Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.30 - The End

I made it! Woo hoooo!

I made it through National Blog Posting Month - and I posted every day! Yay me.

What have I learned?
  • there are some awesome bloggers out there
  • there are some awesome blogs to be read out there
  • there are a lot of 'mommy bloggers'
  • there are really truly good people in this world - and I know some of 'em
  • I need to get into a writing groove, a regular routine of 15-20 min a day of free writing
  • my blog is so random!
Well, that was fun :) Thanks BlogHer and NaBloPoMo!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.29 - Is Your Toilet Running?

It was a lovely Sunday afternoon. The windows were open, the music was loud and I sat at my desk, happily typing away.

tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap...tap tap tap tap snap thud flush whoosh

Can't be me - I'm sitting here.
No one else came in...geez! Did Jerry upstairs fall asleep in the bathtub again and crash through the bathroom ceiling?

Nope. It's just the toilet, running. Finally! I can put my plumbing skills to work. Oh, wait.

I remove the lid and stare inside the tank for an indeterminate amount of time. How does this thing even work? And, why is it not working now? Turns out, the right side of the tank thingy inside the big tank broke. No water was rushing out or gushing up, so that was a good sign. I couldn't turn the water off from below, slippery hands and all. I lifted up that arm thing and stopped the water. Whew! I just needed to find some sort of stop-gap thing because I certainly wasn't going to stand in the bathroom in my Mayer Hawthorne t-shirt and boy shorts holding that toilet tank arm thingy so water wouldn't run. Within reach were two things - a wooden incense burner and my Anthropologie 'mandle' (manly-scented candle) in a can. Bingo! Grabbed that can sans lid, stuck it under that toilet tank arm thingy. Sweet relief.

Now, this whole time, I am fucking panicking. My heart is racing, thumping in my throat. Broken toilet means tell the apartment manager. Broken toilet means said apartment manager will have to tell fix-it guy. Broken toilet means fix-it guy will have to come into my apartment. Come into my apartment. Fuck. Talk about needing a stop-gap. I did what could be done. The rest would just be.

Luckily, I catch the apartment manager a) in and b) clothed. I tell my tale. "Oh, yeah. That's happened to me. It happened to another tenant last week." Great. "The work order will go in now, but we won't be able to do anything about it until the morning." Uh...what if I, y'know, gotta go? "Do you have a bucket? You can fill the tank with water, tilt the inner tank and it flushes! Or, you can use one of the vacant apartments upstairs." Good grief!

I didn't have anything to eat or drink after 5:45 p.m. Sunday night. Of course, with every move of my body, I felt the urge, the need to pee. I closed the bathroom door. Out of sight, out of mind.

Monday morning, my apartment manager called with news of my newly installed toilet. Huzzah! Can't wait to get home.

Ugh. The toilet is small. And, low. Great, just great. It's LOW! You know how I feel about that.

Good-bye broken toilet.

Hello, water-saving-back-breaking-knees-will-be-aching new toilet.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.27 - Twitter

I love me some Twitter!

Twitter is active 24/7. It's perfect for those nights I'm waiting for Sleep to arrive. I can scroll through messages from news organizations, movie stars, musicians and random people from around the world. How cool is that?!

I joined Twitter a couple of years ago because, well, everyone was doing it. Twitter was the new 'thing' and I just had to be there. Of course, I had no idea WTH I was doing. Realizing that this was no place for the mundane Facebook status updates, I asked a lot of questions. People were cool, helping me learn the lingo and rules. Finding people to follow was easy - I followed people because I liked a tweet (message) or the person lived nearby or because other people were following (read: lemming) or they're people I know in real life (IRL). Recently, I looked at my following list and thought "Why am I following this person?"

As much as I love Twitter, I am utterly bothered by RT requests. RT is Twitter 'speak' for "retweet" (read: re-post). Suppose someone you follow posts a news story, funny comment or a piece of advice you really like. By retweeting, you then share that post with all of the people who follow you. That is all fine and dandy. What bugs the crap outta me are the people who request a RT - "Hey ! Can I get a RT ?" Why does this bother me so much?

One person I follow has had quite an impact on me. His name is @BlackCanseco. I've followed hiim for quite some time and I've learned quite a bit. His posts tend to deal with race issues. And, that was part of the draw to follow him as I struggle with race and identity. I started to get into a whole thing...but I deleted it...perhaps this will be a future blog post...moving on...

Again, I've lost my train of thought - ACK!

Let's see...ok...I love Twitter :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.25 - Favorite quote

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." ~ Thoreau

Thursday, November 24, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.24 - Thanksgiving Toast

Thanksgiving Toast...

for those who hurt me I thank you for the lessons you taught me about friendship, loss and love. I thank you for the lessons I've yet to learn, in particular the ones about strength, forgiveness and the lessons that move me forward.

for those who I have hurt I'm sorry for intentional and unintentional hurts. I know my actions came from a weak hope is strength and love have taken root in that space.

for those who helped me I thank you for love and support and guidance. Thank you to my mentoring communities. An abundance of thanks to my friends for listening, hearing, knowing, accepting and helping me through Life's rough patches.

for those who I have helped I thank you for the opportunity to participate in your life. I'm happy to have helped - knowingly or not.

Who haven't I thanked enough in my life? My parents, without a doubt. My siblings. Myself.

Many thanks to those of you who choose to or happened to read this blog. I appreciate you taking time to do so. Also, thank you if you've felt compelled to comment.

I wish you & yours a wonderful day filled with love and joy and blessings and good food!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.23 - Joy

"Don't postpone joy until you have learned all of your lessons.
Joy is your lesson."
Alan Cohen

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.22 - Crush

One of the NaBloPoMo prompts said to make a list of everyone you've had a crush on (!) then choose one and describe him in great detail. I made a mental list, because an actual writing-it-down list would take a lot of time.

I recall elementary school crushes on Eric Pyle and Tony Caruso. Eric was a tall, lanky blonde kid who broke my heart in the 4th grade on Valentine's Day when he knocked Valentines for my class out of my hand and they scattered across the playground in the wind. Tony was the captain of my 3rd grade class kickball team. All of the girls at Mt. View had a crush on him. Later that year, the city did a re-zoning of schools in the district. Tony was one of the kids being sent to Adams Elementary School the next year. I was sad, for sure. But, I was also jealous because it was the only 2-story school in town. I wanted to go there for that reason alone! Tony and I ended up at the same junior high, graduated from the same high school and remain friends in our middle age. In fact, a few years ago, we randomly ran into each other while in Hawaii. We had drinks one night after his conference and played catch-up on our lives as well as our classmates.

Eight grade had me crushing on a redhead named Dean. Boy oh boy did I have it bad for that kid! I was awkward, introverted and almost 6 feet tall. The 2 of us reconnected a few years ago on Myspace (I know, right?!) but have since lost contact. Now, I know where my affinity for the gingers came from :)

High school had me crushing something fierce on John Lyons, one of the most popular guys ever to walk across a campus. He was a football star and handsome and popular and dated all the cute little cheerleaders. By this time, I was 6'2" - hardly cute and hardly little.

The summer after high school graduation, I discovered a show called Dancin' On Air. The teen dance show was taped in Philadelphia and broadcast on KDOC Channel 56, a small Southern California station. My friend Kathy and I watched the show while working on philosophy homework. One song played caught my ear - O'Chi Brown Whenever You Need Somebody. One guy in white pants and a red shirt caught my eye. I became a huge fan of the show - and its subsequent cable spin-off Dance Party USA. I watched and recorded shows and, like a silly fan girl with a huge crush, wrote letters to that guy, Eddie O'Neil. Eventually, Eddie and I would meet; and my crush turned into a like. After 26 years, Ed and I remain in each others lives as very good friends.

Today, I'm crushing on a ridiculously smart man. I'm talking smart! He's clever and witty and intelligent and completely charming. And, he's British. Good grief, am I a smitten kitten! We'll see where this thing goes...but, I gotta tell ya, having a crush at the age of 44 is so much better than it was when I was 18 or 16 or 13 or 8...I can actually SAY something to him and know, if the crush is unrequited, life will not end!

Please enjoy a few 'crush' videos :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.21 - Dreamin'

Ever since high school, I have tended to have recurring dreams. Back then, it was my wedding and everything was visible, vividly - flowers, decorations, people, clothes, all the details. Then, when my veil was lifted, the groom's face was blank. Weird.

In college, the dreams were more like visitations from a friend who was murdered a couple of years after high school. The last time Craig appeared to me, was the first time he spoke. It was creepy and comforting. I started keeping a journal after that.

My current recurring dream involves another faceless man. Each time, I am laying on a sofa, legs up on the arm of it. I'm wearing sweats (Weird because I don't wear sweats. At all.), reading a book, my head is in the lap of the faceless man and he's lovingly stroking my hair. It's not my home, yet it's comfortable and I'm comfortable in it. There's music and food and sunshine and some unease. Bizarre.

This morning, "Dreamin'" by Cliff Richard shuffled onto my iPod. These lyrics caught my attention:

I'm dreamin'
Dreamin' of me and you.
I'm dreamin'
Dreamin' will see me through.
Never letting chances pass me by
I'm gonna dream you right into my life.

Is that what I'm doing? Am I dreaming him right into my life? Hmm...I hope he's not wearing a green satin jumpsuit...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.20 - Mentoring Impact

I've been a mentor with Youth Mentoring Connection for nine years. The kids in this program have accomplished great things, big and bigger. It has been a tremendous blessing seeing these young people grow and thrive.

Throughout the years, a few kids have truly cut right into and set-up residence in my heart. I'm not speaking of my own mentees, but others who have busy mentors or kids in other programs. Hoolie calls me a sucker and I suppose she's right.

My second year in the program, I met a young boy at A Place Called Home. He was just hanging around while we had Family Night. He sat outside the room, watching us, looking sad and hopeful - if that's possible. I brought him a soda and talked for a bit. When he left, I had to find out, had to make sure he was in a mentoring program or he would be included in one. Otherwise, I was going to become his mentor.

Saturday, we had a Giving Thanks group mentoring session. A girl I haven't seen for several weeks appeared in the room. Cee is adorable and shy. My recollection of our encounters was clear - she did a minimal amount of talking. I tapped her on the shoulder, said Hi and how I was happy to see her.

In one of our mentors-only session, Cee's mentor expressed concern that she wasn't mentoring 'right' because Cee wasn't talking much. I told the mentor to keep doing what she's doing - calling, emailing, talking, showing up. All of those things make a difference and Cee notices. I shared the story of my 2nd mentee, who wanted nothing to do with me. She didn't talk to me, she talked about me in a stage whisper. She complained to other kids who assured her I was cool. The two of us didn't have a true conversation until January - and the program started in September! So, I assured this mentor that she will make a breakthrough, just keep doing it.

Our Giving Thanks session opened with an ice-breaker. Each person tore toilet paper from a roll then joined the circle. For each square of toilet tissue, you had to say something nice about the person to your right. I was to the right of Cee. Her mentor wasn't at the session. Some of the nice things were superficial - you have nice shoes, I like your shirt, those boots are cool. And some of the things were truly thoughtful - you're a good mentor, you teach me things, you're a good friend. These were really sweet to hear, especially from the young people. When it came to Cee's turn, she listed a combination of sweet and superficially things. Her last comment, though, really got me - I like how you always show up. ::cue the tears::

During lunch, I asked Cee how her mentor was doing. "I don't know. I haven't talked with her in long time." I left that alone but made a note to talk with the program coordinators. While we ate, we also worked on Thanksgiving-themed worksheets. The 7 of us - all girls - were, predictably, chatty and giggly. I noticed Cee didn't need any encouragement or prodding whatsoever. She was just as chatty as the rest of us. Cee talked about Justin Bieber and explained the Team Jacob/Team Edward rivalry to me; she told me about her family and shared a story of an elementary school teacher who wasn't very nice to her. "I would always say hi and smile and she wouldn't even say hi or smile back to me. That wasn't very nice." I assured Cee that she was the better person by continuing to say hi and smile. She could have been mean back to the teacher, but she decided to be nice. She beamed. My heart was just so full at that moment.

After the session, I shared Cee's comments about her mentor with Hoolie. It's not that hard to call or contact your mentee. It's part of the commitment to being a mentor! We get busy, for sure. But, 5 minutes...on a lunch break..."Hey, I'm on a break - hope you have a good week. Just wanted to say hello." Or something. Some effort. Knowing me, Hoolie said "You are such a sucker. And I love you for it." She assured me she would contact Cee's mentor and work things out. I accepted that. But told Hoolie she could give Cee my info if she wanted to.

I drove my mentee and her sister home. As we hugged good-bye, I thanked her for being a good friend by letting Cee join our group. She said *I* was the good friend for including her - "You didn't even ask if she wanted to be with us, you just did it."

My impact in mentoring has never been so evident to me as it was in those two hours on Saturday.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.19 - Brows

I've been slightly obsessed with my eyebrows since I was 15 years old. That was when the girl behind the Sav-On ice cream counter told me if I tweezed my brows, people would think I was 21. THAT'S all it would take?!

My mom tweezed her eyebrows in the family room by the light of a huge lamp. She'd have her stand-up mirror set on the arm of the recliner and pluck away during family TV time. Pluck pluck wipe. Pluck pluck wipe. Mom would stop, examine her brows, then resume until she had the desired result.

One day, while home alone, I snuck Mom's tweezers, settled into the recliner, set up her stand-up mirror and started plucking. YEOW! Tears sprang to my eyes. I couldn't possibly be doing this right! Mom didn't scream when she tweezed. I did it again. YEOW!! Tears spilled over. Forget it. I put everything back.

Since then, I've done everything to keep my brows tame - tweezing, waxing, Nair. I read Seventeen and Glamour and every other magazine that had eyebrow tips to shape and maintain. I even went so far as to ask a co-worker to give a tutorial on how she kept her brows looking so fantastic. I bought all the tools - slant-tip tweezers by TweezerMan, small scissors, brow wax, brow pencils, brow powders, brow gels - all to get and keep my brows looking good. The only thing I hadn't tried? Threading.

Last weekend, I happened upon a threading studio. An alternative to waxing, threading is an East Indian method of removing hair. The day's special was eyebrow shaping and threading for $11. Done.

It was a clean, bright and sleek salon. Anita, the threader, was young and very soft-spoken. I asked her if threading hurt. I did not hear what she said, but she shook her head. OK. I leaned back and smiled as my mentee stood over me, enthralled. Anita is moving along, threading nicely. A pinch here, a pinch there. Nothing too bad; definitely less of a sting than waxing. I start to say "This isn't so..." but a YEOW! escapes instead. The salon owner comes rushing over "Are you okay? What's wrong?" I told her that pain was unexpected. "Oh, the longer the hair, the more it hurts." Well, I asked Anita if it hurt and she shook her head. "Oh, well, it doesn't hurt her." Good grief.

Anita did a great job. My brows looked fantastic when I walked out of the salon. And, they still look great - even my hair stylist noticed this morning when she was washing my hair! Now there's a compliment :)

Think I'll stick with the threading for my brows. Would love to find a place closer to me instead of trekking down to Long Beach. Any recommendations for threading places in the Valley?

Friday, November 18, 2011

“Why’d You Give That N***** Your Eraser?”: When Your 10-Year-Old Is Called Racial Slurs at School

This video of Losangelista's two young boys breaks my heart.
There is no 'post-racial' America.
It is NOT okay to treat another human this way!
It is NOT okay for you to allow your children to treat another human this way!
It is NOT harmless teasing.
It is NOT a "kids will be kids, boys will be boys" scenario.
It is the worst fucking word in the history of words. If you substitute the N with a J and add an A to the end, it doesn't change a damn thing. It is the most hurtful word.
Damn this shit breaks my heart.
Breaks. My. Heart.
People ~ this is not okay.

@Losangelista ~ thank you.

NaBloPoMo 11.18 - Rant: Carpool Lane

I fell into the middle of a conversation between two co-workers about riding in the carpool lane. She was raving about how great it is to speed along the 134 in the morning and at night - "Everyone else is stopped and I cruise right on by!" I asked if she carpools with her husband or with people from work. "No! It's me and the kids!" I shook my head. My other co-worker asked why I was shaking my head. I told him I think carpool lanes should be for 2 or more licensed drivers. "Carpool lanes are for two or more people! Me plus my kids. Yay!" I was a driving school instructor for four years, I'm well aware of the law. I just disagree with it.

The carpool lanes are designed to lessen traffic. If Soccer Mom zooms by with a van-full of kids, how does that help alleviate LA's gridlock? The kids are not licensed drivers. My co-worker says sometimes she sends the nanny to pick-up the kids, so that helps. Huh? How does that help - you just put another driver on the road. There was no real debate, just me stating my position and my co-working chanting "Well, the law says 2 or more...the law says 2 or more..." So, I fell out of the conversation just as quickly as I fell into it since my mindset wasn't too popular.

What are you thoughts about the carpool lane? Should pregnant women be allowed to use the carpool lane?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.17 - Remembering Riley

It was late in the day when I realized it had been two years since I'd lost my Riley. The following two weeks were so tough for me. Hell, it was tough for months. There were several days I couldn't bear to go up to my empty apartment so I slept down in the carport in my car. When Riley's ashes were delivered, I sat on the floor, stroking the velvet box, crying.

Slowly, I got used to him being gone. I knew his face wouldn't be in the window as I walked up the stairs, but I looked anyway. I stopped checking the cat food aisle for his favorite 'treatsies' or new toys. Tossing out his cat bed was so difficult; it was so final. Every once in a while, I expect him to jump on the bed and curl up in the crook of my knee. I miss that a lot. I miss him a lot.

Every single day I consider getting another cat. Every single day I tell myself "Not yet." My sister had found a little chihuahua up for adoption and called me immediately. She text me pics of the adorable little guy. I had to say no, it was too soon. Will I ever get another kitty? I don't know.

Now, I'm smiling...thinking of the fun and laughs and silliness. One day, Riley got his head stuck in a plastic grocery bag and couldn't get out of it. He looked like a superhero running around the apartment with this 'cape' trailing behind. My friend Z shared a great story - she had 'Kitty Camp' while I was on vacation. She said Riley and her 2 cats, Cheebs & Petey, had daily steeplechase races around her house ~ over chairs, around tables, under beds and sofas. They would stop, briefly, each looking at the other...then they'd be off again! Z said that was some of the most fun she had watching those characters. She had no idea where the energy came from nor how they could sustain it. Good times with good friends :)

Riley, little guy...Mama misses you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.16 - 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes

This is absolutely fabulous! I've already noted my favorites (the Bunny Ear, Double Rainbow, the Braid, the Magic Knot) and plan to try them out this fall/winter season.

BTW ~ I want that McQueen skull scarf!

Which ones strike your scarf fancy?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.15 - Mentoring 11/12

Saturday's 1-on-1 mentoring session was fun! Neither one of us can make a decision to save our lives, so we sat in my car for several minutes, giggling. With no lightbulbs going off, I asked her to show me where she goes to school. As we drove through the parking lot, she gave me the run-down of her day - where her classes are, how far those classrooms are from her locker, how having Zero Period PE is great because you put your gym clothes over your street clothes and you get to toss a ball against the wall ("That's what you do for PE?!" "Yeah! Sometimes I walk." Good grief!). She likes the school and is bummed she missed her first dance.

Waiting for the light to turn, I asked if there was a mall around or a Chuck E. Cheese or something. She tells me there's a place called Power Station that has games and videos and stuff. Sounds cool as she describes a game akin to the Claw thing but it uses a key and the prizes are iPods, iPhones and iPads! Sweet! Then, she says they have Skee Ball. Aww yeah! I am in! Skee Ball is my absolute favorite, I tell her. I'd spend all my quarters on it. She laughed - 'they don't use quarters'. Pfft! Whatever they use, all of 'em are being used on Skee Ball. Until I saw Dance Dance Revolution. Holla! I love me some DDR. I suck at it, but I still love it.

We spent some time playing Skee Ball, DDR, Deal or No Deal and a couple of games that give you tickets for spinning wheels. We collected over 1,200 points (11,000 shy of the Easy Bake Oven I really wanted. And, in her infinite wisdom, she asks me "Don't you have a real oven in your house?" Pfft. Not. The. Point.). I'm pretty sure we spent more time hemming and hawing over the prizes than we did playing the games to get the points. We got Friendship Bracelets, birthstone rings, pencils and more Tootsie Rolls than I've ever collected trick or treating. What a great time.

Then, we headed to the food court for lunch. Now, let me rewind to a couple of weeks ago...we're in a group session, playing Pictionary and eating pizza. She answers her sister's question with "No, I'm fat." My head whipped around so fast! I was stunned. She's thin as a rail and those words coming from her were so surprising. And, it made me sad. When I dropped her off at home, I told her we are going to talk about her statement. I really wasn't sure how to handle that. I'm not her mom. I'm her friend. Her friend that has her own body image struggles. The only thing I could do would be to start a conversation, a dialogue and hope my message gets across.

So, back to lunch at Panda Express in the food court. I asked if she remembered her comment and my reaction - "Yeah, you were MAD!" I told her the comment made me mad. I couldn't believe she thought she was fat. I was honest - the comment made me mad because she boiled everything she is down to one thing - being fat. I told her she is so much more than that! She's smart and a good friend and a good sister and she's helpful and friendly. I gave her examples of each trait I listed. I told her of my own issues with body image. She told me I was beautiful and nice and she liked that I showed up for mentoring. That was the sweetest moment ever. I stressed how the comment made me angry, not her. She said she understood; and I truly hope she does.

We'll have a group session on Saturday and I'll follow-up with her. I'm so glad we were able to talk about body image and what we think of ourselves. And each other.

Monday, November 14, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.14 - 3 Wishes

1 ~ I wish for discipline.
Setting aside time to write is not easy. And I don't even have kids! I need to be able to sit and write without feeling guilty. Once I do sit down to write, my thoughts scamper to all things undone - laundry, house clearing, dishes, whatever. You should really get that done first, then write. What if I don't feel like doing the dishes? I typically won't do 'em; but I won't write either. I'm weird. I know. And, geez, let's not even talk about Something Shiny Syndrome. Those little things that distract me ~ Twitter, G+, Words with Friends, BlogHer, etc. What if I'm missing something? What if John Taylor tweets he's broken down in the Valley and needs a lift? What if the 37th retweet wins an awesome meet n greet with Nikki Sixx or Kurt Sutter or Donna Brazile or Matthew Perry or even Matthew Lewis?! I could miss it!

2 ~ I wish to be open.
Open to love, specifically. I believe myself to be. Somehow, though, I'm wrong. And, that's distressing enough as it is.

3 ~ I wish to believe.
Believe in myself. I am confident, but I don't believe in myself much. I recently found myself in a group which included one of my most favorite people on the planet. This person is intuitive and forthright and brilliant and funny and an immense pleasure to be around. As talk turned to politics and such, I walked away from the discussion because I didn't think I was smart enough to understand the conversation. I denied myself the joy of people and lively debate because I did not believe myself to be able to contribute to a conversation. How sad for me.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.12 - 11/12

He was born in 1933 to Hugo and Sarah, the fourth of their 5 children. They lived at 1644 in Baltimore MD. He was a very smart kid, excelled in school; he loved music, especially jazz. He had this knack for playing piano without formal training - he'd hear a song, then play it. He looked up to his older brother and stuck close to his side. His close friends were a boisterous group who took care of him. He graduated high school at 16. He entered medical school. After a year, he left medical school. After he married, he attended Howard University School of Law. Once he graduated, he moved his wife and daughter to California. The young family bought a house in the city of Riverside for about $38,000. He raised 2 more kids in that house and has welcomed six grandchildren to the house. He is smart and funny and a loud-talker. That one year of medical school makes him a dangerous patient. He took me to my first musical theater show. He is stubborn and makes it tough to say 'no', but he welcomes a healthy debate. He plays tennis every single day. He loves trains, white zinfandel and UCLA. He is my Dad and today is his birthday :)

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Also celebrating a birthday today is my cousin, Donna and my niece, Meen

Friday, November 11, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.11 - The One Where I Have Nothing To Say

I am...

I've been writing this post all day. And by writing, I mean type-type-type-delete. I just can't seem to delve into one. I'm not really allowing myself to do so, let's be honest.

Today's post is done.

#dontjudge (ha - that's quite telling) #howmanymoredaysofthis

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.10 - Girl Panic!


Duran Duran shot a video for their song Girl Panic! in June at the Savoy Hotel in London. There's been so much talk on Twitter ~ every fan thinking she's so clever using the title to describe how they're feeling about the debut of the video.

The video premiered last night to a select few at the Harper's Bazaar event. And, this morning, it was made available to the fans!

Without further ado, please enjoy the musical stylings of the 5 Supers and Duran Duran!

note: the 4 Durans look absolutely gorgeous. I mean stunning. Be still my heart.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.9 - RIP Heavy D

just learned that Heavy D died today (11/8)...this scares the shit out of me.

He was 44.
I am 44.

He was overweight.
I am overweight.

This is fucking scary. And it's one of my greatest fears - to die in my sleep, unexpectedly. This is why I'm an insomniac. I don't want to go to sleep. When I was taken to the ER last year with chest pains, I set my alarm to go off every 45 minutes to ensure I'd get up...I know it doesn't work like that. It helped me at the time. But I know it's just not how it works.

Heavy D had lost a lot of weight. I don't know how he did it; just know that he did slim down a lot. According to news reports of his death, he had apparently/allegedly gained back 'some' weight. Did he have a stroke? Did he have high blood pressure? Did he lose weight too fast? Did he regain too much weight? Could his heart not take it? My mind is spinning and imagining all sorts of ridiculousness. This is fucking scary! If this isn't motivation to get my fat ass off the sidelines and join the game, then I am already dead.

I'm a fucking mess.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.8 - Writing...

I’ve written seven consecutive days! I’m pretty impressed with myself. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had the guts to write. Although a lot of this isn’t deep or moving or inspirational, it’s writing. And, I am doing the writing. I like getting back into the groove.

For three years, I had been involved in an all-girls writing class. It was creative and uplifting and freeing. I was able to share so many things with these women; and developed close relationships with a few. The experience was so wonderful! My creative muse was released. My writing took strange and satisfying turns with each class, with each 8-week session. I was growing and finding my writing strengths. At some point, I felt comfortable enough to try writing for an audience outside of my class and Facebook friends. I started entering contests. I did fairly well, pleased that stories I made up were being read and critiqued by others.

I didn’t expect the critiques to be quite so harsh. As I read and re-read, I understood most feedback was really personal preferences – you should have used ‘cerulean’ instead of ‘turquoise’ or this would have been better told in first-person narrative. Not much of the criticism offered was helpful. I still entered contests and submitted my stories for review.

A few months ago, I entered another contest. This time, peer review AND judge review critiques were brutal. Brutal. Thisclose to saying I should never put pen to paper ever. I was devastated! Tears sprang to my eyes as I read the short sentences from the judges. So, I put my pen and paper away.

Last month, I found an interesting class offered by the Writing Pad. It’s a class that appeals to me and my writing style. It’s a five-week course, small group and I’m scared to death to write! First, it’s going to be a personal, revealing piece. (I guess it’s like writing a blog…but I don’t see your face when you read it…and if you have something not nice to say, it’s typically not commented…so, there’s some separation, some distance). Second,

:::2 hours later:::

Crap! I got distracted and lost my train of thought. Sigh

Monday, November 07, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.7 - Do You Hear What I Hear?

Inspired by Kelly's post "Misunderstood" over at Southern Fried Children, today's post celebrates misheard lyrics!

Kelly's daughter misheard the chorus of the Joni Mitchell/Counting Crows song "Big Yellow Taxi" - fucking lot...parking lot. I get it.

I heard honest I see you instead of 'our lips are sealed.' My friend, Karen, thought Van Halen sang pray to god instead of 'Panama' - seriously. My sister firmly believed Janet Jackson exclaimed Lady Accolade! in the middle of 'Escapade'. She wouldn't accept that Miss Jackson said Minneapolis! - "Ew, no. Why would she say that?!" Uh...maybe because she recorded the album IN Minneapolis.

Do you know the song 'Summer Breeze' by Seals and Crofts? No, of course not. You're too young. Whatever. Anywhoo...

That song irritates the hell outta me! Because, this is what *I* hear:
Summer breeze makes me feel fine. Don't let me hear the jazz man in my mind.

However, this is what I'm told is correct:
Summer breeze makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.

Huh? Whaaa? Jasmine. Blowing through your mind. Psh. As if. When does THAT happen? Huh? When? Why would a summer breeze blow jasmine through your mind AND make you feel fine?Pfft. I reject that totally.

On the other hand (read: correct), summer la la...feeling la la...don't let that jazz man start playing - I don't wanna hear it! I just want to sit...feeling la la. Am I right? Are you with me?!

Share your misheard lyrics in the comments.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.6 - Ramble On

woke up feeling totally yucky...just took my last Coricidin cold capsule, bundled up and slid back into bed. I decided to ramble for today's NaBlahBlah so there's a post for today.

Dinner w/the fam last night. Wow, we are a big, loud group. I'd want to kick us out! November Birthdays - it's a tradition. Amazing how huge our family is - my sister, her husband and kids and, now, my nephew's fiancee and baby-on-the-way; my brother, his wife and their kids...four of 'em under the age of 7. Our waitress was a trooper, though. She smiled and handled us - even the little ones liked her (well, she did bring them pizza, chicken nuggets and french fries, so what's not to like?).

I have homework to do.

I have 5 Words with Friends games to get to.

I'm currently down by 25+ points in my Fantasy Football game with 3 players left to play. Really hope I don't regret benching Jay Cutler. And, how the heck can my defense only produce 7 points?! They start out with 20, for goodness sake! 7 points. Pfft.

Pay Matt Forte!

I've got a crush. I feel giddy. And silly. 44 with a crush. Pfft.

I'm going to be 45?! Oh, I feel sick.

Did you see Maroon 5 on SNL?! "Take me by the tongue and I'll know you" - mmkay. "I got the moooooooooooves like Jagger" - mmm hmmm.

OK. I need to sleep now.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.4 - In a Girl Panic!

**I would like to wish my dear friend, Aly, a very happy and most excellent birthday!**


If Fraulein Maria were to ask me to list my favorite things, at the top would certainly be “a British man in a suit, singing.” Bryan Ferry, Squeeze, Tony Hadley & Spandau Ballet ~ mm hmm. One of my all-time favorites, of course, is Duran Duran.

I’ve loved DD since they hit America. At that time, I only knew their music. LA’s KROQ had Duran songs on heavy rotation. KROQ’s Rodney on the Roq talked about them; and beloved DJ, Richard Blade, talked to them. I wanted to know everything about Duran Duran!

My family was late to the cable TV craze. I had pen-pals write me, describing videos in great detail because I couldn’t see them for myself. When we finally got cable, MTV and I became one. There would be a blank VCR tape ready to capture Duran videos once I hit RECORD. I would stay up late on non-school nights, just watching videos or the video tape over and over again.

My love for Duran Duran never waned. It’s been 30 years. And, I must admit, the band has whipped me (and other Durannies) into a frenzy! We’re all ready for the new Girl Panic! video!

A track from their recent release All You Need Is Now, the guys in the band have given us few details about the glam video starring the original supermodels – Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzigova, Helena Christensen and Yasmin LeBon. Via Twitter, John Taylor shared some vague snapshots but gave no details. On Thursday, @duranduran shared ten (so far) video snippets, giving us a peek at the video. OMG! Durannies are about to burst at the seams! It’s like the guys opening with Before The Rain on their North America tour – it’s slow and sexy and takes you right there…then they hit the opening notes of Planet Earth to send you over the edge. What IS known? The girls play the guys in the band!

You can only see the videos via the links on the Duran Duran Twitter page (@duranduran). The video looks glam and sexy and very Duran Duran!

Monday, November 7 is the day the video will be world-premiered at a Harper’s Bazaar event. After that, I expect it to be all over You Tube and Twitter. Hope you get to see it!

Were you – or are you – a Duran Duran fan?

Friday, November 04, 2011


Vague messages started to appear in my Twitter timeline. More messages trickled in later this evening ~ friends tweeted of being speechless and sad, angry and wanting to punch things, how bothersome things now seemed trite. It wasn't tough to figure out my Twitter friends had lost one of their friends.

Then I got a Twitter DM from K:

Lisa passed away either last night or this morning :(

The friend my friends lost had been one of mine. I had recently reconnected with Lisa, a fact she mentioned to K the night before, saying she was pleased I'd been wondering how she was. That warms my heart.

Speechless. Sad. Angry. Want to punch things. Bothersome things now seem trite. All of these are true.

Lisa was truly one of the good guys. She will be deeply missed. Loving thoughts of comfort and understanding to her family and friends.

Lisa was training for a race. The fundraising page will remain open. You don't have to donate; but it would be really cool if you'd visit the page and read of her struggles and victories.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.3 ~ My Last Meal Menu

For today's post, I decided to use one of the NaBloPoMo writing prompts:

If you knew that whatever you ate next would be your last meal,
what would you want it to be?

For this post, I am giving myself all day to eat my last meal. Actually, I'm rather intrigued by the 'why would this be my last meal?' What dastardly deed did I do? Well, that's another prompt for another day...

Breakfast: a short stack of Tis the Season (pumpkin) pancakes from the Griddle Cafe in West Hollywood CA. My most favorite breakfast ever - pumpkin filling, melted butter, a dusting of powdered sugar. The Griddle pancakes are the size of a Frisbee. Serious. Most people attack the stack from the outer edge, working their way to the middle. No no no. Read this to get it right. OMG. I kinda want this right now.

Snack: malasadas from Leonard's in Honolulu and a cup of coffee.

Lunch: a selection of formaggi e salumi from Cube Marketplace on La Brea. Cube is one of my most favorite places to chill with friends, sip wine, eat good eats. Mole' salami has to be one of the meat selections. Actually, I'd be okay if it was the only selection. Cheese...mmm, cheese...brillat savarin, humboldt fog, a hunk of tasty parm would have to be included. And, the accoutrement! Almonds & assorted nuts, prosecco jelly, dried fruits, warm crusty bread, apricot jam, but no olives. I don't like olives.

Snack: 2 of my mom's awesome Dunkin' Platter cookies that have been popped in the microwave for 20 seconds and a glass of milk with ice.

Dinner: OK, I'm about to go CRAZY! Let's pretend I have a hollow leg or I won't get full or sick...Braised short ribs on a bed of polenta, spinach or collard greens, my mom's awesome potato salad (is it Thanksgiving yet?!), my mom's corn casserole, mac n cheese with toasted bread crumbs on top and King's Hawaiian dinner rolls. I would also have my favorite sushi rolls from Midori Sushi in Studio City ~ Ginger roll, Bonzai roll, Fire roll and Spicy Crab Nugget. Dessert would be my mom's awesome chocolate dessert and my grandma's made-from-scratch lemon meringue pie sans meringue.

Dang. That's a lot of food. ::shoulder shrug:: Go big or go home! :)

What would be your last meal menu?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.2 - 13 Years in Number 3

Last night, I ran into my building manager and a prospective tenant. The guy had seen the three vacant apartments – all of which had been upgraded and are gorgeous. Building manager was doing the big push when I walked by.

"Darling girl, come meet Tom! He likes number 16."

We exchange the usual pleasantries ~ Hi…Hi…nice to meet you…you, too…should I move-in? Uh, yes, move into this building please – you’re adorable. I told him what I liked about the building, living there, etc. Then he asked how long I’ve lived in the complex. Er…uh…carry the one…13 years, I answer. Whoa, he said, with furrowed brow.

Yeah, I’ve been in my apartment for 13 years.

It was the summer of 1998. I had just returned from vacation to find my roommate had bought a place and I had to be out in a month. At the time, I was a Sign Language Interpreter out in Santa Clarita making about $28K. I needed to find a decent, cheap place ASAP. I drove around the area, writing down numbers. I collected newspapers, those rental books at grocery stores and Penny Savers. I found this in the Penny Saver - Lrg studio in NH, quiet bldg. $485/mo. Call Allan. It was more than my current rent, but I figured with some penny-pinching, the amount was doable.

I stared at the building from my parked car. Charming, pretty blue color…let’s take a look. As we walked to number 3, Allan gave me the history of the building and its tenants. The person who had lived there for the shortest amount of time had been there for eight years. Allan had been there for twenty. The longevity of the tenants appealed to me. The previous tenant of number 3 had moved to a one-bedroom upstairs. When Allan opened the door, I was in love. Who knew a spacious single apartment could come with a full-size kitchen, not a hot plate, and a full-size bathroom with a shower and tub?! What truly sold me was the dressing room with its built-in dresser, full-size closets and tons of storage space. TONS OF STORAGE SPACE IN A STUDIO APARTMENT? Unheard of. Let alone full-size kitchen, bathroom and closet.

Back in the manager’s office, I filled out the application. Allan looked it over. “Oh, you work in the schools? I’ll knock $25 off your rent.” Done. For $460/month, I got my own apartment.

It’s 13 years later and I’m in the same place, paying a little over $600/month in rent. Every single day I think about moving. I dream about a one- or two-bedroom place or a little house with space and such. But, seriously. My rent is $600. If I moved, rent would easily double or even triple. I'd rather spend my money on living! I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the extra-curricular activities I love – concerts, dining out, get-aways, vacations. And those are things I am just not ready to give up. Yet.

Until then, I’ll sit here in number 3 and wait for new neighbors.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

NaBloPoMo 11.1 - sans Facebook

It's been one month since my break-up with Facebook.

I was sick of all the privacy changes - something new everyday that I had to seek out and update/change/block/whatever. I did not like that my privacy was also dependent upon how someone else's settings. There are people I didn't 'friend' on FB for a reason. However, with one little comment from a friend with lax privacy settings, my pictures and comments and such were available to anyone! Uh, no thanks. I logged off for the last time and deleted my account (which, really isn't deleting; it's 'deactivating' and after two weeks of NO INTERACTION your account is deleted. Pfft.).

The first day, I didn't miss it too much. It was a Saturday. I didn't do much Facebooking on weekends anyway, so no biggie. Sunday morning had me half-heartedly rethinking the situation. It was football Sunday. It was trash-talk Sunday with my Fantasy Football boys. I was missing Dan's gleeful posts about his Bears and everyone's bashing of J's crappy fantasy team. Somehow, I resisted logging back in.

Monday morning came. I grabbed my iPhone, ready with the perfect lyric to start the week. Wait. Where's the Facebook link? Did I move it? No, I deleted it. Facebook was gone, remember? Oh, yeah. Instead, I posted to Google+.

My usual morning routine went something like this: check work email, check personal email, check FB comments posted within the 20-30 minutes it took me to get to work, check Cafe World, CityVille and, finally, play some Bejeweled Blitz.

I was totally okay with all of that cut from my routine. Except, Bejeweled Blitz. How was I to get through my day without a game or ten of pure distraction? Had I been too hasty in my Facebook break-up? *sigh* I would just have to get over it.

Fast-forward 6 1/2 hours. All is fine in my Facebookless world. Well, not all. "I deleted my Facebook account 6.5 hours ago. I miss Bejeweled Blitz. A lot." My woe-is-me post on G+. My friend, Jeff - God bless him! - comments: You know they have Bejeweled Blitz for G+, right? Uh...NO I DID NOT KNOW! I clicked around and voila! there it was! My beloved Bejeweled Blitz. ::insert Hallelujah Chorus:: I was so happy to see the shiny jewels. I was so happy to line 'em up. I was so happy to watch those shiny jewels explode and disintegrate.

Fast-forward one month. All is fine in my Facebookless world. For the most part. I think about going back if only to get in touch with a few friends I have no other means to communicate or talk. That's the frustrating part for me. I loved reconnecting with long-lost school friends, sorority sisters, my college roommate; I loved staying in touch with new friends and colleagues.

I've received a couple of texts - FB isn't the same without you. Very sweet to hear. Then, I'll get a tweet or text - you're not missing a damn thing.

Yeah, all is fine in my Facebookless world.