Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Observations from the Deck. Observations from the Line.

Thursday night ~ VH1 Save the Music benefit ~ Carnival Cruise Line 'Splendor' ~ John Mayer, Jordin Sparks, Gavin Rossdale, Sara Barellis, OAR and 2 other bands

Observations from the Deck:
~ when given the option, most girls go for fashion over comfort (me included)
~ 20something girls are really young ("I LOVE YOU JOHNNY! I LOVE YOU GAVIN!")
~ open bar and open cruise ship food is a good thing~ perhaps 'open bar' shouldn't be so open to some people (the 2 ladies in front of us and the whole row of girls behind us for example)
~ Gavin Rossdale really is hot!
~ goody bags are aptly named
~ cruise ships need better decorators
~ when there are several singers on a bill, limiting each to 2 songs is brilliant

Saturday night/Sunday morning ~ Prince ~ Club Nokia @ the Nokia Plaza downtown Los Angeles

Observations from the line:
~ when given the option, most girls go for fashion over comfort (me included)
~ the Religion of No Mirrors has a larger following than I suspected! I'd hate to think friends let friends go out of the house without commenting on outfits...
~ curiosity gets the best of people - if there's a line, everyone wants to know what the line is for
~ one raspberry beret
~ a lot of purple
~ there really is someone for everyone!
~ some people will do anything to not wait in line!
~ $40, if propositioned to the right guy, will get you a place in line
~ waiting 3 hours in line + starting the show an hour late is worth it if Chaka Khan shows up to sing 'Sweet Thing' with Prince on guitar


Friday, March 20, 2009

gimme an S







I woke up this morning feeling those things

Monday, March 16, 2009

Creative Writing homework 03.15.09

In my creative writing class, we're working on character development. The end result will be a short story. Our homework was to describe the bedroom of our character.

- Bedroom -

For the past two nights she slept in the doorway of a Wells Fargo Bank near LAX. Though she and Yolanda blocked the ATM atrium entrance, she didn't care. Much. She liked sleeping in a space like this - three walls of protection. Yolanda sleeps on the outside - her fourth wall of protection.

She pulled her knees close to her chest, stretching her sweatshirt over her knees and leaned her head against the beige colored stucco wall. She rubbed the bumps and closed her eyes.

"Mom, I don't like the bumpy stuff. Can't we get rid of it?"
"Honey, it's up to you."
She hugged her Mom tighter. Her parents were giving her the best 'Sweet 16' birthday gift ever ~ a bedroom makeover!

The result was better than she'd imagined! Standing at the door, the opposite wall is glossy grass green. The window to the backyard has white vertical blinds, white sheers and a green polka dot valance. The other three walls are flat Navajo White. The wall to the right of the door is covered with pictures: framed photos of family vacations, friends at school, at school events, at sleepovers. Postcards of places she's visited and places her friends visited. Posters of Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and High School Musical. Opposite the photo wall is the framed Michael Parkes print 'Gargoyles' that used to hang in her Mom's first apartment. She'd found it in the garage, had it re-matted and re-framed. Below the Parkes print is her desk and computer. Next to the picture, the walk-in closet door painted the same glossy grass green as the other wall. Her four-poster bed is on the wall opposite the green accent wall. The comforter, dark green on one side, light green on the other, was smoothed across the bed - light green side up. The sheets are white with tiny green and yellow flowers. Six throw pillows, in varying shades of green, are strategically arranged in a haphazard fashion with the darker colored pillows in the middle. Atop the dark green pillows sits a small stuffed doll - wheat colored hair wearing a green jumper and flowered shirt. Her cheeks were faintly pink and her lips a pretty red.

Tracks jerked awake. Some street noise, that's all. In the faint light, she reached for her backpack. Feeling around inside, she grabbed the corduroy. Putting the doll on her lap, she gently finger combed its hair. She lifted the jumper, pulled up the shirt and stared at the hand-stitched heart around the name. Her name.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

character meets me

In my writing class, we're working on character development. The end result will be a short story. Below is my character meets me:

Once a month, I volunteer at the Downtown Womens Center to teach sign language to its residents and visitors. Several women show up, a handful actually participate. Last month, after several months away, Yolanda showed up with a young girl in tow.

"Rissie! Where you been, girl? You still cookin' in the kitchen?" We hugged.
"Yep, still cooking on Thursdays." We'd met last year on a DWC cooking night. She threw her arm around the young girl.

"Tracks, this here's Rissie. She cooks sometime, she serve lunch sometime and she teach those sign things to the ladies."

"I'm Rissa. Nice to meet you. Tracks? Where'd that name come from?" She shrugged a little.

"Come from me. One - she from the other side of the tracks. Two - this girl can run! I seen her outrun Jackson and you know that nigger fast, girl!"

"Are you staying for the class?"

"Nah, not today. We came to sleep and shower, get clothes and eat. You make them two times potatoes?"

"Not this time," I said. "Pasta shells, green salad, garlic bread and jello."

"Mmm!" She playfully punched my shoulder and walked off to the day room. Tracks stood there, staring at me.

The seven ladies arranged their chairs in a circle, while Tracks sat on the sofa against the wall, directly in my line of sight. We reviewed the ABC's and numbers, each woman spelling her name and signing her favorite number. I introduced colors by asking some women their favorite color then showing her the sign.

"Tracks, what's your favorite color?"

She signed green.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

character meets a celebrity

In class, we're working on character development. The end result will be a short story. Below, my character meets a celebrity:

She sat outside the Mission, in line with Yolanda. It was her turn to stay awake. The soft sounds of Yolanda's snoring comforted her. She knew any sudden movement would jolt Yolanda awake, prepared to defend. "Girl, it ain't safe out here for us," she had warned. "We gotta take turns sleepin' and watchin'."

As the sun rose, people in line stirred and started, anxious to get a hot meal. The man with the roll of cash walked up and down the line handing out money. Yolanda got a 20. She got a 5. She folded the bill in half, turned toward the wall and carefully slid the money into one of her manila envelopes.

Eyes cast down, she shuffled along the line. She could hear chatter all around. But she was overcome by the smells. The delicious smells of Thanksgiving wafting out the door, swirling around her nostrils, causing memories to crash in her brain. A tear escaped. "Aw, Tracks. Baby girl, don't cry," soothed Yolanda. "You okay, girl. You okay baby girl."

She took the tray handed her by the volunteer, smiled and mumbled "thank you." The went outside, found shade against the building, away from the others. She watched the mayor and the governor visit families sitting at the picnic tables, followed by cameras and women with microphones. A girl walked out - apron, jeans, Converse high tops, hair pulled back and tucked under a beanie. She kept her eyes down and walked toward the dumpster.

"Happy Thanksgiving" she said in a soft Southern drawl. "How y'all doin?" Her smile tightened a bit, realizing what she'd said. "How's your dinner?" she said brightly.
"It's delicious!" chirped Yolanda, just as bright. "We appreciate it so very much!"
"I'm Miley. Miley Cyrus." She extended her hand.
"I'm Yolanda. This here's Tracks." Miley and Yolanda talked a bit, then Miley walked away.
"She was nice."
"Hmph. She's just here for publicity."

She looked at the girl talking on the phone. Their eyes met then each looked away.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


In my writing class, we're working on character development. The end result will be a short story. Below is the introduction to my character:

Before...her hair was the color of wheat on a sunny day. It moved down her back like wind through a wheat field, all wavy and wild. She brushed her hair one hundred strokes each night before bed to keep it "soft and shiny" (she'd read that in an issue of Seventeen magazine). She liked trying new hairstyles ~ pony tail, two pony tails, a single braid down her back, two braids, french braid, sophisticated up-do, hair ribbons, hair bands, barrettes. But she always wore her hair down, cascading down.

After...her hair is the color of cardboard. It's the same color as the inside of a pizza box from Johnny Z's. This made her cry. She had found three crusts and one full slice in the bags one summer morning. She pushed her hair off her face, pulling out two clumps. The clumps fell into the pizza box. She gobbled down two crusts, not noticing how they tasted; just that they were. The third crust had some tomato sauce on it. Mmm. She looked at the full slice - Italian sausage, black olives, extra sauce and cheese. God bless 'em, whoever you are she thought. As she lifted the slice, she caught sight of the clumps of her hair. She fingered the clumps, rolled them between her fingers. The color of cardboard, the texture of straw. Dried straw. Tears welled as she recalled her hundred strokes ritual. Before...before...she dropped the pizza, the clumps and the tears. She now wears her hair off of her face, secured by a red bandanna which hides the thinning and the clumps.

Before...her skin was fair yet warmed by the sun. Couldn't be helped, really - she ran track, played tennis and was on the swim team - she was always outside. Her smile betrayed a dimple to the left as well as crooked bottom teeth. She was prone to pimples on her chin and forehead - the 'T-zone' is what the Seventeen magazine called it. She wore sunscreen instead of sunblock because she liked having the hint of a tan.

After...sunscreen hasn't touched her skin in years. Submerging herself in a vat of lotion could not help her cracked heels, dry skin or wind-chapped face. Her nose and chin are peppered with blackheads and occasionally pimples will appear. Her skin color can be described in one word - dirty. She is dirty most of the time; the color just enhances it.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Boot Camp!

Days I and II

Awake at 6. Out the door by 6:30. At the gym by 6:45. Oh, what a beautiful morning :::insert Howard Keel version:::

8 people in boot camp, 8 different levels.

We did squats. We did squats across the basketball court. We did squats on the plastic step thingy. Followed by more squats. We jogged across the basketball court. Bicep curls. Tricep dips. Lunges. Rows. Chest presses. Crunches. Planks. Push ups. On the step. Over the step. On the ground. I don't think Alisha is trying to kill us but she certainly dances right up to the line without going over.

Day One and I was one with the epsom salts that night.

When I told my friends I'd signed up for boot camp, they all said "Good for you!" No one told me I'd get my butt kicked! Sheesh.

I had a difficult time getting out of bed this morning as it was cold, dreary and misty. Once I got moving, it was okay.

Our group shrunk to 5 today; good thing as we worked inside, upstairs in the corner of the gym.

Alisha made us WORK! It was a lot, back to back to back with maybe 10 seconds to rest or grab water in between. While on the elliptical thingy, chest pains slowed me down. I pushed through because, well...it's boot camp and you're supposed to. Then floor work and back to the elliptical. Whoa! I had to stop. The pain became tense and heavy, so I sat down. Alisha told me to take deep breaths and just sit. As I did, I noticed the relaxation of my chest, shoulders and neck. Huh. Joining the workout again made me realize I tense those areas in order to lessen the work on the rest of my body. Ha! No bueno. So, I made the adjustments and finished the rest of the workout.

As we were alternating between crunches and push ups, I heard General Public's 'Tenderness' coming from the spin class below. Made me smile as I realized the next 3 weeks of boot camp will end with an English Beat concert (Canyon Club this week, Brixton & the Coach House next week, Las Vegas the week after that). Dave Wakeling as a reward for a workout week well done? Hell yeah I'll take it! :)

Oh, we have to keep a food journal. Pfftt.