I'm looking out and I'm moving, turning in time. Catching up, moving in, jump up! I can land on my feet. Look out!*

Every one is making their year-end lists. I started jotting down some ideas and kept noting the negative aspects of 2008 like the myriad of projects I didn't finish, funerals I attended, and various other failures and regrets. Instead, I'm posting some photos from the past year. Some represent significant events and others I just like. Click for more info!

January 2008
January 2008

February 2008
February 2008

March 2008
March 2008

April 2008
April 2008

May 2008
May 2008

June 2008
June 2008

July 2008
July 2008

August 2008
August 2008

September 2008
September 2008

October 2008
October 2008

November 2008
November 2008

December 2008
December 2008

Hopefully 2009 will see some positive changes in my organization, attitude, health, and creative pursuits. Happy New Year to all!

*Lyric from Peter Gabriel's "This Is The Picture"


I've been looking so long at these pictures of you that I almost believe that they're real

I love old photographs. Whenever we go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market, that's what I'm drawn to. If it wasn't such a big bazaar (and if we managed to *ahem* get there earlier), I'd spend more time digging through the numerous boxes and photo albums. E is always on the lookout for anything 3D, puppets, or toys from his childhood. For me, it's the pictures.

It won't come to any one's surprise that I'm particularly fond of canine images. I purchased several, especially ones that resemble my own dogs. I even framed a couple that have a pooch I believe to be Little Guy's twin, from fifty or so years ago. On our most recent excursion, E or I stumbled across a Rusty look-a-like. I tried to find a photo I've taken of him to compare, but none are quite the right pose or angle. If you know Rusty though, they are quite similar. Sure, the ears are different and the one was either shaved or just has less fur than my boy. It was a cool find.

Who's That Dog?
Flea Market Dog


The Madness Hamsters


Good things come to those who wait. A bag of hamsters arrived in the mail for me today. Belated holiday gifts are the best! I've had Edward Monkton's "Madness Hamsters" as my laptop wallpaper for a couple of weeks now. Not only is the above merchandise super-cute, but the big one has a wheat bag inside you can microwave and use as a 'bed warmer.' My aching neck is gonna love it! Nothing says 'Happy Holidays' like zombie hamsters!!!

The "Madness" Hamsters
by Edward Monkton

Every night they visit you
Every night they come
And bit by bit
They steal your brain
And feed it to their Mum


At Diversity Today, we believe it is very easy to be a HERO. All you need are honesty, empathy, respect and open-mindedness.

In spite of being a little bah-humbuggy, I do look forward to and really enjoy Christmas Eve. It arrives, we have our traditions and *poof*, I get into the 'Christmas spirit.' I've discovered the 'spirit' consists of sleeping in until 2pm on the 25th, staying in my pajamas until about 9pm, showering, and going to get a nice corned beef sandwich at a Jewish deli.

The fact that E and I have diverse circles of friends is not lost on us. However, this past Christmas Eve, it was made quite obvious, I think somewhat to the confusion of our cousin who joined us for festivities. We started at our neighbors' house, where the gathering centers on enjoying the Magical Christmas Caroling Truck. It feels like an old-timey, small town, warm and cozy holiday gathering. The house is very traditionally decorated with the large, beautiful tree as the centerpiece. The fireplace is crackling and a slide show of parties past plays on the tv. Many wear their holiday attire while they enjoy potluck dishes and cocktails, which were served up by a merry bartender. Some of us *ahem* imbibed a fair bit of liquid cheer, which is just customary at this event. A hired Santa brought personalized presents for the children present and posed for photos with families.

After the jolly fat man left (we actually saw him removing his red suit and beard in the driveway!), we ventured on the next event. This shindig was at the home of several guys who don't necessarily possess a penchant for decorating or cleaning. There were no hideous jovial sweaters to be seen. In fact, I do believe every person there was dressed in black with accents of bright pink hair and/or tattoos. An Asian horror flick was muted on the television while a dj filled the house with anything but carols. We arrived a little late, but just in time for a beer run. We chatted with many of our emo/punk/goth friends as they smoked on the front porch. (Not that a couple of folks weren't doing the same at the previous affair).

There was a White Elephant gift exchange at both houses, with completely different rules of course. I don't think I've ever participated in one that didn't have it's own set of guidelines, which are often convoluted and hard to follow. The first group exchanged items such as vases, candle holders, cheesy electronic games, and a tacky angel tree topper. The next bunch fought over farm animal watches, a box of body parts (the most popular and stolen prize), bizarre porn DVDs, and Huey Lewis & The News on vinyl. Each one was amusing in its own way. And we escaped with no scary porn.

I wouldn't say either affair was more fun or better than the other. We had a great time at both and got to see several friends. The only way the night would have rocked more is if I'd been able to round up my collection of Asian friends for a celebration. That's not as offensive as it may sound.

As an extra special holiday treat, click this link to read this blog:


Lois: Chris, what happened to the couch? Chris: Dad dragged it out on the lawn because he said "that's what rednecks do!"

Yep, we still have a couch in front of our house. It's no longer on the porch--thanks to a nasty note from the mailman. However, it's not quite on our lawn, but has been taking up residence in our driveway, in front of the garage. I think when we are parked there you can't even see it from the street.

When it rained recently, I'd covered it with a thick plastic. Well, it got wet anyway so we uncovered it in hopes of it drying out in the few no-rain days we had. It got pretty cold that night and a light covering of ice formed on it. It never completely dried and now it's covered again for the rain that returned.

The reason the couch has remained is that there really is no way to move it into the space we had hoped to. And now it's wet and probably moldy. Ew. So, we will be the ones that have to take care of getting it picked up by a charity or putting it up on Freecycle.

Um, anyone want a wet, moldy, and a little bit furry couch?


To Sontag, to Sondheim, to anything taboo...

Sure, there are more important things I could or even should be doing, but I find it damn fascinating that I supposedly look 63% like Brad Pitt and 62% like Laurence Olivier. The ladies should be all over me!

Apparently, I also resemble Jordana Brewster (71%), Susan Sontag (70%), Laurence Olivier (!) (62%), Twiggy (face only, obviously) (62%), Corey Feldman (WHAT!) (60%), Alicia Silverstone (59%), and Christy Turlington (56%). Just some harmless silly fun. You can have some fun too here.


Do You Believe In Magic?

It all started some 14 Christmas Eves ago. We'd moved to L.A. a couple of months before and were cozy in our Burbank apartment, which bordered Toluca Lake. I think we were watching tv--probably A Christmas Story or something, when all of sudden we heard quite a ruckus. We knew it was way too early for Santa to be stopping by and besides, the noise was far greater than a few tiny reindeer paws clickity-clacking on the roof. The way I describe the sound was that it was like a "football game." Like a stadium full of people going completely nuts when their hometown team has scored the game winning touchdown. Really. It was THAT loud. We ran outside and were greeted by a big, bright semi truck with lights and colors and music and people singing. It was shocking and AMAZING all at once. It was our first introduction to The Magical Christmas Caroling Truck.

Some may remember me mentioning it before this. It's no secret that I tend toward being a bit bah-humbuggy this time of year. I think that has a little to do with all of the pressure to be the opposite and I tend to be contrary. I'll admit it can be A wonderful time of year, but the MOST wonderful...give me a break. For me, it reminds me of things like financial constraints, family that I rarely see, and having a job that allows little to no time off. The commercial and religious aspects bug me. Granted, I am extremely grateful to have a job (especially right now), some family and many friends close by, a roof over my head, etc. I guess the point is that The Magical Christmas Caroling Truck is one of the few holiday traditions I hold near and dear and really look forward to. It's so much fun and everyone participating is clearly having a blast. It's awesome to see so many neighbors pour into the streets with their hot cocoa and spirits. It feels warm and fuzzy and dare I say...magical.

Our friends who live a few houses down from us have thrown a Christmas Eve bash for many years now. It's quite festive and usually a drunken good time. Last year, one of the regulars made various signs for us to hold up to cheer on and thank the carolers. Above is Rusty, who went to the party briefly, and me with our sign. The people with the truck got quite a kick out of our group's enthusiasm. I hope we do it again!

So yeah, I'm not done with shopping and my small, fake tree is not up, but the one think I am ready for is The Truck's visit to our neighborhood. If you aren't doing anything exciting next Wednesday evening, you can check out the map of the truck's route and come see if for yourself.


Welcome my son, welcome to the machine. Where have you been?

It's no secret to those who know me that I love a little place in Echo Park called Machine Project. I truly believe it is one of L.A.'s treasures. Describing Machine is not necessarily a simple task, partially because it sort of becomes what you make it based on how you participate. Over the past few years, we've attended art openings and participated in Dorkbot events, including Dorkbake, which E and I happened to win. We've listened to lectures on knot theory, followed by me cheering E on in a speedcabling competition. We've sung along with pirate songs and learned how art and biology can come together. E gave a lecture on 3D, along with some other experts in the field, in collaboration with Dorkbot (#22). E has learned how to pickle, while I've opted for amigurumi crocheting and basic sewing classes. And that, my friends, does not even scratch the surface of what Machine Project has to offer.

In a recent high profile event, Machine Project took over LACMA for a day. Unfortunately, I could not attend. Interestingly, I was holed up at home sewing and crocheting projects, using the skills I learned at Machine, for Felt Club the following day. (I actually sold quite a few too!)

Machine Project

Last night was the 4th annual Fry-B-Q fundraiser, which was a total blast. Machine Project relies on donations to stay in operation. There is a fee for classes, but their events are nearly always free. I learned the sad news this weekend that a major grant fell through, which is devastating to an organization such as this. I immediately signed us up for memberships. It would be a tremendous personal and community loss if Machine had to shutter its doors. I really can't think of anywhere else where art, technology, craft, and deep fried foods ranging from filet mignon to cherry pie to McDonald's hamburgers all come together. If you've never been there, go! And please consider a tax-deductible donation to keep them open.

And The Winner Is...

First of all, thank you to those few of you who entered my silly little photo captioning contest! I really like all of the suggestions! Even though I did have a favorite, I used an online randomizer to pick one. The funny thing is, and I swear this is true, the one I like the best was picked!

So, the winner, who happened to post the rudest and snarkiest caption is...Jason Campbell! Jason and his lovely family have been in exile on the East Coast for some time, but have wised up and are coming back to L.A. I can't wait to see him and his wife, who was a witness at my Vegas wedding almost 14 years ago and meet their kids.

Thanks again everyone!

Caption This--Blog Contest

Where'd that bitch go, I said a picture would be cool but enough with the dog sitting--I got some nog to pound and some elves to spank.

Thanks Jason! See you soon! I hope Baby #3 arrives soon!


A Bolt To The System

It's hard having old pets. I know some of you who stop by here from time to time understand that from experience. You either have or have had senior animals. Just like with people, diseases and infirmities come with old age. Since most of our critters have relatively short life spans, it can seem to hit all of a sudden. Granted, an old dog (or whatever) with a few issues, but good quality of life, certainly beats the inevitable alternative.

Almost four years ago, Cosette, now 16, had major surgery for breast cancer. She came through brilliantly and is aging graefully. Sure, she's deaf as can be, sleeps quite a bit, and has some creaky joints, but when she's awake, she's pretty perky. Especially if you have food that she wants. And there there is Little Guy. There was an update recently about some of what he is going through. It seems to be hitting him hard and quick.

When the movie Bolt first came onto my radar, I got really excited. I saw the trailer in front of Wall-E initially. O.M.G. Not only was a movie coming out with an adorable doggie as the star, but one of his sidekicks was…a HAMSTER. O.M.G. In the time between seeing that and the movie opening, I had a lot of inquiries about how excited I must be to see a movie with a HAMSTER!!! O.M.G…a HAMSTER!!!

[insert sound of loud, cartoony brakes here]

Um, yeah. I had intended this to be more of a review of Bolt. I really loved the movie. Yes, Rhino, the hamster was cute and very funny, but it was Bolt who got to me. He reminds me of my Little Guy and watching the cute cartoon canine leap and run around on the screen made me a little sad. I'm sure I'm one of the only people who shed several tears during the film. Not only is Little Guy small, nearly white, and snouty with pointy ears like Bolt, but he's spunky and incredibly loyal too. Every morning when I get out of the shower, Guy is lying right outside of the bedroom door waiting for me. We have a special bond, just like Bolt and his girl Penny.

I'm doing what I can to help Little Guy, and all my pets, live good lives. For now I'll even refrain from shaving a little lightening bolt into Guy's side.

Only Bolt Merch @ Disneyland

The only Bolt merchandise we found at Disneyland. When I took this photo, I didn't even realize my own Little "Bolt" Guy snuck into it!


Caption This!

I got nothin'. Well, that's not true. I have lots I could write about, but not much time. So, in lieu of an actual post, here's a little contest. Leave a caption for this photo in the comments by 11:59pm, Sunday, December 14th. I will update later with prize(s) as that has yet to be determined.*

Photo courtesy of Toluca Lake Homeowner's Association

*The prize will be a little something handmade by me, plus a gift certificate.


You were the one who sent me fruitcake for Christmas. It made me so sick.

The Tired Girl Collective will be representing at a craft show on the LA/O.C. border (Cerritos) this coming weekend. Come by Tall Mouse Arts & Crafts for Handmade Brigade on Saturday, December 6th, head to the back and do some handmade holiday shopping. You'll feel good about yourself. We'll have our usual unique stationary, beautiful new jewelry, tote bags, and the usual assortment of hamster stuff. Come on, you need more hamster stuff, right? (Just humor me, people!)

Tired Girl Collective-Felt Club

I know there are other local craft events this weekend. No, I'm not going to tell you what or where they are, but why not hit more than one? Maybe you can even cross everyone off your list!


Do You Wanna See What's In My Dog?

I got pictures of what's in his hips, I got pictures of what's in his hips. They took 'em in Burbank and I brought 'em back with me to North Hollywood...


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