Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm going to have to bring a pinata to the finale to living things up

Who is totally unexcited about the finale of So You Think You Can Dance?*


Because all of my favorite dancers are gone. Jeanette was my number 1, followed by Ade, then Melissa. And now they're all gone.

All those weeks of watching Mary Murphy scream...wasted.

Well, full disclosure, I barely watched Mary Murphy at all. DVR was invented so that we all could fast forward right through her hot tamale train yelping.

*I just realized that, other than my mild obsession with America's Next Top Model, I don't often write about current television shows that I watch. I don't know why that is. I certainly am not trying to give off the impression that I don't want a lot of TV. Trust me, folks, that is not the case. I watch loads of TV. And I don't know about you, but it has always kind of bothered me when people say, "Oh, I don't really watch TV." Like they're just too busy dusting their volumes of the OED to watch a rerun of MASH. (Fact: I don't ever get tired of MASH reruns. Ever.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I found a hair on my lip

I was getting ready for work this morning when I noticed something on my upper lip. Something black. Something that looked like hair.

The following is an excerpt from the inner monologue I had (exclamation points, italics and caps included):

"A hair! I officially have a mustache! I'm an 80 year old woman with a MUSTACHE! I know it was only a matter of time before I got one but Knights of Columbus, I'm too young to have a mustache! I already have rogue eyebrow hairs sprouting up on my eyelids! Haven't I suffered enough!?!? I'm going to have to wax! Or I could bleach. But if I bleach it I won't ever be able to go outside again because it will catch the light of the sun and someone will say, 'Hey, you got something glittering on your lip,' and then they'll go in for a better look and then recoil in disgust. Or I could pluck, but it looks pretty sturdy. Like it has deep roots. Like it's sucking all the youth and vitality right out of me. NO! Waxing is my only option. Or maybe I should just go to the Home for the Ugly and Tragic and wear muumuus and support hose for the rest of my life!"

Upon closer inspection I turned out to be one of my rogue eyebrow hairs that landed on my lip after vigorous plucking. Crisis averted.

For now.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A flea infestation would have been bad too.

A partial list of things that would have made this morning even worse:

1.) A earthquake splitting a gash in the earth and my office falling into it.
2.) Rickets

Actually, number 1 would have probably help us have a little perspective, so maybe I should just take that off.

It's better now. The major problem has been MIRACULOUSLY solved. There were angels with gold trumpets heralding the phone call that solved that one. And I had a really good lunch that included a pudding snack. But that does not mean I still couldn't do with a very long nap.

I'll be under my desk if anyone needs me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Six Degrees of Tony Danza

My sisters and I play this game where we try to connect ourselves to celebrities through other celebrities we've seen in person. Like 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon.

For example, let's say I want to connect myself to Tony Danza. I saw Matthew Perry at a Ducks game last year - Matthew Perry was in Fools Rush in with Salma Hayek - Salma Hayek was on Ugly Betty with Judith Light - Judith Light was on Who's the Boss with Tony Danza. The trick is to see how close you can get. It helps if you have a lot of random knowledge about movies.

This game if fairly easy to play if you go to sporting events in Los Angeles. Celebrities usually show up there. We were at Dodger Stadium on Saturday and it was a cavalcade of stars. Rob Lowe, Mario Lopez (who would show up to a JV badminton team's spring car wash if it meant getting his face on camera.), Tom Arnold, Dawson from Dawson's Creek, and Larry King (to quote my brother: "Thus proving that he is not just a corpse with a microphone. Although, in this case, he looked like a corpse in a Dodger hat.) And the lead singer from Creed (bleh!) growled the national anthem. and said the lines: "through the perilous flight" and "ore the ramparts we washed." It's wrong to laugh through the national anthem, right?

Most of those won't get me very far. Well, except for Rob Lowe because he was in the West Wing (I LOVED that show. Love it!) and tons of people guest starred on that show. I once crossed the street with Laura Innes (she played the doctor with the cane on ER) and that has exploded my possibilities because if you can get yourself connected to George Clooney that connects you to Oceans 11 and that movie is gold when it comes to playing this game. Especially if you are connecting to dead actors.

So, how many people does it take for you to connect to Tony Danza?*

*Wait! I just remembered I've seen Judith Light in person. Ha! One!

Friday, July 24, 2009

I don't have the Fever

Happy Pioneer Day everyone!

I was thinking of telling Chiquita that today is a very special religious holiday and that I would like to have it off so I could commemorate the pioneer trek by trekking to the beach. I even have a bonnet to wear! But I opted against it because, well, I have a feeling that sort of thing gets you on the wrong side of eternal happiness. So I trekked to work this morning instead. Without my bonnet, because I got a new haircut last night and it is shorter than a pioneer woman would have it.

Much shorter. Like, the only way a pioneer woman would have such short hair is if she had the Fever and had to cut if all off because it was sucking all of her strength.

I'm practically bald.

Okay, that's a lie. I still have plenty of hair. But what isn't a lie is that I have about 3 strands of hair long enough to fit into a ponytail.

That may also be a lie. It's more like 10.

Because what you may not be able to tell from this picture is that Sarah layered and thinned it for like 18 hours last night. She's a master at it. We come from a family with very large heads and lots of hair and layering and thinning is the only thing that keeps us out of the Home for the Tragic and Ugly.

I'm coming around to it. At times I think it's kind of kicky and sassy and fun. And then there are moments when I think it makes my head look fat. Or my nose look enormous. Or it shoves my eyebrows about an inch closer to my eyes. The real test will be tomorrow when I wash it and the tumbleweed sets in. There will not be pictures of that. But you can have another one from today.

Because how better to celebrate Pioneer Day then with fish lips.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The evening started with a show and ended with a walk through a cow farm at midnight. Awesome!

I went to an Eric Hutchenson concert last night. Funny story: I only vaguely knew one song of his but because I like going to shows with fun people in small venues I decided why not. Right? Except that it was on a school night. And my school night bed-time is 10. So is my weekend bed-time. But I'm 80. I'm telling you this because if this post ends up being just an incoherent bunch of letters that means I have fallen asleep on the keyboard and as my head fell forward my nose managed to hit the right keys to publish the post.

So there I was, 80 years old, at a concert of a guy I had barely heard of, having a really fantastic time. Because his songs are super fun and catchy and he and his band were great performers and I was with Camille and my cousins Sarah and Allie. Win-win-win.

A few observations:

1.) I was standing behind the TALLEST COUPLE ON THE PLANET. They were easily 8 feet tall. They were the Jolly Green Giants of Young Love. Except that they were both wearing orange. Interesting. I managed to have a good view between their heads but they were in love and they liked to show it by kissing after every verse. And sometimes at the beginning and ending of the chorus. And all the way through the bridge. So a lot of my view consisted of them making out.

2.) Mormons love Eric Hutchenson. Just in my immediate surroundings there was my group, and the Giants (we noticed a CTR ring) and then when I was mentioning the ring the girl standing next to me was all, "Are you Mormon? So am I! Well, I was. But I'm not anymore. Obviously," as she had just spilt her cocktail on the floor.

3.) Can we please be done with the headband craze? Pretty please? You know what I'm talking about right? Not the demur ones that go on top of your head but the retarded ones that go across your forehead. Like your Pocahontas. Or an extra in Hair. There were like 20 girls there with them on (including the Giantess in front of me. Hers had feathers dangling from it!) and, sure, they're kids, and this is what kids do, they follow trends like this, but golly they look ridiculous to me. Because I'm 80.

At this point of the story it is important to note that we met up at Sarah & Allie's family's home. My uncle works for a school/farm for wayward boys and their home is on the property. Well, the gates were closed by the time we got back and neither of the girls had their remotes to get in and my car was still up at the house so Camille just dropped us off at the gate and we ended up walking up the hill to the house. In order to save a half mile or so on the walk we decided to cut through the farm. Did I mention it was midnight? And there wasn't a moon? And we were all in flip-flops. We had to cut across a ditch and walk through some pine trees with enormous spiderwebs and it smelled like skunks and manure and I had the vague feeling that I was this close to stepping in cow pies. It was pretty hilarious. I love it when fun nights end in unexpected ways.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Breaking News

News Update: The ice cream social originally scheduled for this Saturday has been postponed to a yet-to-be-determined date. I have a feeling that it will still be 163 degrees here in a few weeks so I think we'll all have a good time. In the meantime might I suggest you enjoy a refreshing Otter-Pop. Last night I had one for dinner. I believe it was a Sir Isaac Lime.

In other news: I saw Harry Potter last night. You can read what I thought about it here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

How come none of you have boats?

Heather, Katie and I headed up to Big Bear on Saturday for the 1800s Fair and Logger Jubilee! It was pretty awesome. There was axe throwing and chainsawing and pole climbing and an obstacle course that involved running over a bunch of logs with a chain saw and then cutting a piece of wood off of a log with it. We almost saw an old man die doing it. It was terrifying! When he finally got off of the course the crowd stood up and cheered. Not because he finished but because he didn't lose an limb, or have a heart attack, or toss the chainsaw into the crowd, or any other all-too-likely scenario that we all collectively envisioned.

I had a great time, thanks mostly to my love of reenactors. There's something truly special about people who wear period garb in public and speak with accents. You know, Ren-Faire-ers, Civil War buffs, pirates. I love their dedication. Since this fair spanned the entire 19th century (What, you can't pick a decade?) there were plenty of these people to admire. All the security were dressed up like Old West sheriffs. There was a singing group of Ladies of Easy Virtue all dressed in silk robes and corsets. There were a few bustles and bonnets and lots of spurs and chaps. None of the lumberjacks were wearing plaid shirts, which was disappointing, but a number of them had chewing tobacco tucked inside their lips. Authentic!

After the fair we drove around the lake and found a bench to sit on and watch the water-skiers fall down. This has made me decide that I need new friends because none of my current ones own boats. It seems like everyone but me knows someone with a boat and they all go up to the lake every weekend and have a great time skiing and laughing at people who don't know someone who owns a boat. So, I'm currently taking applications for new friends with boats, or at least a few jet skis. It would really sweeten the deal if you had a lake side cabin so that after all that skiing and laughing we could go back and take naps.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mr. Las Vegas Visits Highland, CA

So let it be known: if Wayne Newton ever calls me up and asks me to be his back-up singer, I will leave all of you and spend the rest of my good years singing Viva Las Vegas with him.

Words really can't describe it. He was everything I hoped for and more.
Well, strike that. He was everything but the singing. Wow, he has really gone down in that department. I felt incredibly awkward as he was singing the Kenny Roger's classic "Lady". Boy, that was bad. But everything else was TOP NOTCH.
His enormous diamond pinky ring was blinding. His hair was lacquered like a super shiny lacquered thing. His tuxedo was straight out of the 80s. He wiggled his hips and told slightly inappropriate jokes. He flirted with all the girls and called us dolls. It was magical! You know how sometimes you have an image of what something should be - something you've dreamed of and have high expectations for - and when you see it, it disappoints? This was not one of those times. It was exactly what I imagined it to be. Which was hilariously funny and wonderfully amazing and very, very entertaining. Because even though he sounded dreadful, the man knows how to put on a show.
And let's talk about the venue for a sec. If you ever get the chance to see a show at an Indian casino, you MUST go. Promise me you will. Because you will love all the 80 year olds there. LOVE THEM! I have never seen so many walkers, wheel chairs and jazzies in my life. One woman walked by with an oxygen tank. And everyone had on the same outfit: baggy polyester pants, orthopedic shoes or sneakers, and Hawaiian shirts in earth tones. It was a sea of yellow and green and brown floral print. It was like we were at a desert luau.
Cynde and I came armed with our bedazzled granny panties (Thanks, Chris!) and we held them up with pride. Much to the amusement of the elderly around us. We were the youngest in the crowd by about 50 years but we were certainly not the most vocal. There were some women there who I think would have given up their first born to have Wayne blow them a kiss.
He spent a lot of time chit-chatting and telling jokes. And he also would read the occasional note from friends who were in the audience and then sing songs dedicated to them "and all the ladies." And about halfway through the show the weirdest thing happened. He was singing a song when suddenly (and I'm NOT making this up) Flavor Flav jumps up on stage, complete with his jumbo clock necklace and jester hat, and gives him a hug. Flavor Flav! At a Wayne Newton concert! At the San Manuel Indian Casino! And Cynde and I may have been the only people there who knew who he was. I bet the elderly were all wondering when security was going to come and take that crazy old woman off the stage. From the back he actually does look like a crazy old woman. It was surreal. And rad.
I'm giving out awards to my sisters for orchestrating the whole thing. And to Cynde, who would drive across the desert in July to laugh through a show with me. To thank her I took her to the beach this morning, where we rented a tandem bike and ate gelato. Thanks C! I love that you love to be silly!


Helpful Hint: if you're thinking of riding a tandem bike be prepared to never stop. It is much harder than it looks to get going. We almost had to kill a few small children because we couldn't muster the strength to stop, knowing that we would have to start again.
Picture Explanation: I just realized that it looks like I have a wee mustache in that picture of us at the beach. It's a shadow, people. A shadow!
News Flash: I've decided to have the ice cream social next Saturday 07/25/09 from 12 to 2. I can't decide if I want to have it at my place or a nearby park. What are you thought? Would anyone even come?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

If you see my mug shot on the news it means I made it in.

You all know my DEEP AND ETERNAL LOVE for the fair. I'm a bit over the top about it. But it's just so awesome.

One of my favorite things at the fair are the craft competitions. I love to see what people crochet, stitch, scrapbook, sew, quilt, and macrame. You cannot imagine how many people crochet stuffed pigs. It's ridiculous! Every year I say I'm going to enter something but I always miss the deadline. Well, this year Katie decided to enter something and she's way on top of things, so in between dying from pneumonia and traveling to Utah she managed to keep us on task and we got our entry forms in on time.

Yesterday was the official drop off time so after work I headed down to the fair grounds and drove right on in. As in I got to drive onto the fair grounds, past the exhibit halls and right up to the race track. Super fun!

Now, this is not my first time driving around the fair grounds when it's empty. In my previous life as a school district drone I organized and dropped off the entries for the education expo they hold there. But I always entered from the east side and went by the farm and Mexican village. You miss some things when you go that route.

Things like..


I had no idea that they have it up all year. And now that I know it, I'm going to have to devise a plan to sneak onto the grounds and take a few rides down. Who's with me?

I've decided that if my dream of a bowling alley wedding reception doesn't come true (Instead of assigned tables there will be assigned lanes. The first dance will be on DDR. Bride and Groom bowling shirts. Nachos and soda for everyone. Admit it, you think it's a brilliant idea and you imagine yourself having the time of your life. Hurry, Wealthy Benefactor! Hurry!) then I'm going to have it at the fair next to the BIG YELLOW SLIDE.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Grumpy Grammarian

Have you noticed the rampant misuse of the word literally?

I sure have. And it's making my head explode. Not literally.

Because literally means for real. Like, it actual happened. And I realize that people are using it for effect. I get that. But can't they just say "That salsa was so hot my tongue caught on fire," instead of "That salsa was so hot my tongue literally caught on fire." Because we know that your tongue didn't actually catch on fire. You saying it caught on fire is all the effect we need. It's called hyperbole. But when you throw in "literally" you cancel the hyperbole and make it sound like your tongue actually did catch on fire and that makes you a show-off because look at you and your miracle tongue, completely healed from the salsa induced inferno. What are you, some kind of witch doctor?

Next weeks lesson: The phrase "I could care less."

Oh, could you? Jerk.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Now the 9th Funniest Blog on the World Wide Web

Well, that was fun!

The contest is officially over and the last time I checked before they took the counts down I was in 9th place. Totally respectable, in this case. In another case I was in a group that placed 9th in a junior high writing contest, but there were only 10 teams.

Because of the top 10 finish, as promised, I will host an ice cream social. Details to follow. But there will be ice cream and cones, because ice cream is just plain better in cones. Do not deny this! Isn't the very idea of an ice cream social wonderful? It's so old-timey. Like there should be men with waxed mustaches riding around on penny-farthing bicycles, and barber shop quartets singing In the Good Old Summertime, and ladies pushing prams, and local youths lighting firecrackers. None of these things will actually be at our ice cream social unless some of you start growing mustaches now. This is merely a suggestion. But I can promise you that if you show up with an elaborate mustache I will give you an extra scoop of ice cream.

Have I mentioned how nice I think all of you are? Because it's true. It was a very silly contest and yet you all came through like champs and I feel truly lucky to know such lovely people. Let's be friends forever!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Things I haven't missed about Gary the CPA

Gary the CPA is in the office today. He just rents out a room in our suite for his private practice but has a day job so I haven't seen him for months. But he took today off so he could watch the Michael Jackson memorial but once it was over he didn't want to be sad and alone at home so he came in to sit in his office and watch news coverage about Michael Jackson on his computer.

Here are a couple of things I haven't missed about him:

1.) His chattering. He loooooves to gab. He loves to come out and tell me all about the deals he has found and all about his famous relatives and all about the movies he has seen recently and how come I don't go to the movies every weekend, and would I like a Pepsi because he got them on sale and he has stocked the fridge with them, and did I know that his daughter is a CPA, an actual licensed CPA, can you believe that, and did I watch the Michael Jackson memorial, and did I know that he knows a guy who knows a guy who knows Michael Jackson's accountant. Because he does and he'll tell you all about it.

2.) He sucks his teeth for about an hour after he eats anything. I'm sure that I've mentioned that I'm kind of sensitive to mouth noises. Loud chewing (with the mouth open or closed), chomping teeth, that pasty dry mouth sound, rattling mouth breathing, phlegmy voices, they all drive me NUTS. I had to turn off NPR yesterday because the guy doing a piece on Robert McNamara sounded too jowly. So listening to Gary suck the food out of his teeth for an hour makes me want to throw my stapler at his head. Once he is done with the teeth-sucking he will stand at his window for 15 minutes and floss. I suppose this is better, if you don't mind the sound of floss snapping.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Danke Schoen

You will NOT BELIEVE where I am going next week!
Cynde and I are going to San Manuel Indian Casino to see Wayne Newton!
Are you dying? Because I'm dying. I can't stop giggling over it. It's only the funniest thing that has ever happened to me.
And I owe it all to my super awesome sisters. Katie saw it advertised at the newspaper and got on the phone with the gals and got me some tickets for an early birthday present. And then she called Cynde up and asked her to come out for the occasion. And then on Saturday, as I was chopping pineapple, the entire fam had suddenly gathered around me and presented me with two tickets and two pairs of very disturbing/amazing bedazzled granny panties to throw at him, should the mood strike, which, I'm sure it will.
They apologized for it not being in Vegas but I'm pretty sure that seeing him at an Indian casino may be even funnier.
I mentioned that my nephews showing up at my door step was the best surprise ever. This is a close second.
Thanks ladies! Knecht Girls Rock!
(Speaking of which, today is the last day for voting. (Has this lasted 18 years or what?) Vote early and often. Have I mentioned that I think you're wonderful?)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

You can get enough of these lists.

So, it looks like this has turned into my Week of Lists. You know you love it:

1.) Chiquita left for a meeting and on her way out she said, "I want you to come up with a funny, witty email to send to our clients for the 4th of July." And then I started to panic because I'm no good at on-the-spot wit. I can think of a million funny things to say on my own time but when someone asks for just one I turn into Stonehenge. I'm the Stonehenge of wit. But even that's a bad metaphor because Stonehenge is funny sometimes thanks to the druids. Druid hangouts = funny.

(Addendum: I showed Chiquita what I had written and she made me change the line "Eating our weight in corn on the cob" to "Eating our way to Heavenly Bliss". Hello!? Corn on the cob is way funnier than heavenly bliss. This is another reason why I panic when I have to be funny. What if the person hearing the joke doesn't get the joke?)

2.) For the last few months our freeways have been draped in lap-band billboards. (Readers in So. Cal. - testify!) Because they're EVERYWHERE. I've seen them on every freeway in every county. And they're usually clustered. So you see one and then another and then another, all within a quarter of a mile on both sides of the freeway. What it's basically saying is, "People of the Greater Los Angeles Area: You're fat!"

3.) The owner of the drive-thru dairy down the street from my office has put a ball in a sock and attached it to a string that is hanging from the rafter of the car port. He spends his down time hitting it with a cricket bat. It makes me want to pull in and get a Super Fudge Pop and have him explain the game to me.

4.) The chicken in my chicken quesadilla tasted a few days old. And there was a bone attached to it. I'm not making this up. So I would like to ask the good people of Claremont: Why do you love Patty's so much? You rave like loons about it, and yet I've always been underwhelmed.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thoughts I had at the baseball game

Camille and I went to the Dodger game last night. We lost 3-0 and it lasted about 2 hours so it was a very uneventful game. I had a lot of time to think. Here are some highlights.

1.) I wish I knew how to whistle really loudly. I mean, really loud. The kind that you get every one's attention with.

2.) Fancy seats are not nearly as fun as not-so-fancy seats. We usually sit up in the loge with the regulars but last night we had tickets behind the visitor's dugout and while it was fun to be so close to first base, close enough to see the faces of every single Dodger get out there (Knights of Columbus! It was like the Rockies had tractor beams in their gloves), the people around us were duds. No one cheered, no one shouted, no one stood up when it was time to rally, no one sang along to "Don't Stop Believing". They all just sat there chatting with each other. It was bizarre. And I felt under-dressed. I didn't actually think that was possible at a baseball game.

3.) How come I've never had an ice cream cone at a ball game before?

4.) How come no one wears underwear anymore? How do I know this? Because pants sag when you sit, and when you stand up, say to get some nachos or to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame, they're generally still in that sagging position and you have to hoist them up a bit. So when you're not wearing any undies and your pants are in the sagging position you show the unsuspecting person behind you a whole lot of butt. More than any person should ever have to see. Camille and I both gasped and averted our eyes when the man in front of us stood up. And then again when he sat down. Same with a woman a few rows ahead. I may have to send out a Royal Decree that if you're going commando you have to wear a belt.

5.) World Peace could be brokered if all the leaders of the nations got together and watched fireworks on the Dodger Stadium outfield. It's kind of magical out there.