Monday, December 31, 2007


I got a phone call early yesterday morning from Sheryl, the home health care worker that takes the alternate weekend shifts with my Nana. She said that Nana wasn't able to walk anymore, that her legs had given out on her. When I saw Nana on Christmas day I was shocked at how rapidly she'd gone downhill since I'd seen her the week before. On that visit we'd watched the Lakers and eaten off the TV trays that she keeps in the den and she still knew who all the players were.

She was particularly excited about Andrew Bynum who is being schooled by Kareem on the skyhook.

On Christmas we watched the Lakers but she was basically semi-conscious, her mouth hanging open and her shoulders lifting with the effort it took her to breathe.

She was 99 so all things being equal she'd had a terrific run. She got her driver's license renewed on her 97th birthday something that finally spurred her to get the cataract surgery done in her right eye. My aunt told her that she was going to have to read the eye chart.

I knew that she was in the departure lounge, but she was hanging on with all her might. We never talked about death or dying because she didn't want to have conversations about that "stuff". Yesterday though, after getting the phone call, I decided that the stuff needed to be at least touched upon, if not actually bandied about. Adi and I rented a transport chair, something that she could ride to the bathroom and the kitchen table in, and we headed down to Nana's house.

I didn't call because she would've told me not to come. She never wanted to be a bother. She also was scared that we might call an ambulance and she wouldn't make it back home. So we pretended that we were in the neighborhood and "stopped by". When we got there she was laying down in her bedroom which was dark. I turned on the low light over the bed and crawled up next to her. She was breathing like a bird that's run into the side of a barn and is lying stunned in the dirt, all shallow and quick. She didn't have the strength to hold my hand and she it seemed like she'd lost most of her physical substance - the bones of her body and face stood out under skin, but there was no fat or muscle left.

I asked her if she was in pain and she said no. I asked if she was scared and she said "a little bit." She was so weak she could barely speak in complete sentences. Sheryl came in and helped her to tell me about how her legs had buckled and she couldn't get back to her room the night before. She said that Sheryl had dragged her down the hall. I'd heard this already and knew that Sheryl had put her on a blanket and pulled her back to bed, but I asked if she'd pulled her by her feet and Nana laughed and said yeah.

Nana had told Adi on Christmas day that she was unhappy about being 100 years old (her birthday is February 21) and she'd told my step dad that she was frustrated because she'd done everything the doctors told her, but she wasn't getting better. When her auto insurance came in mail not so long ago and we told her that she didn't need to renew it because her doctor took her license last year after her heart went into afibrillation, she was seriously bummed, like it was just hitting her that she ewasn't going to drive again.

So when we got there and I saw that she was hanging on by her fingernails I crawled up next to her and took her hand and told her that it was okay to go if she wanted to...

Her response.

"Where am I going?"

I was crying but that made me laugh because it was just so her. I couldn't really go down that road any further so I said that she didn't have to do this anymore if she didn't want to, that I would be okay. That we would all be okay. I tried to say that I was so grateful for the years of knowing her and all the love and fun that we'd had, but I couldn't get past the word grateful.

She let us stay for about ten more minutes and then she said, "Thanks for stopping by," which is Nana-speak for "go home now."

I told her I loved her and we left.

My mother called this morning and told me that she'd died in her sometime during the night. I like to think that even though we didn't have one of "those" conversations, some part of her heard me and decided to let go. I am so blessed to have had such a long and wonderful relationship with her and while I kind of wish I could have celebrated 100 years of Nana, I also know she would have hated that and she went when she was ready.

Most of all I'm grateful that yesterday, I stopped by.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Saturday I drove up to Bass Lake, about 14 miles south of Yosemite.

Sunday I drove home.

I did this because my friend Trish turned 50 and I absolutely had to be there to celebrate her.

This past Spring Trish almost died when a horseback ride went horribly wrong and she ended up in a Medivac helicopter with a crushed chest.

But that's not why I had to celebrate her.

I had to be there because we've known each other for the past 20 years, we have witnessed all the ups and downs and we're both damn glad to be here together.

My plan was to rent a car, a comfy full sized something or other and drive up very early. With no traffic it's about a four hour drive through what I think is a really beautiful part of California. You go up the 5 to the 99, drive to Fresno and make a right. You see farms and cows and barns and fields filled with grapes and cotton and beans and orchards of pitted fruit and apples. It's the part of California where life seems to be lived more simply.

At least that's how it looks from the highway.

So back to the renting of the car. I walked across the street to Enterprise and they gave me a Buick which had sofa sized front seats and a burl wood console. It was silver and reminded me of something that a recently divorced grandmother named Sylvia might buy herself. It had a "cushioned" ride and I felt safe in it.

I put in a homemade CD from back in the day when I used to take long road trips to San Francisco to see the Dead and turned the volume up to just below bass blowing out the speakers level and began to roll up the 101. I became aware of a sound that I at first thought was the rattling walls of the semi in the next lane, but I passed him and the sound, something like metal being dragged on asphalt got louder.

The sound was coming from Sylvia's Buick.

I pulled off the freeway somewhere in the valley and found myself in the middle of BF Egypt with not a gas station in sight. I didn't pull over to see what was going on because the idea of the car not starting on the side of the road in this wherever I was spot did not appeal. Plus the fuel light had come on because they'd given me the car on empty and I was thinking that gas would be cheaper further away from LA proper.

I was wrong.

I was also screwed because when I got to the gas station the bottom of the car, the undercarriage? was dragging on the ground. This was not my fault. I swear. I called the people at Enterprise and gave them the cross streets and asked them to find me another car. Turns out I was just down the road from another location but they were all out of full size cruise mobiles so I ended up in a Kia Optima. A 4-cylinder Kia Optima.

And then I got lost.

And then I got stuck in traffic.

I really wanted to whine. I was feeling so put upon and pissy. But I had no audience so instead I put in the CD and turned up the volume and headed over the Grapevine... in the slow lane with trucks. It's amazing what singing Ramble On at the top of my lungs can do as far as an attitude adjustment.

The Kia got amazing gas mileage. You gotta find the good where you can.

I finally got up to Bass Lake about 5pm. There were 13 of us and baby Cole, Skye's 5 month old son who got to come along because he's nursing. He's a pass around kid who enjoys snuggling. Trish had made us all gift bags and she was taking us all out to dinner.

Good times! How could I be tired?

Dinner was hilarious, how can it not be when you have all those women together. My favorite line of the night... "I had to marry him. I felt so guilty. I'd never had a one night stand before."

After dinner we decided not to go to the casino but rather to go home and watch a movie. Welcome to our 40s. In previous years we would have at least swung by the Pines Lounge for shots and at least a cursory perusal of the local boys. Instead we were home in our pajamas watching "The Land of Women" and debating what in the world Meg Ryan has done to her face. Lips and eyes? She doesn't look like herself.

One by one people started passing out and my God they were snoring soooo loud! Who knew that those sounds could come out of girls?

The morning brought fog over the lake and very strong coffee and more conversation. There was a storm coming in, so less than 24 hours after arriving I got back in the Kia and headed home.

I was a little freaked because by weather on the way home. I had fog and light rain until I reached the Grapevine and just as I started going up mountain the skies went completely dark and it began to pour!

I've never driven the Grapevine in weather like that. I've only seen news coverage of the multi-fatality car crashes and ensuing traffic snarls that occur in these kinds of conditions.

The visibility was about 20 feet and it was raining so hard that water was pooling in the fast lane and cars were throwing huge sheets up onto the windshield completely obliterating it. Everyone drove about 45, which was really effortfull for Kia and we were surrounded by lots of big ass trucks.

I had the music on and was singing at the top of my lungs for encouragement. Moving my hands from their clenched positions at 2 and 10 on the steering wheel was not an option so I decided to make the best of it.

(I was also thinking how sad it would be if my last meal turned out to be Jack in the Box instead of In'n'Out!)

It was an endless and ominous march up the mountain. I was aware that my whole body was clenched and I'd broken out in a cold sweat. I was getting completely wrapped around my own axle, mindfucking myself into a panic and just then I crested the top of the mountain...

... the rain let up and the sun was shining through a hole in the darkness and it created the biggest and most intense rainbow I've ever seen, the end of which spread across all four lanes of highway 5 ahead of me.

The song that was playing at that moment was Avalon by Roxy Music...
Now the party´s overI´m so tired
Then I see you comingOut of nowhere
Much communication in a motion
Without conversation or a notion

I really like this song, but at that moment I LOVED it.

I was so grateful to be in that moment right then. And everything was perfect and exactly as it should be.

I drove out of the rain and through the end of the rainbow.

The end.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I have more than a few friends walking the picket lines right now. These are not people who make a lot of money. They're probably going to be in trouble quicker than some of my other friends who work in production who are going to be out of work as a result of the strike.

Let's face it many of my writer friends are already in financial trouble because they've been running down the dream and it's been getting away from them what with the onslaught of reality programming.

The only friends in the industry who are not going to be in financial trouble are those who work for "the companies". Doesn't that sound like some ominous, faceless demononic sect in a John Grisham novel?

It's kind of feeling like that right now, and J. Nicholas Counter is starring as the oily little minion who does their bidding.

Here's what I see coming in the near future reality. Television as we know it is going to disappear and be replaced with large, flat screen monitors attached to our computers and we will be downloading all of our programming options and e-mailing and chatting through this one device and it's all going to interactive. It may take me a while to get with it because I can't even text message yet, but most people over the age of 5 will be rocking the downloadable entertainment.

Advertisers will be foisting their sales pitches at us from all directions also via this avenue and they're going to make it fun. It's their only option. I have Tivo and I haven't watched a commercial ever since I got it. I won't watch shows at their regularly programmed time because I don't want to watch commercials. I spend way more time watching TV then I ever have because it's all content all the time.

This technology is available to everyone and when it comes to priorities in America - watching TV is up there in the top three with God and Country. I granted a Make-A-Wish, not that long ago for a family that lives in an area that you normally only see from a news helicopter covering the murder of a child after a drive by occured at a birthday party. They are receiving assistance from the state and the mother was claiming to be single although a man that the little kids called "Papi" was in the back room smoking out of a bong the whole time I was there. This family had a flat screen TV with a full cable package and a DVR that allowed them to scan through the commercials on MTV's Cribs.

Digital video recorders were introduced in 1999 and in less than 10 years the technology has evolved so quickly that you can get one for less that $200. Think about cell phone technology and how quickly that has evolved. You can watch stuff on your phone - right now. I do download television and watch it on the computer while I'm working at some mindless task, and I know I'm not the only one. Currently downloaded technology is my only exposure to advertising.

I mean other than the crap that comes at me all day long out in the world.

So for "the companies" to state that "new media" is an unknown source of revenue is not only obtuse it's insulting. If the writers don't strike hard and hang tough now they are going to get royally screwed and that's an ass fucking that's going to be felt throughout the industry. Even those who don't get paid residuals will feel it because their unions negotiate with "the companies" for pension benefits based on profits from various revenues.

To deny that the bulk of revenues generated in the future is in new media is to basically say to all the people who work so hard to create the content that they don't matter and that they are easily dispensed with....

.... the situation the good guys find themselves in in a John Grisham novel, right before they stand up, fight back and kick the shit out of evil.

CBS has sent out letters to the showrunners on their shows advising them that they will be sued for breach of contract if they don't perform their producing duties. CBS as in Les Moonves. No one better represents the shift to bottom line business man as opposed to creative genius than Les Moonves. I cannot fault his bottom line. He's an excellent businessman. But entertainment used to be about taking risks and telling stories. This is the guy that gave us Survivor and CSI. I'm sorry I know CSI is the number 1 show in the country but I think the country is dumbing down and that's proof.

Well, that and the election of George W. Bush in 2004.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


You can do anything.

I really believe that. I learned to read when I was about 4 because my mother, who was a credentialed elementary school teacher taught me how.

This weekend I was talking with a friend who is also a teacher. Currently her job is to supervise about 230 elementary students who are being homeschooled. This involves making sure that the correct curriculum is being followed by the parents who are homeschooling and monitoring the progress that students are making. These students are being homeschooled for a variety of reasons: health issues, they live too rurally to get to school, fear of violence in schools and of course, those people who want to give their children a faith based education. These are the ones who use loaves and fishes in their story problems. And Jesus is probably riding that train that's heading south at 10 miles an hour - GOD I hated math story problems.

Anyway, I was astonished to learn that there is no minimum literacy requirement for the people who are administering the correct curriculum to the homeschoolers. So therefore it stands to reason that if you can't read or write correctly you will not be able to teach your children to do so.

I asked my friend if this happens. Are people out there homeschooling their kids who cannot read or write very well. She said that yes indeed, this is in fact happening. Just the other day she had a parent come in who wanted to know, "What exactly is a consonant?"

Seems like an excellent way to keep illiterate people illiterate - let them teach their children to also be illiterate.

I know that advocates of homeschooling can point out all kinds of examples of kids who have excelled with homeschooling, but I would hope that they would agree with me that those that teach their children at home should have to meet certain standards of proficiency in order to do so, or provide their kids with someone who can meet those standards.

If a kid can't read and write the rest of life is going to be so much harder when they become an adult.

Being able to read is like having magic powers and no one knows that better than someone who cannot do it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Normally when I wake up and it's dark outside it's the biggest drag ever.

I've been doing this since I was a little kid and it's why I totally understand those references to the Dark Night of Soul, because when I wake up in the dark, in those too early hours to even call your friends who live three hours ahead of you, I tend to engage in catastrophic thinking. It's not like the waking up when you have to pee and your body take you on auto-pilot to the bathroom and then you crawl back in bed and resume sleep. This is an awake that is totally alert as if someone flipped a switch and the brain turned on.

And it's dark.

And I'm awake.

So after I lay there and toss and turn and try to force somnolescence to come back I usually start to think thoughts. Thoughts about how weird it is that I'm in this physical body that I seemingly have no control over sometimes and how life is strange and what's going to happen to me and this isn't at all how I thought things would turn out, you know, that I would be laying in the dark in some random apartment in Los Angeles wondering what the hell it's all about and what is that noise? What really goes on in the alley behind the building when I'm asleep because there's a lot of activity out there in the dark.

I stress out a lot about how I'm going to have to get up and function in a few hours and make it through a whole day on about 4 hours of sleep and then I stress out about how they say that stress and a lack of sleep makes you fat and I wonder if I should get up and go for a walk since I'm awake, but it's freaking dark out there and there are noises and I don't feel like getting dressed. If I lived in a neighborhood where I felt safe getting up and putting and walking around in my bathrobe I would probably stress less about the whole getting fat thing.

Anyway, this morning? When my eyes flew open at 4 o'something, my first thought was shitfuckgoddamn, but then I remembered something! I turned and pulled the curtains back and there it was - a full lunar eclipse in progress. About half the moon was covered by a black disk of shadow and the moon seemed all that much brighter by contrast. I had to put my glasses on to see how crisp the shape actually was and I laid there and watch the moon emerge from the darkness as it set in the western sky.

It was so incredibly cool and this morning I was truly grateful for that fucking bitch Insomnia.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Unbearable Likeness of Being

Things are moving along lately. I have been getting my ass back into the swing of exercising and this will make a post a month for three months in a row! You gotta find the positive where you can.

I'm nothing if not all about emphasizing the positive.

Adi and I were talking about endings before new beginnings and I pointed out that every day ends. He said that's why he doesn't like going to sleep.

Me? I prefer to pop an Ambien and look forward to what's next.

We are very different in our respective perspectives.

This got me wondering about whether or not the Jewish/not Jewish thing was underlying that difference. I grew up with so many friends who were Jewish and never noticed the stereotypes that are so often bandied about, like the worry and the, let's call it "thrifty" thing and the overbearing mothers utilizing guilt like a cattle prod to get their families to do their bidding.

Ever since I've met Adi's mother though it's like I've walked into some bad joke told by Shecky Green at a camp in the catskills.

I mean Oy Vey, seriously.

It's insidious the kvetching and complaining and it's permeated my life. I find myself being pulled into that energy instead of the carefree, barefoot running around without a sweater that I was raised to enjoy.

And here's what I know right now, this minute, and that is that this nice Jewish boy that I like so much will never have a successful relationship with any woman until he breaks up with his mother.

Which would most likely kill her and then the guilt would kill him.

So you see where I'm going with this...

And all I can say is that if you're a shiksa and you've met a nice Jewish boy - don't go there - unless he's an orphan.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


So I've been locked out of blogger for the last 6 weeks. That's frustrating. Apparently they don't recognize my gmail address although, thankfully, they sent me a welcome e-mail there so I can get in that way.

Life has been crazy and I still want to write about my trip to Vancouver in June - this is in keeping with the fact that I'm shopping for birthday presents for those who turned another year old last December.

I am behind.

Today in the midst of all the busy I cannot stop thinking about the indictment of Michael Vick. I love football, and I remember when Michael Vick first came to the Falcons. He was exciting as all get out to watch. His cousin Aaron Brooks was the QB for the New Orleans Saints when he started with the Falcons and it was fun to watch the game and imagine their family all sittin' around whooping and hollering and celebrating because no matter what they had a winner.

I was sort of ignoring the press about Michael Vick and the dog fighting allegations because I very much wanted it to not be true. It's an abhorrent activity and anyone involved in it should be prosecuted and sent to prison for a long time - it's sick. It certainly doesn't fit with the picture of who I thought Michael Vick was. Despite the bad press his brother got, I always thought of Vick as nice guy. A good guy.

According to this article he's not any of that. Reading this article he comes off like a sadistic product of the ghetto and a member of that community of sociopaths to whom life means little. The kind of people who can kill without thinking or feeling too much about it.

I know that one is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty and I really hate how people get tried in the press all the time, but the evidence is damning and at the very least he knew what was happening and did nothing to stop it.

I got no more love for Michael Vick.

I ain't gonna be rooting for the Falcons as long as he's wearing one of their uniforms and if they don't suspend him, and allow him to play, the only way I'll watch a game is if they promise to douse him in water and electrocute him when he gets injured.

And then I'll be watching and praying for someone to snap his knee. Or his neck.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Okay, so recently I made mention that Mormons and what I perceive to be their weird religious beliefs kind of freak me out and I know that might sound religiously intolerant of me, but when I was perusing Dooce today she had a link to this article from the Daily Herald:

(Damn, I still can't figure out how to link)

Sunday, April 29, 2007
Convention ends with Satan and immigrants

CALEB WARNOCK - Daily Herald
Utah County Republicans ended their convention on Saturday by debating Satan's influence on illegal immigrants.

The group was unable to take official action because not enough members stuck around long enough to vote, despite the pleadings of party officials. The convention was held at Canyon View Junior High School.

Don Larsen, chairman of legislative District 65 for the Utah County Republican Party, had submitted a resolution warning that Satan's minions want to eliminate national borders and do away with sovereignty.

In a speech at the convention, Larsen told those gathered that illegal immigrants "hate American people" and "are determined to destroy this country, and there is nothing they won't do."

Illegal aliens are in control of the media, and working in tandem with Democrats, are trying to "destroy Christian America" and replace it with "a godless new world order -- and that is not extremism, that is fact," Larsen said.

At the end of his speech, Larsen began to cry, saying illegal immigrants were trying to bring about the destruction of the U.S. "by self invasion."

Republican officials then allowed speakers to defend and refute the resolution. One speaker, who was identified as "Joe," said illegal immigrants were Marxist and under the influence of the devil. Another, who declined to give her name to the Daily Herald, said illegal immigrants should not be allowed because "they are not going to become Republicans and stop flying the flag upside down. ... If they want to be Americans, they should learn to speak English and fly their flag like we do."

Senator Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, spoke against the resolution, saying Larsen, whom he called a "true patriot and a close friend," was embarrassing the Republican Party.

"I agree with 95 percent of this resolution but it has some language that is divisive and not inspiring other people to its vision," he said. "This only gives fodder to the liberal media to give negative attention to the Republican Party."

Joel Wright, a member of the Cedar Hills City Council, was booed as he opposed the resolution.
"This might be the most divisive issue in the Republican Party," he said. "I support President Bush but he needs to support this issue harder."

When Wright said "the economic benefit (of illegal immigration) outweighs the downside" he was jeered. He warned that the Republican Party of California had "killed themselves" by taking a hostile stance against illegal aliens.

He also said the LDS Church has studied the issue and tried to determine whether illegal aliens could be given temple recommends and allowed to serve missions but "gave up" because the issue was too complex. He ended by saying "President Bush needs to fix this now" and was booed again.

Larsen was allowed to finish the debate with a one-minute speech.

"If the Democrats take over the country, we will be dead, and we will have abortion and partial-birth abortion and the Republican Party will go into extinction," he said. "Nancy Pelosi and the ACLU would oppose this (resolution)."

A member of the audience moved that the convention suspend its rules to allow the "objectionable part" of Larsen's resolution to be stricken, retaining only the final paragraphs of the resolution, which condemn illegal immigration. Eventually party officials counted all delegates in attendance, only to discover that, with 299, they were about 30 short of a quorum and could take no action.

"I did ask people to stay so we could have this discussion," said Senator Curt Bramble, R-Provo, who chaired the convention. Bramble had earlier asked those gathered not to thwart a discussion on the resolution, saying it would be "good for the party."

In other business, those gathered voted against removing some of the party's leadership.
Letters supporting the re-election of party chairwoman Marian Monnahan and secretary Susan Bramble were mailed in envelopes bearing the party's return address, causing delegate Russell Sias to demand they be removed from office. A spokesperson for Alexander's Print Advantage, which handled the mailing, spoke at the convention, saying employees had mistaken put the address on the envelopes and the company took full responsibility for the snafu.

In a speech, Enid Greene, state Republican Party chair, announced to applause that she will remarry in a few months. Greene's first marriage came to an infamous end during her tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives when her husband, Joe Waldholtz, who was her campaign manager, was charged with embezzling. He eventually pled guilty to campaign fraud and other charges.

Greene said she was disappointed in BYU professors who protested Dick Cheney's visit to campus, calling them "self-appointed intellectuals."

"I'm not calling for BYU to fire them but if no one signs up for their classes ..." she said. "If they say the Vice President doesn't have anything to say we want to hear, I'm not interested in having my daughter learn from them."

All of the speakers praised those gathered. Lt. Governor Gary Herbert said Utah County Republicans are "guided by correct principles" and are the "best of the best" of the Republican Party.

Bramble assailed those who would called the local Republican Party "broken," saying the party was accountable and accomplishing good work, including the approval of school vouchers and granting UVSC university status.

Congressman Chris Cannon and Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff both received a standing ovation from some members of the audience. Cannon said Democrats have just as many corrupt party members as the Republicans but the media does not report Democratic ethics violations.
Shurtleff said that while Americans are divided on the war in Iraq, Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson should not refer to President Bush as a war criminal.

Caleb Warnock can be reached at 443-3263 or

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//--> story appeared in The Daily Herald on page B1.

This brought to mind my viewing of the movie Borat. A couple of weeks ago Adi and I rented it and the whole time we were watching it he kept saying, "This isn't real. This is all staged."

He is so sweet and naive like that.

There were parts of the movie that made me laugh but most of it made me feel kind of sick. I know the people of Kazhakstan were upset, but I think the people of the United States might've been a tad more disturbed. The real freaks in that movie were everyday Americans reavealed in all of their obese, ignorant, rascist, self righteous fundamentalist Christian glory.

It freaked me out just like this article does.

I visited Salt Lake City a few years back and it's truly a beautiful city. I was unsettled the whole time. The people were unfailingly pleasant but it felt somewhat like being in a city full of animatronic people created by some kind of Mormon Disney overlord. There was a disconcerting homogeneity that was couched in bland, lemming like sameness. It kind of had that Stepford vibe.

I know that not all of the people living in Utah are like this. In fact it's definitely crossed my mind that this could be more of a Republican thing than a Mormon thing.

Or this could just be that when you add Mormon + Republican it equals Batshit Crazy.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I love good food, I'm a good cook and I adore fine dining therefore it's very difficult for me to go out and eat just anywhere. It's the absolute worst to go out to dinner and pay top dollar for food that I know damn well would've tasted better had I made it at home.

My favorite places to eat are pretty much holes in the wall where the food is absolutely wonderful and the ambience and "scene" are non-existent. Los Angeles is a great place for restaurants like this. All the different cultures afford me multiple opportunities to pursue tatalizing gustatory experiences.

I adore Jonathan Gold's book CounterIntelligence because not only does he point me to places that I would never go (often in neighborhoods where I'm frightened to park my car), but his writing is divine. He just won the Pullitzer! For FOOD writing! That's how good he is.

Because it is my prediliction to eat good food rather than to ponder the see and be scene, I had sort of forgotten that Los Angeles can also be a mecca of mediocrity when it comes to those restaurants that celebrities are lured into during the first weeks they're open so that there is lots of press and the impression is created that the restaurant is "hot". Dolce and Spider Club come to mind when I think of places like this - places where you pay lots of money to eat so-so food in room full of people who are would be excited to breathe the same air as Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, two young women who don't appear to eat so why anyone would follow their lead is beyond me.

There are also a lot of wonderful "foodie" restaurants in LA which are usually populated by old people. I don't know why this is true but it is. It's gotten to the point where if I don't see bald heads and bifocals when I walk through the door I seriously worry about what's coming out of the kitchen.

The other night I went out with a friend who wanted to go someplace where we might meet men. Ahem. The only men I've EVER met in a restaurant were bartenders or waiters, or on one occasion a busboy, but I figured it was better than a bar. I don't get my drink on so well anymore but I do eat dinner so this felt like a compromise. She could look for men and I could dine.

She mentioned The Lodge, a fairly new place in Beverly Hills. I really should've listened to that little intuitive voice in my head that said, "um, no," but I didn't. The place is modeled after a ski lodge and it is dark and cozy and comfy looking when you walk in. I think it used to be a coffee shop or pancake house and the lay out of the tables in the dining room pricked my memory of poassibly having a short stack there many, many years ago, but we ate in the bar. Because of the whole man meeting agenda.

As we walked through the mostly empty dining room I noted the low light glistening from a bald pate here and there and this made me optimistic. There was also a greasy pony tail sitting with a platinum blond that was pushing her food around on her plate, but she looked like a non-eater so I repressed the urge to flee to my favorite taco truck at Hoover and Pico.

I have to say that the wine list is quite good and although they were out of the Kunnin Zinfandel that I wanted, the Strange Syrah that I ended up getting was amazing. The food was not so good. I ordered the skirt steak and substituted sweet potato fries (my favorite). The meat was okay, a bit too seasoned without enough char to burn it off, but otherwise edible. The sweet potato fries on the other hand were a massive disappointment. They were bland! How is that possible? Where the steak had too much seasoning the fries had none. All I could taste was the oil they'd been fried in. I was sad.

My friend has been suffering from severe food allergies so she's pretty much eating steak or chicken with nothing on it and she'd ordered the Chicken Milanese. Now granted we didn't really know what that would be, but what showed up breaded and fried and it was perched like a hockey puck on the mountain of shiny sauteed spinach she'd requested instead of mashed potatoes.


We sent it back.

It's a good thing that our really nice waiter was also really patient.

Now you may be wondering about the man meeting. There were definitely people pouring into the bar. Mostly people who looked like they'd be tickled to hang out with Lindsey Lohan. Throughout our meal there was a tall, slender guy with dark hair who was lingering and looking, okay staring, at us. When my friend got up to go to the bathroom he made his move.

I've known my friend, we'll call her Jane, for years and I am used to the amount of attention she gets out in public. She's quite pretty and has a stunning body which motivates men to make utter asses out of themselves. She has always handled the attention with aplomb and often used to remind me of a cat playing with a mouse out in the garden. So this guy asks me if my friends name is Jane and I smile and tell him that it is.

He's actually very sweet without the usual predatory vibe that most of the men she attracts give off like radiant heat. He says he remembers her from about 10 years ago. I smile and nod. He asks how I enjoyed dinner and I tell him I am pretty much underwhelmed, but that I'm a food snob so don't mind me. He asks for more information like what I had and what didn't I like and I'm thinking that he is just killing time waiting for her to come back to the table.

Except that he kind of starts making excuses like, well you ate in the bar and ordered skirt steak and very slowly, excruciatingly slowly, I'm sad to say, it dawns on me that this guy may own the restaurant.

And of course he does.

I was completely mortified and I felt really bad for telling the truth although if I owned a restaurant I would want people to tell me what they really thought. He was actually very sweet about it and said he was glad I'd said something. He also said that if we came back and ate in the resaurant we would like the food better, but I'm thinking that's probably not so. At least not in my case because whoever is in the kitchen is cooking for both locations and I was not impressed with the foot that was being put in that food.

When Jane came back from the bathroom he was very sweet to her and seemed like an eminently meetable man because she doesn't really care what she eats.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I recently stumbled across a blog which has held my attention for more than 5 minutes. I find myself mostly so bored by what people write on their blogs. There are exceptions - UndercoverBlackman, ClizBiz, ShyOneLung, but these are people I know and I am endlessly interested in what they have to say on or off the net. The other people though? The one's that everyone else loves to read? I don't love so much.

There is SalamiTsunami who makes me laugh, but after reading him for the last couple years I don't feel that I know him much better now than when I started and I like for my relationships to go somewhere, even the one sided, voyeuristic ones that I have with complete strangers on the internet. Like Plain Layne - God I loved her. A lesbian living in Minnesota, working for some big corporation doing some kind of programming work. Turns out she was a figment of some guys imagination. He had a heart problem and couldn't get out much so he made up this person and gave her a blog and shared all of her drama and problems with the whole wide web and I was fascinated.

It actually figures that Plain Layne was not real because real people are for the most part kind of boring. I guess this makes sense because the people I find the most interesting are out in the world living their interestingness and do not have time to write about it everyday on the internet.

Except for the "MommyBloggers" a group of women that seem to have come under fire lately. I was reading Dooce back when she was pregnant and I really like the way she writes and her stories about growing up Mormon. The Mormons have always been a mystifying group of people to me. Kind of scary in that hillbilly way with all their strange beliefs and multi-wife households. Donny Osmond was a Mormon and so was Elliot this kid in my elementary school and from that limited exposure I gathered that along with having mysterious swimming pools in their church the Mormons also bred people with thick heads of hair and toothsome grins.

Anyway, back to the MommyBloggers. It was while reading a some article online, I think about Kathy somebody who didn't go to a speaking engagement because of threats that she'd received from other bloggers and they intereviewed Dooce, one of the most famous mommybloggers and she mentioned that someone was doing a parody of her website and how it upset her but she decided not to put energy into it and if I could fucking remember how to link stuff on here I would do so now.... but suffice to say that her mention of such a site piqued my interest and I did a search for Dooce parody and found....

Written by an anonymous young woman in her early 30s who was pretty pointedly pissing on the monthly newsletter that La dooce writes to her daughter Leta I was intrigued to the point where I spent probably an hour reading the site from the beginning. I get why people would be affronted by what V as she refers to herself (I pondered whether her name might be Veronica or Vanessa and then realized that it probably referenced V in Violent) writes. She doesn't hold back and she doesn't worry about being PC or whether or not people get their feelings hurt.

She is often hysterically funny as she wields her caustic keyboard. And she is often raising points that are true even if it makes me uncomfortable to read them. Her most salient point about the mommy bloggers, the idea that putting photos of your small child, and chronicles of their activities, out into the wild world of whackjobs known as the internet is pretty much abuse, strikes a chord with me because I am naturally paranoid and will not go into chat rooms because my assumption is that the person I am chatting with is not really Lance71, but actually some fat hairy naked guy named Bruce living in his mother's basement along with the bodies of hapless internet friends. It's not a far leap for me to imagine Bruce developing big, insane love for one of these juicy, adorable children and/or their mommies and come out of his cave to get them.... okay, end of tangent. What V objects to most, or at least this is what I get from her rants is that it's not fair to objectify your child for financial gain when they have no control over how this content will affect their lives in the future. I had never actually thought about that before - I mean it's one thing to post pictures on a photosharing site that's private so only people who know you can see - sort of a high tech photo album that Bubby Rina can look at across the country. It's another thing completely to throw your life open to just anyone who's cruising by.

The internet makes me nervous and I have never wanted to get feedback from this site for that reason. I don't write here so that people will read it and like me and give me positive affirmation that my life has meaning. I write here because I'm fucking lazy and I can type faster than I write with a pen on the page and this is basically a place to journal. I don't check stats because I don't know how and I think that's a good thing. I have no idea what Technorati is. My friends come here to find out what I'm doing because I've become so ADD or maybe it's just lazy, that talking on the phone and staying focused on a conversation is just too much effort.

The more I read V the more insight I got into why she has such strong feelings that she was motivated to write scathingly - I am talking major flames - about the mommies. She's had an interesting life with more than her share of the shit end of the stick. I think the reason I like her and continue to read her is that she doesn't define her present by her past experiences where one could say that she was a victim. Because any abused, neglected child is indeed a victim, and so many of these children continue to be victims throughout their lives. I know a lot of these people because my dad worked in social services and I saw the adult lives wrought from that kind of trauma and the cycle of abuse.

It takes a certain kind of strength and a dark sense of humor to survive and go on to thrive and create good things for yourself. Her post today addresses the mind of the abused child and boy did she hit that nail on the head. It is mind boggling how a horribly abused child will still go back to the their abuser and beg him or her to love them. I had no idea until I started working with the kids in the LA foster system as a volunteer. No one has any idea until they're looking at a kid covered in cigarette burns who runs into the arms of the mother that burned her when has come for a visit - a big fat woman in polyester stretch pants covered in food stains with a cigarette dangling from her lips.

So, although V makes me cringe with some of the things she writes, for example this sample from her entry titled Retard Genocide:

A group of friends and I were at a baseball game one afternoon. A Mother and her retarded kid squeezed into the bleacher we were sitting on and parked next to my friend. The retarded kid starting going through my friend’s purse and opening all her little make-up compacts while my friend hysterically tried to snatch them back. The Mother of the tard just blithely watched the game…apparently unaware of the havoc that was taking place.
“Oh my God, my lipstick!” she pleaded.
“She’s going to get boogers in your blush,” I warned.
“Oh God, that foundation cost me $140,” She cried.
Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I screamed into the crisp, cold afternoon air, “LADY! CONTROL YOUR TARD!”

I will continue to look forward to what she's got to say because agree with it or not she certainly expresses her opinion with flair and flames. I just really hope that she's not someone's fictional conceit, or some fat naked hairy guy named Bruce living in his mother's basement.

Monday, April 23, 2007


This weekend I finally watched Half Nelson a movie that I have wanted to see since it was in theaters. It probably would never have made it on my radar except that I happened to catch Ebert and Roeper one night when Kevin Smith was sitting in for Roger Ebert. Both Smith and Roeper raved about this film and I believe that it was Kevin Smith who stated that "this was what movie making was all about."

The fact that they both spoke, nay raved so rapturously about it that I wrote it down on my must see list. Of course I don't actually go to the movies that often because the whole sitting with the public in a dark room thing usually annoys me. When it came out on DVD I rented it THREE times and started watching it twice before I finally made it through.

What those guys didn't mention is that this movie is really hard to watch. Not because it's bad but because it's painful. Ryan Gosling richly deserved the Academy Award nomination - his performance was nothing short of amazing. It was like being that proverbial fly on the wall watching someone implode.

I've had friends who picked up the pipe and honestly, I haven't felt much compassion for them. They turned into drug addicts and stopped being the people that I loved. With this performance Ryan Gosling's Dan Dunne continued to be someone I cared about who didn't seem to care much about himself or his good heart or his fine mind and it broke my heart.

He has a connection with his student Drey, a smart 13 year old who's living largely on her own because her mom works all the time and her dad is MIA and after she catches him hitting the pipe in the girls bathroom (he's the basketball coach) the crack crutch starts to slip a bit. Everytime he looks at her he sees what she saw and it bums him out. This is compounded by the fact that her brother is doing time for selling rock and the neighborhood crack dealer, his dealer, is taking a personal interest in Drey.

He really likes this kid and wants her to be okay despite the fact that the odds are against her and he's not really one to talk. I really liked her too - Shareeka Epps is a revelation. I hope to see her working a lot more. She's got this face that is young and old at the same time and it says so much without her saying one word.

After I watched it I had that feeling in my chest that I get when I really want to cry - a tightness around the heart and pain behind my eyes. I had no idea how it was going to turn out for Dan and Drey but I very much wanted them to be okay. And I didn't believe that was really going to happen.

If you haven't seen Half Nelson you should see it. It's a fantastic film. But it's not a feel good experience. It will sit on you long after it's over.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


You know those cans of compressed air that kids have been huffing? And then dying? Well, I have 4 of these cans, bought on special on Staples, and they are my new favorite thing.

Not for huffing.

For dusting! And not just for dusting off my keyboard which is what it's designed for I suppose. I have discovered that this stuff will dust EVERYTHING!

I discovered this because they're doing work in the space over my office and every day I come in to find every surface covered with dust and wood chips. Rather than stress about it I just use my Dust-Off with the super spray action.

The floor is a fucking mess now, but tomorrow I may try dusting off the floor and shooting it all out the door. You know like when you use the hose to clean the sidewalk.


(Clearly it's been a slow day)

Monday, April 16, 2007


I have nothing to write about that's all that meaningful so I'll just do a rundown of the past weekend.

Friday night: Shabbat dinner at Mimi's. We had really good conversation about Don Imus and racism in the good ole U.S. of A. I found myself explaining to four Israelis what Jigaboo means and there was a lot of stumbling on the exact pronounciation of the word. Coon was easier. Apparently they don't have these kinds of denigrating words in Hebrew. And Mimi, who is a rabbi told me that Judaism teaches that you're not supposed to utter ugly words about another out loud, well maybe to your spouse, late at night when no one can hear you, but really not ever. To do so is to wound that person at the level of their soul. I ended up staying and talking so late that I missed going to see Marcia at the Acme Theater where her new show is up. I've got 4 more weeks of opportunity so I'm sure I'll be writing about it in the near future.

Saturday: Got up and cleaned the house for the housekeeper. She's not a lifter or a move so if I want her to clean under stuff I have to move it. Other than that she's really really good and this also prevents stuff from getting broken so it's all good. I LOVE my house right after she's gone. While she was cleaning I went on down to the Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix. It was all very spur of the moment so we bought the GA tickets - a first for me - and milled about. We went down on the motorcycle so as to get good parking and not have to deal with traffic. Even so we were still late and only got to watch the last 10 minutes of qualifying. Probably a good thing since the cars are really loud and I didn't have any earplugs. We did get to see the Le Mans race which was pretty cool. My favorite car was the Audi - very quiet, very sexy and very fast. The Penske Porsches won though, going 1 and 2. By 5pm it was freezing and windy and overcast so we went over to Matt and Leisa's to hang out before going to a party to benefit a nursery school for homeless kids called the Big Blue Ball. Matt and Leisa bundled their kids out the door to drop them off with a babysitter and accidentally ran over Adi's motorcycle. So much for resting. Other than scratches and a broken piece on the plastic thing on the front of the bike it's okay, but it's not perfect anymore and that's kind of sad. Oddly Matt was more upset than Adi but then I guess if I ran over the $20,000 bike I'd be pretty bummed too. We had to leave the party before it got really good because we were on the bike, and since I can't party when we're on the bike that was okay with me.

Sunday: Watched sports until Adi made me go for a walk in the afternoon. As we headed down to the beach we passed a bunch of girls with hula hoops. I have only limited skills with my hoop so we joined them on the bluff where they were retreating from the wind. I have to say hooping in gale force wind is much harder than hooping in the living room. It was fun though to do it with a whole bunch of people. People walking by would pick up the hoop and start hooping. And then put it down and run off laughing. There's something about a hula hoop. Early evening we headed over to a friend's artist reception for her show at the Pico Gallery. Met a guy who is working with the Hungarian government to bring Hungarian wines back to prominence. I had no idea that Hungary was where all the fine wines came from prior to the 20s. Apparently all the Louis were swilling the Hungarian vino. There's a tasting on the 28th and I'm invited so more to come on that for sure.

And that was pretty much that. Got my taxes back today and am off to file them. I have no idea why I wait until the last minute every year, but it seems to be my way.

Hope you're all filed and either getting some back of zeroing out (my personal goal).

Friday, April 13, 2007


Writing yesterday about adventures in English as a second language and the ensuing multicultural experiences put me in mind of my first night in Jerusalem. It was about this time last year that I went to Israel with Adi. His mother had been been visiting for six weeks so we had gotten to know each other fairly well. She speaks five languages including English although it's not exactly fluent.

The first night we arrived Adi took off to his brother's house to make a surprise video for her 70th birthday party leaving me with his parents. He went under the guise of going to visit his brother in the hospital after his motorcycle accident which had occurred that afternoon so what could I say without coming off like a clingy needy whinger?

His father who will not fly due due to claustrophobia, I think, was quite upset that his wife had stayed away for so long. She had arranged for people to take care him but the original visit went from 4 weeks to six weeks due to complications with Adi's back surgery. At week 5 his father went into the hospital with pneumonia. I'm making this sound like Pops is an invalid, but he's not. He's a completely self sufficient man who's been infantalized by his wife and who missed her terribly while she was gone.

Have you noticed that there is a theme here? And that the theme is DRAMA!!!!

So Adi abandons me within 30 minutes of landing in the Holy homeland and his parents immediately begin screaming at each other. I laid there on the bed listening to his father ranting away in Hebrew over the sound of the call to prayer from the mosque down in the valley off the backyard and curled into a little ball. I got that he was screaming "I love you and I missed you terribly." Her responses to him sounded like a mommy calming down a truculent two year old. It's amazing how much you can pick up without knowing a word of the language. It's all subtext and so much became clear to me about the family dynamics and why Adi has chosen to live half way around the world from his whole entire family.

I was exhausted and it wasn't just the jet lag.

They're not my parents so I could find humor in the exchange because it was kind of like the Hebrew version of Archie and Edith, but it got really weird when we were in the car heading over to one of the brother's house for dinner. I was forced to sit in the front in the passenger seat, or death seat as it seemed to me with all the late braking, bringing us to a pause centimeters off the bumper of the car in front at every light and stop sign. I closed my eyes and surrendered to the possibility that my life might end in Israel, not by a suicide bombing, but in a burning car crash. Adi's mom sat in the backseat and the loud conversation continued and under all the vitriole I could hear the joyous notes of banter.

Then his mom said, "Tell her about the girls you raped after the war!"

I opened my eyes. Um, wha.....?

And he launches into this story about how after he was injured in the war of Independence (1948) he was sent to Austria for surgery on his hand. Afterwards he was stationed there during his recovery and he and his fellow soldiers met some girls who were daughters of SS officers, now war criminals. Since he and his friends were young and good looking these girls flocked to them and from what I gathered were easily had in a sexual way.

They would teach these girls how to say things in Hebrew, telling them that the words for "I'm a dirty whore" meant "Hi, how are you?" He talked about how one night, at a big party filled with soldiers and politicians, one of the girls showed up and yelled this greeting across the room. Adi's mom laughed merrily about this from the back seat. He looked at me and said, "I'm not proud about what we did but you must understand, many of us had lost our whole families to the Nazi's. We were angry."

I could not think of anything to say. We did not share a language to discuss it and quite frankly I was amazed that to her this casual disregard for these women equated to the word rape. I cannot quite wrap my head around the intentional cruelty of a schoolyard prank as a response to genocide, but then knowing the basic goodness of this man, and the sweetness of his soul under all that ranting and yelling, I guess I can.

When I think about it, anytime that someone hurts another person with the intention of devaluing and disrespecting their humanity it is an expression of the same energy that fuels hatred.

And Adi's dad gets this, which is why to him perhaps, the way he treated those women was like rape.

It all comes down to your intention and then you have to hope you can live with what you said or did to another human being.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I just read that they fired Don Imus. Please God don't let him come to the West Coast because we've got enough mean talk from Tom Leykus (I have no idea how to spell his name but it's quite clear that he doesn't really like anyone). I'm wondering if they also fired the Executive Producer on Don's show because after all, he started it, and quite frankly his comments about the Jigaboos vs. the Wannabees were just as, if not more offensive, even if he did try to temper it by foisting it off as a Spike Lee reference.

But this is not really what I want to write about. It just put me in mind of something that's related - an experience that has stayed with me over the last few weeks which is absolutely related to the subject of bitches and hos.

Adi's younger brother (39 but still younger) was here visiting from Israel a few weeks back and we went up to Lake Tahoe. To get there we flew into Reno and then rented a car and drove up the mountain. At the airport we were standing in line for the rental car behind a guy who's buddy worked for Enterprise and was supposed to hook him up with a truck. He was there with his friend and two girls who wandered off while we waited on line.

He was a sweet man, late 20s early 30s wearing huge rings that led me to ask if he played football and indeed he had although some of them were bowl rings and some were from bowling championships. The bowling rings were as big as the football rings - bowl and bowling no size difference - who knew? So he gets up to the counter and his buddy basically threw him under the bus. Not only was there no truck waiting for him but there wasn't even a reservation. The car rental guy was able to wrangle him a full size car...

... which ended up being parked next to our car out in the airport rental car parking lot.

We had a ton of luggage and it took a while to get it all in, but not as long as it was going to take this guy and his friends who had so much luggage it was overflowing the trunk of that car. I climbed into the back seat with Adi's brother and sister-in-law while Adi finished packing our car and then tried to help our new friend with his packing puzzle.

At this point little bro spies the girls that are standing by that car, large curvaceous black women with elaborate hairdos and looooong curved fingernails, zipped into shiny tight lycra track suits and he got so excited you'd of thought it was Ofra Haza returned from the dead, but no, he starts pointing and YELLING, "The Beeetches! The Beetches!"

Frantically checking to make sure the windows were all the way up I tried to get him to stop by asking questions, like "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Stop yelling, PLEASE." He explained to me that these were the bitches and hos like on the videos and I explained in a high pitched emphatic whisper that they were not and that it wasn't at all cool to be screaming that word over and over. I pointed out that their friend who happened to be a defensive back might very well pull him out of our car, without opening the door, and make him apologize.

He was shocked that they might consider this hurtful because to him it was like he was seeing famous people, you know da bitches and hos featured in those videos on MTV. It did not occur to him that their feelings might be hurt because his cultural references about the United States are pretty much just what he sees on the media that's streamed around the world after being created here.

It was my own little Borat moment.

It's not that Israel is backward, it's just that you would never see these women in Jerusalem. Or even in Tel Aviv. Because of the language thing I didn't even want to try to explain it to him. Even if we spoke the same language I don't know if I could.

All week long I've been listening to people talk about this, some saying it's okay to talk about women, in particular black women, this way because it's the popular cultural parlance or because they have a first amendment right to do so, and others saying it's not okay ever and is indicative of an underlying racial hatred in our society.

Bottom line for me is this: It's mean and it's hurtful and it's not okay - even if you have no idea what you're saying. If you say it because you think you're being cool you should be prepared to suffer the consequences, there ain't nothin' cool about being mean.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I am currently vexed and so I decided to write a grateful list instead of pissing and moaning about what I am vexed about (ungrateful employees who should be kicked to curb rather than coddled, but anyway...)

I am grateful for my health (because I do not currently have health insurance).

I am grateful for my family and the gene pool from which springeth longevity (unless I got the genes for the cardiac disease, or the depression in which case I will welcome the cardiac disease).

I am grateful for Adi who offers me endless opportunities to practice flexibility (I don't mean that - he wishes, but I don't mean that).

I am grateful for my friends who are present and patient when I am not and who, like Heather, the cowboy Goddess, reappear after years and spend hours on the phone with me as if no time has passed.

I am grateful that my life is interesting - to me. I am very interested in me. In you too most likely but mostly it's all about me.

I am grateful for my ability to find humor in pretty much anything because otherwise I am certain that anger and bitterness would win out considering the current administration and the state of the world, and I truly do not want to get that permanently pinched look around my mouth.

I am grateful to be employed and have a roof over my head and food to eat.

I am grateful for the ability to move around and exercise (although I don't as much as I should).

I am grateful to feel like I'm kind of getting the hang of life - well for the last few days I've felt like that, despite the vexation, but check with me next week.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I haven't been keeping up with the Anna Nicole drama since I have always been somewhat disturbed by her whole life. The death of her son finally brought her into the the realm of human because who could imagine losing a child and not feel incredible pain?

I remember when she first appeared in Guess ads with her normal sized butt and massive boobs and amazing face. I thought she was some kind of Sophia Loren lucious Italian lady that the boys at Guess had found eating linguine at some sidwalk cafe in an Italian mountain town. And then when she started to appear briefly in commercials on TV I thought she was kind of like Anita Ekberg in the La Docle Vita, glamorous and bohemian and wild.

And then she started to really get some exposure and, and showing up on those entertainment "news" shows where I heard her speak and I was certain that she was an inbred cracker from the backwoods of some southern US state. She was from Mejia, TX so I wasn't that wrong.

What was abundantly clear by the time she had her show on E!, the Anna Nicole show, was that she had some serious problems. It seemed to be a combination of drugs, sycophanitc leeches and inbreeding, and it was pretty horrible to watch, especially since her involved her son. She barely seemed able to take care of herself, much less a teenage boy.

I know that those shows are edited for "entertainment," and that what got on the air was probably just the worst bits, but they were pretty bad and there was an abundance of them. It was pretty clear that her life was a train wreck beamed out on the E network and it wasn't going to have a happy ending.

And it hasn't had a happy ending.

But, the Anna obsession that has taken place in the media of late rattled lose a memory of a story - a pretty fucking great story - that involves Anna and a friend of mine.

Tom is a photographer. He used to be a model in the 80s, a very successful model who was and is classicly handsome. In the early 90s he decided to quite modeling and pursue photography. He is also an amazing photographer. This journey brought him to Playboy studios one day to drop off some of his work. As he was walking down the hall after meeting with a photographer he passed an open door and inside, at a dressing table, naked except for her robe, which was flung open, was Anna Nicole Smith.

She was there shooting one of a number of pictorials which appeared in that magazine. This particular pictorial involved a big white bathtub full of bubbles. So Tom glances in as he passes by, because what guy wouldn't, and she spots him.

"Him, I want him," she slurred to the producer of the shoot. "I want him to get in the bathtub with me."

Now this isn't Anna at her hugest, but she was pretty big at the time, and also pretty drunk and possibly on drugs. In other words she was quite a handful.

And she wanted Tom.

In the bath with her.


The producer chases him down, conversations are had, and long story short he ended up in the Playboy pictorial in Anna Nicoles arms wearing nothing but a top hat.

I was of course interested to know if her whole slurry, slightly retarded thing was an act or what. He said that she was really too fucked up for him to be able to tell, but what really impressed him was that as out of it as she was, once the lights were on her and the camera was ready she was a total professional and turned "it" on. And whatever "it" was, she was plentifully possesed that that thing.

The camera loved her and she loved the camera.

When the light were turned off and the shoot was over she was practically incoherent and he ended up driving her home. I can't remember if he was asked to do this, or if he offered because he felt sorry for her. I do remember that he described her as one of the saddest people he'd ever met.

I will be glad when she's in the ground and I wish her happiness where ever she is because I don't think she ever really was happy here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I freaking hate Valentine's Day.

I hated it back in elementary school when we bought those boxes of 100 valentines wrapped in shiny red cellophane to fill out and pass around at school the next day. It was an opportunity for the mean girls to leave people out. It was less like the day of love and more like the day of leaving people out.

It's still kind of like that if you're single. Even if you're happy single the media barrage drives it into your head that somehow you're missing out if you don't have someone to buy you roses and AOL has helpfully provided a code so that you know what the colors mean if someone does.

Pity the man that buys his girlfriend yellow roses.

Whether I'm with someone or not I'm usually cranky on Valentine's Day. I don't like feeling manipulated and I find that even though I swear I'm not buying in and I don't care, I do. You know, like I say I don't want anything but then get upset when Adi doesn't do anything. And I really DON'T want anything because I'm super picky and we kind of don't have matching sensibilities in areas like this and I hate pretending that I really like the bottle of Jovan Musk for women that I know he got at Big Lots. And this is where he shops people. When we were at his parents house in Jersualem there were items there still sporting the Big Lots stickers that he had sent them as gifts.

I hate to say it but when it comes to gifts it's not the thought that counts with me.

I prefer that he let me know that he wants to spend time with me and then if it happens great. If not, at least I know he wanted to. And this is where it is the thought that counts.

I think this is probably true for most women. But maybe not. Women constantly surprise me.

Anyway, single or double I wish all my beloveds a Happy Valentines Day. I would love to be with you all eating chocolate bon bons and drinking scotch, but I have to go upstairs where Adi is lying prone, moaning because his back is out.

And even though he can barely walk or get himself on and off the john, and I definitely won't be getting any tonight, he wants to spend time with me.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I will start by admitting that I am completely hormonal and PMS is in da house, but that said, it doesn't mean that I'm wrong about this. In fact, it's something that I've said before when I was completely sane and normal but perhaps because I wasn't shrieking it my sentiments did not have the same impact.

Tonight Adi and I went to have dinner. We went to Sushi King which is not the best, but it's very good. And very reasonably priced. And we had a really amazing sea bass in misoyaki sauce. Amazingly, melt in your mouth, praise Jesus good. The kind of good that makes you moan aloud.

But when the meal was over his comment was, "We paid almost $50 and other than the sea bass the sushi was so-so." Okay that's his opinion. He's wrong, but still he's entitled to his opinion.

What he's not entitled to is the relentless focus on the negative. Could he say, "that was the best piece of sea bass I ever had" ?????


Because although I love the guy he has the propensity to be the black cloud of death sometimes. Take this past weekend. We come back to my house on Saturday afternoon, my just cleaned by the housekeeper who costs me $75 which I cannot afford but treat myself to all the same about once every 5 weeks. You can really tell that your house has been cleaned when you wait that long (she says, accentuating the positive). His first words when he walks in the door is "Whew, the cat box stinks."

Now this might've been true, Molly's stomach has been upset and it's not a good smell, but he fucking ruined my experience of walking into my spotless, clean and sparkling house because he had to focus on this one negative thing that I remedied by cleaning the box and carrying the "smell" out to the trash.

This continued into Saturday night when we went out and I looked great and his first comment was that I might want to button my blouse one more button.

Part of this is due, I think to his belief that the world is waiting with bated breath for his approval - I don't know if this is an Israeli thing, although it does seem that most Israelis I know speak in a cadence that is either signifying approval or disgust - and part of it is that he honestly thinks the sharing of his opinion is benefitting me in some way.

Me? I have opinions to share all the time. Any of my friends would acknowledge that I am constantly sharing my opinion and indicating approval or lack thereof. And yes, I will often share with Adi, my opinion about stuff in his life, BUT I am sensitive to the fact that HE is EXTREMELY sensitive and I time the sharing of my opinion to those moments when he might best be able to hear me or at least be able to civilly let me know that now is not the time. And some of my opinions he just can't handle and I keep them to myself because in the big picture it's not that important that I share them if it's going to make him feel bad or bring him down.

He doesn't just spread his cloud of observational negativity over me either, no, he told our friend who is remodeling the place below that he thought he was insane to be spending $11,000 for his new kitchen that he was so excited about. And yes, this is probably true, but it's not his kitchen or his money and he freaking blighted this man's joy.

This rant is totally hormone fueled and truly he is a wonderful guy, a great friend and the kindest person you could ever meet. But tonight I completely lost it in the car coming home and told him that for the next 4 days he REALLY needs to only say the positive things out loud.

All the other thoughts, feelings and opinions?

He should fucking Zip It.

And what I know for sure is this: when I am able to more normally comport myself I am still going to think this would be a good thing.

I might even put it into practice myself.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


My friend Allison sent me a bunch of books on CD so that I could listen to them when I went up north last year. It's a fairly new thing for me the books on tape. I usually listen to music when I'm driving. Music that I've put together. My own play list soundtrack to whereever I'm going.

But I thought, since I would be traveling alone, that I would try the books on tape. (I know they're on CD but I also still refer to a band's new CD as their new album. I figure my friends now what I mean.)

I have to say I am completely addicted. The time goes by much more quickly and I am, for the most part, completely entertained if not engrossed. I mean I really prefer to read a book. I love reading, but being read to is not so bad. It brings back memories of being read to when I was a kid, without the lap to sit in.

I am for the most part pretty wrapped up in the storytelling, although I have to say that one of them (one my mom gave me) I couldn't listen to all the way through because the guy that wrote it was also reading it and I kept getting distracted by his vocal inflections and my mind would wander into wondering what his home life was like and did his nasal tones make his wife crazy, because that's one of those things that might not bother you at first, but after a few years could just make you snap one day...

See! Unless the reader is very good my mind goes off in crazy directions. Sometimes I'm amazed by my ability to think about stuff I need to do and listen with half my brain to the story and retain it. Of course other times I miss my off ramp and suddenly realize that I have no idea where I am. That's pretty weird.

My favorites so far are the Janet Evanovich, Stephanie Plum books, read by Lori Petty who does a really tremendous job. I'd read the books and I have to say that Lori pretty much had down the characters voices that I heard in my head while I was reading. Except for Ranger. I gave him a more basso voice without the Puerto Rican accent.

The one I'm listening to now, The Rule of Four, is pretty good as far as the reader goes. He's an actor too I think, although not one that I've ever heard of - he has theater guy hair in the photo on the box, so maybe he's from the stage. But in this case the story, the writing itself is not real tight and I find myself wondering if I would be skipping over stuff if I were actually reading it.

There are weaknesses that I might not notice so glaringly if I were reading (and skipping over stuff), like a character got killed about 15 chapters ago and there's really never been much mention of it since and this is one of the major plot points because it's supposed to tell us that the thesis that Paul is writing (about the Hypnerotomachia Pollipholi - I have no idea if I spelled that right and I forgot how to write the html to do links so if you want to see what the hell that is you will have to coyp and paste this link is worth killing someone over. So I keep wondering what's going on with Bill's murder? Why is no one really mentioning it? This morning while I was sitting in traffic I realized that maybe only a day or two have passed since Bill was shot - it feels like freaking eons what with all the historical exposition into renaissance history and people like Savonarola and his bonfires.

That stuff is interesting to me and I would totally get on-line and find out more about it if I had time, but it's bogging down the story, and I feel like a little kid who is being read to and who forcibly turns pages when things get boring.

Why does life seem a lot easier for three year olds?

I don't know if I would finish this book if I were reading it. Lord knows I have more than a few unfinished books lying around right now. I like books on CD though and to date I have listend to all of them - except for nasal man's book - all the way to the end because what the heck, I'm getting where I'm going and it keeps me off the phone. Alos lately when I try to read I'm having to close one eye to get the words to come into focus and I fall almost immediately to sleep. I'm quite looking forward to the bunch more I have to get through.

I just hope that the readers don't have annoying voices. Don't you think that's something they should check before hiring them?

I'd love to find a so-so book about unicorns and rainbows and other happy thoughts that's read by someone with a really soothing voice. I could play it on my clock radio when I'm going to sleep at night. It would be a lot nicer than Leno.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Or at least across town...

I got a speeding ticket when I was driving back from my NoCal journey at the first of the year. It was stupid because I was on Kanan and everyone knows that Kanan is a speed trap. I certainly know it because I use that road to go from P.C.H. to the 101 a lot. You cannot miss the CHP sitting there like vultures.

Except I had to pee and I was running out of gas and I had been driving since 5 a.m. and it was now 10 a.m. I was also experiencing a dramatic relapse of the chest cold I'd had since Thanksgiving.

So I was cruising along at 70 in a 55 and I SAW the C.H.P. car facing me, the morning sun glinting off the radar gun pointed at me and it barely registered except for a dull, "Oh Fuck," and a huge sigh of resignation as he pulled out and made a U-turn to pull me over.

At the least the desparate need to pee disappeared.

Today marked 4 weeks since I got the ticket and I needed to call the court and find out about going to traffic school. I'm eligible because it's been about 10 years since my last ticket. The last time I had a ticket I got a notice in the mail with a court date and I showed up and asked for traffic school which I got and attended (and met a guy that I made out with when we went for a drink afterwards, but that's another story.) Now you can call and process your ticket over the phone. Or use the internet.

I wanted to speak with a person because I figured I could get them to give me traffic school over the phone. But to actually speak with a person on the phone requires 8 minutes of listening to recordings and punching stuff in. Today everytime I would get to the place where I might be able to talk to a person the phone would ring and I would have to hang up and take care of business and then start over.

This was because Adi had washn't answering his cell phone so his calls were ringing into the office. Normally this is totally fine, but today when I was on my fourth attempt to get through and the phone rang yet again and in frustration I answered it, shrieking, "(Name of the company), can I HELP you?" I wasn't just on the verge I was completely over the edge and thankfully the customer on the other end of the phone has a good sense of humor and laughed. Somewhat fearfully but it was still a laugh.

At this point I gave up on the phone route and decided to try the internet.

Big mistake.

The only thing I am entitled to do on the internet is request an extension or get a court date. The first court date they would give me was 3 days after the due date on my ticket. Because there was no human of whom I could ask questions I assumed that I would get in trouble for going in after my due date, and applied for an extension thinking that I would then go get a court date way before that date.

But no. The extension is to April 17th and the first court date they would give me was April 18th. What the fuck? So now this is going to drag on and it may be June before this is off my list of things to do.

Unless I can get through on that phone system on next week.

When I typed in all the information

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I haven't written anything here in so long it took me 20 minutes to remember how to get back in to post. In the time that's passed since I last wrote here I have gained 10 pounds and started working full time for A. His company is growing in leaps and bounds and I am happy to be a part of it but I need to write in order to have some balance.

The work I do for him is tedious and, okay let's just be honest because I don't think he reads this, boring. Even the stuff that I enjoy at the end, e.g. getting the bank to give us lots of money, is a wrenching process that I abhor. Of course this is all good practice for me to learn about being an adult and dealing with money, something that I've pretty much actively avoided for years.

Which is why I've been walking around in stupid debt like a college student and quite frankly denial is a good way to end up with shopping cart in an alley somewhere in your 60s. So I'm doing my time and making friends with all the tedium (at least it is for me) that is dealing with finances.

I am not having enough fun though. I went from having a lot of fun to having not nearly enough fun. I think that's why I've gained the 10 pounds. Food is my only fun. A. is fun too, but working together and spending pretty much 24/7 together when we're both exhausted and overextended energy wise is more a blessing than a blast.

When I do have time for fun I find that the new fun is taking a nap. The idea of going to see live music is excellent in theory, but the reality is I can't stay awake past 9pm. Thank God for Tivo or I would be missing out on Grey's Anatomy which is also on the short list of "fun" things to do right now.

I do occasionally take the camera and go take pictures to post on Flickr.


This year is going to be about getting some balance between work and fun and putting the writing back in the picture.