Thursday, January 27, 2005


I got home yesterday to a piece of mail from the DMV. Puzzled I opened it. My registration isn't due until July. It was a congratulatory notice telling me that I am lucky because I can renew my driver's license through the mail. My first thought was whoa! five years just flew by. I distinctly remember going to renew it the last time, at the last minute before I left town to celebrate my birthday because I was going to need to drive a rental car and they won't let you do that with an expired license.

And the fact that I did it at the last minute is evidenced by the photo on the license that I've been carrying around for the last five years. I was in a hurry and didn't really grasp the concept of digital photography. I take crap pictures to begin with. I'm not photogenic. But there's something about digital photography that just makes me look crazy. And in my driver's license photo my eyes are staring off into space, a bit to the right, like I'm listening to voices that only I can hear.

I look insane.

So even though I am "lucky" and could, if I wanted to, renew my license through the mail and carry that crazy lady photo around with me for another five years, I think I'm going to make an appointment and put on a little makeup, brush my hair and go down to the DMV to renew my license in person and get a new picture.

And hopefully this time I'll take a good picture. Or at least one where I don't look like I need Thorazine.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Last night I got home and found a huge box on my front porch. "Why what can this be? And it's so big! And heavy!" I carried it in the house and noticed that the shipping label said Royal Elastics. And all of a sudden I knew what it was. When I was at D & S's last weekend, watching football, I had mentioned that I really loved S's shoes. D. said give me your address and I'll send you some. RE is a brand that he's been building in the family biz. So I wrote down my name and address and the name of the shoe, which is Ladech, and then forgot I had done so. I ran into the kitchen, got a knife and tore the box open, and almost fell over in shock when I saw not one shoebox, but FOUR!

Dude hooked me up with every color that the shoe comes in!!!

This is pretty much one of the most decadent, hence exciting things, I've ever experienced. I was thrilled to get just one pair of shoes - but four? And in colors that I love but would never be able to justify buying? Right now I'm wearing Red Ladech Royal Elastics shoes which match one of the two red sweaters that I own. I have them in white with blue trim! I have them in light grey with pink trim! I have the one's that S. was wearing which are beige and black and red! I fully plan on wearing them everyday from now on because they are so comfortable.


Monday, January 24, 2005


I so much want to rant about the absolute insanity of these so called "family centered" groups that are getting news coverage for their statements about how Spongebob Squarepants is gay and is a secret agent for radical gay groups promoting their gay agenda. Today they've got their panties in a wad about "no name calling week," a program directed mostly toward middle schools where the most popular word in use for humiliation of one's fellow classmates is "faggot." Apparently they believe that participation in "no name calling week" will make sensitive and susceptible children decide to be gay because it calls for tolerance of kids who may be gay, and focuses on the use of the term faggot as derogatory and hurtful, when apparently they think that it's just calling a spade a spade.

Not that they support name calling mind you. It's just that they believe that schools shouldn't be supporting children who are gay in being who they are, and not allowing other kids to pick on them. I swear to God, it's in this article right here. Don't you just love how these haters get national news coverage for their poisonous message in Jesus name, amen? I would really like it better if they would stop hiding behind family values and righteous morality and just call themselves what they are - People who are Afraid in Christ's Name.

Okay enough of that. I'm going to have to find a brown bag to breathe into if I keep going down that highway because the inmates are running the asylum at this point and there's not much I can do except point out that they're pretty fucking crazy.

Switching gears to my weekend - woohoo!

I wish.

Actually it was quite nice. I got off work early and went to see In Good Company. Probably better to wait till it was released on DVD, but it was a nice way to pass a couple hours. Dennis Quaid is aging very sexily. And his performance was really good, leading me to wonder if he was acting or just being himself. I left the theater wishing he was my dad. I really liked the relationship between Scarlett Johanssen's character whose name I can't remember and Dennis' Dan Foreman. The rest of the movie - eh.

Dinner was at Lare's my very most favorite Mexican restaurant in Santa Monica. It's family owned and operated and I know everyone there so well from my frequent frequenting that I get hugs and kisses from the valet parker to the bartender and several waiters. I met my friend Kathy who had just signed her closing papers and is now a condo owner, and her mom who was visiting from Chicago. It was really fun to talk about dating. Apparently it just sucks always and forever. Her mom is widowed and over the last couple years has been getting back out there. And isn't having any better success than Kathy or I.

Got home and the fabulously talented and creative H.C. called from San Francisco. I had been thinking about her a lot and last I heard she was going to move to Austin, TX. She's been in a horse phase and the two concepts together made me think she was going to go start a new career as a barrel rider. Turns out I was on the totally wrong trail. She rides in Marin wearing jodhpurs, riding boots and one of those velvet helmets. It's so very Jackie O. H's been very busy working on a radio play that I will be sure to write about here when it's going to be broadcast. It's a very exciting project and I encouraged her to consider coming to the helltown that is Hollywood to pitch it as an animated series. And that's all I'm going to say about it because people steal. H.C. is about to stand as a bridesmaid in, I think her 17th wedding coming up soon. Lately she's been doing double duty as bridesmaid AND officiant because she's a Universal Life Church minister so she can do the ceremony. I would almost get married just to have her do that. But no bridesmaids. And I have to find a groom. And get over my fear of marriage, or rather divorce.

Speaking of divorce, Saturday I went down to La Jolla to spend the weekend with two of my oldest and favorite friends. The kind of friends that are like your family. They're both married. And they're both in marriages that are kind of teetering on the brink of divorce. J. rented an oceanfront room at the La Jolla Cove suites right across the street from the ocean and we walked from there to George's at the cove for appetizer happy hour. Then we hit the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory where we picked up some yummy stuff and headed back to the room to watch the screening copy of Finding Neverland that I'd brought with me. K. had brought along her daughter's little portable DVD player that you can hook up to a TV. And as the clock struck 8:30 we put on our jammies and hunkered down with our chocolate - it really was reminiscent of a fifth grade slumber party. Except that the TV was from the year we really were in fifth grade and didn't have the capacity to read the input from the DVD player. So we all huddled on the pullout couch with our heads close together and watched the movie on the 5" screen.

Um, it definitely loses something when it's miniaturized, but since I'd seen it before I still bawled at the end. Felt kind of like as ass about that - like crying over something I was watching on a Blackberry.

Yesterday morning J.'s husband came to meet us for breakfast and I learned what steamed eggs are. J.'s husband is very Catholic and very conservatively republican so he and I love to engage in lively conversations wherein he says things like, "what I love about you liberals,"in a condescending tone. And I say things like, "You don't honestly believe that do you?" in an equally condescending tone. But we enjoy each other despite our massive differences of opinion on pretty much everything having to do with religion and politics. I respect him tremendously as a person, I just think he's wrong and he feels the same way about me. And I really hope that he and J. get through this rough patch and find a way to stay together and be happy.

We walked back from breakfast while J & K went for a little speedwalking and we stopped at a bakery to get a Nemo cookie for K's little girl. I mean she let us use her DVD player. Good sharing deserves a positively sugary affirmation. The bakery also served breakfast and featured lots of steamed egg dishes. I found out that you make steamed eggs with a milk steamer on a cappacuino machine. Don't that beat all? It has to be a professional quality machine or it won't work, but basically what you do is mix up your egg, put it in a cup and then stick the steamer in it and let the hot air fly until your egg is scrambled. No butter, oil or fat required and they're very tasty. With a lot of tobasco and guacamole.

K and I headed back about 11am because I wanted to watch the playoffs, of course. I was supposed to go out to Malibu again, but after that long ass drive I just couldn't face more driving. Actually I didn't see myself making it home at the end of the day. So when I checked my messages and R. had called saying he was back from Mex and watching football I went to his house instead. He's got the incredible home theater set up - In-cred-ib-le. Surround sound in every room, and high def so it's like you're sitting in the stadium. Except that I was in California where it was 75 degrees instead of Philly or Pittsburgh where there was snow piled up in huge 8 foot drifts.

I kissed him hello and had to exercise massive self control to stop the kissing. He's been sick or on vacation for the last couple weeks so I have missed him. But we're just friends. We're just friends. We're just friends. Fuck. It's so hard to be just friends - but honest to God, it's the best thing if I want him in my life. And I do because he makes me laugh and we have so much fun together. And he doesn't want to be more than friends. And I'm working on being a grown up and not settling for less than what I deserve, or trying to manipulate him into something, which is adoration and commitment. One out of two is all that's a for sure right now.

We ate pizza and drank a bottle of Zinfandel and then my stomach went bananas because pizza has cheese on it and I'm lactose intolerant but I keep forgetting that I am. I drank a little Fernet Branca which works so well to settle an upset stomach although it's basically Jaigermeister so I get frat boy drunk if I drink too much. His friends R. and A. called as they were finishing the 16th hole and they came by to watch the second game and we decided to BBQ. Opened more wine, R. made a trip to the market, I dug through the refrigerator and we whipped up a salad, chicken, steak, grilled asparagus and onions, and I made mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and horseradish dijon mustard. YUM!

The conversation was delightful because these guys, R&A, are supercool dudes who don't hang like dudes. They don't hang like chicks but they remind me of my stepdad - the actualized male who is living a conscious life and can not only identify feelings, but they're not afraid to talk about them either. They're actually perfect friends for R. who is that kind of guy. I would imagine it's got to be hard being a guy who is straight and enjoys hanging out with men, but wants to have real conversations about things that matter.

And they're all single. I have a feeling that the other thing they all have in common is that desire to date a supermodel who they can feel connected to - I'm just supposing, but that's a hard thing to find. In any case I really enjoyed hanging with them and was honored to be in the company of such men.

R and I cleaned up the kitchen and managed a less lingering kiss goodbye, accerlarated by the nuclear explosions going on in my belly because we had ice cream for dessert. One of those things where you know better and do it anyway. At least I did the ice cream and not R., they both fall in that same category. Yummy stuff you know you shouldn't mess with.

Got home and managed to stay up for a little while, but passed out at 10pm (again - I'm such a lightweight), but I was up all night with a sick belly. Totally worth it though.

Totally worth it.

Friday, January 21, 2005


I got home one night about a week ago to a message from my dad, "Hi there darling daughter. I was wondering about whether or not it would be okay to stay with you the weekend of the 28th because we are having the house tented and fumigated."

Not an unreasonable request, and on the face of it one would assume that he and his wife need a place to stay while their house is uninhabitable and so, would like to come to L.A. and hang out for that weekend. Because that makes sense right?

But we're talking about my dad who, although he possesses a masters degree and worked as an educator for years and had, with my mother and now with his wife, a counseling practice wherein he works with others to clear up past and present traumas and make life feel a little better, is unable to communicate clearly with me about what he really wants.

So I called and left a message saying that it would be cool. I would be in town and I could leave them a key. I got no response to the phone message. And then I remembered that the last time he made this request referring vaguely to "we" what he really meant was "he" wanted to stay with me, and "he" wanted to spend time with me. Unfortunately because I very rarely hear him say "I" anymore when talking about the doings in his life I make the wrong assumptions.

So I sent him and e-mail and asked specifically "who" would be coming and staying over the weekend and what was on the schedule - you know so I could make my own plans if indeed they just wanted a place to crash. Turns out that my father's wife is going to a womyn's seminar in Idyllwild that weekend and so my dad wants to come hang out with me. Maybe see a movie on Saturday and then on Sunday he'd do fix-it stuff around the house.

And this pleases me no end and I am looking forward to spending the time with him.

I just wish that he would've called and said that's what he wanted to do. Because it's really all I ever want from my dad is to feel like he wants to spend time with me. And most the time I feel like the consolation prize, the runner up that's available when his wife is doing something else.

Yes, I am aware that she's going off to her womyn's workshop and so, if I wanted to have hurt feelings I could take that perspective, but I choose not to, becuase I'm just glad to be able to spend time with my dad. Who has no idea how to communicate with me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


The weekend started out on a completely deflating note... the network didn't pick up the pilot.

This is a bummer for so many reasons, not least because it is a kick ass piece of writing and would've made an excellent show. But as is the way of the industry where the term creative executive becomes more and more an oxymoron everyday, the leaning now is toward women centered dramas, like Desperate Housewives, and the supernatural, like Lost. Because there's nothing to ensure success than to copy what's already out there and repackage it again and again. I'm being ironic, but it does seem to hold true for the procedural franchises created by Dick Wolf and Jerry Bruckheimer.

At any rate it's a total drag because I was ready to go back into production which is kind of like camp. Really stressful, but pretty darn fun camp.

And now I have no idea what the future holds as far as employment. I will continue to write my original spec one hour pilot, which is about a woman. But I'm not gay, and most of the really successful shows written about women, like Desperate Housewives and Sex in the City are written by gay men. And the women in those shows, although portrayed by wonderful actresses, all kind of put me in mind of what a gay man in woman's body would do and say. At any rate, I write what I know and what I see and what I hear so the women I write about, while still interesting are largely lifted from the lively canvas that is my own world and the situations and voices are those of my friends, some of whom really are desperate housewives and their drug of choice is Prozac or Zoloft, not Ritalin.

So yeah, the weekend started off with disappointment and then on the drive home the anxiety set in. Bud came over with a screening copy of Finding Neverland and we cracked the bottle of Lancaster that DG gave us when we visited his lovely family in St. Helena. He works there and I love their cabs, although on Sunday I drank a ton of the Roth meritage launced by DG himself and that was pretty tasty too. Finding Neverland is a wonderful movie, but I don't recommend watching it right before you go to sleep while drinking alcohol. All the crying combined with the sulfites in the wine left me unable to breathe through my nose. This happens sometimes when I drink red wine, but I'm usually not sobbing. And boy did I sob - I am so glad that I didn't see this movie in a theatre because I would've blown a vein trying to keep it together.

Saturday morning I woke up with my eyes swollen shut and drank a litre of water on my way down to the LBC to check out Ms. D's renovations to her house. She gutted the kitchen and the bathroom almost immediately after moving in, a year ago but didn't get them finished until just this past month. For a while she was going to Target up the street when she had to poop! And she hadn't had a bath in a really long time, using the shower at the gym for basic hygiene. Now she has the biggest bathtub I've seen outside of a honeymoon hotel suite. You could lay down in the thing and it's a jacuzzi! Her house looks amazing so it was worth the year of camping and it came together just as she's been describing it, but you know when you can see the dirt under the house where the floor was demo'd, well it's kind of hard to have the vision. She should be very proud of herself because not only did she have the vision she did most of the work herself.

We grabbed breakfast and then I went and cut all my hair off, the whole, What to do when you're feeling out of control thing. It looks really good and is super easy to deal with so I'm happy with that snap decision made on the spur of the moment.

Went to Nana's and watched Pittsburgh barely beat the Jets. What was up with that? The Jets definitely brought their game, but Ben was having a really hard time throwing the ball to the guys on his team. He was throwing the ball to the guys in the Jets uniforms. They were lucky they won in overtime by a fieldgoal. The Atlanta/St. Louis game was a slaughter, but Michael Vick was really fun to watch. So was Warrick Dunne. I was drinking scotch by the time the late game was on, so perhaps that's why I was having a better time.

Sunday I went to a baby shower for Roan, who will be arriving sometime in February. Having not met her yet I wasn't really sure what to get her, plus her mommy isn't the type who likes frilly or plastic or fluffy - but now that I've seen her room I have a better idea of what direction to go. At any rate I brought some baby wash cloths so as to have something to carry in with me. It was a co-ed shower without the games - YAY! But, the playoffs were still on, so I snuck into the bedroom and turned on the TV for a looksee - Philly was kicking Minnesota's butt. I wasn't missing much. Roan's daddy is an excellent chef - their restaurant is #9 on the Top 25 restaurants in Los Angeles in this month's Los Angeles Magazine - so the food was in a word - AMAZING! He made his most excellent crab salad and I marveled at my self restraint. I used a plate as opposed to just shoveling it into my mouth straight out of the bowl.

After the shower I drove out to Malibu for the last half of the Patriots/Indy match - horribly disappointing, but they were playing in a blizzard. We on the left coast are being rewarded for perseverance through the apocalyptic rains with an 80 degree weekend. It was not only warm, it was very very clear and beautiful. S & D's house in Malibu is up on a hill with a 230 degree view of the coast. It was worth sitting in the nasty traffic on PCH which is still a mess to get there. I forget how fragile the coastline is and there were mudslides galore still being cleaned off the road which is why PCH went down to one lane. Which is why it took over an hour to get out there. The people down the street from S & D lost almost all the dirt that was under their house, it slid down across the road, and now it's red tagged and they can't go back in it because it's not safe. S & D lost part of their backyard and now it sags about a foot lower on one side. I'm glad that I can go visit them there, but I don't think I'd want to live someplace where my yard, and possibly my house might go sliding down the hill. It is blissful however, to go up for Sunday dinner and lots of Roth vino at S&D's beautiful house with the beautiful view. She got a great new cookbook called Barefoot in Paris with wonderful recipes for french food that you really can make at home! I know because we made some!

Yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening with M, a dear friend whose mom is in the process of moving on. She's been fighting cancer for about the last five years and it seems that she's made her last stand. Her body is tired and she is just now coming around to the idea of being done with all the poisonous treatment which may buy her time, but not quality of life. M. is holding it together really well, but then as she said, when the time comes she'll have a melt down. It's just not time. But she's mad that she's going to lose her mom and that her little boy who is two won't have any real memories of his grandma whom he adores. We had a great dinner to celebrate her birthday which was last month in the middle of holiday preparation and crisis with mom so it was a pretty sucky day.

I brought a bottle of wine that I'd bought a long time ago up in Napa. I had forgotten about it because it was covered in dust. I tend to store the "good" bottles in a place that's hard to get to behind the Trader Joe's wine, which is very drinkable and good and less than $15 a bottle. This bottle was ready to be enjoyed and there is something about a really good bottle of wine that's ripe and ready to go that makes the buzz that much more fun. It makes the food that you eat taste that much better. And it makes you laugh that much harder at the stories retold and remembered. I have a really good memory - like elephant woman - I remember exactly what was said and what people wore and what we ate and who I slept with.

She told me that she'd only just confessed to her sisters on Saturday that she and George Clooney were more than just friends. That they'd known each other in the biblical sense for more than a year and as they were drooling for details she told her sister C., "that's the chair that I was sitting in when he called me from the back of a limo to tell me that the pilot for ER got picked up and he felt that it was really going to help his career." And then she told them that what she realized after she started sleeping with him, is it's better not sleep with your friends. Um yeah, especially if they're going to become a huge movie star whose face you're going to see everytime you check out at the grocery store.

But you never know when that's going to happen in this industry. Because it really does take one big success to get the career ball rolling.

I guess that's showbiz. Though when you think about it it's a lot like gambling too.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


The other night I was on my way home from a screening of the movie Closer. I was listening to NPR and they were interviewing this guy who wrote a book about how people make snap judgements. I consider myself to be someone who does that and I was interested to hear that there's a test you can take that will tell you what your snap judgements are on various and sundry topics.

It's called the IAT - Implicit Association Test and you can participate in research that a group at Harvard is doing. Well, of course I wanted to participate so I signed up and I've done the test a few times. It's a great way to kill 10 mindless minutes - they don't want you to think while you're taking the test, better to assess your snap judgements. But for all the judgment that I believe I'm throwing down as I walk through the world so far I'm someone who has little or no preference to one thing over another.

Now it doesn't bother me that this is true of silly things like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, Artists or Musicians, Plastic Surgery or Wrinkles, Intelligent or Athletic, but I also have little or no automatic preference for friends or family. I guess that could be considered a good thing. I'm as happy with my friends as I am with my family. I don't care if I give or receive - both make me happy. However, I apparently have no automatic preference for Non-Profits over Corporations - and if you asked me I would have a very strong snap judgment about say, Wal-mart or the Red Cross. According to this test however, when I'm not thinking, I have no preference at all. Which is just so weird because you think you know yourself.

I do have a moderate preference for West Coast over East Coast, but you know I've only ever lived on the west coast so that makes sense. But it seems that I'm not someone who has strong automatic preferences, even when I think I do! How weird is that?

So maybe I liked Closer better than I think I did.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


I woke up this morning to a blue sky and sunshine and I cannot tell you what a relief it was. I almost broke into song, but then I remembered that I still had to get up and work out. It was such a beautiful morning that I didn't even mind that it took me an hour and a half to get to work because none of the lights were working. It will probably take me just as long to get home because the "going home" side of the road was completely shut down this morning due to numerous mud slides.

There have been all kinds of horrible things happening all over the SoCal area due to the rains and flooding, but I feel so much better I'm not paying attention right now. The PMS is abating and my persoanl threat alert is at BLUE - conditions are guarded. I'm thinking about getting some t-shirts made to indicate the threat level for all the people who have to be around me during the hormonal roller coaster ride I take every month. While I think that the Homeland Security terrorist threat color code system is pretty much bullshit, I do think it would come in handy on a day to day basis for the general public that has to deal with me.

I mean imagine if you ran into me and I was wearing a bright red t-shirt with a caption that said, Threat level: risk is severe. You would think twice about fucking with me right? And if you did and I grabbed you by the throat and slammed your head into a wall, well it wouldn't be a surprise. Today, however, I would be wearing a blue t-shirt, mostly because I haven't been out in public for the last three weeks so I'm more like a bear emerging from hibernation, not aggressive just not quite sure what to do with people. But I'm not depressed and I'm certainly not pissed off. That was Saturday night and Sunday. The hormones have pretty much leveled off and some semblance of rationality has returned.

I still don't have much to write about because, you know I've been in my house for three weeks, or sitting in traffic, so not much has been going on. I did find this which has been making me laugh. David Hasselhoff is the king of cheese. Seriously. What was he thinking!? I'm thinking he needs a little "manscaping." That's some hairy cheese!

Monday, January 10, 2005


It's still fucking raining! Yesterday I was laying on the couch watching the Vikings kicks the Packers ass and I was starting to understand why the suicide rate is so high in Seattle. And up there people at least know how to drive in the rain. Here in Southern California? Not so much.

Saturday I drove out to Arcadia for my mother's husband's daughter's son's, from this point on referred to as my nephew, band fund raiser. Now normally this is not something that I would want to do on a Saturday night, but I had done come to stuff for his sister when she was in colorguard, and he had been dissed off the drumline and was feeling kind of bad about it so I wanted to show support. He now plays the snare and about 4 other instruments utilizing 4 different pairs of sticks.

The Arcadia High School band competes in competition and wins all kinds of trophies and this year they are going to Washington DC to play at the inauguration. While I am distressed that this administration is spending 3.5 million dollars on the wing ding, I mean c'mon already it's the second time, it's in bad taste to go big. Especially when they got us into a war that's costing billions and doesn't look like it's going to end. But still this will be an opportunity for David to be part of something cool and historical. I asked him to take pictures of the protests since the regular news doesn't ever show us any of that stuff.

After risking death on two flooded freeways to get out there I sat through the bands peppy renditions of When Johnny Comes Marching Home and a beautiful version of taps. Both appropriate when you consider that the kids who were playing the music would all be elegible for the draft in a couple years, if not next year, and Taps well, Lord knows that tune's been getting a workout since this president took office. I sat there and felt sad for my country while I listened to it.

I was soon distracted from my angst by the death ride home on the freeway. For some reason California driver's do not consider torrential rain and flooded freeways reason enough to slow down. This could be because traffic was pretty light and they were all driving SUVs, but in any case I saw more than one person learn the hard way that weaving in and out of slower moving traffic when there's lots of standing water will cause one to hydroplane! So not only was I having to be careful due to the vision impairing downpour and the flooding, I was also having to dodge assholes in spinning Suburbans.

So yesterday, when I woke up once again to dark skies and water, water everywhere I decided I wasn't leaving the house. And not only that I wasn't getting out of my pajamas. Basically I indulged in a little depression and spent the day pissing and moaning like a truculent toddler who is not getting her own way. If I'd had an audience I would've had a tantrum. It's probably good that I didn't and that I wasn't around people. Because the PMS? Still in the house.

There were two bright spots though:

1) I heard about this new amendment to the California Vehicle Code. Assembly Bill 1854- If your program discusses headlight usage, please update CVC section 24400 regarding required usage of headlights to reflect the following: Windshield Wipers On = Headlights On
This section is being updated to state “every motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, be operated with headlamps whenever weather conditions prevent a driver from clearly discerning a person or other motor vehicle on the highway from a distance of 1000 feet, or when driving in conditions that require windshield wipers to be in continuous use.” This is good to know because it became law on January 1, 2005 and it's a ticketable offence.

2) I saw the premiere of the fourth season of the Surreal Life and it's the Surrealist group ever. I came in late but got caught up pretty quick. There's Chyna Doll a female wrestler who was wearing a bathing suit and stripper shoes and working out with a thigh master and moaning orgasmically in the first 10 minutes of the episode. There's Christopher Knight aka Peter Brady, the Brady I always crushed on, and he's still pretty darn cute. There's Da Brat, a chubby short chick who I know is a rapper, though I can't think of anything she's recorded offhand. Which is probably why she's on the show. Next to arrive via taxi cab driven by Kathy Griffin is Jane Weidlin who was a go-go and now plays at fetish clubs and lives on a coffee plantation with her husband in Panama. Then Kathy picks up Adrianne Curry the winner of the first season of America's Next Top Model AND Marcus Shenkenberg, the Calvin Klein model, and they are both tall and beautiful. Last to arrive is Vern Troyer aka Mini Me, and he is an angry little dward when he discovers the half naked and all inebriated Chyna Doll in the room with the little closet full of all her clothes and she's sitting at the little bar drinking from the little airplane bottles of booze.

He goes and calls his manager and tells and the Peter Brady starts negotiations with the drunk doll and eventually gets her to move into one of the rooms with three beds in it. Adrianne moves in with Marcus and Peter Brady, she's no fool that Adrianne leaving Da Brat and The GoGo to room with the Doll. It takes all of them to move her shit out of MiniMe's room, she has brought along bottles of booze, just in case there wasn't any provided.

Dinner is on Adrianne. Like literally. She's naked and laying on the table with leaves placed strategically over her girl parts and on top of the leaves is a sushi buffet. Someone takes a piece from her crotch and says, "Is this crab?" It's either the Doll or the dwarf, who is sitting up by her right breast squealing and being a total pig. I wonder if he gets away with that stuff because he's a dwarf and people are afraid to call him on it? He actually tweaks her nipple and the poor girl can't do anything about it without upsetting the buffet.

After dinner Vern goes to his room to "sleep" and Jane and Adrianne go skinny dipping while Peter Brady and Markus watch. Someone tells MiniMe that there are naked women in the pool but by the time he can get on his scooter and get out to the pool they're in their robes. Poor little Vern stand about 32" tall and he's already drunk, but he keeps drinking and when he starts to pass out on Peter Brady everyone gets a little worried about the possibility for alcohol poisoning and a dead dwarf.

And the whole thing gets really surreal when Vern is passed out cold so Peter Brady carries him into his bedroom escorted by Markus on MiniMe's little motorized cart. Once he's in bed Vern starts moaning as Adrianne tries to get him to drink water. When Peter Brady comes in to check on him he does this really weird stuff with his little hands, playing with Peter's shirt and face. It's the weirdest thing I've ever seen and Peter says it's pretty much the weirdest thing he's ever dealt with.

But it gets weirder. Chyna Doll is passed out on her back on her bed with one foot on the floor and she's snoring like a band saw. I mean it's really really loud. Da Brat stands there staring at her and says, "well, I guess I'll go sleep on the couch." On her way out to the couch she runs into MiniMe who's up again, riding his little motorized bike around - naked. Apparently he's looking for the bathroom because he ends up peeing in the corner of the gym area.

Da Brat goes and gets Peter Brady because he's kind of like the only one who's willing to take charge. Peter, Markus and Adrianne all stand in the doorway with their mouths hanging open and then everyone gets the giggles as they wonder what to do. And that's pretty much where it ends which pretty much gaurantees that I'll be tuning in to watch this season of the surreal life.

And the fact that this was the most entertaining hour - the best time I had all weekend - well, now you know why I was feeling the empathy for those people who commit suicide in Seattle. Thank God the rain will be gone by Wednesday because I'm losing it.

I'm really losing it.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


Bud’s parents are coming to town and she wants to take them down to San Diego. She asked me if I knew of any good places to stay down there because I used to go down all the time before the Gas Lamp district turned into a major tourist attraction. I knew a bunch of guys that flew F-14s out of Mira Mar and they knew how to have fun. We used to rent big sailboats and go out all day and have barbecues off the stern of the boat as the sun went down.

We used to go have Mexican food at a restaurant called El Gato Loco – huge groups of us doing shots and napkin dances on the table tops. Don’t ask. This was back before the big new ballpark was built. It was back when there were crackheads all over the place and you had to be careful walking around the streets late at night because you could get mugged.

One weekend, after my friend Jeri’s birthday she and I ended up in San Diego with two boys from New Zealand whom I’d met in Aspen. They were out from Colorado for a visit and we decided it would be fun to take them to Mexico for the day. And it was lots of tequila shots of fun. By the time we crossed the border back into the U.S. it was getting dark and we were quite buzzed so we decided to stay over in San Diego.

Sadly for our drunk asses the America’s Cup race happened to be that weekend so there was no room at the inn. Not Holiday, Ramada nor Hampton, which is how we found ourselves at a no tell motel. Despite the fact that there was no lobby, only a balding troll-like man who looked green in the weird florescent lighting and was hard to understand because he had only a few teeth and was behind bullet proof glass, they still wanted $75 for the room. After all it was their last vacancy. Since it seemed like the only room in town and we were quite drunk, hungry and tired we agreed.

When we got to the room we sobered up and lost our appetites almost immediately. It looked like someplace where drug dealers would torture someone for money owed. Seriously a set dresser could not have created such squalor. There were cigarette burns in the carpet and on the wall. The television was bolted to the dresser and it sported rabbit ears. There was no remote. The sheets were gray and thin and I suspect they had not been washed. The bedspreads were crusty and I could only imagine that if we’d had Luminol and a black light it would’ve revealed splatters of blood and semen everywhere. It was hotel hell circa 1970, and I doubt I could ever get drunk enough to be able to sleep in a place like that. Like a white trash Elizabeth Taylor in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, I stood there in my cut offs and flip flops, took a pull of my beer, a hit off my cigarette and drawled, “What. A. Dump!” I love it when I get a chance to use my favorite movie quotes, even when I’m the only one who knows what I’m talking about.

Andy sat prissily on the edge of the bed and said, “I can’t stay here. I’m sure they don’t have room service and I just can’t stay anyplace that doesn’t have room service.” And he’s not gay, but I swear he said it just like that. Jeri came running out of the bathroom with one of the rags that hung on the towel rack laughing hysterically, “Oh my God, you have to see this bathroom! We’re like totally in the ghetto!” I thought Andy was going to start to cry. Jason threw himself down on the bed, he was ready for a nap.

I can hang with rustic and I don’t need four star, but I cannot and will not deal with filth and we had landed in a filthy pit. This place was definitely not in the Triple AAA guidebook, or if it was it didn’t even rate one star. I grabbed a phone book determined to relocate to someplace decent or drive home – or sleep in the car. I’m like that. Phone call after phone call yielded no luck so I started going for places I’d never heard of that were located down in the gas lamp district. Even though there were derelicts on the streets there were lots of cool old hotels that were being rehabbed into swinging boutique hot spots. There were also lots of old hotels much like the one we were currently sitting in only with more floors, so it was pretty much a crap shoot.

When I called the St. James hotel they not only had a vacancy, but they had a room called a double double like my favorite hamburger which is a good sign. It was basically two separate rooms that shared a bath. They also had valet parking, another good sign and most importantly, they had room service - because I’m a giver – I wanted to make sure that Andy’s minimum needs were met. The best part was they only wanted $68 for the night! The bad part was now we had to get our money back from the twilight zone dude behind the bullet proof glass.

We’d used my credit card so it was pretty much on me to do the talking. I’m not a great liar, but I didn’t think that explaining that the room in his hotel was too scary for us to stay in was going to motivate him to tear up my charge slip and give me my money back. He’d been real cranky about the fact that we used a credit card and kept saying how there were no refunds. So it’s a good thing that I when need be I am a consummate actress with an active imagination and when I need to pull a performance out of my ass to get where I want to go I am more than capable of throwing down some drama.

The troll was not in the office but I could see the flickering light of a television set emanating from the room beyond. I rang the bell. He didn’t come. I rang again more urgently this time and I began to breathe quickly with anxiety, willing tears to my eyes which wasn’t all that hard to do when I thought about having to stay in that room. He finally strolled out, glaring at me balefully for rousing him from whatever important activity he’d been engaging in. And right then about six kids of indeterminate ages somewhere between 17 and 22 walked up behind me. They all looked like drug addicts looking for a place to do their drugs. Luckily for them I was about to provide it. Now I had an audience and I actually got a little weepy as I told Mungo that I had just called home and my baby was really sick and I needed to get to the hospital. My mom was going to meet me there. A tear rolled down my cheek and I sobbed a little as I took a shaky breath.

On of the girls in the group behind me put her arm around me, and asked if I was alright. “Oh, yeah,” I replied, “We only just checked in and I just need him to cancel the charge.” Not only did I have an audience I had allies! He started to give me a hard time about the no refund policy and one of the guys said, “Well we need a room so we’ll just give you the money you paid,” at which point the troll relented because I think he really preferred cash customers.

With shaking hands I wiped my eyes and thanked him profusely as he cancelled the charge to my card and my new friend hugged me and told me she sure hoped my baby was going to be okay. “Thanks, me too,” I said, just wanting to get as far away as possible before it turned out that she knew someone who knows me and I would be busted for not having any baby. Because that’s the kind of shit that always happens to me when I lie. Some random person will come out of the woodwork and throw me under the bus, revealing whatever lie I’ve just told. It’s so much easier to tell the truth. Unless you’re dealing with a troll behind bullet proof glass who doesn’t give refunds.

We drove downtown and happily discovered that the St. James hotel had bellmen as well as valets, even though we didn’t have any luggage we were happy to see them. We checked in and took the cage elevator up to the 9th floor – it was like going back in time. The hotel was built in 1913 and used to be the tallest building in San Diego. Having recovered our happy faces and found ourselves in a far nicer place for less money we hoofed it over to Ole Madrid in it’s old location for yummy tapas and cocktails, got our buzz on again and ended up in some club dancing all night long.

At some point after dinner Andy decided to take a hit of ecstasy. By himself. And not tell anyone. So I ended up on the roof of the hotel babysitting him in the pre-dawn hours. There is a huge sign, brightly lit letters spelling out St. James, that we climbed up and sat on, looking out over the bay. I don’t know if it was the great relief of clean sheets and clean rooms, but the St. James became one of my favorite hotels and back then when I was down in San Diego almost every weekend it became my home away from home.

It’s been years since I’ve been down that way, all the flyboys have mustered out of the service, THANK GOD, and now they’re flying for airlines that teeter on the brink of bankruptcy. When I do go down it’s usually to see family or stay with friends so I hadn’t thought of the St. James for a long time. Until Roseanne asked me about a place to stay and I did a little research was so pleased to see that although it’s now owned by Ramada it’s still standing and it’s still the same. If you’re ever going to stay in San Diego and you want an inexpensive place to stay check it out. They say it's been refurbished since the last time I was there. It's a little bit more expensive, but still a good deal at under $200 a night for the old double double.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


Today I emerged from about two weeks of sloth and television saturation. Because the holidays fell on weekends the week between was basically a non-work week. And because my boss was out of town until this afternoon he told me I didn’t need to worry about being in the office until then. So theoretically I could’ve spent most of today at the movies. Or playing. Except that after almost two weeks of non stop, torrential rain which trapped me in my house I pretty much couldn’t wait to get here. To work.

The last two weeks have been reminiscent of long rainy periods of torpor and paralysis not experienced since my teenage years. It was great to have the time off, but it was so fucking wet and dismal and crowded, because all the people in town for the Rose Bowl and the Rose Parade were strewn between Santa Monica and my house, I couldn’t bear to get out there and deal with it.

I watched a lot of television. I mean a lot. Like I watched a “Tammy” marathon – remember those old movies with Hayley Mills and Debbie Reynolds about a backward girl who talks like it’s 1890. It was mostly because I was too lethargic to get off the couch and put in a DVD, but when I think about it that’s almost bordering on psychotic behavior. Still it could’ve been worse. I could’ve been glued to tsunami coverage which I had to take in in very small doses. As the number climbed higher it got more and more inconceivable – especially from this great distance. Looking at the pictures of the people and the devastation I got number than I already was. Tragic loss of life brings up a helplessness that makes me want to get numb, hence the Tammy marathon.

I cooked a lot utilizing the can goods and freezer food that I keep on hand in case of natural disaster. There was no sugar in the house so I ate a whole crate of Clementines – the seedless sweet tangerines that I really used to love a lot. I shunned any and all forms of productivity – no writing, no exercising, no talking on the phone, no cleaning other than doing laundry and the massive quantities of dishes. Oh! And no make up or brushing of the hair, and I pretty much went around dressed in my pajamas. Even running to the store to pick something up – just threw the coat over the p.j.s.

I did go out in clothes a few times...

On Wednesday the 30th when I went to meet Lady Euthanasia and Alison our rocking insurance agent to celebrate the arrival of M’s insurance card. She’s covered! Woohoo! We drank martinis at Lola’s and told each other about our exciting plans for New Year’s Eve. M wins. She was going to slip on her corset and fangs, pack up her bondage ropes and other fun stuff and go to the Laire de Sade. She’s a femdom and an excellent writer of dark fiction, gothic horror and horror/erotica. She’s also one of my most interesting and fabulous new friends of 2004!

My plan was to go to a friend’s house for dinner and champagne and try to stay awake until midnight. There was a magnum of Veuve, but no exotic bondage demos.

Miss Mia came up on the 30th for the sleepover her mother and I had been promising her since she was four. She’s now six and we had so much fun. She and I would’ve been very happy hanging in the house and watching the Princess Diaries and Hilary Duff movies, but her mommy is allergic to cats and she needed to get outside. So we went to the Grove, along with, oh about 20,000 other people. By the time we got there at about 5pm there were only about 200 parking places available on the eight floors in the massive parking structure.

The Grove has these remarkably handy parking space counters on each floor so you don’t have to drive around. You can see right when you drive in exactly how many spots there are and go to the floor where you’ve got a good shot at getting one. The day before, Dec. 29th, I arrived at the Grove at 1:20 in the afternoon, thinking that the small break in the apocalyptic rainfall would be a good time to go see a movie. When I got to the parking structure every floor was FULL according to the counters. Since I was stuck in the “going in” lanes, I took my ticket and then drove straight out the employee’s entrance and out of the parking structure and went back home. By the time I turned the corner to head home it was raining so hard I could hardly see out my window for the 4 blocks I had to drive home.

So when Mia and her mommy and I went to the Grove the next night, I was heartened to see that out of the thousands of parking places there were at least 200 for us to choose from. And it wasn’t raining. It was only freezing cold. Because this was a birthday treat Mia got to choose the restaurant and there was only an hour and a half wait to get a table, so we went and stood in line to ride the trolley that trundles between the Farmer’s Market and the Grove. That took about 45 minutes since not only were the occupants of all the cars in the parking lot at the Grove, but so were the occupants of the 100 tourist buses in the parking lot. And everyone wanted to ride the trolley. But it was what she wanted to do and that’s what we did and I kept my whining to a minimum. It's all about the good example. By the time we got to dinner I really needed a drink. When we got home it was jammies and face masks and tiaras and photos and then some Princess Diaries. And that was the most fun I had the whole time I was off work.

New Year’s day was a good time, but staying up till midnight the night before made me a tad less than perky and I procrastinated so long in getting up and going to the pig cookin' party I hda to skip the shower that might've revived me. I did manage to get some lipstick on and wore bright colors to balance my lethargy and lack of chat. E & Ig roasted a whole pig in La Cajachina out in the front yard and it was cold and gray so I spent most of the day huddling near the radiant heat from the coals on top (so that shower would've been moot because I smelled like charcoal fire after the first half hour). Oh, and I sipped on Guinness, Celebration beer and some other special brew that started with a “P” that they had on tap while waiting for the pig to be done. That gave me some of my chat back. At the halfway point when the box was opened so the pig could be flipped I almost decided to become a vegetarian because the pig’s little head was in there too. I said a drunken prayer of thanks to the animal that gave up its life to be my dinner on New Year’s day, or rather evening. It was one of the best meals I ever ate.

R. and I decided to go see Phantom of the Opera – we both love the play, it makes me cry. I can’t stand Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals but for some reason I love Phantom, so I loved the movie. But as time passed, inside me something went horribly wrong. It may have been the goat cheese tart and all the raw spinach with fresh poppy seed dressing combined with the black beans that I ate with the pig. It may have been all that beer and then the wine, but I blew up like Violet Beauregard in Willy Wonka, and by the time we got to the theatre I wanted nothing more than to take my pants off and lay down in the fetal position across the stadium seats. Unfortunately it was too full of people for me to do that without infringing on my neighbors, and so except for one burp that slipped out and made R. laugh at me, the pressure continued to build. And then I cried like I always do at Phantom so by the end of the evening I just wanted to go home and be sick. I did and I was. All night and all the next day.

By Monday the news was starting to go into the whole bit about how the ground was so saturated it couldn’t take any more water and mudslides would be imminent. Consequently, I had to rethink my party plans for the National Championship game last night. I was supposed to go up to Malibu and watch with some friends, but I was visualizing the walls of dirt that often slide across PCH after this kind of rain carrying my car into the ocean as I toiled up the coast in downpour. Crazy thoughts and visions that seemed very real so I was relieved to hear from my friends that they were all throwing up with the flu and the party was off.

There are really no words to describe how wonderful it was to wake up this morning to no rain and patches of blue sky. I was up at 6a.m. and out the door at 7:30 on my way to the gym and work. It finally feels like the actual New Year. And I have two whole days to look forward to getting out of the house and coming to work!