Wednesday, December 19, 2007
The Man's latest nugget: "SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST DICKS."
-- (Said in response to my outburst "Why does he have to be such a dick?" referring to Greg Kinnear's character in the movie Little Miss Sunshine, when he is lecturing little Olive about how ice cream will make her fat, and making her think she is a loser. Some people ARE just dicks, people. It's good to know.)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Yes it's true, folks. After much speculation on the part of those who would wager a guess (which was a very long list that included family, friends, and even the guy at the water store), when it seemed every last one of them (except for Karin and Heddie) had concluded emphatically that I was having a girl, I really had no feeling about it one way or the other. Until the night a few days before the ultrasound when I had a very vivid, detailed dream about breastfeeding our little boy. I clearly remember what his face looked like, that he was very busy, and that my dad was in the dream as well. I told Derek the next day about the dream and that now I wasn't so sure. Everybody else seemed so convinced I was having a girl -- could I really be having a Penis Person?
The day of the big ultrasound came and we were on pins and needles. The anticipation and not knowing was getting to be maddening. When the ultrasound guy pointed out on the screen where there was a definite penis, I was still dubious. "Are you SURE?" I asked. It is still beyond me how those guys can decipher anything on those images. "Oh yes," he assured me. "I have checked it from three angles now, and your boy is not shy. He is putting it out there."
So my boy is an exhibitionist. Like his mama. Let it all hang out, son. I will support you in this.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wow, hard to imagine you and I have been together for 18 weeks now. You are getting big! I have really popped out in the last couple of weeks or so and there is no denying it now – there is definitely an obvious bun in the oven. I get sweet and sympathetic looks from strangers out in public now, as well as outright questions about when I am due and whether I am having a boy or a girl. You are quite the attention-getter! A lot of what I have been told about pregnancy has actually happened, while a lot of it, alas, has not. Here are my observations about incubating your little butt thus far:
1) I have not, as many formerly pregnant women have complained about, had a complete stranger come up and touch my belly. Only friends and family have attempted to touch such an intimate area, and have all asked permission before doing so, which I always oblige. I LOVE the feeling of the belly rub from loved ones, especially when your father does it. The way he does it is almost as though he is already caressing you or soothing you to sleep. And I have a feeling you can sense this, and this makes me happy. Should a complete stranger actually come up to me and touch me there, I think I would seriously bitch-slap the person. Who does this? No one has attempted it thus far. Perhaps I have a “Don’t eff with my bump” look on my face when out in the public sector. But we still have five months to go. Any range of inappropriate behavior by strangers is likely, I suppose.
2) I have not, as I have been extensively warned, had any radical mood swings or periods of intense hatred of your father. Sure, there have been days when I have been irritable enough (usually from lack of sleep) that even Gandhi himself spoon-feeding me caramel sauce with a chocolate spoon whilst watching Sex and the City episodes in a zero-gravity chair would do something to piss me off. And yet, I still can’t find a reason to be annoyed with your father. It’s like he took a “Help For the Husband of a Pregnant Person” sensitivity course behind my back and has nimbly side-stepped every pregnancy landmine there is. Some days a girl just feels like complete and utter shite, and no amount of lip gloss and Ben & Jerry’s will assuage the situation. Your father, in his infinite wisdom, will look upon my sorry, tired heap on the couch and say “My little Pregnant Princess, would you like me to make you some mac and cheese?” This is the utterance of a smart man. But for me, nothing during pregnancy has compared even remotely to the average symptoms of PMS. Of which I am blessedly free for ten months!
3) I wish I could tell you that I have had some exotic and interesting food cravings or aversions while you have been in utero other than my daily consumption of Trader Joe’s kosher dill pickles. I eat and enjoy pretty much all the same stuff I did before you came along. Of course there was a brief Lucky Charms phase a few weeks ago, the knowledge of which caused your Aunties Jen and Jillie to erupt into fits of laughter. Lucky Charms? WTF? But I don’t think that was so much a craving as it was a desire for comfort when I had that bad cold. Sugar cereal was forbidden when I was growing up, and since I can’t drown my poor sore throat in a hot toddy or even take a hot bath, the next best thing for me was being “bad” and having my favorite sugar cereal. Three times a day.
4) It is true that you receive a lot of unsolicited advice while pregnant, 90% of which is total bullcrap. I have had to repeatedly whip out the glazed-over nod and smile routine I perfected in the office when this or that gossip-monger would corner me in the hall with some such trivial nonsense of which I couldn’t have cared less. I had never imagined it would come in handy at this time in my life, but it sure does. Perhaps one day in the schoolyard, you too will perfect this look with a classmate who only wants to talk about how eating crayons changes the color of his poop while you are trying to get caught up on your MENSA newsletter.
5) I really do have “that pregnancy glow” that everyone talks about. But I think it’s really just a combination of two things: A) A detoxed system from not drinking or being around lawyers, and B) The fact that I mix my daily moisturizer with Sally Hansen Skin Brightener, which has a tiny hint of shimmer and is seriously the pregnant person’s BFF.
6) Dogs really can tell when you are pregnant. Even before our first ultrasound when we heard the heartbeat, The Big Brown Dog was suddenly extremely interested in you, sniffing my belly like he was trying to hoover up my belly button ring and whining at it anxiously. I realized he could hear not only my heartbeat, but yours, which is nearly twice as fast as mine. He probably thinks I am harboring a speed freak. Whenever he does this belly-sniff and whine routine now, I ask him in a hushful tone, “Rufus, do you hear the baby?” to which he pricks up his ears and cocks his head from side to side, brow extremely furrowed and extra-wrinkly in a look of heavy concern. Of course he also makes this face when I ask, “Would you like a tasty delicious biscuit?” So I’m not sure if this reaction is a good thing. But he sure is excited to meet you. Of course The Pug, being completely deaf now, and too diva-like in nature to give much of a crap about anything except where her next chicken leg is coming from, knows nothing of your existence and probably wouldn’t care if she did.
7) Probably one of the most profound things someone told me is that, as a pregnant person, you are never alone for the duration of your pregnancy. I think now that I am starting to temper the constant paranoia of scrutinizing every single little thing I am eating/drinking/smelling/wearing/exercising/touching with a little more calm rationale, that realization that I am never alone while I am carrying you has finally set in. I am being prepared mentally to be hyper-vigilant in caring for every aspect of your little butt, and even when you are living outside of my body, I will never really be alone. I’m sure I will always be thinking about you, worrying about you, admiring you, loving you. You may be a big mystery for now, but I feel connected to you already, like we are speaking some secret language to each other that doesn’t need words or even sight. My Little One. Take all the time you need in there. But Rufus isn’t the only one who is anxious to meet you.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
No swinging on the pole, y’all. I miss Shaft. Terribly. Shaft has been carefully unscrewed from the ceiling hook on which he usually resides and is currently collecting dust in the garage. It’s so sad.
I spent so many fun-filled nights with Shaft and some loud angry stripper music as my only entertainment, and it was good. Shaft could keep me entertained for HOURS with nary a break. I would navigate that pole with seven-inch clear heels on like it ain’t no thang, all the while getting a good workout (and some bruises here and there but that’s why God invented knee pads) and feeling like I had my own private adult-version of monkey bars in my house. I owe a lot to Shaft. Shaft made me feel like a million bucks. Shaft sneakily developed my core strength under the guise of fun, something VERY difficult to pull off. Shaft was the life of my bachelorette party and unselfishly shared his gifts with many of my friends that night and on subsequent nights. And Shaft probably helped conceive my child. Talk about a fertility specialist!
And now Shaft leans against a wall of the garage, surrounded by hordes of macho tools and discarded lumber who are likely threatened by Shaft’s impressive size and luster, and more than a little jealous that, unlike themselves, Shaft had, until now, enjoyed a comfortable place in our living room for many months. Let’s have a listen:
Hammer: Oh, well will you look at the ladies’ man all sad and pathetic now that he’s not living the cushy life. Hey fellas, what say we give Mr. Shiny there a garage welcome, eh?
Cordless Drill: Being that shiny obviously means he’s overcompensating for something. What could that thing possibly be good for? Can he hang a picture? Can he assemble something from Ikea?
Screwdrivers: Hey Pretty Boy, you miss having your mommy rub you down with alcohol every day? Wah wah! Sissy!
(Shaft leans and takes it all in, then quietly turns to one of the nearby lavender dryer sheets.)
Shaft: Psst, hey, Beautiful. Your luscious scent is absolutely intoxicating, you little dryer minx, you. Why don’t you come over here and slide ever so slowly down my shiny self and wrap yourself around my girth. You will feel so sexy and alive, I promise you.
Lavender Dryer Sheet: Tee-hee! I don’t know. I might hurt myself.
Shaft: My Pretty. I will catch you if you fall. I just want to be close to you, my little divine herbaceous satchel of love. Please come to me.
Hammer: Hey uh lady, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. It ain’t safe. You don’t know where he’s been.
Screwdrivers: Yeah, he’s a poser, don’t listen to him. You’re more safe with us Tools.
Lavender Dryer Sheet (to the Tools): What the hell do you guys know? You’re a bunch of f@cking tools!
Lavender Dryer Sheet pops out of her box and onto Shaft, sliding and twirling down his welcoming shaft. (Okay, yeah, that sounds really dirty, but come on, it just flowed so well.) She lets out a huge happy sigh at the end of her twirl, gives the finger to the Tools, and curls up to sleep at Shaft’s feet.
The Tools, shamed into silence, sulk back off to the toolbox to plot Shaft’s demise. Obviously this threat to their masculinity will never do.
Shaft leans with a little grin on his face, a nice lavender dryer sheet now keeping his feet warm.
Friday, October 19, 2007
“The roses bloom so beautifully because they are not trying to become lotuses. Andthe lotuses bloom so beautifully because they have not heard the legends about other flowers. Everything in nature goes so beautifully in accord, because nobody is trying to compete with anybody, nobody is trying to become anybody else. Everything is the way it is. Just see the point! Just be yourself and remember you cannot be anything else, whatsoever you do. All effort is futile. You have to be just yourself……”
--Osho, Indian Mystic
Thursday, October 18, 2007
While there are those who may assert that viewage of such freaky-deakiness while preggers may warp my developing child’s little sensibilities, I decided to take a walk on the wild side and go ahead and take in the freakiness in person. I was not disappointed.
Aside from a voluminous collection of paintings, there were also film clips playing of the artist’s various collaborations with filmmakers of his day -- in particular, an animated film that the artist worked on with Walt Disney. I got teared up watching the thing, it was just so very magnificent and so sad that it was never before released to the public. It was like watching a Dalí painting come to life for fifteen minutes. Afterward, we sat outside and talked about what we had seen. I don’t know about you guys, but after I see something like that, I tend to look at the world a little differently, at people a little differently. Those beautiful paintings existed in that man’s mind before they became reality, that regular guy with the crazy handlebar moustache and crazy eyes. And look what he contributed to the world.
Well, I recommend you see the exhibit fast before it is gone. It will only be there until January 6. So get your freaky on.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Friday, October 12, 2007
Isn’t it cute? I think it looks like a little teddy bear. When this picture was taken, the little bugger flung its arms up in the air as if to say “Yo ma, how about more pickles up in this here wombizzle?” Oh yeah, can’t get enough of those kosher dills. The lame cliché turns out to be true in my case.
The ultrasound guy told me that the most dramatic period of growth has happened in the last few weeks. Which would explain why I have felt like such complete and utter shite. But I’m starting to feel better now – a little more energetic, a little more productive. Little Pat has been sucking the life right out of me. I’m looking forward to entering the second trimester, aka The Golden Trimester I’ve heard so much about. Then we can find out the sex and I can start referring to it in more human terms. Only a few more weeks!
Monday, October 01, 2007
Here is the post from my Past Self:
God, it is so hard for me not to tell you guys this. But you know how it is – you’re supposed to wait until you’re absolutely sure everything is fine until you spread the word. And since my Future Self has decided the time is right to let the cat out of the bag, here is the big news:
I am pregs.
In the family way.
Got a bun in the oven.
Living la vida preggo.
The object of Bumpwatch ’07.
Isn’t it great? The man and I think so. Excitement is all around us and it’s so hard to think about anything else. Here are my symptoms thus far:
1. Hungry. No, make that starving. All. The. Time.
2. Tired. No, make that exhausted. All. The. Time.
3. Have to pee. All. The. Well, you get the idea.
It’s been hard not to post much lately, but the fact is, there is just not much to tell. When you are tired all the time, you pretty much have no life or goofy stories to share, so I have been uncharacteristically mum. But all that is about to change.
Okay, back to my present-day self now:
By way of details, I am now eight weeks along or two-thirds of the way through the first trimester. We have had the first ultrasound and seen the little bugger and heard the heartbeat. Wow. Up until that point, I was just “pregnant”. Sitting there hearing the heartbeat, it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks that there is a little person in there, doing its best to kick ass. It was pretty major. There was some leaking of the tear ducts.
We don’t get to know the sex until sometime in the second trimester I think, so in the meantime, we are referring to it as “Pat” a la vintage SNL, since we don’t know what the hell it is.
Today was a good day. I was still tired, sure, but not “feeling like I’m going to die” tired, and that is a definite step up. I do routinely thank the Pregnancy Gods that I have been blessedly free of morning sickness since I cannot imagine being barfy on top of the exhaustion. God, that would suck.
And being the only sober one at a festive occasion? Not so bad after all. I attended a family wedding with the hub over the weekend (with a four-hour open bar!) and felt blessedly free to be a goofy spaz on the dance floor because I didn’t have that paranoid “Oh my god, I’m Drunky Drunkerson, I’m going to do something inappropriate and be mortified with myself tomorrow” feeling the whole time. It was actually quite liberating. And there was the added “heh-heh” bonus of knowing that I would wake up the next morning feeling totally fine, whilst everyone else would be cursing the day alcohol was invented. So we got a late-night pizza that me and my spawn very much enjoyed, and I gave Pat a little rub on the belly and thanked it for keeping Mommy in line tonight.
And the next morning I woke up feeling like a million bucks. I think this pregnancy thing is going to be pretty awesome. I’ll keep you posted.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The man and I decided on a last-minute date night to go see the latest Bourne movie. We were starving and had to eat first, so on a whim, we popped into this cute little place on the boulevard and had us some Italian food.
Okay, let’s start with the ambience. This is like the great wine cellar room of some old fabulous Italian joint in Little Italy. The wines are lining the walls, and you can sit right next to the open kitchen and watch the action. The guy who took care of us was hands-down the smiliest person I have ever seen. It was like he was on cloud 9 just to bring us their delicious bread (baked on the premises, I saw them pull it out of the oven) and olive tapenade. As I have an ongoing love affair with all things olive-related, and all people who are super-smiley, this place was immediately earning huge points.
Then our food arrived – Salmon Farfalle and Quattro Formaggi pizza. So fresh, so flavorful, so Mama Mia, and huge portions. We ate leftovers for a couple of days after that. Locals started pouring in and seemed to know everyone who worked there, as they were greeted with warm smiles and handshakes. Sadly, we had a movie to catch and had to do the old “Eat and Run” maneuver, but Super Smiley Server Guy was not bitter in the least, and promptly produced our check and doggie bags, and gave us each a warm handshake on the way out.
Huge love for this place. Can’t wait to go back.
Oh, and the Bourne Ultimatum kicked major ass, too.
14533 Ventura Blvd. (at Van Nuys)
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Good thing: The way I earn money now is something I truly enjoy and receive never-ending satisfaction out of performing day after day. I feel like I have made people’s lives better, less painful, less tense, less harried, and this sense of accomplishment is something I have never felt before in a job.
Bad thing: People who don’t tip. It’s not like money was the centrally motivating factor of me making the switch to this job, but the people who re-book me week after week and never tip are starting to become really annoying. And for the record, a tip could be one little dollar, it could be a coupon for Subway, it could be a flower, or it could be $20. One darling soul tipped me a Lindt chocolate bar the other day. I love the crap out of that! It really doesn’t matter what or how much it is as long as it is something that shows an appreciation for the heart and soul I am pouring into every massage. It is a service business, and should be treated as such. Rising above the feeling of being insulted by these people is something I am struggling with.
Good thing: A lot more time to spend at home with the hounds and a lot less time around lawyers.
Bad thing: Sometimes I feel lonely. I can feel the storm and the pulse around me of those commuting and cubicling, and I am no longer part of it. Which is fine, I did my time and feel like I am over that lifestyle, but at times it does feel a bit like being . . . left out. I remedy this by calling up The Hub or the girlfriends and listening to them bitch and moan about office life. This gives me comfort.
Good thing: Every day is different. My schedule changes constantly and new people, clients and referrals are constantly entering my life in interesting ways. I love this. This keeps boredom away and helps me to flex my organizing and time management muscles.
Bad thing: Sometimes I will have an appointment at 9:00 a.m. and then the next one at 2:00 p.m. Since I am not going to dangle around the Northridge Starbucks for four hours (though I am sure there is nothing wrong with that for those who do so), I end up driving home and coming back later. This ends up being a lot of driving back and forth on some days, not only being kind of annoying, but giving me serious enviro-guilt. I remedy this by reminding myself that I am not commuting over the hill every damn day and that my car is very itty-bitty and doesn’t use much gas. This helps somewhat.
Good thing: The nature of my job now is very physical so there is no slouching behind a desk for hours on end. You should see my biceps these days! Because of that physical nature of my work, some days I come home absolutely exhausted. The reason I am not listing this as a bad thing is because it is a good kind of exhausted – like you just went for a long, kick-ass hike and you know your ass will sleep beautifully tonight.
Good thing: Some days (like today), I don’t have any appointments until 6:00, which means I have lots of time to work on my and Bunnie’s brilliant script. Which is what I’m going to do now. Ta ta!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
We gonna sip bacardi like it's ya birthday
And you know we don't give a f&*# cuz that's ya birthday!
Since I'm content to let this berfday slide under the radar this year (hence, my broadcasting it across the internet), I am keeping it melloooooooow this year. I'm heading off to Burke Williams to be scrubbed, stroked and caressed, and then having some good champagne with some bad movies.
It's good to be me.
Friday, August 17, 2007
As long as I can remember, it has been my worst nightmare: the image of the woman, in the house, in the house dress, barefoot, pregnant, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, cleaning, writing thank you notes, running boring-ass errands like getting water from the water store. Heyall naw, give me human interaction, give me Happy Hours, give me intellectual stimulation, give me LIFE. As long as I can remember, this has been my mantra.
But since the “career change” that is no longer the case. The “career change” has given me ample time to embrace my inner Martha since my massage appointments are sporadic and on some days, non-existent. The house maven duties naturally fall on me. And guess what? It’s not so bad. Turns out I am a pretty good and creative cook, and can organize a household and tend to furry children quite well and with enthusiasm.
I have to admit though, it gave me total glee to go out last night. The walls of the house were starting to close in on me and I needed to get the hell outta Dodge and put my hands on the steering wheel rather than on a person’s back. I put on some make-up and a cute outfit, shit, I even blow-dried my hair, people! I met up with Trish and Shannon for a screening in the Hollywood Cemetery of a new upcoming show called “Pushing Daisies”. Shannon’s friend is the creator of the show. People, O. M. G. It was so good. I can’t wait to see more episodes. It will be airing on ABC soon, so watch for it. I am not a TV show person, but I will make time for this one, it’s that unique and delicious.
Just like my casserole.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
There was a time when they used to be. To this day, I love making Valley Mom tell the story about how, during the ’71 San Fernando earthquake, she stumbled into my room in a panic to fetch me from my crib, and in her confusion and haste, grabbed her baby by the ankles and ran to the doorway to wait out the rest of the quake. I slept through the entire episode. It was a 6.6. And it was 6:01 in the dreaded A.M. – no wonder I couldn’t be bothered to wake up.
Later, growing up in the valley, there would be other quakes here and there, but they were fun. I was about eight or so and in the living room when a little one started rolling the house to and fro, and I distinctly remember it felt like ocean waves and so I started to ride them on the hardwood floors. How cool is that? Some stuff fell over, but it was never any big whoop.
Until 1994. The big Northridge quake. 6.7 Every valley person has their story about The Big One. Here is the short version of mine: It scared the shit out of me. It remains to this day, one of the single most frightening experiences of my 37 years on this earth.
There was nothing fun or rolling or nice about it. It was not a little “hello!” handshake from God. It was like God picked up the entire house and shook it angrily like He was losing in Vegas and here was the last of His cosmic pension on the table and all the hot angels had moved on to other tables and he was shaking those dice with the fury of a thousand angry Jesuses in the temple. Whoa! I guess I get Biblical when I’m upset. But seriously…
I have always had a kind of loving respect for nature. I get white-hot angry when someone litters, especially in a nature environment like a park or Lake Tahoe. To me, it is the equivalent of pissing on God’s front lawn or treading on Superman's cape or pulling on the mask of the Lone Ranger: You just don’t do it. I have always loved swimming in the ocean and been repeatedly swallowed whole by waves before and felt the power and known I could be taken out like that in an instant if nature so chose. But I have never felt nature so violently pissed off as I did that day, and I guess that is what was so scary. We were no longer friends. Mother Nature had become a hit man.
It took a long time for me to find my little dog Sophie that morning. She was a yappy dog with a lot of sass and believed she could kick anyone’s ass (I made a rhyme!). She slept upstairs next to the bed, but she wouldn’t come when I called her and I believed she must be dead since she worshipped me and always came when I called. After wading through the detritus and broken glass, I finally found her under the kitchen table, surrounded by her own pee and poo. She was shaking violently and quietly fixed her beady little black eyes on me with a look of utter fear, like I had caused the quake and she didn’t trust me now. Eventually I got her to come out and it strangely gave me comfort to comfort her. Every aftershock, she would look to me anxiously to see how to react, and I had to make myself be calm, make my heart rate go down, or she wouldn’t believe me that it really was okay. I kept holding her and comforting her through those long hours of darkness with no power, no street lights, when it seemed like the sun was never going to come up – what had happened was too terrible and maybe it would just call in sick today. The loneliness and fear in those hours is something that is part of me now. It’s in my blood. I still respect Mother Nature, but trust is something that is not so easy to reclaim.
So as you know, last night, not long after I had gone to sleep, the house was jolted by a 4.5 and I woke up, panicked, ready for action. This mother-effer was not going to take me, dammit! But it was over as soon as it had begun. My heart kept pounding. Would there be aftershocks? Would it set off a larger quake? Nothing. I checked on the dogs. Maybe I could comfort them and that would comfort me. But they were already back to sleep. Apparently they are so L.A., they don’t get out of bed for less than a 5.5.
One day I might shake hands with Mother Nature again and we’ll do lunch or something. But for now, her PMS-y nature is something that still frightens me and I have to just keep her as an acquaintance. You just don’t know what’s going to set her off.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Take this guy who squats on a couch a few doors down from us. I know he squats because of the nature of his doucheness and the fact that he does not get driveway parking privileges. We’ll call him Neighborhood Douche. This is not to be confused with the DBV driver with whom we are all well-acquainted through driving the highways and by-ways of L.A., or by being semi-close to a high school. No, the Neighborhood Douche is a far more sinister creature. He drives a nice, reasonably new Mustang that is kept in good condition. But for some unfathomable reason, he finds it necessary to warn anyone within a five-mile radius of his impending arrival by breaking the sound barrier whenever he is close. And as if that isn’t enough, he also finds it necessary to accelerate up to 60 MPH through the residential streets and squeal around corners, I suppose to highlight his “2 Fast, 2 Furious” prowess.
I say “he” because I know it is a “he” for a couple of reasons. In my lesser inebriated moments, I have had to hear the impending douchousness and suffer the resulting douche annoyance shudders that always accompany the sound, followed by which I am compelled to glare out the window at said Douche and shoot imaginary bubonic plague-dipped darts with my eyes. In my more sauced up moments, however, it goes more something like this: I stick my head out an open window and shout at the top of my lungs, “Shut the hell UP, DOUCHEBAG!!!”
I also know it is a “he” because in my extensive travels of these mean streets, whenever I encounter the Sound of the Douche and whip my head in the direction of the offending party to express my disdain, there is never, ever, ever a female behind the wheel. Well, actually there was one once. But I am convinced that her Civic was in the shop and she was forced to borrow her boyfriend’s car as she was hunched low in the seat and seemed to be fairly mortified.
I guess the real problem I have with the ND is that he brings back bad feelings of a bygone era when we lived in Crackville, Venice. There was a person there whom I referred to as “Ghetto Honking Bitch”. And when I say the “bitch” part of her name, I don’t use it affectionately like I do with you all. Oh no, it was meant to represent all the vilest, meanest, nastiest attributes of the word. She would pull up in front of the house across the street, sometimes at 7 a.m. on a Sunday, sometimes at 3 a.m. on a weekday, but always at the worst, most inappropriate time, and always daily, and honk the horn of her ridiculous SUV like her ass was on fire. Talking to her nicely about it, screaming “SHUT UUUUUUUP” out the window, all had the same effect: It made her do it more. She was one loud, obnoxious voice in a sea of loud, obnoxious voices in that area – people who are noisy and don’t give a shit that there are people living nearby. They want you to hear them and your peaceful enjoyment of your home be damned.
So I have these awful flashbacks of previous unsavory living conditions and I run this imaginary dialogue in my head with the ND. It usually goes something like this:
ME: Hey… Douchenferry McDouchealot? Hey, can I just call you Douche for short? Great. Hey, listen, I was just wondering…. See all these cute little post-WWII houses? The ones with the lawns and flowers and stuff in front? See the kids’ bikes and toys lying around? See the cars parked in the driveways and on the street? Yeah, um…. I know this might sound crazy but um…. People like, live here and stuff. I know, who knew, right? People live here and watch movies here and have children who might be napping here and people talk on the phone here and see, every time you drive by, which is often, you are the equivalent of bad cell phone coverage that causes people to LOSE THE SIGNAL OF THEIR LIFE for a few moments because of you and your douchey ass. The douche shudders of annoyance are seriously cutting into my and everyone around here’s living time and you know what, D-bag? I can’t hang anymore! So you need to take your little douchemobile into the shop, get the standard factory-issued mufflers put back on the shit, and find some other way to scream for attention that doesn’t involve your neighbors, m’kay? Perhaps with loud clothing.
NB: Gosh, ma’am. Thank you for pointing that out to me. I had no idea my douchosity was causing such inconvenience, but now I see the err of my ways. I will get the problem handled immediately. And I thank you for your candor and your feather-light touch.
ME: It is my pleasure, Douchenstein. Have a nice day!
Sunday, July 29, 2007
I so didn’t want to go. I just loathed the thought. There are twenty blissful years separating me from high school – why in the name of all that is holy would I want to return? The reunion people tracked me down with the stealth and tenacity of a bloodhound on crack. Not only have I moved around a lot, I moved FIVE TIMES IN ONE YEAR, PEOPLE. How on earth did they find me?
I scoffed at the invitation. They wanted $106 out of me to revisit some old insecure feelings and eat some crap-ass dinner. Well they weren’t going to get it.
See, I spent junior high and part of high school at a very small private school. It was more like a family than school. It was easy to be involved in everything because there were so few of us. I was a cheerleader (shut up, bitches! Like it’s that hard to imagine!), I was in drama, I was in the glee club, and with the exception of the dreaded math or algebra class, I was pretty much a straight-A student.
Then, a few months into tenth grade, I decided I needed to get away from the tiny incestuous private school environment and explore the big bad world of public school. To spread my wings, as it were. I left my comfy little nest and all my friends and went to this huge public school where not only did I not know a soul, but I was starting when the school year had already started.
It was traumatic to say the least.
I was completely unaware of, and thus, completely unprepared for, the clique system. The way high school politics work. Who was popular and why. It was all very baffling to me, more than a little disconcerting, and I never really got the hang of it. Also frightening was being a kid with no money in a wealthy town who had previously worn a uniform to school every day. I didn’t know how to dress and didn’t have the money to buy the clothes even if I did. I couldn’t be a cheerleader at this school – the uniforms alone were way too expensive. But I didn’t have the confidence to even try out in the first place. It was like being in a foreign country and not speaking the language. I didn’t speak the language of High School.
I turned to the activities that had brought me joy at my old school – being involved in dance and drama. Fortunately these things were free and allowed me to express myself somewhat, but they didn’t do anything for my social status. I was a geek.
My grades began to slide since the private school I had attended did not teach a college-credited curriculum. We were not made to read Lord of the Flies or The Great Gatsby before tenth grade – we had Bible class. I was woefully behind and constantly struggling to catch up, while struggling to fit in somewhere. Even my beloved English class, that I had always aced and adored, became a chore of trying to keep my head above water since all the other kids knew what was going on and I didn’t. I hadn’t even read Hemingway. And forget about the math classes – I had to re-take both Algebra AND Geometry in summer school since my right brain just could not grasp the concept of either. I ran out of Chemistry with tears streaming down my face – it was all based in math and I knew I would fail. I dropped the class after only one day.
Then Terrie called me. We had Spanish II together in eleventh grade and now we live only a few blocks apart. Was I going to the reunion? Heyall naw, was my response.
Then I was contacted by another friend. Her name is Yolanda. She and I were BFFs in eighth grade and she later came to the big bad public high school where we later lost touch. She wanted to go to the reunion. I started to raise my eyebrows and pooch my lips out slightly in a “hmmmmm” expression at the thought.
Then I was contacted by another friend, Michelle. She was coming out from Boston for the reunion and was I going? I told her no. Then she offered to buy my ticket. Hmm. More pooched-out lips. I called Terrie and asked if she would agree to drive me there and give me beer money and let me take a cab home if it sucked (workin’ it, people). She agreed. And so I agreed to go.
So I washed my hair and put on a cute dress and filled my cute leopard print flask with vodka (because I am a bad girl like that), stashed it in my purse and headed to my 20-year friggin’ reunion.
And had the best time.
There were no weird social constructs this time. It was like a giant cocktail party where you vaguely know everyone, but it is a level playing field. I started to remember that there had been really good times in high school. There had been sweet, interesting people that had reached out a hand of friendship to me and I had forgotten them. Not everybody was shallow and concerned with being popular – some people had incredible talents and dreams that they later explored in life and it showed on their faces. There had been boys that liked me for me, not for my status, and I had liked them. I was a different girl back then, but I felt like I got to reconnect with that girl and heal some of her old hurts. And it felt good.
It was also some of the best people watching, like, EVER. It is interesting to see how people behave in such a strange context as a reunion. I had kinda been looking forward to cattily trashing my mental image of the cheerleader who had grown old and fat and had six kids, but it was not to be that night: all the women in my class looked incredible. Stunning, really. Michelle pointed out one woman to me in a beautiful floor length backless cocktail gown with jewels around the edges. I didn’t remember her from high school, but according to Michelle, this same woman had a kid about to go into college. WTF??? Truly beautiful girls were in my class, and they were even more beautiful now.
To add to my enjoyment, I happened to know the DJ from acting class long ago, and got to choose some songs. Lookout Weekend by Debbie Deb, Panama by Van Halen. Oh yeah, it was ON and the dance floor got packed.
We all left that place with smiles on our faces. I’m so glad I went. But still really happy high school is over.
It just wasn’t my thing.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Until now. See, most massages happen later in the day. Who wants a massage in the morning? It’s just . . . wrong. You want to roll off the table and go take a nap or have some wine or have someone brush your hair while you talk about astrology or whatever. You don’t want to bounce off the table and be a productive spaz. So this leaves my schedule open in the early part of the day to get up whenever my body wakes me, do some yoga, go for a walk, have my coffee, (so spoiled by Italian coffee now), and do things like create shite for this blog. So I don’t set an alarm.
Some nights I am enthralled with a book and won’t get to sleep until 1:00 or later. Some nights, especially if I have had several appointments that day, I am conked out by 10:30. Guess what I found out? For the past three weeks, I will sleep until 9:00 every morning if allowed to do so. No matter what time I went to bed. It’s almost comical. And it’s so precise. It is always between 9:00 and 9:15, no later, no earlier. One recent morning I awoke on my own, turned and looked at the clock which read 8:55, and was like, WTF??? That ain’t right! I went back to sleep for a minute and then got up to start the day.
What I have learned from having this knowledge is the following:
1) Some people are just naturally productive and better able to absorb information in the later part of the day. That’s just me. And that’s fine. It is no reason to feel guilty and doesn’t make me a slacker.
2) Sleeping until your body wants to wake up is goooooood. It automatically builds energy into your day because you are truly rested. I love the crap out of that feeling.
3) I better enjoy it NOW. Since Valley Girl and her hub are already looking to add Valley Baby to the mix, my days of natural slumbering bliss are numbered. Unless of course, Valley Baby gets my late-ass genes and is happier to stay up with me doing breast milk shots and watching Big Love while Daddy goes to bed at 10:00. Then we could get up at 9:00 the next day and get busy eating and pooping and sleeping some more.
Hey, it could happen.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Your girl has been stricken with the worst depression since Sex And The City went off the air. And yes! I am aware of the movie in the works and yes! You better believe my ass will be throwing a huge party for that occasion, complete with cosmopolitans, high heels, and lots of chicks. In fact, ONLY chicks. But that’s down the line, and that is IF this dream miracle of a movie ever actually does come to fruition. You know how Hollywood is.
What’s been happening with me is far more sinister and unexpected. And I think I have it figured out after much parsing out of emotions, dissecting, analyzing and actualizing by some key friends the likes of which would turn a codebreaker for the CIA green with envy. To put it in brief terms, my world has been turned upside down. And I am just now figuring out how to put back in their place the fragments of my psyche that have shaken loose.
See, for nearly twenty years of my life, all I have known is the comfort and predictability of office life. Sitting behind a desk. Though it has gone radically against my natural biological grain, my daily life has involved, as long as I can remember being an adult, getting up early (ick!), hosing off and getting cute fast, jumping in the car, fighting traffic to the office, getting to the office, getting caffeinated and then following instructions all day, interfacing with a large variety of people (some friends, some annoying gossip-mongers, mostly butthole lawyers) – LUNCH BREAK – trudging through the rest of the day until 5:30 when I get to fight traffic for an hour or more, get home, then have a life with my relationship, dogs, family, friends, etc., anticipate Fridays, vacations and holidays and there you have it.
Now, things are different. Leaving the legal business to become a full-time massage therapist is something I have dreamt about doing for a long time. And things aligned in my life just so to allow me the opportunity to do that. But the ensuing feelings of being lost and starting over kind of swallowed me whole and I was so not ready for that. I had anticipated cartwheels and sunshine and unicorns at this point, not feelings of sadness and loss, sleeping too much but not very well, drinking too much, lack of interest in the usual things that bring me joy, lack of energy to even be around people. It’s been rough. And frustrating. It is in my nature to be happy and joyful, and every morning I would wake up and go “WTF? This shitty feeling is STILL HERE????”
Now don’t get me wrong: the nature of my job now is everything I thought it would be. It is rewarding in a profound way that I have never before known by pushing paper around behind a desk all day. I am helping to relieve people’s pain and suffering and stress, and I have a unique perspective on it since I, like many of them, sat behind a desk for so long and know where that particular brand of stress slithers into the body and sets up residence. But guess what? I am still new at this. Not only are my appointments sporadic and the nature of my job now very physical and tiring, making it difficult to plan my time with any kind of efficiency, but I am no longer the best at what I do. Can you say ego blow?
At my previous jobs, I am used to being the girl who works circles around everybody else and still has room left in my multi-tasking repertoire to solve my girlfriends’ problems, plan dinner for tonight, write a few blog posts, research some obsessive health issue of concern that I must get to the bottom of, make plans for the weekend and then still have time leftover to read Go Fug Yourself.
Now, I am the newbie. I am not the most experienced, efficient therapist in the house. You can’t multi-task while doing a massage – it is a solid hour of pure focus and quiet. Add to this the fact that I am starting at the bottom as far as earnings, which is also a huge blow to the ego. I’m used to being a major contributor to the household, dammit! Not so anymore. It’s like being in my early 20s all over again, that feeling of insecurity, of constantly worrying what other people think of you, if you’re DOING it right. I hated that shit then – I have to re-live it now?
I think there is also some post-wedding-honeymoon-time-of-my-life letdown going on too. You’ve seen the pictures – it really WAS that awesome. But now the anticipation of the whole thing is over and it will never happen again. I will never get married in Italy again, that was IT. And it was so great. What could possibly top that?
And then one recent Saturday night, sometime after my 12th beer or so (I’m exaggerating, but it was up in the high numbers I’m sure), it dawned on my drunk self that I was drinking to get away from feeling like shit. And that is the WRONG reason to drink, my friends. You drink to have fun, to celebrate something, to be with friends, to have a delicious wine with dinner or a funky cocktail in a fun bar. You don’t drink to escape. So I gave myself a break from the alcohol. It’s been eight days, and will likely last awhile since people keep telling me my skin looks fabulous. I can’t help but think it’s because of being off the sauce.
And then the other day whilst facing a mountain of dishes in the kitchen, I blasted “99 Problems” by Jay-Z and started to dance around the kitchen. And like a little kid peeking into a room where he sees Mommy and Daddy are kissing, I giggled sheepishly at myself and realized this is something the normal me would do. Am I coming back? Every day since that moment has told me “yes”.
I wanted to share this with you because I didn’t want you to think I have forgotten about you – I have been wallowing and unsure of how to even tell you this stuff. But I also wanted to share this with you because I want the nature of this blog to be more personal. I love that you are with me on this journey. Now that I have the time and space to focus more, you will be seeing more postings from me, I promise. And I hope you will keep reading. Dealing with problems, especially the ones we can’t see, is part of life, and I do still have a lust for it, even when it’s difficult to feel that lust.
Speaking of lust, The Husband has been so supportive and understanding through all of this and I know my ass has NOT been easy to live with. And for that, I am supremely grateful. To quote Jay-Z, “I got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one.”
"Of course I share with all of you, my prayers for a safer world, where we won't have the constant reminders of war and terrorism, which we have even today. And I pray for less divisiveness among our politicians, rather than the huge polarization we see among Americans who happen to identify more as conservative or liberal. I really feel these artificial labels merely work to isolate and overly dramatize our common issues. In reality, we all have a mixture of values, since we, as human beings are very complex. Wouldn’t it be nice if our talk show hosts, our political commentators and politicians spent as much energy on drawing us closer together, by pointing out commonalities, rather than further polarizing us by overly dramatizing our differences and making the "other" seem wrong or evil."
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
1) Today was the first day I posted a blog whilst under the influence.
2) Today was the last day of my legal career. I've been kinda keeping it a secret since I wanted things all nice and clean and done before I broadcast the news to the world, but guess what? After 13 long, long, LONG years in the legal business, I gave my notice two weeks ago, and today was my last day. I will be starting this Friday as a staff massage therapist working for a really great chiropractor in Northridge. And I'm really excited about it. Hence, see #1 above. The wine has been steadily consumed by your Valley Girl since about 5:00 today. And no sign of slowing down.
3) Today was the first time I walked away from a deliciously bad movie. I know!! What is happening to me? I'm sitting in bed, pillows propped all around me just so, rolling around on the tempurpedic in a nice shiraz-induced buzz when, to my total delight and serendipitous (I know, can you believe I can still spell in this condition?) glee, I happened upon a showing of Basic Instinct 2 on HBO. People, this has GOT to be the QUEEN OF BAD MOVIES, right? I mean, don't get me wrong -- I LOVED the first one. I watch it every chance I get, even more than Showgirls. I have it on DVD so it is at my disposal. I loved the character of Catherine Trammel. I loved how Michael Douglas was so her bitch. I loved how somebody actually had the balls to make a movie about a female sociopath who was also beautiful and smart and sexual. And I loved all the drama surrounding the writer of that movie (OMG people, if you ever get the chance, read Hollywood Animal by Joe Eszterhas. Can't. Put. Down. I'm just sayin'. And just because I can spell whilst a bit tipsy, doesn't mean I won't be abusing my usual parentheticals.) And though I was bitter that they actually went ahead and made the whole dumb sequel of one of my fave movies of all time (I have such a love/hate relationship with sequels: I believe they are the movie version of money-grubbing whores, with the exception of Aliens and a scant handful of others that managed to surpass the originals, but like, you idiot producers! Just let the original be the original and let it go for the love of film nerds! But I suppose if they did just let it go all the time, I would not have the supreme gorgeosity that is Aliens, so.... ), Basic Instinct 2. It got so skewered in the press, had a reportedly horrid script and even more horrid acting -- my God! In a shiraz-induced, change-of-career-little-crazy-let's-stay-up-late-and-par-TAY! wonkety-wonk, what's not to love with that mix?
But . . . I just couldn't get into it.
I tried. I tried so hard. I was all sitting up in my Heiress-On-Pills-So-Ready-To-Bash-You pose, wine in hand, sneer on face, nose in a wrinkle. And I just couldn't keep it up for the love of bad film. The story, so lame. The acting, so tired, so not-trashy-inspired. It was like ol' Sharon just went "People, I'm just killing time here until my next cabana boy massage, but sure, I'll text message in Catherine Trammel for you if it makes you randy, baby."
And so I found myself over Basic Instince 2 before it had even begun. I even walked out in the middle of one of the supremely choreographed sex scenes.
And sneaked off into the other room to tell you about it.
Oh, and guess what? We got the wedding photos. And since I am in NO STATE right now to download them, I thought I would give you this one teaser that I love so much:
Friday, June 15, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
This is Schweinfurt, where Ruth and her family live. It is beautiful and charming and you could eat it with a spoon. We bought some Belgian chocolates here, and let's just say I am now completely spoilt by the beauty that is Belgian. I poo-poo on your Ghirardelli's.
Here is Ruth's hub and my hub, discussing manly things as we walk through cobblestone streets.
I'm super fancy with my camera angles sometimes. This is Rothenberg (or if you are German, Rottenberg). It is a medieval town, full of lots of medieval things.
This would be looking down on the town, where you can see the prevalent use of the architectural style known as "Early Super Cute".
I. Love. This. Man. And the background? Yes, it is real.It was hard to leave my friends and little Tobi, but we promised we would get together with them again in the next year or so, hopefully at the Grand Canyon. Meanwhile, we had a plane to catch to Venice.....
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Does anybody know what kind of trashiness descended upon our humble neighborhood last night?
Thursday, April 26, 2007
- Bob Dylan, from a recent interview in Rolling Stone
Thursday, April 19, 2007
But thank heavens that mystery was solved.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
But I felt I would be remiss if I did not tell you about the huge news in our family lately. You know Derek’s Grammy that I am always blabbing about? The same Grammy we go to visit in Chico who plays a mean game of cards and makes an even meaner peach cobbler? Well, she’s famous now. Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the 102-year-old woman who recently made a hole-in-one, making her the oldest person on record to do so on a regulation golf course. Here is one of the many articles (be sure to watch her in the video, she is so cute), or just google "Elsie McLean" and you will see articles about her from all over the world. Now everybody wants her: Leno, Ellen, hordes of fans sending her requests for autographs. Not only did they book her on the above shows, but they moved her to sweeps week -- she is that hot! I don’t know squat about golf, but I do know that this "little old lady" has managed to unwittingly steal the show from the oh-so-elitist frou-frou Master’s Tournament and trumped the record previously held by a man in a male-dominated sport. Can you say "YOU GO, GIRL!" -- ??
But personally, all fanfare aside, the deeper meaning I have taken from the whole thing is this: You are never too old to achieve your dream. That is a lame cliché, of course, but hello? As an avid golfer, that being her dream, and still being out there three days a week swinging away, not giving a rat’s ass that she is 102, how can you not see the obviousness of the universal law at work there?
And a secondary, but also very relevant moral to this story would be knowing that me, you, anybody, can exist and thrive without the daily use of prescription drugs and crappy processed foods and a whole host of other items the big corporate monsters would have us believe we would die without. The secret is to just live positively and seek out your joys. Grammy’s had her share of physical ailments over the years, sure, but doesn’t rely on meds as a way of life and doesn’t complain about whatever aches and pains come up. It should also be noted that I’ve looked through countless photo albums and scrapbooks of hers, and can’t remember a single photo of her where she wasn’t smiling. This is what has kept her young and beautiful all these many years, and I hope in her now high-profile existence, people look beneath the accomplishment of her having managed this incredible feat, and see where it came from: That she has made an ace out of her life.
I am still crazy about her as a person and still ecstatic that I will soon legally be considered a part of her family, though I have felt a kinship with her since I met her. But with all the attention swirling around her, I have to admit I have a smug little voice inside me that amusedly says, “You gapers, I knew she was awesome all along.”
Friday, March 23, 2007
"Looking for a man who will be generou$$$. I love to have a good time and am up for anything. Am equally at home in jeans or in cocktail dress and heels."
I call this one Man With Mom Tattoo Sipping From Flask I Gave Him For Valentine's Day:
I totally do my own eyebrows.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
And then it happened.
The raging baby shower.
Yeah, that sound you hear is the collective laughter of Valley Girl readers from all over the globe laughing their asses off that I would be so weakened to imbibe at a friggin’ BABY SHOWER. ON A SCHOOL NIGHT, EVEN.
But let me explain. Shut up, stop laughing! I’m sure!
The baby shower was held at this totally swank place -- the type of place that hires a team of lighting stylists to get the interior lighting just so perfect that every diner looks perfectly glowy, tan and fabulous. Each course offered a beautifully presented chi-chi serving of delight that melted in your mouth. So when the sommelier recommended and poured a delicate, but jovial syrah for our sipping pleasure, who the hell was I to say no to a sip? And when our server, with the quiet stealthiness of a ninja treading on 500-thread count pillows kept my glass bottomless, how on earth was I supposed to know how much I was consuming?
Until this morning, when I felt how much I had consumed. Even though it was expensive, apparently I consumed a lot, and am not feeling so swift today. And so, Valley Girl hangs her head in dumbassery, and hops back on the wagon. Lesson learned.