Friday, September 30, 2011

The Haftan

The nice thing about not having any extra money to spend is that I can try on whatever clothes I want without having to worry about the cost.  Everything is outside of my budget so why not try everything on?  I had an hour to kill before the movie last night so I headed over to Macy's to play dress up and while perusing the selection came across this little number:

You guys!  It's an orange and cream zebra print halftan!!*  Because of the spending moratorium the only price that would have worked for me was free but oh how I laughed myself silly in the dressing room.  It is so Golden Girls!  Doesn't it just make your day?!  And don't you wish it came with a turban, a pair of silk pants, and a stack of personalized stationary?  If it did I could go as a legitimate Woman of Elegant Leisure for Halloween.

I'm not sad about leaving it in the store because twice before I have found pieces that I loved during a spending moratorium and have gone back months later once I could spend again and have found them significantly reduced and in my size.  If it's meant to be, it's meant to be.  And then I can get down to some serious lounging.  A turban should be easy to make, right?

*A caftan that only goes to the hips. Rotating the picture cut off the bottom.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The community who watches musicals together stays together.

There's a very large outdoor mall around here and they're showing old movies out on their grassy knoll on Thursday nights.  Tonight was Singin' in the Rain so Katie and I headed over.  I cannot pass up Singin' in the Rain.  It is one of my favorites.  Also, I cannot pass up watching a movie outside on a balmy autumn night while eating Mexican food.  Perfect?  If a Slurpee had been involved it would have been.

The group sitting next to us were clearly super fans.  You know how much I love super fans.  One of the guys was laughing at (and I'm not exaggerating) every single funny line, like it was his first time seeing it, and also like he was drunk, which I don't think he was.  I am a big proponent of communal events such as this for the simple reason that people who go to these types of things go with the intent of enjoying themselves.  It makes for a nice crowd.

It's Victoria Gardens if any of you locals are interested.  Next week is Casablanca, if you'd like to join us.  The movie starts around 6:45.

Because I'm curious, what is your favorite musical?  Mine - The Sound of Music.  Duh.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chocolate Frosty is Redundant

Does it bother anyone else when you order a Frosty at Wendy's and the drive-thru gals asks, "A chocolate Frosty?"  As if a Frosty, by it's very definition, isn't chocolate.  I know that Wendy's is coming out with all of these other Frosty-like concoctions but a Frosty is first and foremost a CHOCOLATE frozen treat.  If it's not chocolate it's not a Frosty.  If I wanted something vanilla (I'm just being hypothetical here) I would have specified.

I never say anything because I remember how it was way back in the day when I worked the concession stand at a movie theater.  Normal, functioning, educated people turn into blithering chimps when they order food.  At least once a night someone would ask for a Coke, I'd hand it to them, they'd drink half of it and proclaim that they wanted a Dr. Pepper.  People would walk down the length of the counter looking in every single candy case, which were all stocked with the same things, and ask for Jordan Almonds, which we did not sell.  They would ask for fresh popcorn, meaning they wanted us to stand right next to the kettle, wait for it to pop out and catch it in the bag for them.  And then they'd eat half the bag and ask for it to be topped off.

I suppose I should be happy that the kid at the drive-thru is just trying to be thorough.  But it still feels like an affront to all that we hold dear in this country to consider a Frosty to be anything but chocolate.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Noses Knows

After one hour of sitting in a room full of women wearing perfume the skin around my lips and eyes started to get tight and tingle, my cheeks were hot, my throat burned, my eyes felt fuzzy, my head hurt, and worst of all, the deep inner ear itch set in.  And even hours after I can still smell it.  It's like a bad house guest has moved into my nostrils.

Wolverine has awesome claws for his mutant power.  I have a nose.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crafty McCrafterson Over Here

I've been crafty lately.  The hint of fall (as in, it cooled down to 80 the other day) and all this free time has accommodated that.  Some recent crafty things:

1.)  Oh, wait, but first, I got serious about organizing my craft desk.  It's this old roll-top that a roommate left behind (Amanda?) and when I'm in the midst of a project it is a wreck.  There are scraps of felt and teeny beads everywhere.  And the felt is normally bulging at all points.  So I got down to business and organized it all.  That felt is packed so tight in there I'm afraid one minor earthquake or a sound door slam or my wonderful upstairs neighbors (whom I love, really and truly I do and they are so nice and neighborly about the whole thing and only exercise during the day so it's hard to be bothered, although I think they may be made of steel) doing their P90X and the whole collection will come exploding out of it shelves.

Things of note:  There are tons of drawers and they're all filled with fabric and yarn and needles and hooks and patterns and fasteners and notions; I'm in love with my ribbon collection; That thing on the top left?  it's an old train signal that belonged to my great grandpa, who was an engineer, and Katie and I borrowed if from our parents for a party we were throwing where we needed mood lighting, I think it was Liz's Beatnik Poetry Reading Birthday Party - which, it must be stated, was a resounding success.

2.)  Speaking of hooks, I got tired of my crochet hooks just rolling around in the needle and hook drawer. So I made them a cute bag

You can get handy hook organizers just about anywhere but I have found that they are kind of bulky.  This is compact and also, cute.

3.)  My pal (and Sister In Arms in the Pursuit of Social Awkwardness and Anxiety)(T, I'm going to needlepoint that on a pillow for you) Teresa, commissioned this

It's not just a cute bag (I'm clearly on a drawstring kick).  Look inside.

Monkey and alligator finger puppets!  For that terrifying kiddie song 5 Little Monkeys Swinging In A Tree, where the alligator sneaks up on them and snatches them out of the tree, presumably to feed them cookies, I HOPE.

4.)  And finally, in the pursuit of trying to get rid of some of my crafty stuff (if only to make room for more), I have made an afghan from scrap yarn.

I like how it turned out.  But, sadly, I can't keep it.  Because I already have stacks and stacks of blankets.  And I live in a place that doesn't often require them.  And if the point of making it was to create more space then it's got to go.  Which is me saying it's yours for the asking.  If no one wants it I'll just hand it over to the DI, which was the original plan. But if you can give it a home, just let me know. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Woman of Elegant Leisure Strikes Again

Did you hear I'm looking for work...again.  Ugh.  My time at the Pod came to an end a few weeks ago.  I miss everyone there, but I do not miss, among other more serious things which we will not discuss, the smell of old people or the occasional glimpse of a foot that looks like meatloaf.  (Have I mentioned to you to avoid diabetes like the plague.  Because I think it may actually be a plague.  Like toads and locusts type of plague.  Egad, the horror.)  It was a good run, and I knew it would only be temporary and, let's face it, what other job would let me flit off to Africa for 3 months and still welcome me back with open arms?  The answer is:  no other job.  So I'm grateful for the time there, but do so miss a regular income. 

Being back on the job hunt has reminded me how much I hate the job hunt.  Mostly because it feels like an enormous waste of time.  You're basically spending a lot of time putting out feelers and sending out resumes and filling out online applications that take all morning to complete (read: this morning).  Only to hear nothing but your bank account gasping for breath in the distance.  I recognize the importance of all this effort (I went for an interview last week and the guy gave me an A. Like, he literally wrote it on the top of my resume.  I high fived myself!) and I certainly put the time in but it gets old not seeing a whole lot of results.  Also, did you know how many scam job postings there are on Craigslist?  Possibly a gajillion. 

So, there's that.  But there's also the joy of a free schedule.  I love going to the grocery store in the morning with the other old ladies.  I love going to gym when the gym rats aren't there to disturb my workout with all their grunting and preening.  I love writing a little itinerary out for myself every night (8:00 am, make breakfast, 8:30 am make something funny out of felt, etc.) and checking things off my to-do list.  One day the Wealthy Benefactor will come along and he'll be amazed at how well I fill my leisure time.  I'm a pro at it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Girly Things

At book club tonight it struck me that what we talk about is exactly what men imagine large groups of women talk about.  That is:  bras, cramps, chocolate, labor and boobs.  We also talk about other things, like the book, but we will always come back around to those 5 standards.  I'm not ashamed.  Because we always have such a grand time. 

Tonight, we were discussing Persuasion and the topic turned to the various adaptations.  The best is the 1995 Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root version.  Do not try to convince me otherwise.  But the more recent and substandard BBC version came up, which meant that I had to do my impersonation of Anne Elliot as she races across Bath, leaping over baskets and invalids in the street, in search of Captain Wentworth.  A scene which, by the way, did not happen in the book because it would have been a scandal.  What Jane Austen heroine ever ran - except for perhaps Harriet Smith when she's being pestered by the gypsies.  No, it is too ridiculous.  Anyway, all that sprinting ends with The Most Awkward Kiss in Cinematic History.  Naturally we had to pull out the copy and show everyone:

Oh, how we howled.  We shrieked and cringed and howled with laughter. 

And then we ate PMS Brownies and talked about boobs some more.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It Was a Good Day at the Fair

I missed the LA County Fair last year because I was busy being hit on by Tunisian date farmers.  An experience I would not have passed up, so it's no complaint.  But while Tunisia does have an abundance of men offering you 300 camels to stay in the Sahara with them, it does not have many deep-fried things on sticks.  So I was understandably eager to return this year.

1.)  There was an entire display in the student arts & science exhibit of famous scientists made out of felt.  And suddenly I did not feel so alone in the world.

Ben Franklin
Jane Goodall

Edward Scissorhands

2.  I don't gamble, but were I to start it would be on horses.  I LOVE watching a horse race.  And not just because it reminds me of the Ascot scene in My Fair Lady (Definitely one of my all time favorite movie scenes.  Ever.)  It's just so exciting to pick a horse - based almost exclusively on how pretty I think it is - and cheer it on.

3.  The majority of the stuff you can buy at the fair is pretty dumb.  Like this toilet paper holder.

Friends, If I see this in your home I will be so embarrassed for you that I won't be able to look you in the eye ever again. 

But if I see that you have purchased this:

as we did, then I will think you the smartest of all people.  A slushy maker!  And it really works!  You put your chosen beverage in the cup with the special ice cubes and shake and in a minute you have a slushy!  It is, as the sign says, magic.

4.  My dream of all fair dreams is to win 1st prize for jam.  Not that I'm an exceptional jam maker.  I make strawberry jam every year and it turns out fine but I feel like one of these times something magical will happen and I'll make a sensational batch and that blue ribbon will be mine.

5.  Let's face it, if it weren't for fair food the place wouldn't be nearly as charming.  The only problem is that there are so many options you don't know where to start.  Here's the trick, get one of everything and share.  We had the usual, chocolate milk, corn dog, bloomin' onion, funnel cake, ice cream, but we also tried something new - the Potato Tornado:

A potato on a stick, deep fried and covered in a suspicious, yet delicious, powdery substance.  Winner.

6.  And finally, a tip:  DON'T RIDE THE RIDES!

You guys!  That is a ROLLER COASTER ON STACKS OF WOOD!!!!  No doubt set up by some 17 year old carnie making minimum wage with an acne problem that is only slightly less worse than his marijuana problem.  We could have tossed our stick from the Potato Tornado at it and the whole thing would have crumbled.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wizard vs. Jedi

There is a healthy debate going on in my family right now that we need your help with:
Wizard vs. Jedi. 
Who would win?
Let's say Voldemort and Obi Wan were going at it.  Voldemort is handy with a wand but Obi Wan has that whole mind control thing.
I have a feeling we're really late to this debate so I expect all of you to have a firm argument already prepared. 

And I'll just save you all the trouble and stuff myself in a locker.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Winged Crawly Things

For about an hour yesterday afternoon my bedroom was under attack.  I was sitting in my reading chair when I noticed something crawling across my window sill.  Something winged but not really flying.  And then I saw another.  And another.  So I opened the blinds and saw the horror.  Hundreds of winged crawly things were swarming the top of my window screen, desperately trying to get in.  I shut the window and did a quick scan of the room and noticed that a few dozen had breached the barricade and were moving across my ceiling like the Spanish Armada.  Who knows what they were after.  Possibly the Otter Pop stash.  I got right to business.  Crawling bugs I can handle.  Had they been using their wings I would have had to move to Australia.  I pulled out the vacuum and sucked them all up.  And then, armed with nothing by my wits and a can of Raid, I opened the window and took out the majority of them through the screen.  This is what was left.

I then proceeded to move everything away from the walls and violently rustle my bed linens to make sure that none were hiding out for a sneak attack later on.  Within the hour the survivors had retreated and the only evidence of the battle were the remains of two of their fallen comrades in the corner of my window sill that is behind my desk and thus a little hard to get to.

I'm giving myself a Medal of Valor.  You're invited to the presentation ceremony.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Eating Labor Day Weekend

Fancy things I ate over Labor Day* weekend

Beignets at the Appels made by James.  Do not inhale when taking a bite.  Or laugh.  Or do laugh and revel in the powdered sugar cloud.  Thanks for letting me invite myself over!

Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza.  Have you done this?  Cook the pizza right on the grill?  It's faster than putting it in the oven and really, really yummy.

Strawberry Watermelon Parfait whipped up by Katie.  Basil lemon whipped cream is suddenly my new favorite flavor.

And, though not fancy, we did stop in at Cielito Lindo's for taquitos and horchata after our Dodger Stadium tour.  If you come out to visit and I give you the Grand Tour of Los Angeles, this will be one of our stops.  Because I love you that much.

*Admit it, if pressed, you would not be able to completely explain Labor Day.  You think that it may have something to do with unions and Jimmy Hoffa.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dear Nancy Bea

Dear Nancy Bea Hefley - Organist for the Los Angeles Dodgers,

So I took a tour of the stadium yesterday.  It was pretty spectacular.  We went up to the press box. 

Here's my view if the Times wants to give me a job as a sports writer.

We went to the luxury suites and choked when our tour guide told us they cost $4000-$6000 per game.  Incidentally, our tour guide had the most obnoxious laugh.  Camille and I like to play a game called "The Most Obnoxious Laugh" where we try to top each other with fake laughs.  It's hysterical fun.  Seriously, try it, you'll be in a fit within 30 seconds.  Our tour guide would win in a landslide.

Anyway, back to the tour.  We walked the halls and saw all sorts of cool memorabilia - including some World Series trophies.

There's me in the dug out.  Yep, the one where the players hang out. 

This picture makes me think of the first time I was at Dodger Stadium.  It was a day game and I was 7 or 8 and all I can remember from it is green grass and blue skies and sunshine and palm trees.  Heaven.

We also sat in the fancy club seats where Tommy Lasorda sits (also Frank McCourt.  Had I been chewing on gum I would have left it on his seat.)  And walked along the warning track.  We couldn't walk on the grass (no worries, I've done it before) but we could take all the pictures we wanted.

Here's a fun one. 

It's me sitting at your organ!  Dream come true!  When we started the tour I just wanted to do two things - go to the dug out and sit at your organ.  Check and check!  I didn't know we couldn't sit on the bench nor did I know we couldn't touch the organ, both of which I did.  I hope you don't mind. I was very respectful.  I'm showing you this picture because I want to let you know I'm gunning for your job.  My qualifications are:  10+ years as an organist at church and my unwavering love of baseball and the Dodgers.  Also, I can knit, which I was told you do to pass the time when you're not playing.  So, work as long as you want.  Retire when you're 80.  But just know that when you're out, I'm in.  

With love from a fellow organist,


P.S. I've always wanted your job but finding out that one of the perks is all you can eat nachos and Dodger Dogs makes me wish you would retire tomorrow.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Oh What Do You Do in the Summertime When All the World is Green

If you know anything about my dear friend Valerie it is that she loves summer.  Like, love-loves it.  When you read her blog (and you should) you will find yourself saying, "You know, summer isn't really the sweat inducing season of Satan's Fiery Breath that I've always thought it was.  It's quite nice.  Let's go have a popsicle."  She wrote an ode to summer recently that made me nostalgic for it - even though it was 95 degrees today, and we still have a good two months worth of warm weather ahead of us round these parts. 

This summer has been lovely.  Despite some rather annoying business (which I didn't write about because, well, I just didn't.  I was busy eating Otter Pops.)  It has been filled with adventure and shaved ice.  A lot of shaved ice.  Just tonight I went in and got a free shaved ice because I filled up a punch card.  Not my first punch card.  Probably my 4th.  I'm not ashamed of my love for shaved ice, people.

In my nostalgia I have compiled a list of Glorious Summertime Moments in no particular order because they were all supreme:

1.)  Filling my first punch card at the shaved ice place (OKAY! So I'm addicted.  If you come and visit me I'll take you there and then you can stop being so judgy.)

2.)  Walking through Union Station with my luggage about to board a train.

3.)  That first night of beach camping, after our tents were set up and we strolled down to the beach. Suddenly it was like every summer of my youth.

4.)  Getting on the jumbo-tron for the second time that night at the Dodger game.

5.)  The point during my birthday party when I looked around and said, "I have really lovely friends," and several people said, "I know."

6.)  The architecture river cruise where it was 10 degrees cooler than the rest of Chicago (Fact:  It was named the Windy City because in the summer it actually is Satan's Fiery Breath blowing down on you.)

7.)  Watching my nephews eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the beach

8.)  Les Miserables with my sisters, all dolled up and sitting in the box seats (as the Queen does), eating contraband peanut M&Ms.

9.)  My cactus blooming not once but three times.

10.)  West Side Story under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl

11.)  The dance party at girls camp

12.)  Singing "Living on a Prayer" at the Music Center sing-along

Oh, it's been good.

What was your favorite part of the summer?