A Dork, Always A Dork. Maybe I'd paraphrase a song: I Was Never Cool In School. I Know You Won't Remember Me.

8. What is on your calendar this year?
The usual film festivals, pet related events, concerts, Comic Con, summer at the Hollywood Bowl, and as many free or cheap things we can find to amuse ourselves. The thing I think I'm most looking forward to is seeing The Police live this summer, which is something I've dreamed about for a long time. It may very well be the second year in a row that I don't fly anywhere, but we'll see...there is a small chance. Hopefully, there will also be some weekend getaways, but nothing is scheduled yet.
Turns out, Ren literally meant, what is on my calendar. Well, let's see...I always have several. I have my two standard wall calendars at home. The one in the office has Mr. Winkle (sounds kind of dirty, eh?) and the one in the kitchen has American Eskimo Dogs. For work, I have a Moleskine planner. I also have a Bad Dog desk calendar, but after an oral sex joke and a drug use joke, it just seemed inappropriate for my workplace (which involves children), I put it in my cabinet.

9. What summer movie are you most looking forward to?
This is a harder question that I thought, as I don't even really know what is coming out this summer. I'm am looking forward to the last Harry Potter book that's coming out, but you said movie. Hold on...I'll look it up...oh hey! Son of Rambow comes out on July 20th. I really want to see that. There was great buzz about it at Sundance, but I missed it there. I'm also looking forward to The Simpsons and Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix. I forgot about both of those. And oh yeah...Hot Fuzz!

10. If you could give the 16 year old you a onesentence piece of advice, what would it be?
It's not you, it's him...he's gay, so move on and stop wasting your time.


Dwight: I am not a hero. I am a mere defender of the office. You know who's a real hero? Hiro, from Heroes. That's a hero. Also Bono.

I loved Dwight's quote at the end of this week's new episode of The Office. I actually didn't fully catch it at the viewing party I attended with Jenn at Nanette's place, probably because we were laughing so hard. When I got home, I watched it again with E, after the new This American Life.

Since I failed to watch Heroes from the beginning, I've been playing catch-up with four or five episodes to go before the rest of the season airs. I've seen the chapter that ran just before the break, with a lot of character explanation from E. Yeah, I do things backwards much of the time.

There are a lot of interesting characters on Heroes, but I'm not sure I have a favorite yet. For now, I just say it's Mr. Muggles. I guess time will tell if he actually has any sort of power, which would be really freakin' cool! Apparently, there are some theories out there, but I'll just wait and see.


Dwight: So you're PMSing pretty bad, huh?

Jenn made these awesome office memos. She's even offered* to customize some for me, for my workplace, that also say:
  • Stop crying.
  • Stop getting pregnant.

*Okay, so it wasn't exactly an offer, but it is a great idea and I may be willing to pay and/or bribe her for them.


Dear mp3 player,

Please do not malfunction again. I rely on you to play pleasing music or podcasts for me when I can no longer bear the lack of entertaining radio in L.A. I'm happy that my live-in tech support guy was able to get you up and working again, but what the hell? Were you in cahoots with my laptop, so that I also had no access to it for most of the weekend? A long weekend.

I had photos to upload, blogs to read, blogs to update, writing to do, merchandise to order, plans to make. Okay, so I did some writing on paper (egads!), got a few crafty things done, mowed the lawn, read a couple of chapters in my book club book, took a few naps, and got caught up through Episode 11 of Heroes. But still. I feel behind on so much.*

I enjoyed our time together in the car this morning. And no, I did not break you on purpose, as I was accused, in order to get one of those iPods. I like being able to just dump straight mp3s onto you and have them play, no problem. So, apparently I misunderstood about iPods and mp3s, but I still don't want/need one. No iPod for me thankyouverymuch.


*Yeah, I need to get a life. I know.


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