Friday, April 30, 2004
Sephora stores are like Mecca for girly girls. If I'm in the right mood, I like nothing better than to wander around with my wire mesh shopping basket loading up on make up, nail polish and skin care products that I will take home and probably never use because I'm not really into wearing makeup. I am however, a packaging whore. I will buy anything if it has cool packaging. Or a gimmick, like the perfume they carry that's called "Dirt" and it totally smells like dirt. I didn't buy dirt perfume, but I was so pleased to sample it.
My friend Marcia recently went and spent some time at Sephora - she was euphorically rapturous upon her return home. But there is apparently a downside to the Sephora experience as illustrated in her e-mail which I have permission to share with you...
So this is hilarious. You know last night I scrubbed with Ginger scrub and used strawberry body wash and shampoo and then I put Origins Ginger soufflé cream on and dusted with honey dust. (okay no problem yet.) Then in the morning I got up early to go roller blading. Normally I use a Baby Block sunscreen without scent. But I was so into the scent thing, I decided to use Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen.
So basically, I smelled like a fucking tropical fruit salad. And...basically...I turned into one gigantic meal for bugs. So I am skating along nice as can be and I get to my "half way blow my nose...catch my breath and turn around spot" I notice that I am FUCKING COVERED with blackish green bugs. They are all over my tie-shirt front and back. They are in my hair. They are on my shorts. They are on my arms and legs. They are stuck in the Velcro of my skates and knee/wrist guards. Naturally I completely freak out and start shaking my clothing and slapping them away. A female jogger sees me in distress and comes to help me get them off my back. But now I have to skate all the way back...against the wind. So every 25-50 ft I'm shaking my clothing and wapping at my head and body and the bugs are flying into my mouth and nose. And I am not exactly silent. I am making little "ach" and "yech" and "ahhh!" sounds all the while. And I am aware of what I must look like to the people walking on the walkway above me. I'm sure I looked like someone either having a schizophrenic paranoid attack or perhaps someone going through the worst part of drug withdrawal. I finally get to my car, rip off my skates (extracting the bugs from the Velcro) and slap the crap out of my clothing and body. I jump in my car and rush home. I do not rest or stop to hydrate. The second I get in the garage I shut the door and rip off my clothing. I leave my clothes in the garage and run inside to the shower.
And now we know that there is a hidden downside to Sephora.
Thursday, April 29, 2004
I am reading a book right now, like actually right this minute, called "Inappropriate Men", by Stacey Ballis. I am finding myself a bit disconcerted by it because, while it is, for the most part, well written, I cannot help but think that it's totally autobiographical. The main character, Sydnie, is a self described sexy fat girl - 5'3" and 265 pounds, with curly hair and pretty eyes. The author's photo on the back of the book is an extreme close up of her face, her very round face and pretty eyes, framed by curly hair. And it is an extreme close up of her face, which is what people do when they're fat. Just try internet dating and see if I'm not right - but that's another story. Sydnie is a writer/poet/drama lit professor who lives in Chicago. Stacey writes fiction and in addition she is a poet and the Director of Education and Community programs at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
Are you seeing the parallels?
The reason I find this discomfitting is that this story is about an affair that the main character has with a much older man who is her father's partner in his law firm. I cannot help but wonder if this really happened. I feel like you do when someone is telling you a story about "one of their friends", but you begin to realize that they are talking about themselves. It would just be so much easier if they dropped the pretense, you know?
The other thing that keeps throwing me off is that while the narrative is very well written and the poetry that Sydnie is moved to write as she rolls along (sorry) in this illicit adventure is more than good, the dialogue - the part when the characters actually speak to each other is so stilted it's like cruising the highway and hitting some bigass potholes! Example: Him - "Either we should have another drink and go straight to hell, or maybe we should stop." Her - "I suppose that is for you to decide. I am fine to continue, drink or no, or to leave, whichever will make you happiest." Him - "I think maybe it will be smarter for you to go." Her - "If you like."
This is the dialogue right before he takes her to bed! It's like freakin' Jane Austen. The tune to Conjunction Juntion What's Your Function keeps going through my head! All of the dialogue is ponderous like that. It's just not how people speak to each other. And it's completely distracting me. When I get to those parts in this otherwise enjoyable read I try to just speed past and put the conjuctions in, but I find my lips mouthing the words and it's like I'm reading some Victorian drama.
Other than that - the fact that I feel like I'm reading Stacey's diary, only she's calling herself Sidney, and I keep tripping on stilted dialogue - I am liking this book a lot. And for more than just a good story. It's turning into an absolute bonanza of reference. For instance while reading the book I have discovered this place which was really interesting. Also a kick ass dijon chicken recipe, as well as this place for everything you need to create a womblike bed upon which to have your affair.
She even recommends a book wherein you can learn to give your married lover the perfect handjob - Sex Tips for Straight Women From a Gay Man. This triggered a hilarious memory. I am familiar with the book because when it first came out my friend Roseanne and I went to a Learning Annex workshop taught by the authors, a straight woman and her gay best friend. Oh yes we did! The class was over at one of those Hilton type, corporate hotels in Culver City, and held in one of the conference rooms that normally house sales meetings. On this special night there were close to 50 women all anxious to learn some new tricks with which to please our men. Roseanne and I agreed that the authors didn't really have much to say that we didn't already know - being sexually liberated, worldly gals, but the other women in attendance were definitely an adventure in enlightenment.
Women are just great because once we get warmed up we will discuss sex in very pragmatic and direct terms. Men on the other hand tend to speak euphemistically with "you knows" and sentences that trail off into mystery leaving the listener to fill in the blanks. This poor little gay man about had a coronary when it came time for the Q&A. We wanted specifics and his face was blushing a bright magenta as we grilled him. Then the sharing started and I swear he was hyperventilating. Even my mouth dropped open in shock. There was a very sweet looking lady, kind of like your elementary school librarian, who was probably in her 50s, although she was quite overweight with helmut hair, and she was wearing a bright green polyester leisure suit so she maybe looked older than she was, but she couldn't wait to share about the benefits of saran wrap over the asshole when dispensing a rim job.
I swear to God!
That experience gave me a new appreciation for the phrase "you can't judge a book by it's cover". This was a West L.A. crowd, white suburban ladies who were into ass play and strap ons (that they used on their men!) and group sex and pretty much anything else you'd find in a Nancy Friday book. Who knew? That poor gay man had pit stains and was pretty much in the fetal position by the time it was over. It was extremely informational to say the least, even the gay man learned new stuff.
And this book goes into those kind of details as well. So if you want to read a book full of hot sex between a short fat woman and a 50+ older married man, with good narrative, very good poetry and excellent real life references - and weird stilted dialogue won't distract you - then pick up "Inappropriate Men" by Stacey (who's calling herself Sidney) Ballis.
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Okay - I'm back. It was hotter than a witches tit in a brass bra, but totally worth it. First of all I left at the perfect time, e.g. the time of lowest traffic flow, and made it out to Palm Springs in an hour forty five minutes. And that's with a three car accident in the fast lane just east of Redlands and a truck fully engulfed in flames in Beaumont. The temperature was at 103 degrees when I rolled through Rialto. Yesterday I was really paying attention because I was drivng a new route from Burbank and now I know where Monrovia and places that are mentioned on radio ads for carpet warehouse sales are. I was a little worried about my ancient old BMW handling the heat, but it did just fine and got me there in record time.
Korakia is located in old Palm Springs, just three blocks west of Palm Canyon. There are two main buildings, originally houses, which were built in the 20s and sit across the street from each other. I went out to meet my best friend who had booked the south pool bungalow in the Mediterranean Villa (16 rooms). There are about 6 rooms that abut the pool area, the others are set back further and in their midst is a bocci court and a ping pong table. The bungalow is free standing with slate tile floors and walls consisting of french doors which open onto the pool area. There are large olive trees all around the pool area which gave me shade - a necessity since I am a really white woman who wrinkles easily.
We changed into our bathing suits and set out to round up lounge chairs so we could bask in the hot dry desert heat. I'm being dramatic. It was actually pretty nice - about 102 degrees. Perfect for an afternoon of inertia, napping and reading. Normally I'm sure that Korakia is very peaceful and calm and perfectly suited to relaxation, but yesterday marked the arrival of Anne, Denise and Candace who were pounding mojitos and plotting out where they were going to meet "hot men". They were drunk and loud and pretty darn funny. I could've gotten annoyed, because there was no napping in their proximity. You know that sketch they do on Saturday Night Live featuring Drunk Girl? Well multiply times three and that's what was splashing in our pool. The thing is they were hilarious and I couldn't help but engage them in conversation.
Anne, a robust woman, e.g. big boobs, big ass and a booming voice, in her late 30s/early 40s, is recently married to a man whom she met six years ago. Upon meeting him she advised him that he would marry her so he better get those other women out of his system. He told her she was crazy. But she got him. She had such a strong personality it occurred to me that she might've just worn him down. You know successfully stalked him till she brought him to ground. Denise is blond, 34, single and hating it! We were comparing wild sex in Palm Springs stories from years ago. I once almost got caught by security having wild nekkid sex on the 14th green of the golf course by Costa's. But she won. She once had sex at Pompeii's. On the dance floor. In a crowd of people. Don't think I could get that drunk. Candace the third of the drunk girls is 25 and, well, she really didn't have any interesting stories - yet. After consuming a bottle of rum they started drunk dialing guys that they know, trying to coerce them into coming out to the desert for dinner. No takers. At about 5pm they started making plans for their evening - pondering where they could go to meet hot guys. I chimed in that most of the guys who live in Palm Springs are like gay, or ninety. I mean it was Tuesday night!
I couldn't help but wish that we had gotten one of the rooms across the street. Away from the party. They finally went in to get ready and I got to enjoy a little peace and quiet by the pool before I had to get ready for dinner. The shower in our room was one of those that you often see in Europe - no doors, no real shower area - more like a corner of the entirely tiled room where a shower head jutted from the wall. I kind of like the freedom of not worrying about getting water on the floor. Water could go anywhere! Before dinner we walked across the street and checked out the mint tea and cheese spread the hotel puts out. It was a little warm to snack on cheese, but the pool at the Moroccan Villa was very cool. It's round with a little palapa and a wall of fountains to the left of it. In fact there are a few fountains on that side of the street so that you could lay in your bed and hear the burble outside your rustic wooden door.
Dinner was at Las Casuelas, an oooooooold favorite mexican spot. There was a live band and big margaritas and chips and guacamole after which we mosied back to our groovy pensione to find that the fire pits had been lit at both villas and next to our bungalow, out by the bocci court they were showing The Big Sleep starring Bogie and Bacall. We pulled up lounge chairs and laid out under the stars to watch the movie.
Went to sleep around 10pm and woke up at 6:30 to an absolutely glorious day. Will definitely be going back to visit again. Hopefully without Anne, Denise and Candace.
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
It's currently an unseasonably warm 95 degrees in Los Angeles.
So I've decided to head out to Palm Springs where it should be about 110 degrees.
I'm going to this place that I've mentioned before. It's free.
See yesterday's post.
Details to follow tomorrow.
Monday, April 26, 2004
When I was a kid my parents liked to do stuff with me and my brother. I often took this for granted but as I've gotten older I remember those times gratefully, for the most part. As I got older and wanted to hang out with my friends and avoid my parent my mom had to make family day mandatory, but in those last years of adolesence when I still liked hanging with the family I remember good times. We would do stuff with other families and very often it was good cheap fun. I think that a lot of stuff we have to pay for now was free back then - like parking.
One of the best things that we did was go to Griffith Park and have a picnic dinner and then sneak up the back of the mountain that the Greek Theatre nestles in, where we would climb the trees and watch the summer concerts. It felt really voyeuristic - like we were watching the concert, but also watching the people in the audience have the concert going experience.
One of the best performers EVER! was Neil Diamond. We were lucky enough to be in attendance on one of those Hot August Nights forever commemorated on the album by the same name. Granted we were sitting in the trees, but the power of his performance came off the stage in waves and listening to the record brings back sense memories - the humid air and the smell of earth and sweat from the exertion of getting to our perches. The spilled grape Cool-aid on my shirt.
There is a reason why there are Neil Diamond tribuite bands in abundance. And it's not just the outfits, although the guy sported some pretty tricked out duds, skintight denim with the shirt unsnapped almost to the waist with embroidery and beading, the big 70s mane of hair - he was the ultimate troubador. The songs themselves are just plain fun - they're fun to listen to, they're fun to sing and one can only imagine that to stand on a stage in front of adoring fans all dancing would be the ultimate good time.
We had to stop sneaking into the Greek Theatre in the mid 70s because of increasing gang activity. We were on our way up the hill to see Al Green one warm summer night and park rangers with rifles told us that it wasn't safe and escorted us back to the car. And indeed Griffith Park became a gang haven. And Neil Diamond's brand of entertainment got real cheesy.
But I still love to listen to the Hot August Night cd while driving in the car with the windows down, singing at the top of my lungs - I'm not very cool, but I'm having a good time. And I will sneak in for free fun, even if I have the price of admission because occasionally it's just the very best kind of fun to have!
Friday, April 23, 2004
This administration claims that
are an invasion of the privacy of the families of the fallen.
I beg to differ.
These pictures are an illustration of the cost of war.
When I first saw them my first thought was of the film they used to show on the news in the late 60s of PILES OF BODYBAGS, stacked one on top of the other on a tarmac. PILES = hundreds at a time.
When I first saw these pictures I thought that at least the body count is currently small enough that those who have sacrificed can be honored by returning home in a nicely decorated box.
When I first saw these pictures I thought about the families who would pick up a flag draped coffin at the airport and not their son, brother, father, daughter, sister, mother.
When I look at these pictures I hope that they have the same effect that the bodybag shots did 35 years ago - people took stock of the cost of a war that couldn't be won and they stopped supporting it.
Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground.
But be sure we don't throw the freedom away and make these lives lost meaningless.
It is an absolutely beautiful, bright sunshiney day. There is a nice breeze blowing and the teperature is right around 80 degrees. This is spring in Burbank.
About 4 months ago I switched from my cable company to Directv which is a much better deal for a lot less money. BUT, Directv doesn't have The Weather Channel. Initially I didn't think this was going to be a problem. I mean, I've got 5 HBO channels and every other channel I had with cable - more even! BBC America is one of my new favorite surfing spots. Have you seen The Office? It's terrific television and they've got Monty Python's Flying Circus, well, it doesn't get any better than that.
But I am jonesing for the Weather Channel. I had no idea how seriously addicted I am to meteorological charts and the moving maps showing the highs and lows as they follow each other across this mass of land we live on. Since my part of the mass sits next to the Pacific Ocean, SoCal gets warm tropical storms from Mexico and freezing arctic storms from the north. I used to have intimate knowledge of what was going on - weather wise. I know that if it's really hot and clear it's because of the "high" lingering over the southern California region. If the days are gray and humid I know this is because there is a "low" stalled overhead.
I used to wake up and turn on the weather channel first thing in the morning. I was never unprepared. My information was up-to-the-minute accurate. But in the months that have passed I have found myself without a sweater, or worse without an umbrella! Because I no longer get the "allergy map" I don't take my Claritin until it's too late.
Last night I scrolled through the myriad channels on Directv to see if perhaps I had just missed it. But no, there was no weather channel with helmut haired lady anchors in spring pastel colored suits. No men with plastic hair and bottle tans expounding on tornado season in the midwest. No one to tell me whether or not it was raining in Spain.
And there was nothing I wanted to watch on any of my HBOs!
Thursday, April 22, 2004
Hancock Park is an affluent neighborhood that I drive through every day on my way to work. It looks like a perfect cookie cutter world where every blade of grass grows in just the right shade of technicolor green. In years past the people who lived in the neighborhood were white and not Jewish. They were definitely not black. They all went to the Wilshire Country Club to golf and immerse themselves in properly attired white life. People from the entertainment community were not welcome by virtue of their celebrity the way they are today. Their nouveau, boojy butts were relegated to the hills of Beverly. When Nat King Cole purchased a house in Hancock Park in 1949 his neighbors shunned him and circulated a petition to make him move out. He stayed.
Today the neighborhood is made up of old money holdouts and those who can afford the real estate. There has been a lot of uproar and protest about the wealthy Koreans who have moved in and made changes to the stately old homes to reflect their own culture; change is, after all, hard, but no home has raised more furor than the one on Muirfield purchased by a black man who proceeded to paint the house all white with a faux grecian facade.
Because the owner didn't stop there, thematically speaking! On his front lawn, behind the white rod iron fence that surrounds his property he installed twenty3 foot tall statues of Michelangelo's naked David, all standing atop white Ionic columns and as their center piece in a slightly elevated position is a smaller replica of the Venus de Milo! At night they are illuminated by floodlights!! It's a smaller version of the sheik's mansion that used to sit on Sunset Boulevard in the 80s, surrounded by statues with painted pubic hair. So, you know, it could be worse.
There were association meetings and petitions circulated in an attempt to get the owner to take the statues down. His response was, "Fuck you", it's my property and I can do what I want. Personally, I enjoy driving by his house everyday and imagining what the inside looks like. I imagined gilded mirrors and flocked wall paper, very flamboyant and Liberace-like. I imagined that he was probably flamboyantly gay because who else but a Bobby Trendy would surround themselves with naked Davids? I have never seen anyone going in or out, nor any sign of life beyond the Bentley that occasionally sits in the driveway.
Today I was almost killed by the owner of that house as I was driving to work! And I was so thrilled to actually see him in the flesh that anger was not, per usual, the next emotion I felt after the fear induced rush of adrenaline! No! Upon seeing his huge top down, convertible Bentley, bronze with metallic orange side panels, come screeching around the corner on two wheels directly into the path of my oncomng vehicle swerving wildly to avoid hitting me, my only reaction was to gape with mouth open, in undisguised curiousity, at this vision! Is it Sly Stone? Is this where he's been all these years? It happened so fast I only have an impression of the man driving the car. He had a huge golden hued afro that was blowing around his leonine face and he was wearing what looked like one of those Quiana knit disco shirts from the 70s, unbuttoned to his sternum. The pattern of the shirt matched his car and his hair! I was mesmerized.
He is better than I ever imagined and I am about one half inch away from becoming a stalker. He fascinates me!
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
I really didn't want to go here and normally I wouldn't because I am making a conscious effort not to look at the propaganda spewing from corporate media about this administration, the war on Iraq (that's an intentional on rather than 'in'), and the upcoming election. I only listened to a bit of Bush's speech last week because I thought I was going to blow vein and I was driving in my car in L.A. traffic. Not a good combo.
But I happened to catch a glimpse of this article and well, I just have to share. People! C'mon! Of course Wolfowitz is going to say that there was no funding prior to that ridiculous decision to give Bush, the self appointed righteous finger of Christ, the right to wage unprovocated war against Saddam Hussein and other assorted "evil doers". Why even waste the breath it takes to make the accusation?! And most people in this country will believe whatever they're told because they don't want to KNOW what's really going on! It takes too much time and energy to explore and investigate.
I've been reading about Mr. Wolfowitz and his cronies for a long time now. You can too! All you have to do is go here! You can read about Wolfowitz' and the rest of his gang and their plan to spread American moral hegemony throughout the world! He spoke in front of congress about it in 1998. While you're visiting I recommend that you check out the plans for China. They aren't hiding anything! Nay - they publish it all right here on their neo-con site. And who knows you might be in complete agreement that this is the future for you! It just scares the crap out of me.
If Bush wins in November this is the future he'll be steering us toward! And these guys are just as nuts as Ossama!! They are equally as fundamentalist in their fervid belief that what they're doing is the only thing to be done.
Consequences be damned.
So unlike those dumbass democrats who read Woodward's book and are all outraged and surprised - this was not news to me. I'd rather know than not know.
And that's all I've got say about that.
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Last year on Memorial Day I went to a BBQ. It was co-hosted by a couple of friends of mine whom I'd recently introduced. When Louie needed a roommate and Robert needed a place to live they decided to give it a try. The situation works out well because they're both gone a lot. Memorial Day came along shortly after Robert moved in and they decided to have a BBQ.
Robert works in the porn industry - behind the camera - and I love it when he invites the people he works with to his parties. I'm not a big fan of porn, but I really like the people who star in porn movies. I am fascinated by people who spend their days naked having sex in Chatsworth and are willing to talk to me about it.
Robert's compadres ended up at one end of the party and Louie's friends were at the other. It was a bit like oil and water. I don't know if this is because the porn people aren't comfortable mixing with people outside their world or if the non-porn people weren't very open to meeting them - could be both. I was happily moving back and forth though I pretty much settled with the porn folks because just listening to their conversation was eye opening.
If I had been wearing pearls I would've been clutching them.
I wish I could remember all the last names because they make'em up to sound porn-ish. Except for Dick Smothers II. He is the son of Dick Smothers from the Smothers Brothers who I grew up watching on TV when I was a kid. I never thought about it before I met Dick 2, but that is pretty much a ready made porn name. I wonder if that's what led him to the business?
That's pretty much the question I ask the most. So what brought you to porn?
In the words of Tyler, a very sweet 24 year old honey blonde with a sparkly Barbie disco phone, who is from Texas, "honey, most of us are fucked up or we wouldn't be doing this." When I met her she had only just started and was happy to tell me about her first "scene" which was only about a month before. Apparently you don't do a movie - you do "scenes" and so far she'd done six scenes. According to Tyler she's got Daddy issues - he hit her, yelled at her, called her names. She told me that when she's doing a scene what she's thinking about is how she's got control and she can make a man do what she wants and that there's a part of her that's angry at men and this is how she gets her revenge. I was amazed at her self awareness and I was impressed by how articulate she could be about the experience. I asked her if she thought she was being self destructive and she said, "no, I'll do it until I'm done doing it and then I'll do the next thing."
And then there was Jessica - a tall, skinny brunette with huge boobs and teased hair and a ton of make up. She'd been working for the last four days and was exhausted. On the opposite end of the spectrum from Tyler, she was sullen and mono-syllabic, but she might have gotten perkier once she got up from her nap. For most of the evening she lay in state on Robert's bed looking like Vampira and providing great entertainment for a few of the other guests who would go in and stand around ogling her.
Probably one of the most interesting people I met that night was Nick. He's 37 and very very very good looking, but I'm pretty sure he's got a bigass personality disorder. He grew up in the Midwest, playing baseball with his dad and he was really really really good. He was going to have a career in the major leagues. He injured his shoulder playing ball in college and his dreams all disappeared. He finished college anyway and went on to get a master's degree in Human Resources, moved to New York and worked for Citicorp. He was very successful but he got bored. He did a little modeling, a little acting and ended up doing porn. Since he couldn't be the best baseball player he decided to be the best porn star. Ever. He can do 4-5 scenes a day. Without Viagra. He doesn't like it because it makes his jaw tight and it feels really speedy. Anyway, all this time he's been rehabbing his shoulder and he's back to working out and he's got Jesus on his side so he plans to make another shot at the baseball dream and he won't stop until it comes true. He's also started to direct porn and he's making lots of money.
The director of the latest movie Robert was working on was also at the party. He used to be an actor, back in the day, now he's in his late 50s and he only directs. He is as arrogant as any director you'd meet in the feature world and took umbrage at my contention that porn is boring. He said that the purpose of porn is masturbatory entertainment and that the tried and true that has always worked, will always work. Okay, maybe so, but couldn't you do something about the lighting? And dispense with dialogue all together, maybe just play music? And not that bowm-chicka-bowm-bowm music? He wore his shirt unbuttoned to expose his hairy chest and was dating a 26 year old blonde with boobs bigger than her head.
My most favorite porn star ever, whom I have a big crush on and would love to date if he weren't married (and a porn star), is Herschel Savage. He didn't make it to the BBQ, but he always comes to Robert's karaoke birthday party. He is in the porn star hall of fame. He's also a practicing buddhist and one of the loveliest people to be around. The first time I met him I didn't know who he was, I just knew that I really liked talking to him and sitting next to him. He is so nice to be around.
The downside is that one time, when I was channel surfing, right after the cable company had come and accidentally given me a new box that got every cable channel, I landed on a porn channel and there was Herschel pounding some skinny redhead. Watching someone you actually know having sex is not porn - it's weird and wrong. Eeeuuuww!
Robert's birthday is quickly approaching and I hope that when I see Herschel the memory doesn't come flooding back. I won't be able to look at him without getting embarrassed and clutching my pearls.
Monday, April 19, 2004
One of the first things I do everyday is go visit the fabulous Allison
because I love to read her journal and her daily specials. She's always got something to say that I find interesting and today she did not let me down.
This past weekend she immersed herself in a little social anthropology and discussed with multiple males the issue of monogamy. She got an earfull of that old song and dance about how men aren't hardwired for monogamy. They've got biological drives! So therefore they're off the hook when it comes to making conscious choices about cheating. Their "drives" make them do it.
Now if I were to say that men, for the most part, are evolved to about the level of, let's say, um, dogs - the kind that run and greet you at the door by burying their muzzles in your crotch and then proceed to mount your leg and hump away with gay abandon and a silly grin on their face, well, some men might call me a manhater. But these men who claim that their drives render them incapable of choosing not to fuck around, they're just, you know, guys.
That is such a sad, silly, tired excuse guys! C'mon!! I'd have a lot more respect if you just came out and said that you are scared to death of real intimacy and haven't actually achieved it to date so you don't have that much to lose. And the feeling of "getting away" with something makes that illicit fucking around all that much more fun. Believe me there are A LOT of women in the world who would know exactly what you are talking about.
After my last foray into love and romance it has become clear to me that my picker is broken and I should not be allowed out in public without someone to keep an eye on me. I attract the guy described above like a bee to honey. If a man has issues with intimacy and commitment he WILL find me in a crowded room. The last one didn't look at all like a player - he seemed very sincere and in fact did a very good job at appearing to be participating in an emotionally intimate relationship. Psych! We were just hanging out. We were just buddies! He is currently dating 4 women and having sex (probably unprotected) with all of them. He's got that drive!!
When I get back out there I have decided that I should not be allowed out in public without a minder. What I need is a duenna. In latin cultures this is usually an unmarried older sister, or aunt who accompanies lovers on their dates. She makes sure that nothing untoward goes on. She's like a human boundary. So I want one of those, but I want him to be a guy who's got "drives". Who better to tell you who's a grown up and who's got "drives."
I actually know lots of guys who are able to participate in relationships and while they definitely have biological drives, they are capable of choosing not to screw around. They enjoy the women they're in relationship with. They enjoy my friendship and are affectionate and attentive to me without ever attempting to mount me. They are, dare I say it, grown men! And I am so thankful that I know them.
If I don't get me a dude duenna, I imagine it's only a matter of time before one of those guys with out of control urges tries to get me to go to one of these for some "welcome touching". Geez!
Friday, April 16, 2004
I've been writing off and on all day. I have three different projects that I'm working on so I can switch back and forth. Unfortunately the well of creativity done run dry. I got no ideas. Well, I do, but for some reason, today, I am unable to articulate them. I've added a couple more projects that are more research at this point and food related so they're always fun to turn my attention to, but this "hitting the wall" thing is not fun. In addition to being fresh out of fodder I find myself unable to make decisions. Like do I want to go out tonight or do I want to stay in and go to bed early. For me - this is a strange feeling. I always know what I'm feeling and today I really don't!
I have no idea!!
Thursday, April 15, 2004
I want one of these!
I bet this is a purse that even I could not destroy. I hate spending hundreds of dollars on a bag that will very soon be dragged on the floor, dropped in water, stuffed to the point of bursting. I've tried going to a smaller purse, thinking that I would carry less stuff out of necessity, but no, it just overflowed the top. On any given day my handbag can be used as a traction device. And I use everything that I carry. The latest addition to all the stuff I need is a ziploc baggie that has my migraine medication, claritin, lactaid, tums, excedrin, band aids and safety pins. Yes, I am turning into my Nana although I do not carry re-cycled kleenex. Yet.
I don't know what I would do if I was a guy. Probably carry a man-purse. My dad used to have one of those and it was always overflowing. There is a room in my house that is a lot like my purse - it overflows with stuff that I "need". I was talking with my friend, the Divine Ms. A the other day about how keeping stuff could be considered, and in fact, is considered to be compulsive behavior. I'd never really thought about it before but you know I do have like seven bankers boxes filled with every issue of Vanity Fair magazine from the last 5 years. I also have National Geographic for the same time period.
Now unlike the items in my purse, I never look at these magazines or use them, yet I am loathe to throw them away. They're so glossy and pretty and one day I might use an article in one of them. You never know. But that room is my office/guest room and it's getting a bit chaotic, not at all conducive to doing good work or getting good rest.
So what I'm going to do is this. I'm going to toss the Vanity Fair magazines and I'm going to find shelf space for the National Geographics. I love the uniformity of those yellow spines with the crisp black print. My dad had shelves and shelves of them in his office (which looked a lot like mine does) when I was growing up.
But first I'm going to clean out my purse.
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
I have the greatest apartment, something that I am reminded of when someone who's never been to my house comes over and walks around in amazement saying, "It's so big", "It's so charming". For the first year I lived in this place I was pretty much completely traumatized. I had always lived in houses spoiled brat that I am. I had only briefly shared walls with other people, much less common areas. I had always had my own yard to garden in, my own driveway to park in. I had always lived in a neighborhood with an ice cream truck and lawns.
After my landlord sold the house out from under me I had about a month to find a place I could afford that would also be able to contain me and my house full of belongings. I also had to be able to afford to pay the rent. I had about a week to go before finding myself homeless when I found my current abode. It was on a fairly busy street in a fairly transient, e.g. lots of apartment buildings, area about 1/2 block off a major boulevard. But when I peered through the arched window of this spanish style 4-plex, I saw a large front room, hardwood floors and a long hallway. I called and made an appointment to see it.
I was met by the manager, a very short buxom woman with lots of hair and an abrasive style. The apartment was huge and filthy and the two bedrooms were painted bright colors with something that looked like the poster paint one sees used in pre-school. She told me that the girl who lived there before me had had a nervous breakdown and her parents had moved her out. I felt pretty close to breakdown myself, but it was close to the right price and I was running out of time. I started the process of renting the place which meant negotiating with the landlord.
I bargained the rent down from $1100 to $1000 a month which in retrospect was quite the deal considering that the apartment next door, a 2 Bdrm. smaller than mine with no garage just rented for $1600 a month. I got the landlord to agree to this by saying that I would take the apartment as is as long as I was allowed to paint it. He was cool with that as long as I signed an agreement that I would return the walls to white when I moved out. He's a lawyer. So with not a moment to spare I got the keys and moved in.
The first night there I actually got to see what I had gotten myself into. All the bulbs were bare. Crazy girl had not only painted the bedrooms with poster paint, she'd painted the trim in the beige kitchen a lovely shade of surgical scrubs green - and she used latex paint which was peeling off. She had also invested a sizable amount of money in roach traps. They were EVERYWHERE. This did not bode well for me since I am scared to death of roaches. I won't kill them I'll just leave. All of the "white" paint in the place was really more of a beige or whatever you call that color white turns with age. This building went up in 1923 and for years nuns lived in it and taught at the Catholic school on the corner. Where the children start to scream and play at 7:30 am.
And there is a firehouse 3 blocks away and they use my street for their north and south route - with the siren blaring.
The neighbors directly above me, a musician and his girlfriend would start their day about 5:30am with her screaming at him at the top of her lungs. I eventually realized that she wasn't screaming that she is just an inherently angry person who always communicates in a loud strident voice that can be heard for miles - but those first few nights I felt like Tom Hanks' character in BIG when he gets the room in that flophouse. I would huddle in the middle of my bed with the covers over my head and wonder what in the world I had done. How long would it be before I had my breakdown and my parents had to come move my babbling ass to a looney bin.
But as the years passed I worked on the place, painting my kitchen a cheery yellow with barn red trim. Pouring piles of Boric Acid onto any surface that a roach might think of approaching. I prayed hard for the angry woman upstairs to find peace and that made it easier for me to ask her to please stop using power tools at 3am without screaming in her face. She's since lost her job, her car and put on about 40 pounds while developing what seems to be a wicked bad speed problem - but at least she's quieted down. Her boyfriend is a good guy who used to play the piano upstairs and I really liked the music wafting out the windows - I would pretend I was in that show FAME and dance around in my living room. But he's gone a lot now.
The manager and I are good friends. She's one of the warmest, most loving and generous people I've met although her delivery is still very abrasive. I've met her mother so now I understand how she got that way. We plant tomotoes in the spring and BBQ out back in the summer. I've watched her kid grow from a curious 8 year old into a shy and very nice 13 year old. Her husband helps me when I need something manly done around the house. They live upstairs next to the angry lady and when she goes off we call each other on the phone and whisper and giggle about it. It makes it less horrible to share it with someone.
My next door neighbors across the hall are a very sweet couple who used to drive me crazy when they moved in because they'd have really loud parties that involved drum circles at 3am. But they are also very considerate and after a couple times they stopped. They worked in the restaurant industry - he's a chef and she's a maitre'dee - so they got off work late. But now they've opened their own fabu restaurant called Grace and I pretty much only see them when I go in to eat marvelous food at the lovely bar. If you're ever in Los Angeles you really must go. I recommend the spinach salad with candied almonds and potato crusted feta cheese and a little marty cocktail. I am so happy for their success but miss seeing them around the homestead.
I look forward to buying a house one day - although with the current market probably not real soon, but in the meantime I feel so blessed to live in a place that I have made my own with neighbors that I really like. Even angry lady who gives me an opportunity to practice tolerance and compassion on an almost daily basis. I have made it my own with bedrooms in soothing green and magnolia and a jewelbox of a dining room in teal. And I love cooking in my butter yellow kitchen. When the firetruck goes by with it's horn blaring I'm grateful that they're close by in case I ever need them and I can walk to the museum and to the grocery store and the pharmacy and to wonderful restaurants and to clubs to hear music.
It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood - you know?
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
I have been having very long nights lately. For instance last night, I went to bed at 10pm and I woke up at 2:15 because I fell asleep with the light on. I lay awake until 3am and I think I dozed on and off until 6:45. It would've been better if I'd slept straight through, but I don't. When I lay down at night, and even moreso when I wake up in the middle of the night, there is a board meeting going on in my head. The meeting is usually chaired by Anxiety and his twin, Fear although sometimes Judgement likes to do it. Doubt is always there, but doesn't always talk, she just kind of mutters in the corner. Worry never shuts up and Anger will bark occasionally but mostly just stews. Frustration whinges and throws himself on the floor while having really loud tantrums. I'm not sure if they've got Serenity, Contentment, Centered and Calm locked in a closet or what. I'm going to take myself here. I think that I could probably get a good night's sleep in any of these rooms, but I particularly like the Mediterranean Villa rooms.
I just have to outrun Anxiety, Fear, Doubt, Judgement, Worry and Frustration. They're really getting on my nerves.
Monday, April 12, 2004
Have you ever been walking around scared about something, but you didn't know how much you were feeling it until you discovered your fears were unfounded and breathed a sigh of relief?
On Friday night
I went to see this guy
play music - my friend Aaron (computer genius extraordinaire) wrote the link and e-mailed it to me because I'm still flying blind and rapidly taking A to new levels of frustration, but go to the site and check the guy out. He is immensely talented and we actually dated about 10 years ago. That's when I discovered that as talented as he is and as sweet as he can be, he is probably one of the biggest egomaniacs I've ever come across. To put that statement into perspective understand that I work in the entertainment industry and I am astounded at the feats of boundless ego on display on a daily basis.
Anyway, about a year after I stopped seeing the way too groovy moody blues dude, I ran into his older brother on New Year's Eve. By this time the dude had moved to Spain where he was playing the festival circuit and abusing alcohol again. I had always enjoyed the older brother because he was smart and funny like the dude, and he had a lot less anger. So we hung out on New Year's Eve - he was seperated from his wife at the time - I now only date the well and truly divorced. And then he continued to call me and we'd go to movies and dinners, but I swear I wasn't thinking about him, "like that". But I fell in love and it has never been so clearly illustrated that you just don't get to choose who you love. Sometimes, it just bites you on the ass and there you are.
So brother man and I are together for a couple years and I swear I would've married that man, except that it rather quickly became clear that as angry as the dude was, brother man was equally depressed, and they both had a deeply ingrained victim mentality, e.g. the world is not a fair place and, in fact, the world was out to get both of them. None of their choices or their behavior had anything to do with the circumstances they found themselves in - everything just "happened" to them. Spare me.
So I have no patience for that crap and nothing will beat the love down like that kind of whining. So as brother man's life got worse and worse I pulled farther and farther away and finally had to just end it. I worried about brother man, but I was also holding a vision of him doing what he needed to do to make his life feel better. We tried to be "friends" for a while, but that was just dumb - why do people pretend they can do that when love is still lurking?
I didn't hear from him again until August of 2001. It had been about a year and half and all of a sudden I'm getting a collect phone call from the men's central jail. Brother man has started using heroin again - oh! did I mention that both the dude and brother man had some pretty extensive addiction issues in their pasts, although when I dated them they were both sober - so he's relapsed and he's in jail on suicide watch!!! He wanted me to call a friend of ours who'd recently won the lottery and ask him to make bail. Yes, obviously that's something you'd want to do with your lotto winnings - bail out your addict buddy who got busted while on a rampage, so he can go get in more trouble. I let the dude know that brother man had relapsed and asked him to advise their family here in the states. The dude got mad at me like it was my fault - and then acted like brother man was my responsibility. Whatever. I also went down and put $20 on account at the jail so he could buy cigarettes. Having never been to the men's central jail I now consider that going above and beyond and I don't think I'll ever do that again - all of the prisoners stand at the windows of their cells or holding pens, one can only imagine, and they holler at women as they walk up to the lobby doors. They yell graphic sexual comments, no innuendo there at LAMCJ, and some of them spit. Eeuuuuwwww! Bastards - glad you're in there, hope you rot!!! Oh - and they make you pay like $7 to park!!
I stopped taking his calls and the last time we spoke he was complaining about living in a halfway house and having to work at the Salvation Army, he wanted me to meet him at a bar to listen to music, and he told me that I had ruined everything - that we were doing great until I ended it. I tore him a new asshole, asked him if was now smoking crack since that memory could not have been more displaced from reality. I also told him that it didn't seem to me that he'd hit bottom yet and I thought he was an ingrate and that he wasn't allowed to call me again until he was sober and working a program for a year. Co-dependent, I'm not.
I never heard from him again.
So when I saw that the dude was going to be performing at a local club I asked some friends to go with me. I am always happy to see the dude perform, but I really wanted to see if brother man was okay. As the date drew nearer I began to have serious trepidation. What would I do if I got there and was told that he'd died. I had never entertained the idea that something like that could be real - even though it very likely could be.
When we arrived at the club the dude was mid-wail and the first person I saw when I walked in was brother man. And he looked great!! He was carrying more weight and looked healthier then he ever has. He was with a lovely woman who is his girlfriend. She sings with his band and he's out gigging, but he also has a job working as a social worker (that's what he did when I was dating him) serving the dual diagnoses homeless population. He seemed happier than he ever has as well, and all the wonderful memories and the love that I ever felt for him welled up inside of me.
Not romantic love, but real love - the kind that never goes away or alters - where all you want is for that person to be happy and well and you feel so extremely joyfull when you see them being both. It was just so good to see him doing so well. And it was only then that I realized how badly it would have hurt if he was no longer here - and the weight of that secret fear lifted.
And the dude pointedly ignored me.
All in all - it was a really good night.
Friday, April 09, 2004
I tried to go to work today, but the gates were locked. There were no cars in the parking lot. There was no one there.
I clearly didn't get the memo.
Good Friday is a religious holiday, but the banks are closed and I don't believe the mailman will be comin' around today. When did a religious holiday get federal recognition. I'm rooting around in my memory and I swear it seems like this is the first time this has happened!
I'm not a Jesus person - although I think he was cool - I just don't buy into the idea that of all the people crucified he was the only one to rise from the dead with super powers. I think when he said he was the son of God he wasn't claiming exclusivity, but it gave people a good reason to kill him.
Easter to me is a pagan holiday celebrating life and fertility and springtime...
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
At least pull my hair!
I swear to God the worst drivers in the world are here in Los Angeles and they are all aiming for me! This morning I was driving to work and as I slowed to make a left onto a side street from the center lane with my blinker click-clicking, the fucking cliche behind me in the massive SUV with a phone clutched to her head with one hand and her Starbuck's in the other bore down upon me like one of the riders of the apocalypse, horn blaring. I wanted to stop, get out like a crazy person, jump on the running board of her landshuttle and scream in her face - "do you not see that I have my signal on? Hang up the phone, put down your drink and fucking pay attention".
But there was a break in traffic so I took my opening and went on my way to work, although I was screaming those words out loud. Driving here brings out the Tourette's in me. It seems that I can't make it a day without screaming FUCK! at the top of my lungs. The manuever that most often compels me to such dramatics is the asswipe, usually directly in front of me, who will pull into the intersection when the light turns green and then stop. When I toot my horn he decides to turn his blinker on. Dude! You were supposed to do that while you were waiting at the light so that people could get in the other lane and not have to wait, stuck behind you, in the intersection.
That's what the turn indicator is for! it's not a fun light that keeps time to the music playing on you radio as you drive merrily down the street with it flashing and flashing and flashing - yet still you never turn. It's so people who are in the cars around you will have some idea about what you're going to do next in your deathmobile.
Here in L.A. the use of the signal most often causes the people near you to drive even closer to the car in front of them so you can't merge. It's like their dinosaur brain turns on and they're all about survival of the fittest and somehow if they let you in it means that they will be delayed in arriving at where ever it is they are going. The fact that the freeway ISN'T MOVING doesn't really matter.
The polarity to this behavior is often exhibited at intersections where a driver pulls up in the right lane and then races you through the intersection in order to cut in front of you and the line of traffic behind you - except you're not racing. You're actually making space for them to get in front since they're in such an all fired hurry, but their car, which is blowing exhaust goes from zero to 25 in the 60 feet it takes to cross the intersection and now they are running you into oncoming traffic.
For a culture so completely dependent on cars there are an amazing number that seem to be held together with rubberbands and bondo. They are usually driven by people who don't have insurance. These same people do not believe that the California vehicle code applies to them and so therefore they can make right hand turns from the LEFT lane! In front of cars driving in the right lane. And when you have an accident with one of these individuals they get out of their cars holding their neck and grimacing in pain.
For these reasons and so many other violations I can't even list them all here, I do not own a gun. Remember when people were shooting each other on California freeways a while back. Well, I could totally relate to why someone would do something like that. Sometimes I fantasize about driving a big ass '71 Lincold Mercury with 4-point seatbelts and no license plate and just having my own little demolition race through the L.A. streets.
But since gas went from $2.19 to $2.27 a gallon between last night and this morning I think filling the tank would detract from the pleasure. So I look at my commute as an opportunity to practice patience and tolerance. I get in my car, fasten my seatbelt and find my happy place - and enjoy those special moments when someone makes an illegal left between 5-7pm when it's verboten - and since they're in front of me and they don't see the cop sitting on my right - I toot my horn as I sit behind them, stuck in the intersection and after they make their illegal turn I pause, so Officer Bill can cut in front of me and write them a big fat ticket.
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Lately I have found myself listening to, of all things, K-EARTH, a radio station that plays "oldies". Not classic rock, but OLDIES. And I know all the words to all the songs. When I was a teenager this station used to play Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry and the Shirelles. Now it plays Bob Seger and Elton John and the lyrics are coming out of my primoridial brain. It's kind of a shocking phenomenon that first evidenced itself down in Mexico over New Year's. My friend Louie, music collector extraordinaire was playing tunes that, I swear I hadn't heard since dances in the Junior high cafeteria. Stuff like Sweet singing Fox on the Run and Mouth and MacNeal doing How Do You Do, Uh Huh, I Thought by Now Na-na-na.
So I have been revisiting some of the music from my long ago past and I just bought Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road on CD. This purchase was also motivated by going to the pre-show for his Las Vegas extravaganza - if you get a chance to go, do so! It's amazing.
Anyway - I'm sitting here today writing and listening and singing along and remembering how we used to dance around in my friend Linda's living room singing at the top of our lungs. This album was released in 1973 and it was one of my favorites because it was a double album that opened up to reveal these cool illustrations with all the lyrics. Today as I am singing along: Sweet painted lady/Seems it's always been the same/Getting paid for being laid/Guess that's the name of the game, I find myself wondering what has changed in this world? There wasn't a massive outcry from our parents that their sweet, innocent little children were being corrupted by this flamboyant man in high heels singing about prostitutes and lesbians? I mean there's this huge outcry about rap having a bad influence the young'uns, and from a fashion sense I have say it hasn't had the best effect on young white boys who are trying to be playahs with their pants belted around their upper thighs, but a lot of rap is more about angry social commentary. Yes they call women bitches and ho's - but so did Elton. There was absolutely no missing what he meant. When he says, "I'm gonna tell the world you're a dirty little girl, someone grab that bitch by her ears/Rub her down scrub her back/And turn her inside out/Cause I bet she hasn't had a bath in years, isn't that a tad mysoginistic?
Maybe it's the melodic tunes? Maybe they weren't paying such close attention as those were the days when we were allowed to play outside in the street without fear of a pedophile carrying us off? Maybe it's because we weren't dressed like Britney Spears when we were singing at the top of our lungs, "I'm a genuine example of a social disease". We were wearing cotton short sets with van tennis shoes and were about as sexual as Lisa Simpson. In any case Linda's mother, a woman who had a helmet hairdo and plastic on every inch of her furniture and carpet, never blinked an eye as we jumped around singing The Bitch is Back!
None of us grew up to be prostitutes and some of us were already bitches and one or two were probably already lesbians but didn't know it yet. I think the key difference is that we were still so innocent. Sure we all had our copies of Our Bodies, Ourselves and we knew how babies were made, but that was so not a part of our experience yet.
I don't think that music or lyrics can corrupt kids - they've already got the information and they're not stupid. I hope that kids can still have the kind of fun that we had - cause it was a blast.
Monday, April 05, 2004
This weekend I attended the Santa Anita Derby. It was a rather gloomy day, but having experienced the track in the blazing sun I have to say I prefer the coolness. Being a complete anthropomorphizer I tend to think the horses do too. Who wants to run when it's hot and smoggy out. The track was firm and fast so I didn't have to worry about anyone falling down and breaking anything. There were only about 3 maiden races so it was a good day to wager.
The first thing I'll look at when I scan the program is the name of the horse. Dumb I know but it's a place to start. Next I'll see who the trainer is and what jockey is up and finally I'll turn to the racing form to check the Beyer's rating and the workouts. The last thing I do is read what the handicappers have to say. I'm not really there to win I'm there to gamble which carries with it the inherent option of losing. The key to enjoying myself is to never bring more money than I'm willing to lose and a plan to lose it all. This way I'm never disappointed and, if I walk out with even a dollar I consider that a positive.
What I found out this weekend is the downside to having a lot of good horses from top trainers ridden by the best jockeys, is that there are a lot of "close but no cigar" endings. Photo finishes with my heart in my mouth - am I holding the winning ticket or do I have bupkes. Saturday I had a LOT of bupkes. One case was particularly heartbreaking as it was a Trifecta and my horses had finished in first and second, but the last one just didn't get his nose down. It was a photo for third and the picture was not to my benefit. I really wanted to win this particular bet because I had tortured the poor agent that I placed it with.
I had never bet a Trifecta before and I wasn't sure of the correct language to use. Since they now have $1 trifecta bets I discovered I could make three bets for $6 AND switch the order of the horses coming in second and third. Sounds a little confusing? Try placing the bet. When you go to the window you're supposed to make your transaction in a certain order, e.g. $2 on 8 to place. The proper language for my bet would've been, "A $1 trifecta bet, 6 WITH 1, 2 and 1,2". Unfortunately on my way to window, chanting that under my breath it became "A $1 trifecta bet, 6 to win with 1,2 and 1,2" - that makes the bet more expensive. Thank GOD the woman was patient with me. She had to void all my bets and redo them and then it screwed up her machine.
So I wanted to go back and cash out my nice winning ticket and give her a tip or something nice. But no. NONE of my possible third place horses got their nose in the photo. I probably should've gotten up and gone to look at them in the paddock as they were saddling up. There were just too many people at the track that day. The kind of crowd that makes me anxious. You get all kinds at the track and more than usual on Derby day. Especially when KROQ, the local "alternative" stations that used to play the coolest music in the early 80s, but now plays whatever music is made by the music companies owned by it's parent corp - whatever that is, well they're having a microbrew festival in the infield. So needless to say there are many throngs of ham fisted frat boys drunk on beer.
I was desperately wishing we had gotten seats in the turf club, or at least the box section where you're seperated from the rabble (it's the Marie Antoinette in me), but you gotta work with what you have, so I just went back and forth from the window to my seat. The people around us were very nice. There was the man behind me who told me all about his horrible case of gout. His doctor has him on Vicodin for pain, but that's all the treatment he's getting. I recommended accupuncture and as we discussed it the asian woman sitting next to him, who was there with her mother and father and sister told him that her sister-in-law practices accupuncture. She gave him that info. There were two very heavy women in our row - obese really - we had to climb to the row above to get out because they blocked the aisle, they had run the 5K that was held earlier that day and still wore their numbers. They both had very sweet smiles and blue, blue eyes. And right next to me was woman with a pretty severe case of Rosacea - or else she'd just had a chemical peel, but I doubt that - and she wasn't beting money. She was working on her system and showed me the place in the program opposite every race where it gave you the trainer's winning percentage combined with the jockey's winning percentage. It's been working pretty well for her - but c'mon we're talking about animals here.
Every once in a while I ponder whether or not these horses are being abused, but the more I gather facts the more I think not. Thoroughbred race horses are bred to run and are like any other athlete. They are fed certain food and worked out a certain way, every nuance of their personality is examined to see how they run best. They have the nicest accomodations and are pampered in the extreme. They live better than a lot of people in this country. They're kind of like the Hilton sisters. If you think about it the Hilton sisters kind of look like race horses - only I doubt that either of them could go further than 6 furlongs. Anyway there are not a lot of differences between racehorses and any other corporate athlete in whom there has been a lot of money invested. Do they run hurt - yes, if they have a trainer without integrity who'll shoot them up and send them out where they might breakdown. But the same thing happens in football or basketball or baseball. You have the mid-level players who play hurt all the time. The only difference is that the human has a choice and the animal doesn't. Although if your dad is Seattle Slew and your mom is out of Native Dancer I don't know how much of a choice you've got in the matter either.
At any rate, I've made my peace with those questions and I love going to the track, especially when, as happened this weekend, I go home a winner. I took my last $3 and made an exacta bet on the last race - picking three different horses to come in second behind Dynaver who had a 116 Beyers and when last raced came in second to Medalia d'Oro. One of my longer shots came in second and I won $14.90 on $3 - it was so exciting I almost peed my pants! (I won't use the bathroom at the track-eeuuuww). I cashed out and made a 20/1 bet on Rock Hard Ten to win the derby and went home happy.
Friday, April 02, 2004
And didn't even know it. I am listening to Musicology - the new CD that Prince handed out at his show the other night at the Staples Center. It harkens back to old school Prince late 70s/early 80s. If you haven't dragged out Sign 'o the Times or 1999 lately, do so! Now! And then get of copy of Musicology!
And he's way funky and groovy.
I had no idea how much I missed him until about the third listen. You can't help but get all bootylicious with the boy.
Thursday, April 01, 2004
For me sometimes...
Food is love.
And every once in a while - it's sex.
Last night I went to Bastide, which according one of the myriad waiters, all from France, means, “house in the country”. With the graceful olive trees planted throughout the courtyard that is the front dining patio, it felt like I was in another country. The night was cool, but not cold, and as I settled at the table and ordered a glass of champagne, my mouth watered with anticipation.
We began with an Amuse Bouche of thinly sliced smoked salmon with red and white slivered, pickled onion and a dollop of soft herbed cheese under a cucumber gelee. It arrived in what looked like a shot glass and rather than cut it up and eat it daintily I loaded my fork – specially provided for this course – and wrapped my tongue around the whole bite. It was an explosion of fresh brightness with the vinegary snap of pickled onions and firmly fleshed salmon mixing lightly with soft cheese and a caress of cucumber. Mmmmmm, off to a very good start.
Next to arrive was seared Foie Gras Torchon on Apple Compote with toasted Brioche. It was paired with a spicy Gewurtztriminer from the Alsace region of France. I’m not a huge fan of foie gras – it can be a little much – but this was firm and smoky and the gelleed apples were the perfect sweet compliment on the tastebuds. The party in my mouth was kicked up a notch when I followed each bite with a sip of the wine. It is amazing how the flavors expanded – truly a heady experience.
Throughout the entire evening the wait staff – all handsome young men - attended to our every need, anticipating our desires. It was so divine – like a fantasy, and probably why I flirted outrageously – I love men whose only desire is to meet my every need. The sommelier would place the glass for the next course as I was just finishing the one before.
Prior to the third course he appeared to pour the Pouilly Fume “les cris” from Domaine Cailbourdin, a phrase he crooned with a perfect French accent, and explained that he had selected it because it’s bright light flavor compared beautifully with the Maine Lobster with crispy tarragon, wild mushrooms and pea emulsion. And he was right – it did. I have to say that to dine like this anytime is always a treat, but to do so in the spring when vegetables are so fresh is sublime.
The fourth course looked like a piece of art – a beautiful piece of Wild Truite de Mer on a leek ragout, topped with parsley jus and perfectly round dark circles of Black Truffle sauce. The fish was a light firm pink and the leek was bright green – my plate was a palette of color and flavor and in my glass was a big Bourgogne Blanc from Domaine Morey Coffinet. Explosive, effusive flavor.
Finally we reached a bit of a respite with a palate cleanser of grapefruit sorbet and Noilly Prat vermouth. I needed a breather since it had been non-stop action since we started and I was feeling giddy and lightheaded akin to a post endorphin afterglow. I sat back and enjoyed the golden light created by the hurricane lamps over white pedestal candles on all the tables. It was as if, in immersing myself in the sense of taste and smell all my other senses were heightened, I was so aware of the soft crispness of the fine linen napkin that my hand rested on in my lap and a flush on my face.
The wine guy – at this point I couldn’t say “sommelier” – appeared and poured out a La Courtade from Cotes de Provence and advised us that it would need to breathe before our meat course came out in a few minutes. The meat course, when it arrived, was a delectable piece of Colorado Lamb accompanied by a chickpea panisse topped with garlic confit and black olive sauce. I made the most perfect bites combining all of them, and it was like laying in a feather bed with the exactly perfect weight of covers – if it is possible to feel snuggled by food I was feeling it. The red wine was mellow and grand and perfectly matched the mood of the meat - you gotta love that.
By the time the cheese cart appeared I was running out of gas. Didn’t think I could eat another bite, but as soon as he started describing a beautiful sheeps milk double cream cheese that had just come into season – the juices started flowing again. And of course, wine guy showed up to pour the Prunelart from Robert Pageolles Gaillac that he had selected especially for this course.
How could I say no?
So I was back at it with a pungent goat cheese, a sharper cow cheese and of course the double cream sheep cheese – delectable with dried fruit and walnuts on a dark raisin bread. The wine was slightly sweet and mellowed the cheese in my mouth while my nose went on an arousing ride – wow.
And just when I thought I couldn’t take anymore it was time for dessert – what the hell! Wine guy was describing his selection and I heard the word Grenache, which put me in mind of chocolate so I ordered the chocolate soup. The wine, a 1985 Banyuls “Veillies Vignes” Docteur Parce from Domain du mas Blanc was sweet and salacious and went perfectly with the small ball of vanilla ice cream around which was poured warm, dark chocolate soup. Thank you Willy Wonka! Heaven!
But sadly when the Petits Fours arrived all I could do was look at them. Stick a fork in me Alain Giraud – I be done.
Merci et bon soir!