Friday, February 24, 2006

Zest

That would be my word for the day. I was told last night by a good friend that I have it. Probably sometime after I got off the stage dancing with the band that was playing. And I take it as a very serious compliment. Zest. Mainly because it has been on my mind a lot lately. A sense of adventure. Lust for life. Don’t you just want to scream and bounce up and down whenever that Iggy Pop song comes on? That crazy drumbeat intro? It reminds me that we are never fully in control. When you leave yourself open to wherever the day takes you, it will take you to some very interesting places, and mostly to some very interesting people. And that is such a good thing in getting the most out of life. I love my zest. Zest is where it’s at.

By the way, The Port in Studio City is a very fun and groovy place. Our bartendress had a heavy hand and a very sweet and attentive way about her, and the bouncer, this huge Native American dude named Black Bear, had the coolest tattoos all over his head. And the band, Dirty Pictures -- awesome. You can’t help but get up and shake your ass.

The Port
12430 Riverside Drive (at Whitsett)
Studio City, CA 91607

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Let's Talk About The Weather

Let’s just say I’m not one for small talk. I absolutely LOATHE small talk. If someone starts in with the small talk with me, my eyes totally glaze over and I start running a mental grocery list in my head of things I need to get on my next trip to Trader Joe’s. I friggin’ hate it. Tell me about your DAY. Tell me about your drama. Give me your dirt, your fears, your latest conquest, whatever. And I will happily divulge you mine. Small talk, ew.

But I must begin today’s post with the cliché, worst stereotype of small talk EVAR, which is: “So how about this weather we’ve been having?”

I’m not going to lie. I like it warm and springy and sunshiney. After living in L.A. my whole life, I realize I am quite spoiled. When people come here from other states and they complain that it’s oh-so-predictably boring and nice and sunny here all the time, I want to punch them in the throat. Say what? Exqueeze me??? Are your frigid freezing temperatures you’re accustomed to really something you would like to go back to? No? Then shut the hell up! Boring and sunny, my ass. Sunny rules. I'm so sure.

And we all know that lately it has been unseasonably warm and nice. Just this past weekend, I was delighting not only in being able to eat breakfast on the back patio, but mostly in the return of my little chubby bird friends that I feed, and watch them merrily kick dirt and dead leaves out of our patio awning and set up house. I love waking in the morning (well, I hate waking in the morning, but since I have to WAKE, this is what I love) -- to the sound of my little bird friends in the trees and bushes all around our backyard, singing my praises (they call me She Who Fills Our Bird Feeder With Heavy Hand) and just getting that sweet happy feeling like old friends have returned. Sitting on the patio, I could watch a whole tree-full of birds, twittering at one another about all things bird-centric, and I felt… happy. Every morning, there is a regular occurrence in this one tree that I like to call “Chirp O’Clock”. Sometime around 7:00, completely out of freakin’ NOWHERE, every bird in that tree chirps its head off like it’s going for a world record, like they are trying to totally out-chirp each other, like they’re going for the gold in the Chirp Olympics. I love it! Chirp O’Clock is becoming my favorite time of day!

And then. The e-mails start coming from Mountain High. We’re going to get new snow! Yay! Then the rumblings are heard around the office and at home: Our warm weather front is coming to an end and it’s going to get wintry-ugly. Oh. Ew. Even the birds know something is up. They are pensive, restless, agitated. I woke up this morning and it was fah-reeeeezing. And strangely quiet. I looked outside. The dialogue went something like this:

EXT. VALLEY GIRL’S BACKYARD -- MORNING

A harsh, wintry landscape. Grey skies, clouds gathering, a chilling wind blows through the air. Chubby little birds sit in a mushroom-shaped tree.

BIRD
(bitterly)
Cheep.

BIRD
Cheep?

BIRD
(turns up his beak)
Eh, cheep.

BIRD
(sighs)
Cheeeeeeep. Eh. Yeah. I got nothin'.

CUT TO:

Valley Girl looks out the window. Turns to Derek.

VALLEY GIRL
I speak Bird quite fluently. I think they’re saying they came back from Down South for this shit? Hell naw!

THE END

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Curves Effin' Rules!

I had my second real Curves workout last night. I was supposed to have my second workout this past Friday, but came in there after a stressful, psychotic work day with such a violent rotten headache, thinking that working out would help make it go away. No. The throbbing just became more intent on splitting my head in two, and after only my first circuit, the poor trainer there, viewing my pathetic watery-eyed head rubbing was like “Bitch, please. Please, you’re killing me. Please. Go home. Lie down.” She gave me some plain wrap pain reliever, and halfway home, the pain finally went away and I was able to enjoy a nice girl's night out.

But anyway! Since I was snowboarding all day Sunday which is its own gnarly workout, I gave Curves a rest until last night. And it was so awesome. How do I explain why it’s awesome? Now that I know what I’m doing, I jammed through the workout, kept my heart rate up, asked questions of the trainers only when I needed a little clarification on my form, and was otherwise just not bothered. I kinda got into this zone of realizing that I’m only going to be here a half-hour, so keep the form good, don’t get lazy, and let’s do this kind of mentality. I love me some Curves!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Cops: Mountain High

So let’s say you decide to schlep up to Mountain High with your buddy Craig to go snowboarding whilst the rest of the natural world judges Super Bowl commercials and eats chips and beer all day. You’re up on the mountain in the AM, it’s sunny, and the conditions, for having been no new local snow lately, are pretty darn good. You’re warming up, getting your groove back. It’s your first day out this season, so you don’t want to kill yourself, but you hit a bunch of tasty runs. You and Craig decide to take a break for lunch, and sit on the picnic benches by the outdoor BBQ pit and take large chunkfuls of your cheeseburgers between mumblings about this or that knucklehead on the hill, listen to Craig discuss proper jump form, chastise Craig for not putting sunscreen on his neck and tell him that his neck will end up looking like a cancer-ridden wrinkly argyle sock if he doesn’t take care of things. All is peaceful and right with the world. M’kay? When suddenly there is a loud and vicious scream, and not 5 feet from you and Craig, a woman, deranged and irate beyond all human logic, is screaming her head off like a victim of Tourette’s Syndrome. Two unfortunate security guards (yeah, who knew Mountain High had security guards? -- when we first arrived and saw someone outfitted with “security” boldly emblazoned on his shirt as we were parking the truck, Craig turned and remarked that he felt much more secure now. He had been feeling rather insecure, but now all was secure and so he felt better and I laughed and thought this was funny and this was kind of our little joke for awhile was all like “oooooh. Mountain High Security: now we are secure.” Little did we know what was to be….)

So where was I before the Parenthetical From Hell? Oh yeah -- two unfortunate security guards were attempting to wrestle this spaz-attack under control whilst she quite vehemently attempted to snap their shins in half with her vicious kicks, eye-poking-out flailing arms, and her trucker-esque language. All while some other poor (let’s call him unfortunate too) some poor unfortunate dude who I can only assume was her love interest is standing in front of her, pleading with her “Heather, PLEASE CALM DOWN. Heather, PLEASE. Heather, THEY WILL ARREST YOU” all of which pissed off Psycho Heather even more and sent her fury into a total tailspin. A third unfortunate security guard arrived and helped the other two security guards finally wrestle her freaky ass to the ground and somehow, by some defiance of the laws of physics, manage to get handcuffs on her. How they did this, I have no clue -- it was like watching someone try to diaper a lubed, epileptic pig. It was scary. Very scary.

It harshed our mellow for a minute, I have to be honest. But then we got back up on the mountain, and everything was okay. But I can’t help but wonder what has become of poor Heather. Where are you, Heather? And why were you so steamed, Heather? Geez. Inquiring minds wanna know.

Minibar

It’s not often a stay-at-home mom can book time for girls night out. But there was Debbie, super cute with a little flower in her hair, saying goodbye to the kids and the sitter on Friday. She took my smokey-eye-made-up, big-hair-havin’ butt out to this awesome place she knows called Minibar. I came in with an open mind, and was so pleasantly surprised and impressed with this place.

It’s like tapas, only not really Spanish tapas. Just several little tasty dishes and holy crap, the best mojitos EVAR. We had pomegranate flavored ones and ordered a few dishes. But the best part of the experience was our adorable server, Lola. This woman could not have been any more warm, hospitable and charming. I wanted to fold her up, put her in my purse and take her home with us. She was pretty like Sonia Braga, and told us that when she put in our drink order with the bartender, she barked at him "AND THROW SOME ALCOHOL IN THERE, BE-OTCH!" How can you not love that?

It’s considered to be on the border of Studio City and Hollywood. I will def be making the trip back there just to see Lola.

After dinner, we danced our asses off at Coda until it was time to go relieve the babysitter at 1:30. Aaaahhhh, I love Fridays. And I love me some girl's night. And I love Lola at the Minibar.

Minibar
3413 Cahuenga W. (at Barham)
Los Angeles, CA 90068
(323) 882-6965

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Goin' Curvin'

So I had my first Curves workout last night. I can tell already that this is going to be something I can stick with.

I was measured and weighed, and since they are kind souls, they offer you the option of not knowing what your stats are. I am a firm believer in the "Ignorance is Bliss" mentality, and so my numbers are still a mystery to me, but they will be able to re-weigh and measure and give me an idea of my progress down the line.

I was taken around and shown the proper way to use every piece of equipment in the circuit by Jody, my adorable trainer. [It should be noted that she is a state-certified trainer, and also certified in the Curves system of circuit training.] Jody, while very nice and lovely and pleasant, with a VERY enviable figure, is a total stickler for proper form, and I was constantly, endlessly reminded to breathe, relax my shoulders, pull in my gut. Mildly annoying, but you realize how quickly bad habits can creep up on a workout since you’re doing the bad habits every 2 seconds, and this will cause you to take two steps forward, one step back. The constant reminders are necessary. The chicks at Curves want you to take THREE steps forward, zero steps back. This is their hallmark, and they are bent on helping you achieve success. You periodically monitor your heart rate to be sure you are working hard, but not too hard. They want to keep you in the fat-burning, gut-busting zone.

It took longer than it usually would since I was learning everything, but once you get going, the workout takes a half hour and you’re outta there. This is what I like. I have never understood these gym rats that come to the gym, wait in line to get on equipment, dangle around and chit-chat with people, spend a monotonous hour on a treadmill staring at the TV while their muscles get used to the same motions over time and so it loses its effectiveness. Heyall naw! I have better things to be doing, and that is just not for me. Get me in, get me out. The only workout in which I will lolly-gag about is if I am hiking (I’m in nature and me and God are having our little talks) or rollerblading. And even then, I usually have to pee, so I have to cut it short anyway. But dangling around in the gym? Forget it.

I'll keep you abreast (chick pun intended) of my progress...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I Love This


In the spirit of the approaching Valentine's Day:

"Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world." -Lucille Ball