Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas!

First of all, to those loyal few who still read my nearly non-existant blog, Thank You! And merry, merry Christmas, if that's your persuasion. As an agnostic/paganistic/non-churchgoing person, I like holidays, just not because of some belief in a savior that was probably born in the spring anyway. Having said that, a few of my favorite Yuletide carols:

  • Santa Baby- performed by Eartha Kitt. Sexy, sultry and a little bit greedy, what's not to love?-
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town- performed by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Fun, funny and lighthearted.
  • Oh Holy Night- performed by Johnny Mathis. A classic and such a beautiful, pure voice. Mom loved Johnny.
  • You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch- performed by Thurl Ravenscroft. I love the original animated Grinch, and Thurl Ravenscroft (also the voice of Tony the Tiger) delivers it perfectly.
  • The Little Drummer Boy- performed by Bing Crosby and David Bowie. Such a wonderfully surreal moment, like a Christmas tree decorated by Andy Warhol.
  • All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth- performed by the Count from Sesame Street. I listened to this when I was little and it still puts a smile on my face.
  • Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24- Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I think this is a version of Carol of the Bells, and it is just so damn cool.
  • Father Christmas- by the Kinks. Tough and funny, I love the street-wise sentiments.

Monday, November 30, 2009

In Which I Discover I Have Something In Common With Vanna White?!?

So I heard the end of "Wheel of Fortune" the other night while NSA was flipping channels, and for some reason he got distracted and paused on the show for a bit. It was that lag time at the end of the show when Pat and Vanna are chatting. I don't know how it came up, but Vanna was saying how she uses a manual toothbrush in the morning, but her electric toothbrush before bed. And Pat commented that that was kind of a strange thing, and I had to agree, but what got me the most was that I do the exact same thing!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Upside & Down

A few comments on unemployed cabin life:
  • Upside- Free rent! Down- Bills still have to be paid, which gets tricky with no income.
  • Upside- Wildlife ALL over the place. Down- NSA had the shit scared out of him by a baby bull moose.
  • Upside- Summer in Alaska. Down- The days get shorter from here on.
  • Upside- Quiet and private. Down- Except when Mom's "colorful" friends decide to drop by unannounced.
  • Upside- Freedom. Down- Without structure, I'm kind of falling on my face.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

La Vida Rustica

The cabin that Dave built.

This is my current home, a 10X18 cabin with no running water, BUT, thanks to the wireless marvels of the modern age, I do enjoy access to the World Wide Web. Kinda freaky, huh?





Jezebel enjoying the view from the front window.


The three kitties have adapted remarkably well to the rustic life, despite the lack of comfortable armchairs. As long as there's wet food and a clean box, they're happy. I wish I were as easily satisfied.







Ms. Moose browsing in front of the same window.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Timeline of the Events of the Beginning of May, 2009

  • April 29th- A last-minute dash to the airport with three cats and waaay too much luggage, but all of us made it to Alaska okay, if uncomfortably. (sidenote- Yin Yin reacted to the Xanax preflight test like a belligerent little drunk, staggering around and hissing at the other cats, it did NOT calm her down at all. And, not that I recommend drugging your animals for amusement purposes, but it was VERY funny to watch.)
  • April 30th-May 3rd- Unseasonably gorgeous weather in Anchorage at a pet-friendly hotel, we celebrate a friend's birthday at a questionable club, shop for camping supplies and other summer essentials, and hang out with NSA's son. Hectic and more expensive than I would have wished, but a reasonably good time.
  • May 4th- A friend drives us down to Homer in a mini-van packed to the roof, we find a hotel room, smuggle the cats in. NSA's asthma is bothering him, probably due to the very fine ash from Mt. Redoubt and the very dry spring that hasn't kept it down. And the stress of moving, travel, etc.
  • May 5th- Friend and I pick up a few missed items while NSA relaxes at the hotel room. After a couple of frantic texts, we return to the room to find NSA drenched in sweat, his breathing intensely labored, and having already called 911, who take an excruciatingly long time to arrive. Ride in the ambulance, which pulls over on the way to the hospital to let the paramedics work on NSA, who is semi-lucid but completely frantic.
  • May 6th- A horrible, horrible night during which NSA has to be put into an induced coma and intubated because he's combative and not responding well to the drugs. I have the unenviable experience of seeing my forty-five year old husband on a ventilator in the ICU.
  • May 7th- It rains, washing away some of the volcanic ash.
  • May 8th- I learn a new word, "extubated," the opposite of having a tube stuck down your throat. NSA is loopy and out of it from all of the drugs he's on, but in a relatively good mood since he has a constant supply of IV painkillers. We watch Casanova and I can't help but think of Heath Ledger, while NSA finds it particularly enjoyable in his altered state because of the bright colors and broad humor. He alternately calls me by his ex-wife's or sister's names. He's smiley and fun, and charms the nurses.
  • May 9th- 13th- We get an inexpensive hotel room in town that doesn't care that we have cats to give NSA time to build up his strength.
  • May 14th- After chinese food and making love, NSA has an evil, evil pain in his groin. When he wakes me up writhing around, I insist we call the paramedics. He's resistant, but eventually gives in. And so back to the hospital we go. In the ER, they're surprised to see him again, but won't give him anything for the pain until he starts vomiting blood.
  • May 15th- After determining that the stone in his right kidney moved, NSA is released from the hospital again, worried about the expense of everything and how much insurance will cover. I'm understandably upset and feeling overwhelmed.
  • May 16th- NSA passes an 8mm kidney stone, the size of a small pea. It's strangely impressive. We move the three cats and the little bit of stuff we brought with us into the cabin, which is dusty, and either cozy or cramped depending on our moods. The cats adapt remarkably quickly to their new environment, mostly due to the windows and abundant wildilfe to watch.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I Look Like Mardi Gras!

And I wish that were as fun and sexy as it sounds (boobies!! yay!), but really it just means that my arms and legs are covered in purple, green and yellow bruises. Moving is hard, especially when you approach it in a completely chaotic and fucked-up manner, and my flesh and nerves pay the price. I can never seem to do anything like a sane, rational adult , but at least most of our shit is safely stored. NSA's health is the big worry now, we're supposed to be getting on a plane with the three cats (!!!) Wednesday, but if he has to go to the emergency room, then our plans will naturally have to change. I've never had the best balance, but right now, I think I'd make any tightrope walker proud.
And all of you are just the sweetest things! I'm sporadically checking my stats, and you guys just keep coming back, quick drop-ins to see what's going on even though I haven't posted in weeks. It warms me to the cockles of my heart, and believe me, my cockles need warming. Thank you.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Too Much To Say, No Time To Say It

I feel like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, "no time to say hellogood-bye..." NSA and I are rolling along with our plans, hitting every freakin' bump along the way. I will be so happy to be out of this job and away from San Diego, but right now I'm so stressed I feel like my brain is going to jellify from the pressure and leak out my ears, (all together now...) ewwww! Not that I'm a constant blogger anyway, but please don't be disappointed if posting is nonexistant over the next few weeks. I will try to keep up with my reading and commenting, I have a lot to say, I'm just not sure I'll find the time to blog it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Desperately Seeking Dynamo

So, it's been an eventful couple of weeks, to say the least, and my blogging has suffered for it. Last week, Yin Yin was sick, like reallyreally sick, and although I took her to the vet and he put her on antibiotics, I wasn't trusting him. I know I was being a little crazy and irrational, but the thought of losing Mom's sweet little cat was almost too much for me to bear, I got crumbly around the edges. She's okay now, some expensive intestinal nastiness, but dealing with it seriously did me in for a few days.
A few things came to an ugly head at work. I was quitting anyway, put in my notice Monday, but the shit that went on before that was more than just the final straw, more like the final log- the final fucking Sequoia!- and while I'm not going into details, it was just a huge mess that I shouldn't have had to deal with in the first place, it should never have been allowed to get so out of hand. Knowing that I only have a week left has done me a world of good. And while leaving a decent job with good benefits makes me afraid, especially in this economy, it's also helped me sleep better at night.
All of this to say, we'll be packing boxes and moving very soon, and my inner dynamo seems to have gone missing. She's usually pretty reliable; an energetic, if slightly disorganized being who manages to get things done just before the final deadline. She hasn't shown her frenetic face yet, but then, it's not quite crunch time, and she might need to be bribed with double-lattes and promises of a nice vacation. Or maybe she needs a couple Xenadrine with a Rockstar chaser, she's not gettin' any younger after all.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Reasons I'm Glad I'm Going To Alaska

  1. Although there are mosquitoes by the ton and Mom's place is infested with mice, no West Nile virus and no Hantavirus.
  2. Clean air and clean water.
  3. Eighteen hours of daylight.
  4. Homegrown potatoes, peas, tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, gooseberries and raspberries.
  5. People who've loved me almost my entire life.

Monday, March 16, 2009

5 Months and a Dream

I woke up early this morning with tears in my eyes, dripping on my pillow, not sobbing. I dreamt that I was sitting by Mom's hospital bed, talking with her, and she looked really good, like she did when she vacationed down here. She was smiling and animated, telling me very important things, things I needed to know, and I was paying close attention because I wanted, needed, to remember. I thought, I should be writing this down. And then I woke up.

It was still dark outside, weird for me to be up this early, but clearly my subconscious was at work. NSA was in a bad place of his own, so I sat on the couch with a blanket, waiting for my coffee to brew, watching the minutes tick by, reliving this morning five months ago moment by moment. I didn't remind NSA of what day it is, I don't know if he thought about it, nor did I tell him about my dream. Maybe I'm being selfish, or maybe I'm trying to spare him. It's hard to say.

I know that I'm moving forward, I mean, things progess, time marches on, it can't be stopped just because you need a breather or eight hundred, but I have very little faith in the future. Some days, I feel like I've had the shit kicked out of me, and just as I start to recover from one blow, another lands.

I can't remember what Mom was telling me in the dream, and that's why I was crying. It was important, and I woke up to the real world not remembering.

Friday, March 13, 2009

5 Things I'll Miss About SoCal

  1. The weather (duh!). I love open-toed and peep-toe shoes. I like cute skirts and bare legs. Sunshine is an instant pick-me-up. So I'm thinking maybe just the summer in Alaska, then somewhere else for winter.
  2. Trader Joe's. Only the best grocery store ever! Unless you want name-brands, but you can get those anywhere. Two-Buck Chuck Merlot, I already mourn for you.
  3. My scooter. I just can't think of a decent, economical way to transport my baby bike, and storing it wouldn't be practical. I'm sure I'll own another one day, but it really stings for now. The ride up Laurel Canyon Blvd. is one of the best things about L.A.
  4. Chipotle. I love their food so much, I'm looking in to opening an Alaskan franchise. Seriously.
  5. Hummingbirds. These cool little creatures abound around here, I see them all the time. I just don't remember them being very plentiful in Alaska.

I'm looking forward to moving, but change is scary, and while I haven't been exactly happy in Southern California (at least not in a while), I did have some really good times here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

IMHO

I think that our next national holiday should be the Monday after Daylight Savings Time begins. It only makes sense. Today, everyone who works a regular job (those of us lucky enough to still have jobs) is groggy and crabby, school kids are cranky, because even if you went to bed early Sunday night, it doesn't seem to help. Also, this is the longest stretch in the calendar (from the middle of February until the end of May) without a holiday, and I think that needs to be rectified. Easter doesn't count because it's always on a Sunday and there's no paid day off. I mean, I doubt anything of consequence is being accomplished today, and frankly, those hypermotivated people that are accomplishing things, probably would be regardless of it being a holiday or not.
Maybe we should call it "National Sleep-In Day," to honor the chronically sleep-deprived (read: most of us), or "Spring Fertility Rites Day" since pagans really don't have a holiday of their own and it only seems fair. I dunno, I'm just spitballing here, but I'm sure everyone will agree, the wait for Memorial Day is just too damned long.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Chimay & Sushi

Just what I needed this Saturday night, a fantastic sushi roll and a couple of pints of 8% alcohol beer. Then more leftover birthday cake...If you don't hear from me by Tuesday, I've probably died in some horrible, vomit-related accident. Happy weekend everyone!

Random Bits III

Yesterday, there was a woman in front of me in the checkout lane at the grocery store with flaming red/orange hair and a purple corduroy pantsuit. Maybe if the suit had been a little lighter, or her hair a little darker, it could have worked, but as it was, I felt like my eyeballs had been scalded.

I've been feeling very judge-y lately (see above), and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's my insecurities about leaving the job, or maybe it's just my latent bitchiness finally rearing it's ugly head. Or maybe it's the fact that people like Nadya Suleman get under my skin and make me all red and itchy. I think that must be it: I have an allergy to media whores. Definitely explains my reaction to Paris Hilton.

I recently discovered Darrell Lea's Green Apple Licorice on sale at the local drugstore. It's not licorice in the true sense of the word, more like a better version of Twizzlers, but damn! it's yummy. And all-natural too.

Is anyone else bothered by the fact that grocery stores are tracking how we spend our dollars so precisely? I mean, I know that's the deal when you sign up for those discount cards, and I don't see how the information that I (well, my cats) prefer Friskies to 9 Lives or that I buy insane amount of rotisserie chicken, can be misused, but I still find it a little creepy. I do love the coupons specifically tailored to I want though.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tranquilly On Pins and Needles

Today, I'm envisioning myself as one of those Indian yogis. You know the ones, lying comfortably on a bed of nails, skin exposed to the sharp points while they doze unconcernedly. I've been worried about my job, in one way or another, for months now, and have actually written my letter of resignation several times. Now, mostly because of the economy, there is more pressure being applied than ever, headache-inducing, stomach-churning pressure. But pretty soon, all of that is going away, as in, it will no longer be my worry, no longer be my stomach churning and my head aching. At least, not from this job. There are plenty of other things for me to worry about, lots of varied concerns, but this job will no longer wake me up at night.
I'm feeling a little heady, a little buzzed by the thought of freedom, because while leaving this job, this particular form of security, is a bit frightening, the prospect of having more control over my time and not working for people I've come to dislike is rather intoxicating. I've realized a few things about myself over the past couple of years, one of them is that I can eat a tremendous amount of shit if I need to (which I'm not sure is a good thing), and that I really perform better when I like who I'm working for.
So, for the next few weeks, I'm on pins and needles, biding my time, but tranquilly, because I know it will be over soon. And I think what's coming next will be a great adventure.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I'm Probably Insane For Even Considering This

I'm seriously thinking about buying a big-ass tent, a decent heater, and a chemical toilet, and camping out on Mom's property for the summer. In Alaska. With three cats. And a shotgun, most likely, in case of bears. Yeah, plenty of reasons to question my rationality right there. For those of you who've been following along (and for those of you who haven't), let me explain: We were planning on moving to Colorado this spring. NSA's family is there, it's a beautiful place, and we have no real ties to Southern California. BUT, since my mom died, I've been in a strange and funky place (and I don't mean that in a Lipps, Inc. kind of way), and her property needs a LOT of attention before it can either be occupied or sold. Cleaning out the house itself is probably at least a two month project. There's also a travel trailer, two sheds, and an old school bus full of crap as well. Jesus, just writing that comes across so hillbilly/white trash, I feel like I should be pregnant and barefoot in the Appalachians somewhere.
NSA and I have been considering moving back to Alaska and renting an apartment, but both of us really don't want to have to spend the winter there, shipping all of our stuff is expensive, and neither of us want to feel trapped by decisions Mom made. So what's the compromise? What can we live with? Well, NSA is the disabled one, so if he feels that he can spend a few months in a tent, then I can too. If we get Mom's place into a habitable state, then good, we won't be stuck in a lease. And if the house isn't decent by the end of summer, then at least most of the trash will be removed and it will be in better condition to board up and leave for the following winter. Storing the bulk of our stuff is definitely less expensive than shipping it, and it leaves the option of moving to Colorado (or somewhere else) open.
I realize that for some, spending a summer in a tent in Alaska sounds a little bit like Hell on earth, while for others, it's a dream vacation. I know quite a few people who've done it, even in the winter, while building a house, working in fish processing, doing wildlife research. Not having to pay rent would mean that we could live on a reduced income, and in this age of cell phones and wireless broadband, of movies and T.V. shows delivered directly to your computer, it could actually be pretty comfortable. Or it could be a horribly bad idea that ends tragically with my face being eaten by a bear. I guess we'll just have to see.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Three 80's Songs and Their Specific Meaning To Me

I'm dedicating this post to Lisa, because I've been reading through her archives and she's brought up some very good memories that I don't want to forget to share. Because that's what ends up happening. I have really, really good ideas for a post, and if I don't write them down, they disappear forever, or sometimes resurface when that part of my brain gets jarred. Anyway, a few music-related memories.

  1. Relax- Frankie Goes To Hollywood- I first heard this overtly naughty, incredibly danceable song at a campground in Masseret, France. We spent part of the summer there, and I befriended several girls around my age. I loved feeling exotic simply because I was American. On one of our last evenings, a DJ in a van showed up and parked next to the covered picnic area. I don't remember what else he played that night, but I remember the group of us dancing to this song, the horrible fluorescent lighting above the ugly concrete, and having the prescient/poignant feeling that this was a moment I'd remember always. And it is.
  2. Here Comes The Rain Again- The Eurythmics- I was standing by the bar of Bob's Youth Hostel in Amsterdam when the woman behind the counter put this song on. I was absolutely mesmerized. I begged her to play it again, and she said she would later, then never did. I made sure I got the band's name, and when we got back to the States, I bought Touch, on vinyl.
  3. Wouldn't It Be Good- Nik Kershaw- A Danish girl named Marina played this for me in her bedroom. We were visiting a boyfriend of Mom's in the country outside of Dragor, Denmark. Marina was stunned that I hadn't heard it before, but I explained that Alaska was pretty remote, isolated from just about everything. She wanted to visit Alaska, but, to my knowledge, never did. I couldn't find any Nik Kershaw at the local record shop, but I was thrilled a couple of years later when Pretty In Pink came out, and bought the soundtrack specifically for this song.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Totally Uninterested

Since I'm not going to be at this job a whole lot longer, (yay! yay! YAY! balloons and streamers! flowers and rainbows!! champagne and cake...you get the idea) I've become a really horrible fuck-off. Like I wasn't working very hard before, but now, I'm totally doing bare minimum. My blog reading has increased substantially. There are just so many amazing blogs out there, so much fascinating stuff and fascinating people, is there a job where I can just sit around and read blogs all day? How do I go about creating such a job? But then, that wouldn't work either, since it would be my job, and inevitably I'd get bored, and my eyes would hurt from reading so much, and I'd want to be outside lounging in the sun or something. That's the trouble with me having a job, I really dislike the obligation of it: be here at this time, go there and do that, this must be accomplished by then. And there's the unending nature of it too; I have to do this for HOW long? For most of my life? Until I die?? Bleah, just thinking about it makes me shudder. I don't think other people necessarily feel this way, or maybe they do and they're just better able to discipline themselves and deal with the reality of it.
I'm of the opinion that life is short, death is long, and there's no guarantee of an afterlife, so you'd better make the most of whatever time you have on this planet. In someone's famous words, "No one says, on their deathbed, 'I wish I'd spent more time at work.'" and I couldn't agree more. I'm almost thirty-eight, I have a disabled spouse who will probably have a shorter-than-average lifespan, I need to start making the most of the time we have. And working a stressful, restrictive, dead-end job just isn't worth it. So, thankfuckinggod it's Friday, and stay tuned for further developments.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

An Accurate Representation of My Current State of Mind

I'm sitting on the office floor, picking all my favorites out of the candy dish, because that's the frame of mind I'm in. Wanting massive amounts of what's not good for me, and feeling selfish enough to take it. I've put on a few pounds lately, and I don't wonder why. At least this decision is easy to make, unlike the next few months of uncertainty I'm facing. Sometimes, I find I need the littlest act of control to keep me from going completely batshit.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Miss Manners Says...

Now, maybe I'm being overly sensitive, but, if you were a guest in someone's home and woke up earlier than them, would you start up their computer? Especially when you already have your own laptop and internet access. I mean, I personally wouldn't presume to use someone else's expensive thing without asking, and once I did have their permission, I certainly wouldn't start rearranging stuff and adding to their toolbar. It's just rude, in my opinion, and I wonder what the fuck they were doing with my computer that they didn't want to do with their's, but that's just me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Today is Fucking With Me

I'm thisclose to putting in my two weeks notice and getting the fuck out of this job, but the timing isn't quite right, another week or so and I AM OUTTA HERE! (Don't want to have to head to Alaska too early, that place is cold.) But, although I'm not superstitious, I could swear that Friday the 13th is totally fucking with me. Not in huge ways, but just petty little annoying shit. Like my work email has been screwed up for most of the day, and it's just me. No one else in the company is having any problems. And Wordpress keeps screwing up as I'm trying to read a couple of my favorite blogs, Miss Pants, who has a heartbreaking announcement, and Amy, who seems to be saying something interesting about her sobriety, but I can't read all of it!! AAARRGGhhh! And I can't leave any (kind/supportive/witty/sarcastic) comments either, which, for a blog-junkie like me, is tantamount to hiding my chocolate chip cookies and then teasing me about it.
Historically, Friday the 13th has been a good day for me. This one, though, is giving me flashbacks to 2008.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Complaint #37,184

It seems like my favorite T.V. shows inevitably get cancelled. Yeah, yeah, I know, totally first-world problem, and while there is so much else I could be thinking or blogging about, this has been on my mind. Because I reallyreally liked Pushing Daisies, it was sweet and whimsical with touches of black humor, and the visual style was bold and unique, probably more akin to children's programming than shows aimed at a higher age demographic (and I wonder what that says about me...). It wasn't all great, the circus episode was stoo-pid, but there are lines that I will be quoting for years to come. Chi McBride, as the acerbic P.I., Emerson Cod- (patting pockets) "Now, where's that rat's ass I could give?"
And it's not just Pushing Daisies, it's it's like, you know..., and Undeclared, and Significant Others. It's Titus, Dead Like Me, and The Comeback. It's that my tastes often don't seem to match those of the general public, which probably isn't a bad thing, but does get disappointing. Disappointing because crap like Survivor is a huge hit and goes on for years and years, while Firefly lasts a mere fifteen episodes. Oh well, I can always take refuge in the endless syndication of Law & Order.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Flavors of My Childhood

  1. Raspberry- They grow all over the place. When I was in Alaska last September, I spent a significant amount of time stuffing myself from roadside patches and hoping I wasn't feasting on someone's unharvested bounty.
  2. Verner's Ginger Ale- "Barrel Aged, Bold Taste. A Michigan Tradition Since 1888." Mom grew up in Michigan and this stuff used to be hard to find. We'd drink it whenever we visited my gramma in Clawson. Now it's been bought by 7-Up and is available in just about every major supermarket.
  3. Salmon- Alaska has fairly liberal subsistence laws, and we had several friends who set-netted and regularly caught more than they could use. Our freezer was always well stocked with quality fish, a fact I never really appreciated until I moved to the Lower 48 and paid high prices for farmed salmon.
  4. Cranberry-orange relish- Mom was a pretty good cook when she could be bothered. This was her special holiday dish, fresh oranges and cranberries ground together in a meat grinder never used for anything else. While it was always seasoned well, it was never sweet enough for me.
  5. Rum balls- Straight from The Joy of Cooking, dusted with powdered sugar, a holiday treat that did satisfy my sweet tooth.
  6. Fried tofu- Mom would use it in sweet-and-sour, or sometimes just serve plain. The closest approximation I've been able to find is the deep fried tofu triangles appetizer at Sweet Pink Pepper on Santa Monica.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tagged Again

I was tagged by Lisa at The Loony Bin for a "six things" meme, which I've done before (or maybe it was seven things? I forget...), but I thought I'd do it again, since if there's one thing I love to talk about, it's myself.

  1. I once spent a rainy day in Paris watching classic American movies. They were Forever Amber, River of No Return, Laura and Carmen Jones. Now that I look at this list, I realize it was an Otto Preminger tribute. It was kind of a surreal experience, Mom and Edward and I camped out in a gold velour theater. Mom left once to get sandwiches, but no one kicked us out, so we stayed.
  2. People who repeatedly flog you with how cool they are because of their taste in music, irritate the shit out of me! If you like it, you like it, fine, but being an alterna-snob is still being a snob. Sure, I like some strange/funky stuff too, but I can also sing every word to Tiffany's 1987 hit, "I Think We're Alone Now," a feat that weirdly impresses my husband.
  3. The best concert I ever attended was Prince at Studio 54 in Las Vegas, 1999. The tickets were spendy, but standing twenty feet away while His Purpleness played "Purple Rain" was fucking orgasmic.
  4. I prefer standard transmission cars to automatics.
  5. Although we travelled quite a bit while I was growing up, I've never been to New York City. It was always too expensive and crowded for Mom's taste, even though there are fantastic museums and the Statue of Liberty.
  6. I've always wondered if I have other half-siblings somewhere, but I've never had the courage to ask my dad. If I did ask him, though, I think he would be honest.

I know this is breaking the rules, I don't feel like tagging anyone else right now, maybe at a later date.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Celebrity Encounters I

  • Nicky Katt- Staying at the Avalon in Beverly Hills with his dog. He was fine until he tried to bring the dog into the restaurant. When the manager politely told him that only service animals were allowed on the premises, Nicky got all, "Don't you know who I am???" at which point the manager said, "I don't care who you are, you can't bring your dog in here." Which is what happens when C-list actors with overgrown egos try and (unsuccessfully) cop celebrity 'tude.
  • Ron Perlman- Used to work out at the same gym as him. He always wiped down his equipment, and he is built. Worked up to a smile and a friendly "hello," but always felt fluttery because before he was Hellboy, he was Vincent, the lion/human hybrid with that voice, from Beauty and the Beast. The stuff of my teenage romantic fantasies. Maybe it would be gratifying for him to know that he weakens the knees of at least one thirtysomething woman, and not all of his fans are comic book geeks.
  • Alecia Silverstone- Looking rather strung-out one Sunday morning at the Hollywood Farmer's Market. Which is a great place for celebrity-spotting, btw. Also seen there:
  • Sandra Oh- Head down and walking very fast, possibly escaping.
  • Mena Suvari- Stunning in a gorgeous red dress, with her surprisingly short, but very cute, husband. Appeared very gracious while posing for pictures and signing autographs.
  • John Salley- of the L.A. Lakers, head and shoulders above the crowd, but still smiling while surrounded by people. I wouldn't have recognized him except for his very funny appearance on Martin Short's Jiminy Glick.

Hmmm, maybe I should have saved this for abdpbt's "Listlessness Mondays." Oh well, there's always more to tell.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oh, The POWER!

I needed to talk to this person today, so I went over to her, only to be totally ignored initially, and then when she did acknowledge me, she was completely nervous, stammering, and made an excuse to get away very quickly. She would not make eye contact! I was a bit nonplussed. My first thought was could she have read my blog?, but I don't think that's the case. I mean, I'm not scary, I'm not Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, I'm a rainbows-and-fluffy-bunnies kind of person, but obviously she's picked up on how I feel, and I find that kind of thrilling. Wow, so this is how it feels to have someone afraid of you, or at least to make them really, really uncomfortable with your mere presence. I can see why Anakin went over to the dark side if this is the kind of reaction you get.

So I did what any normal person would do, I smiled and was extra-super-sweet to her. Because sugar helps the poison go down that much easier.

A Home of Our Own

I've said before, when Mom died, she left a huge mess behind. And, actually, a reluctance to deal with this mess might be part of why she died. But that's a sort of pop-psychology, avoidance issue thing that I may or may not write about later. In any case, due to an unpaid loan situation, I thought my mom had lost the rights to her land and house, and was only living there because no one wanted to kick a poor old lady out, which could have happened. I was also wicked disappointed because the monies owed were less than 10% of the value of the land, a pretty raw deal. As it turns out, I was wrong, and I am so happy about that.
There is a bit of money owed, a debt to an acquaintance of Mom's who paid property taxes for her, but I have the opportunity to pay off the debt and keep the land where Mom, my little brother Edward, and my grandmother are buried. So that's a very good thing. I've never owned anything worth that much either. To find myself a homeowner, even due to such unhappy circumstances, is rather exciting.
It's not much of a place, 2 1/4 acres of boggy land and an unfinished house with no water or plumbing, jury-rigged electricity and a wood stove for heat. And no driveway to speak of. And twenty-five years worth of hoarded junk, vermin, and cat shit, that makes the place basically uninhabitable. But the structure itself is fairly sound, it has lots of windows and there's a large garden and raspberry patch. So, yes, I have my work cut out for me, not completely sure I'm equal to the task, but hey, gotta give it a try and see what happens. And if I sound deeply ambiguous, it's because I am.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Suppressing Urges

So, yeah, I think my days at this job are seriously numbered since I'm having a harder and harder time not telling that obnoxious little twat-faced bitch exactly what I think of her. I am so totally FUCKING over it!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

January 23, 1939

My mother would have been 70 last Friday. This knowledge nibbled at my consciousness all week. I got a couple of calls from her friends, one of whom has a key to her house and called me from there, so when I looked at my cell to see who it was, it came up "Mom," since I haven't deleted her number. It was a sweet gesture, but kind of creepy too. It's nice to see how missed Mom is, but it also makes me wonder why she didn't want to stick around longer. There are so many people who loved her. Of course, some of these are the same people who fully supported her in not treating her cancer, so I guess it cuts both ways.
NSA and I are probably going to Alaska this summer, to take care of some things that really can't be handled remotely. I'm not sure how long we'll be there, but long enough that I'll most likely have to leave this job, which is perfectly fine with me. I think I'm overdue for a career change.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Soundtrack To My Mother's Death

  1. King of the Road, Roger Miller- This was on the radio the first morning I was back to visit, and we also watched Talladega Nights while I was there. Mom smiled at a few spots in the movie, she really liked goofball comedies, but I don't think she was in a place to enjoy it much.
  2. Ever Present Past, Paul McCartney- Flying up, I couldn't stop listening to this on my MP3 player. I just kept scrolling back and listening again and again, something I don't think I've done since I was a teenager. Mom saw the Beatles when they appeared on Ed Sullivan, and the lyrics, about how time goes by so fast, were just so apropos.
  3. Exodus & Redemption Song, Bob Marley- Mom completely adored reggae, particularly Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, and these two songs were among her favorites.
  4. Starry-eyed Surprise, Shifty- The only "rap" song Mom liked. During her last visit to So Cal, she asked me to turn it up when it came on the radio.
  5. Morning Has Broken, Cat Stevens- A modern hymn that Mom never tired of.
  6. Fandango Nights, Willie and Lobo- The local radio station played this as background music and Mom was so enamored that she called one of the managers, a friend of hers, who burned a copy and brought it to the hospital for her. We listened to the Puerto Vallarta Squeeze album a lot in the days that followed.
  7. Fix You, Coldplay- I'd heard the song before, but it was only after Mom and I watched Young at Heart together that it really made an impact on me. The soaring crescendo near the end followed by the lone, spare voice moves me to tears.
  8. What's Going On, Four Non-Blondes- Another song my mom liked. A friend performed a rough but lovely version of it at her memorial.
  9. Let Peace Begin With Me, Sy Miller and Jill Jackson- My mom's truest wish for the world, and she really did think it began with her.
  10. Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd- The quintessential psychedelic hippie song. She loved the spoken line close to the end of the song, "There is no dark side of the moon, it's all dark."

Three months ago today, and while things soften with time, it still hurts.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hmmm...

So I post about how I need more community in my life, and this postcard shows up in my mailbox. There's no artist credit, and it's for a local church that I'm not at all interested in attending, but I like the image. It looks constructed from three or four different sources, with some cool effects added. Whoever did it has a decent amount of talent and flair, maybe they put it together as a form of tithing. I think the choice of the fence is interesting, a bit exclusive or exclusionary, maybe not exactly what they're trying to convey.
I do think the universe sends messages, I don't know, maybe I should attend some Sunday, or maybe it's just a general kind of attraction thing, I'm thinking about community, so are many other people, and the thought is out there in the ether, waiting to drop in to my mailbox.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Help Me Decide

Ok, so fairly lighthearted and pretty trivial in all actuality, but I need some help with my ballot for the Screen Actor's Guild awards. See, I haven't seen any of the nominated movies (really!), that's how lame last year was, and while I only watch a few of the TV shows, my favorites will be getting my vote. So, go here if you'd like to see the nominees, and tell me who you would vote for and why. If I like your response, I might vote that way. Be a part of the SAG awards!! Influence history!! If only in the tiniest, most insignificant way. Have your responses in by the end of the week, since the ballots have to be received by January 23rd.
(I will say that the people promoting Heath Ledger and The Dark Knight sent me a free DVD screener, so that might influence me too, but only maybe, since I haven't watched it yet.)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Feeling Strangely Fine

I don't really know why, except that I think a few things have gelled for me recently. Admittedly, Mom's death hit me hard, harder than expected, but it also clarified some things, as major events are wont to do. And as time passes, the grief and trauma settle a bit, the pain eases, and I'm able to reflect.
I've been worried, to some degree or another, for the past couple of years. Most of the worrys stem from loved one's health issues, but then there's the general never-enough-money worries and the I'm-not-where-I-want-to-be blues also. I'm not usually an anxious person, and the pressure and fretfulness have a corrosive effect on my personality. I'm snappish and mean, emotional, and I don't like it.
Here's what I've realized:
  • The job I have right now is a bad fit for me. It's not creative, it's more responsibility than I want, and it asks me to behave in ways I find objectionable.
  • I don't like big city life any more. I get pissy with the lack of privacy, rude people and being too far away from nature. I don't want to live in the boonies, but a smaller place would be better.
  • I'm tired of feeling poor. Having a disabled spouse contributes to this feeling, but so does the cost of living in a big city. There are definitely less expensive places to live.
  • I don't do enough to feed my soul, and I think souls need to be fed, regularly. I've abandoned interesting hobbies and am instead becoming a snail.
  • I've devalued friendship and community in my life. I don't know if this an attitude thing, an introspection thing, or what, but it needs to change. I need it to change.

I'm still working things out, there are lots of difficulties and details that have to be dealt with, but I think 2009 is going to be a good year, maybe the best year of my life. Or maybe it's just the chocolate talking.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Zinc is for lifeguard noses and countertops,

NOT for lozenges! However, I have this awful little scratchy feeling in the back of my throat, up toward my sinus', and so I'm sucking on these nasty things in the hope that they live up to the hype and prevent, or at least shorten, any viral ickyess I may have picked up. I want to visit my dad this weekend, I haven't seen him in a very long time, and I DON'T WANT TO BE FUCKING SICK!! Bleah.