Friday, May 28, 2004

Dinner dilemma

Last night was the night of scrounging through our alarmingly empty kitchen, fruitlessly searching for dinner makings and coming up empty. Bless me father for we have sinned. It's been weeks since our last trip to Trader Joe's and my dining options came down to a handful of frozen chicken nuggets and the last remaining baby gouda, which rattled around in the dairy drawer crying from loneliness. I couldn't bear to put them out of their misery, so I got takeout faux sushi from the new place up the street. Half California roll and half tempura roll---mmm mmm good. Then I watched "28 Days Later" for the umpteenth time. I'm so obsessed.

Glenn likes to tease me because I never cooked when I was single. When left to my own devices, I cobbled together meals from whatever I had in the house-- a handful of almonds, a piece of cheese, some Lipton's rice leftovers, the ever trusty PB&J. Before we moved in together, he'd come to visit and find no food in my kitchen. Cooking is just a pain in my ass. I want instant gratification on the food front, and if a meal requires more than ten minutes of labor I'll happily pay someone else to do the work. This is why Glenn usually handles the cooking. We eat a lot of steamed veggies, pasta with meat sauce, salad from a bag, Trader Joe's chicken sausage cooked to tasty perfection on the George Foreman grill. Then I ignore the dishes in the sink for as long as possible before giving in and cleaning to my heart's content.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Ruminations on a cloudy day

A cloudy, cool day today--very unusual for LA. Believe it or not, I'm glad that the sun is taking a break. It's funny because when I lived on the east coast, I learned to appreciate good weather and make the best of bad weather. Here, I appreciate the bad weather and make the best of good weather. OK, the ratio of good to bad is totally skewed between the two coasts. It's cloudy here about once a month, whereas winter in Boston means six (and sometimes seven) straight months of rain, sleet, snow and cold. I love the sunny weather here and am still not used to the fact that I can hike, run, walk and do the stairs anytime without having to factor in weather concerns because it rains here so rarely. The sunny weather here is fabulous, but the cloudy days are almost a relief, an excuse to stay inside, read a book and make a pot of soup. Part of me misses the coziness that bad weather nurtures, and the odd cloudy day is the closest thing we have here to seasons.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The home stretch

Song in my head: "Red Umbrella" off Kostars' "Klassics with a K.".

T-minus four weeks and counting until the wedding. It's great and exciting and weird and hard to believe. We've been engaged for a year and a half, and have lived together for 3 years, so it doesn't feel like things will change very much, though our married friends say that everything will be different. How? All I know is that I can't wait for the planning part to be over. Why we decided to get married in Vermont when we live in LA is beyond me. Vermont is wonderful and we both love it there, but planning from 3,000 miles away has been a challenge to say the least. My relationship with my mother and my two best friends has suffered because coordinating the planning hasn't been easy or fun for anyone. The whole thing doesn't feel quite real, even though we're rounding up the last unanswered RSVPs and spending disgusting amounts of money on ties and rings. The other day I went in for my last dress fitting and I felt like I was standing in for someone else, as if it wasn't my turn yet. I know I'm supposed to be ecstaticly happy but right now I just feel worn out.

On a totally different topic, there's a great article in this month's New York magazine about the 9-11 widows and how they're moving on with their lives. More power to them, I say. Even though Ashcroft (or as my friends prefer to call him, Asscraft) would prefer for us all to live in perpetual fear since 9-11, it's good that the people who were most directly affected by the terrorist attacks are paving the way for the nation to move forward.

And in other news, it's thrilling to hear that vegetables are being put to musical use and not in the beano kind of way.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Sayonara Nomar

Considering how little he did for the Red Sox last season (hello? He hit the ball twice during the World Series), Nomar should consider himself lucky the Sox still want to overpay him. He might not be so lucky next season.

Pince me, please

Forget terrorism, poverty and environmental degredation. The world is now afflicted with ugly lobsters.

I'm reading online to distract myself from the fact that Glenn is in San Francisco for the weekend. The wedding planning is beginning to wear us both down. I wish we'd just eloped. Moving to LA took so much effort and energy for me, and the wedding planning on top of the long job search and the freelancing--I've never felt so drained in my life. I can't wait to have a week in Vermont with nothing to do but sleep and hang out.

Take your Hard Tail home, trixie

Open letter to every yoga trendoid in LA:

Get a clue. Please. Yoga class is NOT ABOUT retail oneupsmanship. No one cares about your new Fred Segal yoga outfit with the perfectly color coordinated thong and yoga mat. No one cares if you have fat-free thighs or big, round boobies. No one cares if your LuluLemon pants match your earrings. You may think you look hip and trendy but you really just come off as clueless and shallow. As my favorite yoga teacher says (often, because his class is packed with these nitwits), "Don't come to class if you're not here to do the class." If you spend half the class picking at your new pedicure while you're in down dog, this means you.

Yoga trendoids are ubiquitous in LA. They're a breed unto themselves. They twirl, they preen, they wear makeup and jewelry to class in a vain effort to catch themselves a mate. You can generally find them driving their Mercedes SUV to class and bending over whenever a hot guy walks by.

For anyone tending toward the anthropological, the best environment in which to find said trendoids is at Maha Yoga on 26th and San Vicente, or at the vile Zen Zoo Tea around the corner. Your gag reflex will warn you when they're nearby.

Monday, May 24, 2004

You can't put a movie in the freezer

What a bizarre weekend. I stayed out late both nights and am now completely exhausted even though I had not a single drink. I'm old! Old and cranky. All I want to do is stay in bed and read my New Yorker. Yet somehow I dragged my ass to the stairsand flogged myself for 11 sets. The stairs are always good entertainment. Everyone is sweaty and in pain, and they all want to go at their own pace, which is hard when the place is crowded. Sometimes people are chatty but for the most part everyone keeps their heads down (unless, of course, they're gasping for air.) I always wonder what the zillionaires on Adelaide St. think of the schvitzing hordes that loiter in front of their homes.

Saturday night I met friends for a late dinner at Rocca on 4th St. (Celebrity sighting: Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest on their way out of the restaurant as we came in. Jamie Lee looks *great* and was very nice.) Excellent food! There's nothing like good gnocchi. South Beach diet be damned--pasta is yummy shit.

Sunday I went to Amoeba with Higgypiggy. After browsing the music racks, we hit Toast for lunch. Talk about scenes! Toast is the perfect place to eat diabetes-inducing cupcakes and watch actor/actress-wannabes mingle with Hollywood wives whose expensive plastic surgeries didn't turn out as well as planned. If you're in the mood to be snarky, Toast is the perfect place to go.

Fans of "28 Days Later" will understand why I am now terrified of going in my building's dark, dank laundry room. I made the mistake of watching the movie while I was home alone (the cat does not count) and doing laundry. Note to self: do not watch scary movies when home alone. Should have learned that lesson when I read The Shining by flashlight during a thunderstorm. BAD IDEA. It makes me think of the episode of Friends where Joey puts gets scared while he's reading The Shining, so he puts the book in the freezer when he's not reading because the monsters can't get him if the book is in the freezer. BRILLIANT.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Brazil without the bikini waxage

Sometimes the complete lack of culture in LA really gets me down. I know it's out there somewhere, but it's hard to find and traffic makes everything difficult to get to. Also, I don't count movies as being the cultural avatar of our time. There is actually more to life, thank you. So the other night, Glenn and I met some friends for dinner at a Brazilian restaurant with the best name EVER. Zabumba is on the corner of Venice and Overland. I just want to say the name over and over and over again. Zabumba. Zabumba. Zabumba. OK, that's good. We had us some caipirhinas, listened to the samba band and watched the Carnivale parades on an endless video loop.

Why were we all hesitant to get up and dance when the Brazilians on TV clearly had no compunction about shaking their booty in public? We're white and rhythm-free but that's no excuse. It's so easy to get stuck in a wine bar frame of mind. We need more zabumba in our lives. Or at least more regular injections of culture. There's only so many nights of dinner and a movie one person can take.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Dead Wood

Glenn and I are addicted to "Deadwood," the new series on HBO. We walk around the house converting conversation into Deadwood vernacular, sort of like we used to do with Iron Chef: "Sweetie, could you take the fucking laundry down with you? The cocksucker next door has been hogging the washer." It makes me think how much more interesting would LA be if we all talked in Deadwood dialogue all the time. Instead of the incessant schoomzing and ass-kissing that goes on here, people could be straightforward with each other and actually tell it like it is.

"That cocksucker is wearing the ugliest fucking pants I've ever seen in my life!"
"If you fucking go behind my back one more time and pretend like you're working on my behalf, I'll fucking kill you, you cocksucker."
"I want a fucking latte without any goddamn crap in it."
"Your screenplay is a piece of shit. I'm not goddamn paying for it and I'm not afraid someone else will buy it and turn it into a fucking blockbuster."

The only downside is that the number of actual murders would far outpace the professional and social kind. Well, it would make it harder for incompetent people to fail upward, that's for sure.

Calamity Jane and Swearingen could really do some good here.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Once More, With Feeling

I'd forgotten how brilliant the "Once More, With Feeling" episode of Buffy was until I got a copy of the soundtrack and now I've got the entire album stuck in my head. Usually musicals leave me gagging, but the songs and lyrics from this are so good that listening to the CD is like eating just the right number of your favorite candies.

One of the songs sums up parking in this city to a T:

I've been having a bad, bad day
Come on won't you put that pad away
I'm asking you please no
It isn't right, it isn't fair
There was no parking anywere
I think that hydrant wasn't there
Why can't you let it go?
I think I've paid more than my share
I'm just a poor girl don't you care?
Hey I'm not wearing underwear

Higgypiggy's posted some of the funniest Joss dialogue out there.

Even though it's been months since Buffy ended, I still miss the show. Not as much as some other people, though.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Alley Etiquette

There's a peculiar dance that happens every day in the alley behind my apartment building. It's a pretty narrow alley and there's no room for more than one car to drive at a time. This being LA, where cars are a mix of necessity/prized possession/vanitymobile and everyone pretty much leaves for and returns from work at the same time, there's frequently a conflict over right-of-way. Most people are pretty polite about it. The accepted etiquette goes as follows:

--if you're pulling into the alley from the street, particularly from the end that's as steep as a rollercoaster, you have right of way and the other car must pull over to let you by.

--if you're in the alley and someone pulls out in front of you, right of way depends on who has the most space to get by. If the other person has no space, they must wait for you, and vice versa.

--if you try to pull into the alley while another car is exiting, you're a jerk.

--if you park a truck in the alley and block all traffic, you're the antichrist and many people will leave you nasty notes on your windshield. The same applies to cars whose owners allow the car alarm go off for more than 10 seconds.

All of the above is null and void if the ubiquitous garbage trucks are hogging the alley, which is pretty much every morning around the time everyone is trying to leave for work. There are maybe 16 buildings that back onto our alley and every single one of them contracted with a different trash service (or so it seems, judging from the frequency with which the trash trucks go booming by).

In the lovely and extremely apt words of Jason Falkner:
"Garbage man, oh garbage man, why won't you leave my street?
How can this street possibly excrete this much trash seven days a week?"

Can you tell he lives in Hollywood?

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Night Choppers

What is up with the helicopters that circle our neighborhood every night? They do regular flybys over the apartment and they are LOUD. The past few nights they've gone by around 11:30pm but earlier this week they did an hour-long tour of duty starting at 3:30am. When I dragged my tired ass out of bed to call the police and complain--earplugs be damned, there was no way to sleep with that droning outside the window--I saw the chopper flying a tight circle over part of San Vicente Blvd. with its spotlight down. Were they chasing someone? Helping out a road crew? Filming something? What's the deal? Something tells me that the corner of San Vicente and Montana is not a high crime neighborhood.