Wednesday, March 30, 2005


First of all I just have to express my extreme frustration with Blogger. I have been trying to get on here to write for the last two days and it wouldn't load. I tried lots of times and it just wouldn't let me on. Of course I have the patience and attention span of a gnat, but I also feel that if the window doesn't open within 30 seconds it's probably not going to. Aaaarrrrgggh! I hate being denied.

On a positive note I got ten hours of sleep last night and nine hours the night before. Why? Well, because I went and saw the doctor and got my prescriptions renewed for my good friends Ambien and Valium. I take a half of each pill right before I lay me down to sleep and, even though I still wake up two to three times a night, I am able to go back to sleep and my eyes don't pop open until 7am. This is an awesome experience because I hate being awake and alone when it's dark out and too early to call my friends on the east coast. They're not even up at 6am, and if they are they're busy getting ready to go to work. They don't have time to chat with a loony insomniac.

All this sleep has made a huge difference in my level of productivity, although not so much in my ability to focus. So far I have gotten my Driver's license renewed, something that I, of course waited until the last minute to do as it expires tomorrow. I could've renewed by mail, but I cannot walk around with that picture of me looking like I'm hearing voices one day longer. I put on make up and got my hair cut and colored, not for the license picture but because I'm marking one more trip around the sun, it just worked out that my hair was cute for the picture taking. Of course, I may still look crazy because I'm not that photogenic and the woman at the DMV was no Annie Leibowitz, but if I was going to pay for it anyway I figured why not give it a shot. I'll know if a week if all the time and effort was worth it.

I also completed most of the work on Rs. gift for his birthday. As with everything else I do it's been fits and spurts, but ta-da! it's almost done and that's good because his birthday is day after tomorrow. Mine is tomorrow and so I've been feted nightly at all my favorite restaurants with all my favorite people. On Monday my neighbor and dear friend Cheryl went up to that local neighborhood restaurant we can walk to with the intention of taking each other out for dinner since her birthday was last Friday. When we got there we ran into Robert, my new friend that I met there and he bought us dinner! How cool is that?

Last night I went to Rocca with Sheila who is a peach and had amazing Italian food. Not the kind you usually think of when you think Italian, but the rustic kind. We started with the fonduta which was a crostini topped with black truffles upon which you dollop melted cheese. She had Lactaid Ultra with her which is a good thing because I would've been fetal before dinner was done. Next we shared the Ricotta gnocchi with ox tail ragu. This is one of my favorite things becuase the gnocchi melts in your mouth as opposed to landing in your stomach like a pasta bomb. For our mail course we ordered some of the pig that they roasted which was served with a basil mint pesto and a green apple comfit. Yum! Dessert was a chocolate souffle with a Nutella center. The whole entire evening was delicious right down to the company.

Tonight I'm going to Melisse, a four star French restaurant with my best friend Christina. This is my favorite place in LA - the food is phenomenal, a real experience, so hopefully Blogger will let me on tomorrow so I can write about it.

And hopefully I will find some time in all my celebratin' to get my taxes done. If I get that done, I think I will reward my productivity with a weekend that it completely off the hook.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


I am feeling like a horrible person right this minute. Sick to the pit of my I've been a bad girl stomach. I am an asshole. Or at least I behaved like one. Mea fucking culpa.

It all started back at the beginning of February when I ordered a Directv DVR with tivo for the living room. A very nice guy named Juan came to install it. He brought a ladder but never used it to go up to the dish. I am A/V stupid. I was completely traumatized by the remote when I first switched from cable to Directv last year. And that is why when I attempted to record a movie the first night with my new gadget I figured it had to be something I did wrong that prevented me from being able to tape on one channel and watch another. I thought perhaps I needed a Tivo lesson or something.

One of my friends came over who is very good with gadgets and determined that I was getting no signal from the second satellite line. So me being an asshole, I immediately decided that Juan had to have done something wrong. I called Directv and their Tech department tried to walk me through all the possible ways to fix it while sitting on your ass in front of the TV. None of them worked. They said they'd have to send someone out to fix it. I said okay, but you know the vendor that you use for installs? They keep sending people who don't know what they're doing so could you ask them to send a senior guy? Please don't send the same guy it really bugs me that I have to make the time to deal with service again.

Of course Juan was waiting for me when I got home. Only his head was shaved and he didn't indicate that he was the guy who did the original install and it took me a while to figure out that it was him, but once I did I was just completely mortified. The mortification intensified when he determined that there was nothing wrong with the lines - they both work fine. The problem it seems is that the box is broken. My new gadget broke within hours of him installing it.

It was a brand new box - who would think that it would break immediately? Not me!

I went right to Juan screwed up and then I called Directv and told on him.

I am such an asshole.

And now I have to write a letter to Directv and send a copy to Juan's employer apologizing for casting aspersions on his abilities.

And apologize for being an asshole about everything.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


So A. called and in talking to him over a couple of nights I realized that he is "that into me." We saw each other last night and that confirmed that everything I thought I felt was real. Sometimes I wonder if I make stuff up. Or if I'm crazy.

Now the fact that I'm not crazy doesn't guarantee a happy ending. Not at all, but it certainly makes the present a lot more fun. I think that what is unsettling is the feeling of knowing someone, there's a familiarity in place that is disconcerting, because I don't really know him at all. Yet.

I don't know his quirks. I don't know how he does his life on a day to day basis.

But I do know him.

Monday, March 21, 2005


It's the Girl Scout motto.

And it's the positive message I'm taking from the horrible nightmare that is the Terri Schiavo case. I was talking to my mother a few days ago about this because she is in the midst of "getting her affairs in order," bless her, not because there's anything wrong, but because with the Parkinson's diagnosis for Bob and a second marriage late in life, it's a good thing to do so your family doesn't suffer. I told her to be sure to specify that in the case of a persistent vegetative state there would be no gastric feeding tube. She told me that her friend Shall had just had her dad unhooked when he went south during an illness. I pointed out that unplugging only ends your life if you're on a ventilator. If you are in a persistent vegetative state, like Terri Schiavo is your autonomic nervous system will still function enabling your reflexes to work so that you will grimace and moan and do all the stuff that Terri is featured doing on that horrifying video tape that the media loves to play over and over and over again.

However, the lights aren't on and no one is home. I take solace in the fact that this poor woman has no idea what's happening to her, or that the video of her lolling head and rolling eyes has been seen by people all over the world. I told my mom that if she did that to me I would come back and haunt her for the rest of her days as soon as I was finally able to die.

President Bush said this today, "It is wise to always err on the side of life," but forgot to add "unless you're a black man sitting on death row in the state of Texas," which killed more people under his watch than any other governor. People who may have been innocent but were refused new trials.

What Terri is doing is not living. She is existing. I cannot imagine having a family member in this situation, but I know that I do not want anyone to be forced to exist when they have no brainwaves. The brain is dead. The spirit is gone. Their Terri is gone. Her body will exist as long as they feed it. That the United States government got involved is both terrifying and outrageous. That the president cut short one of his many vacations to sign legislation that may allow the feeding tube to be reinserted is arrogant and not what the President of this country should be concerning himself with.

Her husband is vilified for refusing to divorce her and allow her care to revert to her family. He has refused truly disgusting offers of millions of dollars to do so. He wants to make sure that she is allowed to die - the with dignity part is way past moot what with that video and the "Christian" hullabaloo. He has not gotten on with his life, though divorcing Terri and doing so would definitely have been the easiest thing to do. He is concerned that her parents are not making rational decisions evidenced by her father's statement that he would have amputations performed to do so. He is concerned that their "medical expert opinion" that Terri was misdiagnosed comes from doctors who are not neurologists and who give this opinion after seeing that damn video.

What about brain scans and EEGs? Why don't they do one of those and bring in some Independant Medical Examiners? If she's got no brain waves now, 20 years after her brain damage, I think it's safe to say that it's never going to happen. It's sad that there are doctors in this world who will tell people what they want to hear instead of the truth.

It's sad what Michael Schiavo is going through to allow his wife to die. It's sad what Terri's family is going through holding on to hope where there isn't any and being misled by people who would use their tragedy to further their moral/political agendas. It's sad that this president and this congress would intervene in a citizen's life in such an intrusive and "big brother" way.

It's all just so sad.

But if a few more people decide to get be prepared by making a living will and so prevent their families from being in this position then at least some good will come out of all this sad.

I have a living will, but it's in a safety deposit box that is who knows where. Certainly not Wells Fargo who bought First Intersate and then moved it without advising me. So I'm going to write my instructions down and have a friend witness it and keep it on the refrigerator.

Just in case.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


I'm re-writing myself and it's getting really hard. I am so critical that I feel paralyzed. It's like those stunt planes that you see when they go into a stall and start doing a spiral toward earth. It's completely silent and the plane seems to be gliding - this is a controlled stall - toward certain catastrophe and at the last minute the pilot starts the engine and pulls up on the stick thingy and the plane swoops back up toward heaven.

So in this scenario? I'm the pilot and the plane is in freefall and I'm staring at the approaching ground and I'm not sure I can find the on switch for the engine. In fact it feels like maybe the engine fell off the plane.

All I can do is hope that tomorrow I find the switch and pull back on the stick thingy and get a little altitude.

I just hope that there's gas in the tank.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Waking up before dawn with stomach pain allows just that much more time for my busy brain to think thoughts, some of which are actually really productive and probably need to be thought so that I get shit done. Like I need to pay my car insurance which means I need to find where I put the bill. It's a drag that my brain gets so busy when my eyes open because right now I'm really wishing I'd had about 3 more than the 4 hours of sleep that I got last night. I'm functioning on "low" right now, as evidenced by this totally lame post, but I'm hoping that if I drain my brain here, and have chicken broth and yogurt for dinner tonight, instead of zatzicki and carnitas like last night, maybe I'll sleep better and feel better.

And not think the thoughts I think....

Like I'm really ready to finish a plethora of unfinished projects around the house. First, and foremost would be the mosaic table which has been sitting there for two years this coming May. This means that I need to take all of the junk off of it and grout the sides. The top also needs more grouting, but once I get the sides done I can always do that second layer outside.

And once the table goes outside it's time to do something about the antique daybed that has been leaning up against the wall in the living room. It's been there for two years as well because I don't want to get rid of it, but I have no where to put it. I suppose I can sell or donate it, which is probably what I'll end up doing because at this point it's presence is annoying me and I really want to bring the Pilates machine down from Cheryl's where it's languishing under piles of stuff, so I can work out at home.

I'd like to accomplish that before the end of the first week of April because that's when my gym membership expires and if I can do Pilates and the Stairmaster at home in my pajamas as opposed to dragging my stuff to work and forgetting either my shoes or underwear or both, well, that's just going to make life that much easier. Plus I can play my own music. And work out in my pajamas. I already said that, but it's a big motivater right now.

The re-writing is sucking and it's really hard to work on making it better when I'm so tired I can hardly make coherent sentences, so it's feeling like a waste of time to even try. But that's so defeatist and negative so how do I get my head around being all positive and creative? Especially when I can't breathe through my nose that good?

Why does A. continue to sporadically call or e-mail, when he's bored in the car or has nothing better to do, when it could not be more clear that "he's just not that into me?" I am starting to feel like some poor beat up butterfly that a cat has been fucking with, so my bee like qualities are starting to come out. Like I could get really mean because I'm tired and I don't feel well, and his complete lack of communication and total disrespect for me makes me feel crazy. How could I ever have thought that this guy liked me? This feels horrible and just makes me sad.

I need to find R. the perfect thing for his 50th birthday which is harder than I thought it would be. He loves to weld, and he had a thingy that he did that with that got stolen, but I can't remember what that thingy was called, or even what it did. He loves wine so I'm leaning toward a wine themed gift and I can get a number of things which is good because if the homemade part (which is still in the planning stages in my brain) becomes yet another UFP I will still have something to wrap and give him.

Got to finish Colleen's scarf and mail it to her!!! It's all done except for the fringe on one side and I am such a loser for not just getting it out and doing it.

Must get Amy and Neal's address to send Roan's gift, now that she's actually here. I like to make sure that babies are safely arrived before I get the real gift. The problem is that once someone has a baby they are sleep deprived and they pretty much fall off the face of the earth so a lot of the "baby" gifts I get are too small by the time I actually get around to meeting the baby. That's why I will drive by the house and shove this through their mail slot.

Want to write a letter to Bob to honor his 75th birthday. It's hard to believe that he's 75 and that he's been in my life for almost 30 years. I can't think too much about the Parkinson's diagnosis because I get scared for him, and for my mom, and for me - he's the dad I got to choose. I love the dad whose DNA I share and who raised me with such great tenderness when I was a little girl, but Bob is like bonus dad. He's the one who is more traditional and who sets the bar for how I would like to be treated in a relationship. He is so good to my mom and they have so much fun. Thinking about what lies ahead with this fucking horrible disease freaks me out in a huge way.

Must get with Directv to find out why my Tivo can't make phone calls, or something like that. I hate machines that give you messages that don't make sense. Who said it was okay for Tivo to be using the phone? Also, they need to tell me what to do so that I can watch one channel and record off another channel. Right now, it's not that big a deal because I'm not even watching TV that much, but it's the principal. I'm paying to be able to do that so I should be able to do that. Right? Uh-huh.

So excited to go to Allison's wedding - must find lots of summery fun things to wear that will fit into the carryon bag because I so don't want to check luggage - get to wear flip flops - yay for comfy shoes!!

Must lose 10 pounds so that I can breathe while wearing the groovy new red bustier which for some reason fits much tighter than the ivory one does even though they're the exact same size and that's what you get when you shop in the garment disctrict and get amazing deals. Will the ivory one not fit anymore though? This is a quandry.

Make appointment to go see George and get Rx refill for Ambien.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


The sick that started in my throat and then moved into my head has migrated down to my belly. At the end of last week I was finally feeling like I was moving toward 100%, or at least 87% since I was no longer running a fever. The fact that I was feeling violent reactions in my stomach every time I ate something? Well, I was thinking that maybe it was just a little irritation. Plus, I was so over not feeling good, I wanted to be able to go out and play and have fun, and I had plans to do so. I wanted to celebrate registering my script with a fabulous sushi lunch at my favorite, very expensive place.

So I did.

Friday night it was clear that something was really wrong with me. I was tired and I felt sick, it was all I could do to get home and get in bed. I woke up on Saturday and left town as planned, but I was dragging. And by Sunday night when I got home I felt like hell. I had to go to bed and lay in the fetal position moaning until I fell asleep.

I got up Monday and worked out because part of being in denial is to continue with your routine as if nothing is wrong. So what if it takes much longer and requires a lot more effort. I had plans last night with the divine Ms. M whom I hadn't seen in a month of Sundays and we were meeting at my favorite neighborhood place I can walk to with the excellent goat cheese fondue and cute bartender.

Once I got there it was great fun. Fun to catch up and eat yummy snacks and martinis. Fun to mock the pervy car salesmen who were sitting on our left and to flirt with the adorable Englishmen sitting on our right. Fun to talk about men and the importance of attraction and how hard it is to date someone who's "really nice," but whom you don't want to swap spit with because you're not attracted. Even when you think you should be attracted, it's not something you can force. I tried this, it didn't work, and it really wasn't fair or nice, and it was really frustrating because the guy was great on paper. I wanted to want him.

Time flew and by the time I got home it was nearing 11:00pm. The twinges I was ignoring in the restaurant became full blown gongs of pain and I was back in the fetal position like the night before. I woke up all night long to experience the pain. If I hadn't talked to my mom yesterday who is about a week further into this viral ride, I would be thinking that this is just how things are so I better get used to it. But I talked to a few other people and apparently I have the "something" that's going around.

I am so over it. I'm sick of staying home. I'm sick of being tired. I'm sick of being sick. I am just going to soldier through and make plans to go out and have a good time. I don't care if I have to spend time in the fetal position afterwards because it hurts.

I don't care anymore.

Monday, March 14, 2005


My friend Jeri was my partner in crime for a very long time. We used to do wild and crazy, as opposed to wild and stupid, things together. Things that I wouldn't do now for various reasons, mostly because it would take too much effort. Or you know I'd think about it and wonder if it was a good idea, and if you're wondering if something is a good idea, it's probably not.

One time we decided to go see Pearl Jam. In Tijuana. On a Sunday night. This was back right after they released Ten, before they became huge. They were playing this dive that looked, as so many buildings do in Tijuana, like it wasn't completed. Lots of cinder block and exposed rebar. There were no toilet seats, not that I actually considered using the bathroom, preferring instead to practice my Kegel exercises.

Anyway, we drove down to the border and parked on the US side. It was dark so we didn't want to drive over the border, no, we thought it would be better to WALK. Once safely in Mexico we got a cab and headed out to the club, I can't remember what it was called, but it was full of kids from San Diego state. Needless to say, Jeri and I no longer qualified as "kids." At this point we were definitely not, but the upside to that is being able to hold your liquor better in public. No more sprawling in a puddle of questionable fluid at the bottom of the stairs like the girl we climbed over to get upstairs for a better view.

Sitting astride the balconey railing up above the seething pit of flannel that made up the dance floor in front of the stage Jeri and I clinked Coronas and enjoyed the show. Pearl Jam was an awesome band made up of incredible musicians. This was before they were really well known because it took more than a year after that first album was released for people to figure it out. I remember playing that CD so loud and my roommate at the time used to snipe at me like a little old man, "you're going to go deaf."

And you're an old fart at 30 dude.

They were even louder and better live. Eddie Vedder was about 28 at the time and this was back when he would climb up on balconeys during live shows. This show was no different. He went running to the side of the stage and climbed up to the balconey and proceeded to swing hand over hand around the entire club. As he came by Jeri and I he grabbed onto her leg to swing by. Very exciting. And dangerous. Shortly after this I heard he stopped doing it because, duh, as 30 approaches you start to realize that your shit can break.

Gotta have those good times while the gettin' is good.

Friday, March 11, 2005


I started writing here one year ago today. Although I've come to discover that this "blogging" thing is usually interactive, my intention was always to develop a level of discipline with regard to writing. Focus and discipline are the two biggest challenges in my life, along with understanding why I make such stupid choices when it comes to men. My thought was that everyday I would write here with the intention of expanding that everyday writing practice into actually writing a script.

Just writing everyday was a lot harder than I ever thought it would be. Granted it's easier to write on the computer than it is to take pen to paper. I'm one of those people who can type as fast as I think and I think a lot fast than I can scribble with a pen. But coming up with something to write was more difficult than I thought it would be. I told a couple people I knew that I was doing this and they started reading it. So I started censoring myself somewhat, but then I'd forget that anyone but me was reading this, and heck I hardly even read it, so I would write down the stories that were only known to me.

I also started writing several beat sheets for stories that I wanted to tell with characters and other voices. Dramatic story telling is so much harder than I'd imagined. Characters must tell communicate through their actions and their words, but without being on the nose, the story and do it in such a way that people want to watch. It must be done in such a way that people want to find out what will happen next.

This is hard to do.

But it's definitely something worth aiming for. I'm still tweaking and rewriting, but today I registered my script with the Writer's Guild, and then I came here to write about it and noticed that the first day I ever wrote here was one year ago today.

I love synchronicity.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


I was listening to NPR and they were doing a story about the "new" SAT tests. The focus of the story was that when kids go take the SAT this year they will be required to write an essay, and how this would affect immigrant and ESL kids and well, most of the kids taking the test, because writing is not taught in high school. So the contention is that a message will be sent to high schools that they need to have more classes on writing and that more classes require papers to be written. They also said that these new tests will carry the potential of 2400 points.

Oh my God.

When I completed my first year in a public high school all the cute guys graduated so in the interest of procuring a car so that we could continue to party with those boys my best friend Lori and I talked our parents into sending us to private school. Of course we told them we wanted to go because we were bored and not learning anything at public school. This was true, but the upside to little challenge was that we were able to ditch every period but second period, which was the class where they took attendance in order to get money. Or something like that.

At any rate, we ended up at Chadwick, a prep school in Palos Verdes. Two students in our class had been caught with weed and asked to leave so there were two spaces in the class of 44 students. We had to take an entrance exam that consisted of critical reading and an essay. This meant that I, a product of the public school system which does not in fact teach students to write, had to read something from The Old Man and the Sea and then answer questions about it in essay form.

I was accepted to Chadwick, but due to the fact that all of my essay answers began with a capital letter and ended a page or so later with a period indicated to the administrators that I needed to learn how to write. I was placed in mandatory expository writing classes EVERY semester until I graduated. I was a mad wicked comma splicer. I still am. I have no fucking idea what the semi-colon actually does.

But I did learn to write. I learned to think critically and express myself articulately via the written word. I've always been a natural spelling champ, probably because I grew up reading so much that words are familiar. If you know how they're supposed to look you know if they're spelled incorrectly.

I WISH there had been essay questions on the SAT. I suck at multiple choice because I get in a hurry, or I'm over it and want to be done. I hate being proctored and having to sit at a desk with my two number 2 pencils and my ID and nothing else. The whole atmosphere of those kinds of tests are anxiety producing and lead me to screw up. I did okay on my SATs, but I could have kicked ass if I'd gotten the opportunity to write.

Not so long ago I took the CBEST so that I could substitute teach if I so desired. This is a proctored test that they do a couple times a year. I signed up for it and then forgot that I did so I never studied and went out to dinner the night before and had a couple martinis. I only remembered right before I went to bed and decided that if I felt like it when I woke up I'd go. I woke up a little late, but since I paid I decided I should go and do it anyway.

Clutching my driver's license and my two #2 pencils, wearing sweatpants and wreaking of alcohol I slumped in the desk and the basically mailed in the answers. There were two mulitple choice sections one for reading comprehension and one for math and there were three essay questions, all of which were to be completed in three hours. I finished in an hour, forty five minutes, rolled home and went back to bed.

A couple weeks later I got my results and I'd passed the freaking test! I aced the essays and barely squeaked by on the math. So now I can go substitute teach in public schools if I want. If I ever do that I'll tell everyone that story and we'll spend the day learning to write. Even if it's a math class.

Hell, especially if it's a math class.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


I am so tired today I am practically incoherent. And I have a bruise on my boob that hurts. Yesterday I scheduled my annual mammogram, motivated by yet another spate of friends with lumps and scary boob stories. So I go in expecting the usual squeezing in the cold x-ray machine which doesn't hurt half as bad as people say. Even the pushbacks, where they have to move the implant back and clamp the small bit of actual breast tissue for x-ray, don't hurt too much.

After x-rays comes ultrasound, something that all women should request when they go for mammography because ultrasound sees stuff that doesn't show up on x-ray. Like cysts. The in my right breast has been growing exponentially each year and yesterday when the doctor ran the ultrasound doohickey over my boob he said, "Wow! That's gotten huge! And you've got two more." We had discussed aspiration of the cyst before and since it was now HUGE I decided to just go ahead and do that.

I though that I would come back and have it done, but the doc whipped out the release form and a HUGE needle and started prepping me right that minute. I had no time to think about the fact that he was going to plunge a needle into my boob. Probably a good thing because given time to think about it I'm sure I would have decided it was a bad idea. But you know since I was already covered in Betadine there was no backing out. He stuck the needle in and pulled the plunger and sucked out an amazing amount of fluid - no wonder he kept asking me if it hurt when he was pummeling my breasts earlier - which he held up to show me when it was done causing me to take deep breaths in order to not pass out.

I didn't even need a bandaid, but by last night I was sporting a bruise where the 18 gauge needle went into my flesh. I had gone back to the gym yesterday morning for the first time in two weeks and lifted the weights I'd been working up to, so between the exhaustion of my muscles and the let down of anxiety post boob puncturing I was asleep by 10pm.

At 12:30 Bud called to tell me that her house had been broken into and she was waiting for the police, but would it be okay if she came and stayed in my guest room because she was freaked out. I said of course. And then I had to get up and put away all the laundry that I'd thrown on the bed so I could fold it and put away "later" and then I had to put sheets on the bed. By the time I got back in bed it was 1:30 and because I left my front door unlocked I couldn't go back to sleep, which is weird because I very often space out and don't lock my doors and it doesn't bother me at all. But then, I have no idea that the door is unlocked so why would it bother me.

By 2:45 she hadn't arrived so I called her back and she said that the forensics officer had just left and she thought she would stay home because she had to get up and work. She was so freaked out and I wished I had the energy to go and stay with her because I can only imagine how I would feel if that happened to me - actually I would just go sleep at my neighbors house. After we hung up I couldn't go to sleep so that is why, on a Tuesday, I am exhausted with a bruised boob.

And hopefully it's all up from here.

Monday, March 07, 2005


Yesterday was the Los Angeles Marathon. I live in the middle of the course which can be a real drag if you don't know that it's marathon day and you get in your car to go somewhere and you can't because all the roads are closed. That happen to me last year and I was really cranky about it.

This year I knew it was going to happen so I planned on walking one block north which is mile 19 or 20. I'm not sure, but people have run a really long way by the time they go by. I was watching the race on TV so I would know when to go and I have to say that the elite runners who run at the front and win - well they deserve to because they are hauling.

By my calculations I had about a half hour before I would see anyone coming on foot. The wheelchair race had already been won by the time I left the house. At 9:15 I had only been standing there for about 10 minutes along with a sprinkling of other neighbors when this blond woman wearing white gloves went sprinting past.

SPRINTING at mile 19. Or 20.

This was surprising because when I had left my house 20 minutes earlier there were two African women vying for the lead, and they were a few minutes behind her when they passed us. We all stood up and clapped and cheered. It was cool because people were spread out down the street so we would hear the clapping start and then it would spread down to us where we would pick up the rhythm and the woohoos.

There were wheelchair athletes still trickling in and I was in awe not only of the endurance and arm strength, but also at the ability to maintain balance in a state of exhaustion. We were located in between the Gatorade stand and the bananas, which I thought was the wrong order. I would rather eat a banana and then wash it down with some Gatorade then have to run the last six miles with banana breath.

Anyway, the men were gaining on the women who started, I think 15 minutes ahead, and they were in a much tighter pack and running even faster than the blond chick. They were all African and they were doing 4 minute or faster miles near the end of the race. I was in awe.

After the leaders, runners would come along one or two at a time, then in groups of three and four. One stopped to the use the porto potty that was set up just after the Gatorade and he was super fast - we gave him a huge hand. "We" being my new friends and neighbors, Marianne, Tammy and her boyfriend Chris. The four of us were standing there and we started talking, I think it was because we all heard the drum that someone west of us was playing and we were wishing we had drums too!

There's something about cheering people and watching it infuse them with renewed enthusiasm when their energy is waning. Many of these people, especially those coming after the leaders were clearly seasoned athletes, maybe even professional runners. Those women with not an ounce of body fat on them, which is not a good look really. They've run their breasts right off their chests and you can see muscle and sinew.

However it was a good look on many of the men. I really appreciate nice legs, well developed calves, defined quads. There was lots of that and soon Marianne and I were muttering things to each other like, "Check out 7191 - we like him!" And then this guy ran by who had, for some reason, chosen to run in his bathing suit. These were trunks made of a canvas type material in a bright Hawaiian pattern and they hit about 4" below his knee. His shirt was off and the sweat was weighing the trunks down so that they were hanging just above his pubic bone a la D'Angelo. Howdy six pack was displayed above the tapering hips and below the broad shoulders. Marianne and I watched him coming with our mouths agape and as he got closer I said, "Whoa, nice," - REALLY LOUD. It just kind of spontaneously slipped out.

Made him smile though.

We cheered loudly for everyone - those who were cruising effortlessly and most importantly for those who were clearly out of gas. I could relate to that hell of having run so far and not being close to finished. When I used to run I was one of those people who would stagger around at the end - mostly because I was winging it having decided to run a 10K the week before because I thought it would be fun. HA! And then because I was very young and stupid I would party the night before so I would be running with a hangover. Yeah. I'd show up at the STARTING line dehydrated and it was downhill from there.

But I remember one race where they played music, like the theme from Rocky as we were coming down the last mile and it made such a big difference. Gave me a second wind and all, so my new friends and I were talking about how much more supportive we could be. You know with a boom box and drums and noisemakers and signs with encouraging sayings on them. And then we talked about setting up a grill to make pancakes and bacon and, of course we'd have some pitchers of Bloody Marys - because it takes a long time to cheer 25,000 people along.

And because we didn't have all that stuff and our hands were getting red and tingly we went home around the time the stream of runners was getting continuous. I cleaned my whole house since I couldn't really do anything else and then as soon as they opened the roads I met a friend and went and hung at Geoffrey's in Malibu for some Bloody Marys and snacks.

But next year we have a plan, and if you're running the marathon look for us at mile 19. Or 20.

We will so totally lift you up!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


So I thought I should be feeling better this morning. Not because I actually feel better, although I do, but because it's about damned time! I woke up last Wednesday morning at 5 a.m. with a sore throat. Like razorblades in my throat sore throat. I didn't work out, but I went to work, because I'm writing this thing and I want to finish it. But once I got to work I became acutely aware of how unwell I was. I was running a fever and unable to regulate my body temperature so I didn't get much done since I spent most of the day hunched in the fetal position shivering.

I stayed home on Thursday. And I slept which means that I was really sick because I don't sleep in the day time. Heck I hardly sleep in the night time.

Like for instance Friday night/Saturday morning? I woke up at 1:30 a.m. and I couldn't go back to sleep. Even with an Ambien assist. Consequently Saturday I was sort of incoherent, but I had stuff to do, like get a warm wrap to wear out the Academy Awards parties the next night. I have to be really really sick to miss out on an "event" party. Saturday night I took enough cold medicine to knock out a Manatee and got about 6 uninterrupted hours, but now my throat malady had migrated into my head and when I mouth breathe because I can't suck air through my nostrils, it makes my throat sore. Gah!

And then running around drinking champagne on Sunday night didn't help. But I knew it wouldn't. I don't regret it. Monday was a rough day because 1) I was tired and 2) I have a self imposed deadline so I was writing furiously - and meeting my deadline.

Yay, me!

But still, it's making me tired. And I haven't been going to gym, which I do everyday, because I've had no energy. So this morning when I woke up and was able to get up without lying back down immediately I figured, why not? Couldn't hurt. The steam sauna would be good for me right?


The steam sauna loosened up stuff that is now gagging me and I feel like my fever is back. The workout exhausted me to the point where it's hard to lift my arms. Note to self - do lower body when writing on deadline.

And I want to go out and play this weekend! I want to have fun again without having to take a decongestant and a lot of kleenex. I want to sleep! Boy do I want to sleep. I want to lay down under my desk and take a nap.

So I've got two more days to get better because I'm not well yet.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


I'm really excited to go see the Arts and Crafts exhibit at LACMA. As long as I can remember I have been a big fan of craftsman style houses, and all things from that particular design epoch. I love the pocket doors with the leaded glass. I love the dark wood and the wide stair cases with the squared lines. I love the roomy arm chairs and couches. They look, and indeed they are, solid, and masculine. Yet there is something of the receptive feminine with the reflections of nature in patterns and colors that were used during the period. It's a satisfying fusion of male and female, the yin and yang.

But the best thing about a craftsman house is the porch.

I lived in a 1907 craftsman in Long Beach years ago for a couple years. My friend Ingrid was living there, renting a room from Patrick the guy that owned the house and when the other downstairs bedroom became vacant she convinced me to move in. I loved the house, but the guy that owned it, Pat, was kind of a weirdo.

He was, at that time in his late 30s and he was really into Jesus and Mickey Mouse and taking Asian kids on church group outings. Ingrid and I were in our early 20s. She was really into getting a man to marry her. I was really into partying. And this house was a GREAT place to throw a party.

The downside to the very old house was that it had only one bath with a shower and that was between my bedroom and Ingrid's bedroom. There was a half bath that Pat had built himself, off the back pantry, right outside my bedroom door, and Pat used that for his morning "rituals," but when he took his occasional shower he used our bathroom.

I didn't have a problem with that, I mean it was his house, and frankly I preferred a fresh smelling roommate than the lingering funk that stayed behind when he left the room. Maybe he was afraid of Ingrid who was very passive aggressive, and made no secret of the fact that she resented him using our bathroom, but he only showered maybe twice a week. Pat claimed to be studying to be a priest and as far as I knew he was celibate because he never had any grown up women visitors. He would occasionally stand to close to me and sort of hump my leg, but he took no offense when I pushed him away with a, "No Pat! Off!"

Ingrid was the other downside. She had control issues. And if you looked up high maintenance in the dictionary there's a picture of her, I swear. She was a nurse and she was really into doctors. Or any kind of man who was a "professional." She was not an unattractive woman, but she thought, and she would tell you, or anyone who would listen, that she looked a lot like Catherine Daneuve. Ingrid was a little deluded. I think it's because she had really big boobs and so she got a lot of attention from men.

Ingrid needed a lot of attention from men. All men. Including the ones I was dating. Like Mark, the drummer, who would come through the door and Ingrid would run across the room and leap into his arms squealing "catch me!" Or John, whom she slept with. And I can only hope that he gave her the same lovely STD that he gave me as a karmic reward. I knew how she was because we'd been friends for a while and you accept the good and the bad in your friends. I didn't know that she'd actually screw my boyfriend behind my back or we wouldn't have been friends anymore. And it's why we're no longer friends. I'll accept a lot of bad with the good but there's a line.

So you might be asking yourself why I would live with Pat and Ingrid.

Quite simply it's because I loved the house. And even more than that I loved the porch. It was huge, running the whole 30 foot width of the front of the house. You climbed four steps up to it and it was like another room. The short wall that skirted each side was wide enough to sit on and at one end Pat had hung a swing that three people could sit on comfortably. There were so many evenings spent with my friends hanging on the porch in the summer twilight. I would imagine that family that lived in the house when it was first built doing the same thing, only they were probably drinking sasparilla, or some old timey drink instead of Coronas.

The house was comfortable. It had great bones and even horny, stinky Pat and controlling, needy Ingrid could not mar how safe I felt when I lived there. This was a time in my life when I was making "questionable" choices (like dating John) and some horrible things happened, so it was important for me to feel safe and protected when I was at home. Living there with my crazy roommates kept me sane.

And I know I'm going to live in a craftsman house again and it will feel the same, no it will feel even better because it will be mine and Pat and Ingrid won't be there.

And because it's how they built'em back then.