Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tag! You're it!

Ok, the whole internets has been tagged by Crazy Aunt Purl, and since I'm going to ask her to look into my astrological chart, and I don't want her to foresee rampant destruction, raping, pillaging & looting in my future, I think it's best to appease.

TEN random things you might not know about me.
1. I have unbelievably weak ankles. Seriously, I've sprained my ankles (right and left) a combined total of 20+ times in my life. And I'm only 30 years old, so you do the math.
2. I have ugly feet. Very wide (say, D width), and my second toe is longer than my big toe. Plus, they are generally deformed looking from 7 years of dancing ballet on pointe.
3. My first real job was teaching ballet. You wouldn't think it to look at me, but from age 15-18, I spent almost every Saturday getting 2-8 year olds to point their toes.
4. I am insanely ticklish.
5. I am addicted to lip balm. Benefit's Lip Tint is good when I want some color, but the best all-around lip balm EVER is the Walgreen's special: Cococare's Cocoa Butter Lip Balm in the yellow tube.
6. I never pictured myself meeting the love of my life at age 18. In high school, I always thought I'd be a Miranda: career focused, ruthless single girl type. And then, first semester of college, I meet Richard, who sweeps me off my feet. And who, 12 years later, still makes me weak at the knees.
7. I misspelled the word "calendar" in the 4th grade spelling bee. Pathetic.
8. I obsess for YEARS over the stupid and inappropriate things that come out of my mouth.
9. I hate doing laundry. It wouldn't be so bad if I had my own washer & dryer, but I have to go into the basement to use the coin operated ones, and I just can't be bothered.
10. I am a sci-fi nerd. I am obsessed with the new Battlestar Galactica and I have read every book in the MageWorlds series. Bet that one surprised you!

NINE places I've visited
1. Rome
2. Florence
3. Playa del Carmen
4. Honolulu
5. New York City
6. Washington D.C.
7. Lake Tahoe!
8. New Mexico (Alburquerque, Santa Fe, Taos)
9. Tennessee (Nashville, Gatlinburg, Memphis)

EIGHT ways to win my heart
1. Make me dinner. The way to my heart is definitely through food.
2. Get along with my family. They may be crazy, but they're mine.
3. Have good spelling and punctuation. Ever since the "calendar" incident, nothing makes me crazier than using "it's" when it should have been "its."
4. Do my laundry. One year, Richard paid to take all my dirty laundry to a cleaning service for my birthday. Best present ever.
5. Go to flea markets with me.
6. PIE! Or cobbler. Or brown betty, buckle or bundt. I love me some fruity desserts.
7. Foot massage. Richard is the only person ever to touch my feet and not tickle them. I can't even get pedicures because I can't stop giggling, but for some reason, Richard gives good foot rubs.
8. Kitty love. When I'm feeling down, nothing beats having Deano or Doyle crawl up in my lap to snuggle.

SEVEN things I want to do before I die
1. Take a photo safari to Africa with my dad.
2. Read the final Harry Potter book. If I die before I find out how it all ends, I'll be very upset.
3. Spend as much time as possible at Lake Tahoe, my favorite place in the world.
4. Get my parents to talk to each other like normal people.
5. Become a good enough seamstress so that I can create any clothing item I can dream up.
6. Have kids. We're moving towards that, but I'm not counting any chickens yet.
7. Enjoy the life that I have every day.

SIX things I'm afraid of
1. Cockroaches.
2. Losing Richard.
3. Losing my family.
4. Losing my friends.
5. People realising I'm not as smart as I pretend I am.
6. Not being able to have kids. I've spent the last 13 years trying not to get pregnant. What if, now that I want to, I can't?

FIVE things I don't like
1. Laundry, but I already said that.
2. Broccoli.
3. Maraschino cherries.
4. Cotton candy.
5. Poor grammar! (and anyone who reads though my blog entries and points out all the mistakes I've made)

FOUR ways to turn me off
1. Criticize my cats.
2. Be insensitive.
3. Blow smoke through your nose. (Richard used to smoke and the brown spots he'd get under his nose were so gross)
4. Wear inappropriate footwear. No open-toed shoes with nylons! No man sandals at formal weddings!

THREE things I do every day
1. Oversleep. Seriously, I roll out of bed at about 8:15 a.m., 8:40 if I'm not taking a shower. My work day is supposed to start at 8:30 a.m., but I'm lucky if I'm here by 9:10 a.m.
2. Wear at least one thing I've made. If I'm wearing a completely store bought outfit, it just feels wrong, somehow.
3. Wear lip balm. I'm addicted, I tell you.

TWO things that make me happy
1. Getting compliments on things I've made. I know I make things because I like them, and not so they please others, but it's still nice to get a compliment.
2. Egg nog. Best part about the extended Christmas season (Oct. 20 - Jan. 6)

ONE thing on my mind right now
1. How much work I'm avoiding right now.

OK, Aunt Purl, I'm done. Anyone else feel like giving this one a whirl?

Monday, November 28, 2005

long time no post

First, let me tell you that I am ectstatic that I don't have to leave LA for 3 1/2 weeks. This summer & fall were non-stop travel (SF, San Jose, Lake Tahoe, San Jose, Seattle, Camp, Dallas, Bike Tour, New Mexico, San Jose, Salt Lake City, New York, Kingsburg, Paso Robles). My cats were ready to sue for neglect (not true, we have pet sitters, but they still aren't happy with us). But now, I'm parking myself in LA and not leaving until Christmas.

New York was fabulous. Cold (highs in the mid-40s), but fab. Good food (Les Halles, Kitchen 82 and Thalia all were yummy) helped. I did go to the Museum at FIT and it was very cool to see some of the fantastic pieces from FIT's permanent collection. This museum will always be at the top of my list of places to visit when in NYC.

We also hit the Met and spent all day there, but of course only saw a fraction of the exhibits. We spent a lot of time downstairs in the Costume Institute and their exhibit: Rara Avis: Selections from the Iris Barrel Apfel Collection. This exhibit was a fascinating look at how a woman with real... hutpah, let's call it, has collected pieces from couture fashion, primitive art, flea market finds, and puts it together to become truly a fashion trailblazer. She is more than Jackie O. or Audrey Hepburn or another famous rich woman who served as mannequin for a designer to display their collection. It was amazingly inspiring.

We also visited the Museum of Natural History, mostly to see the dinosaurs. I always feel weird in natural history museums, mostly because they are collections of taxidermied animals that I could see alive at a good zoo or aquarium. But we did see the Darwin exhibit, which was fascinating, especially in light of the ridiculous intelligent design "debate." While finishing the exhibit, we saw Dr. Ruth! She was getting a special walk-through with a museum staffer, so we hung back and listened.

Got back from New York and it was Thanksgiving all of a sudden. We spend it with Rich's family up in Kingsburg, CA, a tiny burg about 20 minutes south of Fresno. My dad joined us and we had a huge spread of turkey, ham, tri-tip, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, asparagus, homemade tangerine-cranberry sauce (the asparagus & cranberry sauce were my contributions to the dinner), chocolate cake, chocolate cream pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and apple pie. It was overwhelming. And fantastic.

On Saturday, Rich & I drove out to Paso Robles to meet my friend Carrie, whose parent retired there last year. She needed to escape the extended family, so we went wine tasting. We might have tasted a *few* wines. Here's the rundown:
Summerwood Winery
Peachy Canyon Winery
Hunt Cellars -- our favorite of Saturday. Every wine was amazingly tasty.
Dover Canyon
Opolo Vineyards
Norman Vineyards

Caparone Winery -- our favorite of Sunday. Unusual grapes made for rich tasting wines.
Rabbit Ridge
Locatelli Vineyards
Pretty-Smith Vineyards -- another favorite. Really small (the woman pouring our wines was the owner/winemaker/label artist!) but tasty.

We left with 13(!) bottles, some appropriate for intimate fancy dinners, while others I'd break out for WeHo SnB (get ready for some smooth drinkin' wine, ladies!).

And now, I can enjoy the next 3 1/2 weeks in LA. Stitch n Bitch, Yarn Lady sale (depending on finances), Bazaar Bizarre, parties, and most importantly, time at home on the couch!

Monday, November 14, 2005

hot time, November in the city?

Ok, it is now November 14, I purchased my first Starbucks eggnog latte of the season, and here in LA, it is supposed to get to 80 degrees. Up to 90 degrees in the Valley. I know that it's Southern California, and we are blessed with fantastic weather, but when November arrives, I want a chill. The high should be around 68 degrees, with a low of about 50 degrees. If I were a true Angeleno, I'd break out the scarf with the tank top, the Ugg boots and the shorts. But I just can't do it. It just feels like cheating.

I did get to wear my fabulous mohair cowl neck sweater yesterday, as we were in Salt Lake City for the weekend. I know, SLC isn't exactly known as a hopping weekend destination, especially for the non-LDS and non-skier. But we have friends (and their 4 kids) there whom we haven't seen in a very long time, so a bunch of college friends from all over the West Coast flew in to cook a great "Friends Thanksgiving" meal and spend time together. It was very fun. We had a great time, and a huge meal: corn casserole, glazed carrots, jello salad, twice baked potatoes, orange cranberries, turkey, stuffing, gravy, apple pie, pimpkin roll & chocolate fudge pie. Is it really tryptophane that makes you sleepy on Thanksgiving, or is it the 3500 calories that you ingested in a 45-minute period?

Made quite a bit of progress on the afghan for Friend #1. I'd say I was walmost done, but I'm not sure if it's big enough. I may need to buy more yarn. We'll see.

Rich is currently up in the air on his way to NYC. I leave to meet him on Wednesday, our 3rd wedding anniversary. We're having dinner at Les Halles, the French bistro made famous by Anthony Bourdain, Les Halles' exec chef who wrote "Kitchen Confidential" and "A Cook's Tour." We also picked up tickets to Spamalot and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Of note to sewers, the museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) is opening a new permanent exhibit: the Fashion & Textile History Gallery. It opens tomorrow, and sounds amazing. I'm so excited to see it. Pictures will come when I get back.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

take that, Govahnatoh!

Hurrah! Arnold's propositions went down in flames! I've been doing the happy dance all morning, once it was confirmed that all the props went down. It was touch and go on the parental notification of a teen's abortion proposition and the one that would have made public unions get permission each and every year from members to use dues for political contributions.

Maybe now Arnold will actually have to govern from the middle (like he promised to do when he was elected) rather than pander to the right. Maybe he'll actually have to make compromises with the legislature, rather than just "take it to the people." You know what? The people elected the legislature. They are our representatives. Deal with them, rather than taking every little issue back to us. Nobody wanted this election, Arnie, besides you and your special interest financial backers. So guess what? You just caused the state to waste $50 million on an election in which you got bitch-slapped. And you're complaining that the state spends $1.10 for every $1 it brings in? Maybe if you would do your job, and negotiate in good faith, you and the legislature would be able to fix things.

P.S. Arnie, good luck in your upcoming negotiations with the public employee unions (police, nurses, etc.). You know, those same groups you accused of highjacking the political process? Yeah, have fun with that. I'm sure they'll just forgive and forget how you smeared them and called them ugly names.

P.S.S. Sometimes, every once in a while, it feels good to be a Democrat and have the joy of winning. I haven't had the opportunity to feel this way in a while, and I'm sure it won't last (Phil Angelides and Steve Westley, really? Is that the best we can do?), but I'll just enjoy it while it does.

Monday, November 07, 2005

everybody hurts, sometimes

And now I hurt, more specifically, my neck hurts. Yes, I legitimately have a pain in my neck. I was sewing last night, and dropped a spool of thread behind my sewing cabinet. I got down on the floor and reached behind the cabinet, twisting my neck in the process, and it hurts like a mo-fo. I put a Thermacare wrap on it and slept with it on last night, and it's better this morning, but it's still not good. So while I'm looking cute in my new yellow top that I finished last night, I'm stiffly walking around like Frankenstein's monster. ME NEED DR-UUU-GG-SSS NN-OOO-WW.

I had my mom, stepdad & sister down this weekend to see the King Tut exhibit. It was good, but very crowded and there were only 50 pieces in the whole show. I saw way more Egyptian artifacts at the Met in New York and the Vatican Museums in Rome (Vatican City really, but come on...) So it was worthwhile, but not earth-shattering.

The other big news from this weekend is that we decided not to pursue the apartment we had been looking at in West Hollywood. It was really cute, in a great location, had a pool and exactly 1 floor down from my good friend, Faith. But it was at the top end of our price range, and didn't have absolutely everything we were looking for (no central air, no laundry in the unit, and biggest for me -- no private outdoor space). I don't know if we'll ever really find a place with everything we're looking for, but I just want to wait until it really feels right.

Friday, November 04, 2005


In a riff on Miss Kendra's post, I'm going to write about depression this morning. And yet, I'm not depressed. I'm chipper, actually. I feel like I'm in a good place emotionally, semi-stable place financially, and a postive place work-wise.

Not that I've never been depressed. I've been through short-term therapy twice, the first time in college while my parents were getting divorced, and the second about a year-and-a-half ago when work was very stressful, I couldn't find a new job, and I felt it was impacting my relationship with Richard. I've never been on any mood-enhancing drugs, although most members of my family have, to their benefit.

So why am I writing about depression? Lately, I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop in my life. Like things are going really well, relatively, and so something crappy must be on its way. Rich & I had a huge, knock-down, drag-out fight/discussion/tear-fest in Taos last month that could have ended very badly, but, luckily for all parties involved, it didn't. That was the worst thing that has happened to me in a long time. But I've watched some of my friends go through difficult times this year: my dear friend's boyfriend (whom she had just moved in with 2 days before) died unexpectedly; another friend just had a baby 4 weeks premature, and she struggled emotionally until her baby was able to come home from the hospital.

And yet, I feel good. Not about those bad things that have happened to friends, but about my life in general. How long can someone be happy? Isn't life cyclical? Isn't that what we tell people who are going through tough times, "it's got to get better?" So is the reverse true? Does it have to get worse? A
nd am I just being a self-involved idiot for looking at my happy-go-lucky life and trying to plumb some angst and sympathy? Am I just like some pampered suburban teenager in black who complains about how awful life is when everything has been handed to them on a silver plate?

I'm not going to complain about how great I feel in general. It's a good thing, and I should just hold onto it for as long as I can. And I've asked Laurie to do an astrology chart for me, just in case I need to be prepared for the crap to hit the fan.

For those people who are reading this and wondering, where's the knitting? What about the craft updates? Isn't it almost Christmas (7 crafting weeks left!)? Well, at SnB last night, I bemoaned the fact that Richard's sweater is taking forever. When I rechecked my gauge, I was way too tight -- instead of 18 stiches and 24 rows to 4", I was at 24 stitches and 28 rows. So I have to rip out the stockinette (I'll leave the ribbing as is -- it will be too depressing if I have to start completely from scratch), and redo, probably with size 8 needles, instead of size 6s. So, in the long run, the sweater will go quicker, but probably not quick enough for my sanity.