Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I'm reading several books right now. They're stacked by my bed and under the pillows. I like to read more than one book so that I can switch when I get bored, or if the particular story or subject doesn't strike my fancy. I usually am able to finish a book in a week or so, even when I'm reading like five of them. Since this summer though I haven't been able to complete anything. At least that's what it feels like. This is a bad sign because the same thing applies to my writing. I've got lots of things started and I write on them all, but I'm not finishing. I'm wondering if I start finishing the books will I start finishing the stories/scripts, etc?

Here is, in no particular order, the book that I'm reading:

Bird by Bird by Anne LaMott. This is a book about writing. I love Anne LaMotte, but I can't remember if there's an "e" on the end of her name or not. Anyway, I first discovered her on and then my friend Peggy gave me her book about faith called "Traveling Mercies." Excellent book. I love her voice. I want to go find her and hang out with her and be her best friend. She's one of those people who has a wonderful way of seeing the world that's all her own and I would imagine that she is considered eccentric by many. This book is about writing and how hard it is to finish stuff and what helps to do that. I don't think I've read enough of it for the advice to sink in yet. I do stare at the blank screen a lot.

Vamped - I can't remember who wrote this, but darling Alli sent this to me and I am totally enjoying it. I can't wait to pass it on to Lady Euthanasia, my friend who writes erotic horror. This book will appeal to her sense of humor and dark sensibilities. An interesting story about a vampire in a world where everybody's been vamped. He finds a kid who's still human and decides he wants to be a daddy. This is more challenging than just taking on a six year old. It's a six year old who is considered fresh meat in the literal sense. Can you imagine having a six year old being an obnoxious six year old and every instinct you have wants to eat them? You know there are days where you'd have to put yourself on time out so you don't kill them. I know parents who aren't vampires who feel like that sometimes.

My Grandfather's Blessing - this book is written by a cancer doctor whose grandpa was a rabbi who studied the kabbalah. It's all about the blessing that are around us everyday. This book makes me cry everytime I read it. But in a good way.

On Writing by Stephen King - the master of horror writes about the horror of writer's block, bad grammer and cliches. He too has a distinctive voice that makes you feel like you're having a conversation with him. He has an awareness of his talent as a writer and the fact that in this world a naturally great writer is a rare thing to find. The rest of us work hard to be good.

A Million Little Pieces - Okay, I started reading this book before the great revelation about James Frey's embellishing. I was annoyed by his constant reference to himself as a "drug addict and criminal" before it was revealed that he wasn't that big a criminal. Of course, having dated my share of drug addicts I understand the level of narcissism and delusional thinking that goes along with that type of personality. I don't think that he embellished that bit about the root canal with no novocaine. I can't stand the way he writes. I hate the Constant, Seemingly Random Capitalizing of certain letters. What is up with that?

I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe - I'm a big TW fan and I liked this book because I could see it as a film. As usual he creates characters that are flawed and memorable and easy to love and hate at the same time.

And that's all I can remember right now. I know there's more, but I'm fried. And that's why I probably won't read tonight.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I meant to write about this last week, or whenever it was that the state of California killed that old man in the wheelchair. You know, the guy who was like 70 something and blind and immobile? He was, apparently, a very bad man who was sent to prison for murdering some folks and then, once he got there, he ordered a couple more hits and some more people died. That's the gist of it anyway. I didn't really pay that much attention because I was so fascinated by the mummified image of him that was broadcast on the news and published in the paper during the appeal process.

All I could think about was how he looked like he was already dead. I also pondered how bad it would suck to be him. Not because of the whole looming execution issue, but more about the being in prison AND old AND blind AND wheelchair bound. I mean seriously! No matter how badass you are it seems like it would be hard to survive in that environment in that condition. Or even one of those conditions. Old. Blind. Stuck in a chair. Hard to defend yourself against prison rape.

I'm completely and totally against the death penalty. The idea of it makes me physically ill. I have no problem with the idea of hunting someone down and shooting them vigilante style, but strapping them to a table and killing them? It reminds me of the hunting clubs that Dick Cheney and his pals go to. The ones where they release a bunch of birds into a cage and then the VP and his buddies shoot them with automatic rifles. It's so calculated and cold. I don't really get it as a punishment or a version of gun sport.

I do however support euthanasia, or mercy killing, just not in this case. No. To me it seems like in this case the proper punishment would've been to let that bad man sit there getting older in his wheelchair, unable to see anything, helpless to the whims of his fellow prisoners. It seems like universal justice was being meted out as I would imagine incontinence was right around the corner.

I'm not sure what exactly the point of the death penalty is when it's a reprieve from a life worse than death.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


This week when we remembered Martin I couldn't help but think about those people in my life who are oppotunities to practice compassion and tolerance. I usually think of them as idiots and assholes who make me crazy, but when I see the example set by MLK I consciously work to see them all as opportunities to practice shifting my perspective from one that is negative and shrill to one that is peaceful and loving.

This particular week there was an abundance of opportunities amplified by the raging hormones that accompanied the insanity that is PMS. It's like the universe is giving me a great big test to see if I can be like Jesus or will I be pushed to the dark side where my head spins like Linda Blair in the exorcist as I spew obscenities.

There's the guy that A. is doing work for who flat out said to him that he doesn't want him to make a profit and continues to call and make demands. He is someone involved in the huge multimillion dollar project that A. is working on, so he doesn't want to burn a bridge and he's being all diplomatic. I have to breathe deeply when he calls so as not to blow a vein.

There's the guy in the massively huge truck that he crammed into a "compact" parking place in Trader Joe's parking lot last night, who blasted his horn at me when I finally backed out of my parking space after waiting five minutes for him to finish. Like it's my fault that he couldn't dock his space shuttle all the way in the spot. Whatever.

And there's the homeless guy who stands on the island at Fairfax and Venice holding a sign that says that he's HOMELESS, HAS A WIFE AND A SON, NEEDS HELP. He stands right next to the left hand turn lane and stares at people accusingly as he moves his hand over the sign, pointing out each line, like we can't read. For some reason I always feel guilty if I don't give him anything. I'm being guilted by a homeless guy who is probably running a scam and makes more money than I do with his pointing routine. I've finally gotten to the point where I won't even make eye contact with him any more and that makes me feel horrible. I've gotten to where I won't make the left turn there anymore if I see him. I can't stand that a homeless guy has this kind of control over me. And if anyone is an opportunity to practice compassion it should be a homeless guy. Right? When I see him I always think about how many people in this country are on the precipice of homelessness.

And that leads me to the biggest opportunity to practice compassion that there is... This president and the members of his administration.

And that's a level of practice I'll have to leave until next week when the hormone level has leveled out again. Because it's a test. A big test and this week I just can't take it. It's all I can do not run over the homeless guy on the divider.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Okay so this is me writing when I have nothing to write about which isn't exactly true because I had an inspired thought earlier today when I woke up at 5:39am. I should've gotten up and written it then, but it was cold and dark and I was kind of hoping I'd go back to sleep.

But I didn't.

I did work out and I have eaten very South Beachish today so I'm getting to experience with all kinds of intensity what a big fat emotional eater I am as all I want to do is go get an In'N'Out burger right now. I'm pretty angsty with the whole lack of employment thing.

My friend Leisa sent me some interesting things from Craigslist that I wil follow up on because what the hell, you know? My friend Sheila suggested temp work, and that is always an option, but that's kind of what I'm doing for A. right now with a lot more flexibility. His office manager is to the point of pregnancy where her bulk blocks the sun when she enters the doorway. All I can think when I look at her is that it's going to hurt like hell when it comes time to birth that baby.

I'm getting the hang of doing the work here which just goes to show that my learning curve is about 2 weeks. That's how long I worked for him while she went home to Cuba to visit her family. Of course that doesn't mean that I'm loving it, but it is a lot more fun when you can make out with your boss and go take naps in his bed at lunchtime.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Went to R's house to watch the game and oh what a game it was. Probably one of the best college games I've ever seen. I don't really watch a lot of college games so it's not hard to be one of the best. The two I actually attended were memorable because one of them, USC v. Stanford was so boring, e.g. USC was getting beat through almost the whole game, my friend Kami and I decided to go take a walk in the park around the stadium. We left 20 minutes early and in that time USC scored three touchdowns, the final touchdown was in the last 3 seconds. It was probably one of the most exciting games that anyone who was there had seen. Kami and I were out on the sidewalk listening to everyone scream.

Oh well.

The other memorable game was USC v. Notre Dame. I attended with a bunch of Notre Dame fans. We went on a bus. It rained. It rained really hard, like the rain on the Rose Parade this year. It was also incredibly cold. Since I was the lone USC fan that arrived on the Notre Dame bus, and USC was losing, I was the only one who wanted to go home. I really saw no point in staying to watch the last quarter when it was a slaughter and I was soaked the bone. I couldn't very well whine though since I didn't know these people that well and I was still representing for USC and even if we were losing I couldn't be a whiner. So I snuck out claiming that I was going to the bathroom. I figured I'd go back to the bus where surely the driver was waiting with the heat on.

When I got out to the parking lot I found a sea of buses. Like hundreds of them. The bus I'd arrived on was just one of many and I wasn't sure how I was going to find it. It was still raining really hard and since no one was around to see I indulged in a little cry because I was so cold and miserable. I splashed around in the parking lot, stepping in ankle deep puddles and somehow I found our bus. The driver wasn't there but the door was open so I climbed on and huddled in a seat until the stupid game was over and everyone made it back. Finally. I don't think I've ever been more physically uncomfortable than those hours in the fetal position wearing soaking wet jeans and a stinky wool sweater on that bus.

I know I'm lucky if this is the most discomfort I ever suffer, but it put me off actually attending USC games for life. Even though last night's game was a great game I'm glad I wasn't in that crowd of 100,000 people trying to drive home.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Today is the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. USC is playing UT. It's a big freakin' deal. All my friends who went to USC are coming to town and because I never leave A's side I've only seen one of them so I thought I'd hit the parking lot for some tailgating. This sounded especially good because they're having an IN'N'OUT truck and a DJ. Woohoo! Party in the parking lot. Only problem is 100,000 other people had the same idea and I didn't even contemplate starting the journey until it was 1pm. After doing a little research and listening to the radio I realized that there would be no place for me to park. I could've taken the train from downtown and then walked a couple blocks and jumped on a shuttle but the logistical reality is that it would've taken about an hour and a half and since I was starting so late I would have gotten there and had to turn around so that I could make it back to R's house (where I'm meeting A) to watch the game on TV.

Needless to say I blew it off.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


I haven't written a word(other than e-mail), or worked out in over two months. I could blame the holiday season, all the busy-ness, etc. Except I'm still unemployed so I wasn't really busy shopping. I think I've become one of those women whom I've always scoffed at. The kind of woman that starts dating someone and falls off the grid. Because I've pretty much gone M.I.A., or more like A.W.A as in Always with A.

This is mostly due to the fact that looking for work is just damn depressing. Hanging out with A. is a lot of fun. It's been almost a year and it's even more fun than it was at first. Yes, he still wants six kids and I don't, but in spite of that we have a great time together and he has become my best friend.

That's all real great, but it's bugging me that I've stopped writing. I'm trying to figure out why. Is it because I'm happy? Too busy having fun to stop and write coherent sentences? Maybe. But I like to write and I have fun stuff to write about like the time I ended up in an Orthodox temple decked out in my outfit from dinner the night before, relegated to the women's side behind the glass with the wig and hat wearing members of my gender who eyed me like the jezebel shiksa I surely was. We were at a Bar Mitzvah and the rabbi was intoning about what happens when a Jewish man lays with a non-jewish captured in war slave woman and the throes of their passion begets a child and I swear everyone in the whole place was staring at me. A. who is not religious got a kick out of it as he stood there with his tallis shawl wrapped around him like somebody's bubbe at a bbq.

I've got lots and lots of stories about my immersion into Israeli culture. Wonderful people, big appetites and strong opinions. Or at least that's what it seems like to me as I listen/watch them converse. There's lots of yelling and arm waving and emphatic sounds and they may just be giving each other directions but it's all done via passionate discourse.

Along with all the fun I've been having I haven't missed a meal. I am overflowing my jeans with a yeasty roll of blubbery belly and my overflowing hips have been dubbed Chuck and Buck because my arms bounce off them as I walk. I'm not alone in the plump zone either. A. is right there with me and appears to be about to birth one of those six babies he wants. Lucky for him his ass is still where it should be and other than the fact that you could hide a couple of vanilla wafers in his back fat he still looks damn good.

I on the other hand am just heading into fatland. I'm not one for resolutions but I am making a commitment to myself to write here every day. Even if it's just one sentence.

And I'm going back to the 20 minute minimum workout 6 days a week.

Flabby is not the look I'm going for in '06.