Saturday, April 28, 2007

My red-skinned, Burbank-y, head-bangin' self

I have so many things to tell you that I do not even know where to begin. Yes I do. My skin. It is red. I look ridiculous. I am sunburned. Yes, I know I should wear sunscreen. Sunscreen makes my eyes water, though. I spend the whole time I wear sunscreen looking like a miraculous Virgin Mary statue.

However, weepy miraculous eyes would be a lot more comfortable, and less cancer-causing, than this sunburned skin.

I went to Burbank on Parade today, which was free. It is the 113th Burbank on Parade! And no, I do not think they have any special reason to celebrate Burbank with a parade. They just do.

Anyway, it was quite the high-falutin' event. I took pictures, but with the real camera, which is so annoying because it is not instant. Instant gratification takes too long, as Carrie Fisher says. I actually have to go somewhere and develop film, which technically is spending, so I do not think I should do so. Anyway, I will just say there were tractors. And fire trucks. And marching bands, all of whom seemed to play Louie, Louie. Also, inexplicably, there was a woman standing, yes standing, on a horse. That rocked.

There was also sun, and few trees. I KNEW I was getting sunburned, but who was having a good time getting hard candy and flags from the paraders? Who did not care about the deadly UV rays coming her way? Was it Roxanne, currently putting out her red light, over here? Oh, my skin hurts.

As I left Burbank on Parade, with my smart I-wore-sunscreen-and-feel-just-fine friend, I said, "I love freakin' Burbank! It IS like Mayberry! Burbank is the best!"

Then I went home and found out that we got picked for an apartment in Hancock Park.

How long have I been looking for an apartment closer to work? SEVEN MONTHS, that's how long. Every weekend, going to crack houses that rent for $2500 a month, or finding cute places that hate us cause we have 72 cats. SEVEN MONTHS of driving thru my suddenly beloved Burbank, through Hollywood, past Melrose, and into neighborhood after overpriced neighborhood.

Last weekend, Marvin Gardens was on craigslist (what did we do before Google, craigslist and hair gel?), and he said, "How about this place?" It was built in 1938, had only four units, and you enter through a white picket fence and a cute, flower-filled yard to get to our door. Hardwood floors, a fireplace, formal dining room, original tile, and the neighborhood? Get out. Hancock Park has tons of old, GIANT mansions that rich people live in. It is a beautiful part of town. I did not even know there WERE apartments in Hancock Park.

We took a walk around last week when we looked at the place, and at the end of our street it sort of dead ends into a park. The name of the street is Francis Street.

I said to Marvin G. (who, by the way, has come up with legitimate places he spent his $300), "This is a sign!"

I am forever coming up with signs. But really. Do you know who St. Francis of Assisi is? He was a saint. He lived in Assisi. Well, anyway, I am not even Catholic, but he is my personal saint. He is my man. I will tell you about it if you want to hear, but for now, trust me, that St. Francis is watching my arse. I even named our insane CAT Francis, and still, that Francis of Assisi likes me. Cause he's a saint. He doesn't hold grudges.

Well, anyway, sign or not, we got the place. And now I DON'T WANT TO MOVE! I like our house. Our cat Winston has his own pet squirrel he plays with out the window. We have a patio. It is quiet here. Couldn't you just bitch slap me? WHY AM I DOING THIS TO MYSELF?

I will keep you posted.

Finally, I did want to tell you that once again, Marvin and I went to Paladinos in Tarzana, which is where we saw the Boston tribute band a few weeks back. We are turning into regulars there. Last night, one of my coworkers played there, with his band, so he got tickets for a bunch of us from work. Oh, we had us some fun. We banged our heads. We lit our lighters. We shook our money makers. I could go to Paladinos every night of my life and never get bored. I am a sad, sad person.

Friday, April 27, 2007

It's a mad mad mad mad wife

Oh, I'm mad. Mad. So mad at Marvin Gardens I could spit. Which is feminine.

I said to Marvin Gardens, who I am mad at, that I was going to blog about this. He said, as he always says, "You can do whatever you want!" Wow. Really? Thanks. Before this, I thought I wasn't allowed to make eye contact with you and that I had to walk three paces behind you at all times. But it turns out I can do whatever I want?

Here is how Marvin G. and I save the money we SUPPOSEDLY haven't spent. As soon as I get paid, I put $500 in savings, then at the end of the pay period, I add whatever else is left over. Marvin Gardens just waits till the end of the pay period to put all of his leftover money in savings.

So, he gets paid on Monday. There is nothing but a SPEND-FREE weekend between now and Monday. So I said, "How much are you putting into savings?" and he said, "Nothing."

Now, here is what you must know about MG. He tends to give you the completely dramatic, negative answer first. We were friends for years before we got romantically involved (it is a whole story, but we dated in college, were friends who never saw each other for 10 years, then we did see each other and now we have been married 9 years. Which were happy years, until today), and when we were friends I would sometimes ask, "Are you dating anyone?" "No," he would say. "There is no one. No one at all." Now, Marvin Gardens is really cute. I find it hard to believe that he dated NO ONE in the 10 years we were apart. But "no one" is a Marvin Gardens answer. So when he said he was putting nothing in savings, I took it to mean $400. I speak Marvin Gardens, and that is a literal interpretation of "no money" in MG speak.

But no. He meant he had NO MONEY to save this time. NONE. I asked if we could go into his bank account online, as I could not believe there was nothing left. So we logged on, and he withdrew A HUNDRED DOLLARS on 4/16, a HUNDRED MORE DOLLARS on 4/20, and A HUNDRED MOOOORRREEE DOLLARS on 4/24!

You know how it is more dramatic to speak softly when you are angry, as it has a more powerful impact? I am not that person. I am more of a shrieking fishwife type. "WHY DID YOU WITHDRAW THIS MONEY? WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS, NONE OF WHICH YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO WITHDRAW, IN EIGHT DAYS?"

Sadly, I have rambled on and I need to leave for work. I told Marvin he could log on to the comments and defend himself. I am going to be driving and cursing now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

This will bore you unless you are female or a drag queen

It is Wednesday morning and I do not have time to talk to you, girl. I have not gotten ready for work yet and it is 6:20 a.m. This is not good.

But I had to tell you about some staple items I have run out of, namely my favorite lipstick and my hair conditioner.

Before I began my year of not spending, I went on, which I love, or used to love, and ordered me several bottles of my John Freida conditioner and shampoo for curly hair. Back when I used to spend money, I actually WENT to the John Freida/Sally Hershberger salon, which is lovely, may I add. It has a pool. In the middle. No one ever actually goes in the pool, which I think is a shame. Often there are lilies and lily pads floating in said pool, but that's it.

It used to be Neil Diamond's office, this salon, in the 1970s. Can you imagine the '70s goings-on that must have occurred in that place? It kind of makes me want to shower when I am in there. Or have a dip in the lily pool.

At any rate, I use conditioner way more than I use shampoo, and now I am out of conditioner. I have 78 tiny tubes of that conditioner they give you when you dye your hair out of a box, so I am using that until I get to CVS and get, per our deal, the cheapest conditioner possible. Oh, this is going to be so not pretty.

I apologize in advance to anyone who has to actually see me on a daily basis.

Then my favorite lipstick, which was a sheer glossy pink, wore out. I was continuing to use it even though what I was mostly doing was scratching my lips. I considered using a lip brush and digging in there for the rest, but how pretentious is it to use a lip brush out in public? Why don't I get a cigarette holder while I'm at it?

So now I have an old tube of MAC Twig (1997 called. It wants its look back) and a glossy gold (Diana Ross called. She wants her gloss back) and a sort of garish bright pink "tint." (The mom on the Wonder Years called...oh you get the drift).

Oh. There is also a berry pink, which makes me look vaguely insane.

Have I apologized to those who have to see me regularly?

Okay, eight minutes have passed and I have to shower, dress and pack a lunch before 6:45. It's like a little challenge. A challenge for mom on The Wonder Years.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Courtney Love Me the Sunset Strip

If you could see my hair right now, you would be so distracted that you would not be able to read this. I can't even remember what I did yesterday to make it this big today. It is one of those days where I catch the CATS looking at it in wonder.

What I am saying is my hair is not small today. My hair is never small, but today it has achieved new not-smallness.

Perhaps I will actually shower after blogging, and it will calm down. Then again, maybe it won't.

So, we tried to spend money on Friday night. Have you noticed that this blog is more and more about times we caved rather than times we have NOT spent? Still, we are now up to more than $12,000 and it is April, and last night I cooked the deliciousest dinner (yes, I have a degree in English). I am getting good at the cooking, as is Marvin Gardens, but he always could cook.

Marvin Gardens is way more of a grownup than me. When we met, he had books of STAMPS and he didn't bounce checks (he also didn't write $1.65 checks to the deli all the time, like I did) and he owned plates and bowls and stuff. Really, I cannot imagine what attracted him to me, unless he was looking for someone who lived like Courtney Love without the money.

Last night I made salmon, which you should eat because apparently if you eat it you will never die. Here's what you do. My mother taught me this. Eight hundred times. I have literally called her 800 times and said, "What is that salmon recipe again?" and she always sighs beleagueredly and tells it to me. So here it is.

You mix brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard to taste. Slap that salmon in the mix, then put it in your oven's grill for like 10 minutes (till it flakes). Oh, it is good.

After reading this, you may wonder why I needed to call my mother for a repeat of this fairly simple recipe. Please refer to paragraph five, wherein I am Courtney Love without the money. Or drugs.

Getting back to the point, which I alluded to 20 minutes ago, we made plans to see a band called The Fab Faux. They are a Beatles tribute band, and no, we are not obsessed with tribute bands. The Fab Faux was playing at the House of Blues, which is on the Sunset Strip, which is basically the busiest place humanly possible to be on a Friday night.

Here is why I do not think doing things like this is remotely fun. Okay, so I leave work after a HARROWING week. On Friday I did not even get to go to lunch, and no matter how hard I worked, still had just as much work waiting for me in my rack.

I left at my regular time, because I was ready to have a psychotic break if I didn't, (and also because I couldn't SEE. I need to get that LASIK so bad. Or at least the bifocals.) and I drove all the way home, 16 miles, one hour and three minutes of driving.

I got home and fell face-down on the floor for about 15 minutes, then dragged myself onto the couch, with -- yes, Lisa -- my coat still on. Oh, how it bugs my friend Lisa when I do not take off my work things after work. She used to come over at 8:30 at night and I would still have on my blue suit, and you'd think I'd have given her mother a butch haircut, she was so annoyed.

After about five minutes of couch-lying time, in bounces Marvin Gardens, who did not have to work that day, to scream, "We have to go! Get ready! Whooooooo!"

Sometimes I wish I were an old maid.

I decided the least I could do was to put in contacts. Yes, I was going to wear my work clothes to the House of Blues. Yes, I was going to go to the House of Blues with my hair like that. But I was NOT going to go in my glasses.

Marvin Gardens watched me as I put in a contact, took out a contact, blinked, put in the contact, took out the contact, rubbed my eyes, swore, put in a contact, said OW! and took out a contact. MY CONTACTS WOULD NOT GO IN! At this point, I was in tears, literally and spiritually, and I put on my stupid glasses, which at this point were hurting my nose because the glass in them is so thick, and, looking like the ugliest person possible, left for the House of Blues.

And how do you think traffic was, getting to the Sunset Strip? Do you think it was fine? Remember the beginning of The Beverly Hillbillies, where Granny is riding on top of the car in her rocking chair? Remember how they smoothly drove through traffic, pointing at things? Yeah, that never happened. A woman riding a rocking chair in a car? Sure. Smooooothly gliding through the streets? Guess again.

After ANOTHER HOUR in traffic, we finally got to our destination, so that we could go around. and around. and around. the strip looking for parking. Oh, there are parking lots that you can pay to park in, but they are like $15 or $20, and SOMEONE, whose name I will not mention, but who was in the car with me, will NOT pay to park even if he is taking me for a tracheotomy.

We circled so many times that we turned to butter, eventually finding a spot on the street with clear, simple rules for parking. Seriously. That was the sign. I made Marvin Gardens give me the camera, which usually I am not allowed to touch, (see Courtney Love reference again) so I could photograph this sign, which was clearly written by Ernest Hemingway, as it is so simple, yet powerful.

After earning our PhDs in sign reading, and determining we could indeed park there for all of two hours, we walked to House of Blues, only to STAND IN LINE FOR 40 MINUTES. The doors were supposed to open at 8. They didn't. We stood in the cold, the wind whipping my hair to and fro, in front of a British guy, whose accent I enjoyed listening to, and a guy who does photography for Howard Stern. Listening to them was fun until my feet started to go numb. I was wearing heels, which when I had them on at WORK, where I could actually SIT in WARMTH, felt just fine. But STANDING on Sunset BOULEVARD for 40 minutes, I lost all feeling in my toes and most of my positive feelings for Marvin Gardens.

Finally, some guy came around asking if anyone wanted to sell their ticket and thanks to all that is holy and merciful, Marvin Gardens said yes. Then he and I (Marvin, not the ticket-wanter guy) went to this place that used to be the Schwab's where Lana Turner never actually got discovered, and we got tea. Where I discovered that that ticket-buying guy was a scalper. I had been so glad that he was able to get in to a show he wanted to see SO BADLY, he was willing to humiliate himself all up and down Sunset Boulevard asking for tickets.

I guess I am so not Courtney Love, am I?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Donger Need Food

There was something I purchased on Sunday, but I hesitated to tell you about it. The reason I hesitated is not because I am so much ashamed of spending, but because it is such a girl thing.

I joined Weight Watchers.

Folks, I was FAT, and I do not mean phat, in some cool way. You know how there are those different body types? The pear shape, the apple? I was a muffin top, all the way.

But, complaining about my weight, and then going on a diet, I mean, how stereotypically female was that to blog about? Could I be more of a Cathy comic right now? Maybe next I'll talk about how much I love chocolate.

Which I actually don't. I mean, it's okay, but that whole chocolate thing some women have where they get glazed over and lose all control like they're at a Tom Jones concert? Yeah, not so much my reaction to chocolate.

I kept thinking that it was ridiculous to pay money in order to eat less. Just eat less, I'd tell myself. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and do not look at your cankles as you do it (cankles: where your ankles and your calves look like all the same thing).

Finally, I couldn't stand it and I paid my $16.95 for a month of Weight Watchers online. I have stuck with it pretty well, even when they bought us Starbucks at work, even when they bought us Mexican food at work, even when they served us an elaborate breakfast at work, and even when I got taken out for barbecue today at work.

Are you sensing a pattern, suddenly?

I am pleased to say that I weighed myself yesterday -- which you are not supposed to do until a whole week has passed, but who does Weight Watchers think they are, The Shadow? Tune in next week to see if you're thin -- and I have already lost four pounds. Do not write me and tell me that's unhealthy. The first week you lose a lot, cause your body is saying "Where is the Starbucks and the Mexican food and the barbecue usually brought to you by your workplace?" and then it calms down and says "She must have quit that job. Darn." and you only lose one or two pounds a week.

That is all my diet/spending news. Now if only that Irving would stop watching sports.

Oh, and did you notice we are now up to over $11,000 in savings?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cavity Search

You know what song I could go the rest of my life not hearing? Saturday (horn)/ in the park (horn)/ I think it was the 4th of Julyyyy (horn horn horn horn).

I hate horns in songs.

That was neither here nor there. I have GATHERED you all HERE today to tell you I had to spend $49.80 on a medical expense, and I am glad that was all I spent.

I had to go to the dentist. There is really nothing worse for me in life than having to go to the dentist.

I used to be a normal person about my teeth. I have had root canals and then was able to go right back to work. Then one day something bad happened which I will not tell you about, because you don't want to know. Really. You don't.

After that I was COMPLETELY freaked out by the dentist. One time I made Marvin Gardens go with me, when I needed a crown put on. He sat in the lobby for quite a while, and right when he formed the thought, "Gee, it's been awhile. She must be doing okay," he saw a person run through the lobby with a bib flying out behind her. I had JUMPED UP from the dentist's chair and had run out into the parking lot. Marvin had to talk me back in, and he had to sit on the end of my chair while they finished the crown.

But that was before I found Dr. Bieber. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that he is the best dentist EVER. He puts up with me, (a), and (b), he has never, ever hurt me once. And he has warm cookies there.

This does not mean that I am not still horrified every time I go in. One time he was working on me and his assistant said, "Doctor, your mother is calling from New York" and he said, "Tell her I'm working on June." Oh, but I am a pleasure to have as a dental patient.

When you do need to get something awful done: a filling, a crown, impressions (I HATE impressions. Oh God, all that guck in your mouth, it suffocates me and I TOTALLY PANIC. Have I mentioned what I pleasure I must be as a dental patient?), they give you these goggles that you put on and you can watch a MOVIE. I watched Titanic there, and also What Women Want with the then-charming Mel Gibson.

There is also this little wand? That they put in your mouth? And you can look on the TV in the room and SEE YOUR OWN TEETH UP THERE! My TEETH are on TV! Only in Hollywood. Or Toluca Lake, in Dr. Bieber's case.

At any rate, for weeks now my tooth has been hurting. It felt like someone pulled up my gum and exposed the nerve. It hurt like the dickens (what does that phrase mean?) and I kept hope hope hoping it'd go away. But it did not, so I made an appointment. I laid awake for TWO HOURS last night, from like 1 to 3, dreading this dental visit.

But you know it was fine? I just needed some sensitivity gel and if that doesn't work there is just this little procedure...

So $49.80. Fine. No horrid procedure. Yet. Fine.

In conclusion, I beg you, BEG BEG BEG you not to email me with dental horror stories. Trust me, my mind has dental horror stories up in there already. And yes, I saw Marathon Man.

Monday, April 16, 2007

June Cutoff from Sanity

During a series of unfortunate events this weekend which culminated in me crying -- rather hysterically -- in front of:

* My friend's husband
* My boss
* and my boss's boss

I have decided that it is best that I do not rely on others to entertain me during these spend-free weekends. Therefore, I do think that I am going to PAY MONEY and take some dance classes at Heartbeat House.

Now, I started to blog about this yesterday and Marvin Gardens said the details were unnecessary drama that the reader would not care about. But I think some people might want to hear this gloomy story. So I will mark off for you, dear reader, the beginning and the end of the sad story and you can skip over it to the part where I'm PROBABLY gonna spend money.

Okay, here it is.

I am a little sensitive lately due to some traumatic events that happened to me in the past year or so.

First off, one day in December 2005, I went to the nursing home to visit my grandmother (I was her only grandchild) and without anyone calling or warning me, I walked into the room and she was dying. They said they knew I was coming that day, so...

So... WHAT? Geez! What if I hadn't come or what if she'd have died before I got there?

So I had to sit there. Alone. With my dying grandmother. For hours. There were two women decorating her door for Christmas, two feet away from where I sat in the dark, holding my grandmother's hand. They gossiped about other nurses in the place, totally ignoring the grandmother and granddaughter spending what would be their last moments together.

It just felt like a time when my family and I should have been around her bed, telling funny stories about Grammy's life. Instead it was just me and the gossiping women, who would have bugged the PEE out of her had she been conscious. She would have said something like "Tell those two bitches to get the hell out of my room." Something sweet and grandmotherly like that.

The next day I went back to gather my grandmother's things. Her door had finally gotten decorated. By myself, I went through her possessions, deciding what to keep and what to throw out. I went to the front desk and tried to get a little back story on my grandmother's last day, but I was met with indifference and annoyance. What's another dead old lady?

I went home and quietly threw out her suitcase, her slippers, her glasses. Did I mention I was alone?

So if that weren't depressing enough, this past Christmas? Me? Spent it alone. Marvin Gardens had to work and the person I had plans with cancelled. On Christmas day. So I opened presents by myself. Made myself dinner. My friend Kista had asked me to go feed the homeless with her, but I didn't. I really should have. It would have been good to do something for someone else and stop thinking about HOW UNBELIEVABLY DEPRESSING the day was.

Presently, I have been a little sad, because Marvin Gardens works two weekends a month and I haven't had any way to distract myself. So I made it a point to make concrete plans this Friday and Saturday.

Then both people cancelled.

I do not know why, but suddenly it felt like I AM ALONE ALL THE DING-DANG TIME. Maybe it's cause I am not spending money, maybe I am just having a bad weekend, or maybe it was just the final straw.

So, I was going to be a grownup and not do anything about this, like call one of the friends who cancelled, until I had a clear head.

Guess what? Today was not the day I was thinking clearly and calmly. And guess what else? I called her anyway. I had been driving to work, cause yes, I had to work on a Sunday, and "More Than This" by Roxy Music was playing on the radio. More than this. You know there's nothing. More than this. Oh, I was pathetic. Nine in the morning, going 70 down the 405, singing and just a-sobbing along. My whole life would never be more than driving. alone. in the rain. There was nothing more than this.

So what a fine time to grab the cell phone and decide to yell at my friend. I got her machine, and folks, I was in a jag, a crying jag, at this point. Oh, I sobbed and said I was sick of being alone, but if that is what I'd have to be that is what I would be. I'd be like Lloyd Dobbler in Say Anything, when he says from now on he is a lone wolf. That's me all right. From now on, a lone wolf.

Then my friend's phone gets picked up. "June?" It was my friend's husband. Now, seriously, you have to hand it to this guy. WHAT HUSBAND would pick up the phone to talk to their wife's hysterical lone wolf friend? But he did. He talked to me all the way to work. By this time, I had worked myself up into such a lather that I was unable to stop crying when I walked into work for all to see. I had to sit at my desk and sob and hiccup and snort and oh, I looked pretty. And again, climbing that corporate ladder? Yeah. Let's give a big raise to lone wolf, over there.


So, weekends of not spending/distracting myself are getting depressing, and it is no one else's responsibility to amuse me but me. That's why I may take classes at Heartbeat House. I love me the dancing, I doubt the dance instructors will stand me up and it is good exercise, which is good for the endorphins, of which I clearly have none at the moment.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Miracle Mile or Buckingham Palace or Bust

This is probably the last you'll hear of me for a while, because I am flying to London. As I was logging on this morning, I saw that Prince William broke up with Kate Middleton. Now is my chance. I do not see any reason why William wouldn't be attracted to a married, 41-and-a-half-year-old, slightly chubby American woman.

That Kate Middleton was pretty, but she was always parading around in bikinis on yachts, and she never had much of a waist. Why is it that bodies that are supposed to be cute today (Cameron Diaz) are completely lacking in a waist? Rectangular is the new hourglass.

So if I don't fly to London, I might, just might, have found us an apartment. Oh, you guys. It is so pretty.

Every day for the last six months, I have gone on craigslist and typed in "Miracle Mile" in the search bar for apartments. Miracle Mile is a part of LA that is pretty much in the middle. There are museums, La Brea Tar Pits (who doesn't need to live near THAT?), this big famous Farmer's Market/Grove shopping center, and all sorts of little shops and restaurants that I won't be able to spend at all year.

Once I was in that neighborhood at a little diner and sat next to Ashton, Demi and those three kids of hers, whatever their names are. Rumer, Tumor and Bloomer or whatever.

ANYWAY, here is a picture of the living room.
It was built in the 1930s, I think, and it has all the original details, which is very very very very important to me. I do not need those modern amenities. In fact, get them away from me. As soon as I read "granite countertops" in an apartment description, I am like, "NEXT." Fortunately, Marvin Gardens feels the same way.

It has windows that open in, original doors and doorknobs, the tile in the kitchen is the original yellow, and it has little red paintings of kitchen things here and there on the tile (coffee pots, sugar bowls, etc.).

Every single room has a walk-in closet. One of the bedrooms has TWO closets.

The only thing it does not have is a washer and dryer in the unit. It is in the BUILDING, but not the unit. So we'd have to sell our washer and dryer.

Well, anyway, I told the landlord in no uncertain terms how badly I wanted this place. Naturally, so do 11 thousand other people. And he is not so keen on the three cats thing. Anyone want a cat? Caaaaats! Three for a dollar!

But now that I've had a night to think about it, I am like, do I really want to give up the money we've saved so far? Cause you know we have to pay a bunch to move in. And I will be giving up my yard that I am never in cause I am gone 10 hours a day. And this neighborhood is SO QUIET. Now I will be in the middle of the city.

So, I guess I will leave it to the fates. He can say okay, I pick you, and maybe that's a sign we should go. Otherwise, he'll pick some catless person who has no love of animals and ugliness in her soul.

The LA Times just called. It is NINE A.M. ON A SATURDAY. I picked up and before they said anything, I said, "You are really calling me at this hour on a weekend? NO THANKS!" and slammed down the phone. How could Prince William not be drawn to that?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

June Spouts Off

Marvin Gardens is in the living room watching a documentary about a plane crash. As much as I would like to join him in that cheerful pursuit, I thought I'd go in here and blog.

This is the first night all week that I am not going to be out somewhere or other. It is good to be home with no plans. It is good to be home watching burning fuselage.

So, I took a gander at stie's blog, and when SHE was nominated for a Thinking Blogger award, she went on to nominate other bloggers who make her think.

I am pretty new to the blog world, so I do not have five people to nominate yet. But I do have one person.

(I feel like the Hollywood Foreign Press.)

My nominee for the Thinking Blogger awards is dcrmom at musings of a housewife. We are so similar, yet so very different. I am in great admiration of her, and she has made me look at life differently.

Dcrmom is a devout Christian, and I do not know a lot of people who are deeply religious. Most of the people around me are pretty liberal, and we all go around saying we should "embrace diversity," yet it seems that by this, some people mean "embrace those who think a lot like we do."

So many people say they are open-minded, but when you say the word "Christian," they shut right down and get snarky. Well, guess what? You are now doing the VERY THING you accuse Christians of doing! You are judging, and you are assuming everyone in an organized religion is the same.

Well, dcrmom isn't. She is more than willing to hear different points of view. She does not seem to think that everyone should believe exactly what she believes. She is just a good person, with values and priorities I admire, and most of all she DOESN'T JUDGE.

So, that's all I have to say about that. Hats off to dcrmom and her musings. And her cute shoes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"Baby Tender Love Pits" no More

I have the best possible news: I have run out of the deodorant that smells like a new doll. FINALLY. I just got back from CVS, where I bought me some Secret Platinum Vanilla-Chai-scented deodorant. It cost $4.69. Well worth it.

Have to go. More later...

Monday, April 9, 2007


Remember a few weeks ago when I went to the eye doctor? Are you keeping track of every move I make? Have you got my photo as your computer wallpaper? Why not?

Okay, so if you're not completely obsessed with me, I'll remind you that a few weeks ago I went to the eye doctor. And I'd once again like to thank my parents for the fine genes. Did I get my mother's large, sexy lips? No. My father's athletic abilities? No. My great-grandmother's cleaning and organizing gene? No sir.

The BLIND AS AN EYELESS SHRIMP IN A MINE gene?! Why, yes. Yes, I did.

So, I am going to come out now and tell you what I do for a living. I am a proofreader. Which means I read every letter of every word with excruciating slowness, searching for inaccuracies.

If you are now thinking, "Oh a proofreader. How fun. I love to read," please let me take this opportunity to fill your nasal cavities with a fast-hardening cement. You do not love to PROOFread. You love to read a nice novel. You like to catch up on that Miss Marple, see what shenanigans she is up to now. So do I. That, however, is not PROOFREADING. Unless you read like this: "Y (capital Y? Yes.)ou caaann copyyy saaaved (saved past tense? Yeah. Okay.) dataaaa (data? Are they using data as a plural? Are they using data as a plural in the rest of this thing? Okay.) (Wait. Didn't it say 10 pages ago that you CAN'T copy saved data? Hang on.)..."

That is what I do all day. That is what I have done all day for the last 10 years. And on my lunch hour? I read. After work? I like to do me some reading.

You can imagine the fine effect this has had on my eyes.

So I went to the eye doctor because although I have not been able to see far away since I was in 9th grade, I am now noticing that I cannot see beans close up. Why I need to see beans is beyond me. But what I DO need to see is 6-point type, and I need to know that something says "cancelled" instead of "canceled" in that 6-point type. I mean, cancelled versus canceled is a big deal in my world.

Well, it turns out that I need bifocals. Bifocals. Homo erectus called. He wonders why I'm so fucking old. Bifocals.

So, here is the problem. I would have to turn in my normal, young person glasses and get bifocal lenses put in. But I would ALSO have to buy reading glasses, as I also wear contacts. There are times I have to wear contacts, like at yoga and softball and when I am trying to not look hideous. My eye doctor does not recommend that I get bifocal contacts, and in fact does not recommend I wear contacts at work at all. Bifocal contacts. Who even knew there was such a thing? Do they have teeny tiny lines on the bottoms where the bifocals go?

The OTHER option was to get LASIK surgery. I would still probably need reading glasses, but they would be a mild prescription, and then most of the time I could go around without eleventy pairs of glasses (beleaguered office mate is SO happy that his use of the fine word "eleventy" has rubbed off on me).

So, I had been leaning toward the LASIK, but it costs $4,000 and you know we are not spending, obviously, as this is the whole POINT of this blog. Believe it or not.

But this story has a happy ending. I was relaying all of this to my friend at work, who happens to work in HR. She said, "Why don't you use our flex spending benefit, and save up for the surgery?" Turns out we have this benefit at work where if you need to save for some medical thing, you can have them take pre-tax money out of your paycheck and they save it up for you. Who knew? Well, technically, I should have known, since I JUST PROOFREAD THE ENTIRE EMPLOYEE MANUAL NOT TWO MONTHS AGO.

I never said I was a GOOD proofreader.

Finally, I am excited to tell you that faithful reader
stie has nominated me for a Thinking Blogger award! I still don't actually know what all it means. I'll have to THINK about it! Bahahahahah! My thanks to stie for this nomination. Anyway, stie has a lovely pink blog, which as many of you know is what matters to me. Everything should be pink, in my opinion. Except maybe my eye. See that? How I tied the whole theme together? No wonder you're obsessed with me.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood. Hooray for it.

I was driving down Hollywood Blvd. this afternoon, and I saw a sign on an antique store. It read, "Antiques. Modern and vintage."

Okay, again, now WHAT now? Unlike Marvin Gardens, I do not carry a camera in my car so I cannot prove this to you. If you really want to see it, it is near Hollywood and Highland, south of Hollywood. Is anyone impressed that I know south? I am.

I was driving down Hollywood Blvd. because for the eleventy millionth time, I was apartment hunting. At least apartment hunting is free. I had a big talk with Marvin G. today, about the fact that we are trying to find a place that is near work (his work, too) and that is also NOT COMPLETELY DEPRESSING. So we are probably going to have to spend more on rent than we planned. We looked at our "budget" (we don't actually have one, but we guessed) and decided on a new high number for this apartment search. I drove past a 1940s duplex that has a breakfast nook and a washer/dryer in the unit. We are looking at it tomorrow, but I am unsure of the neighborhood.

We think we are going to the sunrise service at the Hollywood Bowl tomorrow (am I getting PAID for the number of times I say "Hollywood" in this particular blog entry?), as Marv G. does not seem too keen on going to the First AME church with me. The Hollywood (ka-CHING!) Bowl is very close to us, and they release birds of peace at the end. Is this their fancy way of saying pigeons?

I am afraid that we spent $10 today to go to the Bat Cade, which is this place in our neighborhood where you stand there helplessly while this machine WHIPS balls at you and you are supposed to hit them with a bat. Once again, the bottom of my hand hurt terribly and it is again bruised and swollen. Which will make those cartwheels I plan to do nearly impossible. (I liked it better last time, when I said it'd make high five-ing people really hard. But what are ya gonna do.)

The most depressing part of said Bat Cade trip was that next to us were several little girls, I am talking 8 or 9 years old, who could bat WAY, WAY better than I could. They had their dads there cheering them on. I had Marvin saying, "Why can't you hit it? Are you even looking at it? Can you see the ball?"

I do not understand naturally athletic people. Perhaps if I had gone to a Bat Cade at 9, I would be "naturally" athletic as well. At 9 you had to pay me to put my book down and go outside. There was no Bat Cade going on for yours truly, over here.

Happy Easter, to those of you who celebrate it. Look out for bird of peace droppings.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Ten THOUSAND bucks

So, I get paid tomorrow, and I know that I will be able to put AT LEAST enough in savings to get us officially up to $10,000. (Who feels like Jerry Lewis during the telethon? "SHOW ME TEN THOUSAND! OH YEAH!" What the world needs now, is love sweet love...)

We have saved $10,000 in 95 days.

I know, I know, what on earth were we spending our money on before this venture? Was I purchasing gold bouillon without knowing it? I doubt it, cause I am not much of a soup person.

In other news, Marvin Gardens took a photo of this sign today.
Please look at the word after "CLOSED." Now, what now? What were they even TRYING to say? And WHOOOO was in charge of writing said sign? Who PROOFREAD said sign?

Impermedipaly. It is my new favorite word.

Also, I have been giving some thought to my funeral. Oh, get the stick out of your craw. We're all going to die, you know. Why do we all have to act like it'll never happen? And my theory is, it's the last time you all have to attend a party in which I will be an attendee. I already had my wedding. So this is the last big event I get. Why leave it up to my loved ones, who will be FLOORED with GRIEF to lose a fine specimen of a gal such as myself, to plan?

I just asked Marvin Gardens if what I'm typing about is going to freak people out, and he said, "How am I throwing you a funeral if we can't spend any money?" He has decided to make me a casket out of FedEx boxes if I should die this year.

AS I WAS SAYING, I already know I want pink flowers. Pink pink pink. Pale pink. And some really tasteless Hello Kitty sort of thing going on. Like, maybe a giant Hello Kitty-shaped floral arrangement? I don't know. I haven't formulated that part.

But I have a friend who attended a funeral in which the deceased, before he died, insisted that at the end of the service, all the chairs were to be pushed away and everybody had to get up and dance. Well, I like this idea. I am just saying, when I die, you don't HAVE to dance, but there will be a dance portion of the evening. You can watch others dance if you want, and not to make you feel guilty or anything, but I did love to dance more than anything in the world, so...

But my big dilemma is what song am I going to make everyone dance to? Today on my 72-hour commute to work, I heard Age of Consent by New Order. Now that is a good song. Here...

So do you guys want to dance to that song?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

An update from the woman who looks like the time-to-make-the-donuts-guy

I was Nair-ing my mustache this morning (you guys. Seriously. I used to be somewhat cute. I do not know when I turned into a bloated German man) when I noticed our bad cat Winston was about to sneak over and smack our good cat Ruby. So I rushed over and scooped up Winston, getting Nair all down his back. I am so worried that when I get home tonight (I am blogging during lunch) that he will look like one of those hairless Sphinx cats.

Marvin Gardens has been gone since Thursday. I did not announce it here in case anyone was just dying for an opportunity to murder me up. I am not actually one of those people who is afraid when their husband is out of town. I lived by myself for a long time so I am over it. I did, however, notice this morning when I left for work that I had not actually closed the front door all the way last night, so I basically slept with the door open all night. Oops.

This is the sort of news that will give Marvin G. 40 heart attacks.

Anyway, Marvin Gardens has been in Chicago with members of his family, celebrating Passover. Do not get your knickers in a twist: we had free tickets because last May we were on our way to Seattle and I got really sick and actually GOT OFF THE PLANE as it was taking off, so we had these credits. It turned out I needed surgery for the thing I was sick with, but I didn't know that at the time. Here's a tip: if you are so sick that you have to get off a plane as it's taxiing the runway, perhaps you should seek medical advice.

The whole POINT of my story, here, is that when he gets back we will converse and see if we have saved up more money. I actually had to break into my own savings this week. We had all sorts of expenses, like the eye doctor, I had to dry clean, our car registration fee was due, crap like that.

I can wear jeans and my sparkly Pea Soup Andersen's t-shirt every day to work if I want to, but sometimes I want to look nice cause, hey, I am at work, not the waiting area of Tuffy Muffler. So that means every three months or so I have a few things that I take to the dry cleaner. This is one of those times.

So, this gives you something to live for: in the next 24 hours, we will not only know the father of Anna Nicole's baby, we will also find out if we can out more cash in savings. Try not to hyperventilate.

Later Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Wow! Fifty bucks.
Okay, so Marvin Gardens got home and we added up his savings and mine and we have... fifty more dollars. So these past two weeks we did not do so well on the not spending.

I should shut up, tho, cause we have saved almost $10,000 and it's the third of April (which is my friend Paula's birthday, who is not also known as Sabrina Duncan or anything. Paula is 72 years young today).

Oh, and one more thing. This Sunday is Easter, and who in this town is WITH ME on going to the First AME Church? My pal M.B. and I went like two Easters ago, and it is THE MOST FUN YOU HAVE EVER HAD AT CHURCH. The music BURIES any boring white person music you have experienced.

Here is the link to their website. Go play their theme song and you will be dancing in the aisles. If you have aisles wherever you are. me know if you want to go. If you live in another town, fly in.