Gin. Knitting. Monkeys. What more could you ask for?!

28 December 2006

I Thought I Was A 15-Year Old Boy

Of all the movies that are being premiered these days, the one I was most excited about was this. Hey, dragons, wizards, magic - I am ALL OVER that. Plus it doesn't hurt to have John Friggin Malkovich or Jeremy Irons starring in your movie. But that's just an excuse - I'd see it if it starred Al Franken and Ronald Reagan.

HOWEVER, I saw a commercial for a movie last nite that changed my POA (plan of attack) completely. It has everything I *hate* in a movie: an "actress" I can't stand, a child molester, infidelity, soccer moms with mini vans, etc., etc. But, DUUUUUUUUDE. It stars Jackie Earle Haley!!!

My first love. Kelly Leak, the OG Bad News Bear. I was so in lust with his air-hockey-playin', 13 y/o cigarette-smokin', motorcycle (okay, dirt bike) ridin', skinny little ass. I was 12 when that movie came out, and I think it made an indelible impact on me.

After that, no respectable Izod-wearing, checker-playing, polite-talking goody two-shoes ever stood a chance with me. Bad Boyeez 4 EVAH!!!

And you know what? He still looks goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood!!!

He's still a bad boy. :) He's been out of The Biz for years, but his performance in this movie (and in this little movie) has gotten raves.

I've always wondered what ever happened to my first love (he's delivered pizza, driven a limo, had a couple of kids, and started a successful commercial production company). It's kinda like cyberstalking your highschool sweetheart, but this goes well beyond that. You go, Jackie. I still love you.

27 December 2006

It wasn't all bad...

After the 6 hour ER stay, we managed to drag our arses on the road and down to Ramona. For those of you unfamiliar, it's known as "god's country" and for good reason. It's like driving to Big Bear, but without the benefit of a good ski run. And at night, with the Old Lady (Jman) driving, it can be quite adventurous. Oh, and let's mix in the fact that his brother didn't know the proper exit from the freeway (and it was to HIS house we were driving!!!)

Once safely ensconced in the home, we were happy to see everyone - Uncles (one from AZ), cousins (one from KY), aunties and grandpas. It's the paternal side of the family, and while they can be a bit. . . *country*, they are good people. WMG got to hang with her cousins and that always thrills her.

We left the next morning sans shower - it's a little hard to have privacy when your father-in-law and brother-in-law are in the next room, with an adjoining bathroom, and there are NO DOORS. Did I mention the house is still being built? Nice.

South to Paradise Hills we went (a few miles north of the SD/TJ border), where I had a nap and what was quite possibly the BEST shower of my life. :) This time, we visited one of my best friends for the last 15 years, and to me, that's a lifetime. She recently adopted a 12 y/o girl, so it was more fun for the WMG. They made cookies FROM SCRATCH and generally acted like pre-teen girls.

West was the next direction - to Del Mar area. Just to drop off the Jag dawg. Then North to Rancho Santa Fe - the polar opposite of Ramona. This is where folks like Janet Jackson and Elton John have homes. As a matter of fact, the house where we went for ex-mas eve dinner was originally built for Elton, but the builders ('Dre's parents) decided they wanted to keep it for themselves. Can't really blame them.

It was the poshest of posh affairs - Robbie, their personal chef, had been cooking for 3 days. There was roast beast, turkey, fish, all kinds of side dishes that probably have fancy names but just tasted fantastic to me, and what was the BEST brussel sprouts I've had in ten years. The company was a beautiful mix of the rich, famous, and us. :) The kids had a great time performing in the "viewing room" while the movie played on them. Don't even get me started about the fantastic rooms the kids have - and this is at their grandparent's house! Good times were had by all.

Back down to Del Mar, for SLEEP and exmas day with Douggles, his wife, the Dawnster, cousins Ashee and Warnnen, Mama L, and a surprise visit from our hard-core washingtonian republican, Sitruc. Just to make things interesting, there's Jaggers (100 lb lab), Lola (85 lb bulldog), Frankie (75 lb pitty), and Lucy (205, er, 25 lb cat). WMG made out like a BANDIT. She got nearly everything on her list (the jacuzzi and private airplane were a bit out of everyone's budget). And I didn't do so badly. Thanks to the popularity of POC and POC2, there is no lack of goodies to make me happy.

We made it back to Smell Lay by 8pm, and promptly washed up and went to bed. I didn't dream of spiders or falling or being nekked in front of an audience, and the WMG slept like a log, so all's well that ends well. And to all, a good night.

26 December 2006

Eye Yam Sofa King Tie Eared

Aw, HELL, whatta weekend!

I hate ex-mas. I've always hated ex-mas. It has nothing (well, little) to do with the organized religion issue, but everything to do with the fact that (say it with me, Miss K), when I was little, INEVITABLY I'd commit some grievous offense and end up being in the closet (or the corner, or the basement) during the festivities. Well, except for Mass, b/c I would *always* have to go to Mass. As I got older, I began to suspect the egg donor never really purchased presents for me, and just found reasons for punishment so she wouldn't be found out. The brothers never got in trouble. Go figger.

Anyhoo, as a young adult, I was thrilled to be set free from the requirements of the season. The only reason to celebrate in any way was because I could get free drinks and act like a fool, but I don't really need ex-mas for that. So all was well.

Then I had the Wee MonkeyGurrl, and had to fake it for her sake. It wasn't so bad, except for when the Jman's in-laws were in town. But valium and gin are pleasant holiday helpers.

This year was no different than the previous - we were scheduled to be ALL OVER San Diego County within the three days. Fortunately, I was released from work a little early on Friday, so I could attack the 8 loads of laundry and gazillion presents that needed to be wrapped. Because of the brother's unanticipated call (and b/c I'm neurotic like that), I had a few extra pressies to attend to.

I stayed up well past Craig Ferguson, but it was worth it because I LOVE HIM AND I got to see Twisted Sister perform "Oh Come All Ye Faithful", which sounded way more like "We're Not Gonna Take It", but I'm not complaining. It was very disconcerting to see Dee with all his makeup and HAIR singing "Oh, come let us adore him. . . Christ, the Lord." But well worth it.

So... About an hour later than I wanted to get up on Saturday, I was rushing around, trying to get things ready so we could get on the road. We were supposed to be in Paradise Hills (a few miles north of the border) around noon, so we had to leave by 10/10:30. I had showered, dressed, and packed most of what I needed. Jman had gotten breakfast for the WMG, who was otherwise occupied with cartoons. He went out to fill up the tank and WMG came to join me in the lavatory, happy to put on lipstick and a little powder.

As we do every morning, she stood in front of me while I sat on the toilet to brush her hair. As usual, she was goofin around with the towel hanging on the wall directly in front of her. We were in good spirits and talking about whether she would bring her pillow with her (to nap on the drive), when she slowly started turning toward me and dropped like a rock.

Just crumpled.

Smacked her nose on the side of the bathtub.

I tried my best to catch her, but I was totally caught unaware. I gathered her into my arms and yelled (trying my hardest to keep the panic out of my voice) at her to wake up. And I saw something that I never want to see again - her eyes, totally without life or spark in them. Dead eyes.

Now, I've jumped out of airplanes, I ride a motorcycle, I (inadvertently) get into fist-fights with complete strangers, but I have never, EVER been as frightened as I was at that instant.

I picked her up and put her in my bed. By that time, she was awake, but unsure of what had happened. All she wanted to do was sleep. I didn't know what happened either, but I thought if she had a concussion (perhaps at school?), the one thing you're not supposed to let them do is go to sleep. So I let her turn on cartoons. :)

Of course, the first call I made was to the Ellster, to let her know we weren't going to make it for lunch. Then I called the Douggles, b/c he is a doctor and I though I would just run it by him. The full panic hadn't hit me yet. He was not of much help (peds are different!), so I called the answering service for the pediatrician on call. That's when the Jman came home and gave me a hard time for not calling him. LIKE HE WOULD BE ON THE TOP OF MY LIST?!?!?!! Besides, he was next...

After the ped called back and we talked, she advised taking the WMG to the Emergency Room. What a misnomer! I don't know exactly where the "Emergency ROOM" is, but we were in the Waiting Room (twice!), the Triage Room, the Exam Room (which wasn't really an exam room, but a hallway outside the room where beds 34 - 36 were), the Radiology Room, the Bathroom, and the Discharge Room. It had been 7 years since our last visit to the ER (we were new parents; we had NO ONE to talk to about baby behavior, and the WMG was quite the colicky baby!) I was asked to do things no mother should ever have to do to her baby - one was hold her arm down while the nurse shoved a stake (okay, injected a catheter) into her teeny, tiny, delicate leetle hand. The other was try and get the WMG to pee in a cup. Y'all think this should be second nature, but for an 8 year old, it was more foreign to her than her Momma cooking a four-course meal and being up before noon on Saturday. She couldn't squat over the toilet (she's too short!), so we ended up making quite the mess.

My poor gurlie. She was so brave and so scared and so hurt. She had no idea what was going on, but tried to have a positive attitude. I tried to work on the one ex-mas gift I hadn't yet completed, but I just could not concentrate.

Finally, all the tests were run and decisions were made. She didn't have anything easily identifiable (no heart attack, no stroke, no low blood sugar or low blood pressure, no cranial injury), so we were allowed to leave the ER and travel to San Diego with the caveat that we keep a close watch on her (just try and stop me!) and follow up this week with a neurologist.

We ended up hitting all the spots we were scheduled (just a little bit out of order), and had to tell and re-tell the story each time. There was no good reason - she'd eaten; she wasn't highly excited; she didn't get up suddenly; she hadn't been running around like a crazy person; she's too young for it to be hormonal.

But for now, she's okay. I worry that this will hit me at some point in the next couple of days and I'll be a complete basket case. I worry that she'll have epilepsy and never be able to get her drivers' license (something she's already talking about!) But you know how they say that sometimes you need a smack upside the head with a 2x4 to realize how good you got it?

Okay, Powers That Be, I got it!

22 December 2006

An Actual Conversation

When I was hitting up Jo-Anns the other nite for some last minute finishing touches to holiday goodies. I was at the check out when a man interrupted me and the cashier.

"Excuse me, I hate to be a bother, but can I ask you a question?" he said to the cashier.

"Buddy, you already did," thought I.

"Can you tell me where else there is to get yarn?"

The cashier and Customer 2 (an interesting cross between an extreme crafter and an obsessive bargain hunter) both mentioned Michaels, to which he had already been, and found the yarns better at Jo-Anns.

I noticed his companion, a very sweet, shy blond girl, and asked her what kind of yarn she wanted. "Mohair..." said she.

Smiling, I said, "Oh, you want the good stuff."

The cashier suggested "Mild Wiber"** on 14th. "Oh, don't go there," I said, "They're not very nice."

Customer 2 agreed, stating that she lived near the owner, who already has her fortune and runs the store solely as a tax write-off. I mentioned Compatto, on Wilshire, and that they were very nice, or if she wanted more variety, to check out Yarns Unlimited on Pico. They have *everything* there. The couple thanked us, and took their leave.

But the conversation didn't end there.

Cashier: "I guess you're right about Mild Wiber. We've asked her to extend her hours, but she didn't have any interest."

Customer 2: "Yeah, the owner is my neighbor. I've asked her to teach me to knit. . ."

Me: "Oh, well, if you want someone to teach you, go to - "
Cashier and Me: Stitches from the Heart!!

Lesson Learned: If you don't need my business, and you act accordingly, I won't patronize your store (I know you don't care). But if you're kind and helpful and take care of your customers (even those who may be viewed as working for competing businesses), word will get around.

** Y'all know who I mean by "Mild Wiber". Right?

21 December 2006

Tell 'Im to Knock Over the Tree


20 December 2006

Clearly Not Worried About Inbreeding

Turns out Kimodo Dragons are parthenogenic. Cool.

19 December 2006


I don't remember much of my childhood. Rather, I don't remember most of my childhood. I have entire years of my life that have no memories. When I was younger, I blamed that on the many moves (daddy is a Marine), many schools, and multiple head injuries. When I went through therapy, I thought it might be something else. Whichever, what I do have are a very few recurrent memories. There is one in particular that I haven't been able to shake, and lately it's really been bothering me.

I know it happened when we were living in Hawaii, so I was between 8 and 10, I'd guess 9. Why not. My mother had dropped me and my two older brothers off in a parking lot for some reason. Back then, people did that kind of stuff. (In the summer, we'd leave the house after breakfast and wouldn't come home until we were hurt or hungry.) I'm guessing she had to take my baby brother (by 6 years) to a pediatrician appointment - otherwise, I'd have been stuck taking care of him.

In any event, I was doing something to annoy my brothers. I have no idea what, probably just begging to play in their reindeer games, whining, and generally being the nuisance younger sisters can tend to be. My middle brother, K, who was 11 months and 2 weeks older than I was, finally had enough. Before I knew what was happening, he had me pinned down on the tarmac, kneeling on my chest, smacking my jaw as hard as he could with his knee. I thought my head was going to split open and all my teeth would fall out. I can remember feeling the pebbles digging into my back and the faintly tarry smell of the black top. I can also smell the beach, but this was Hawaii, and you could almost always smell the beach.

After he decided I had enough, he let me up, but not without first clocking me upside the head one more time for good measure. I sat behind the bus stop, my back against one of those metal barricades, and listened to K and my older brother, M (who was 11 months and 3 weeks older than K), talk shit about me. I think they were trying to make me cry. Just to fuck with their heads (and b/c I was twisted like that, even then), I started laughing maniacally. "What a freak!"

K and I have had a love-hate relationship all our lives. He was the golden boy, the parents' favorite, the one who could do no wrong, until suddenly, he was kicked out of the house at age 16 for some imagined offense. We finally became friends, given his (temporary) status as undeserving of my parents' love. I tried hard to maintain his friendship, but it was difficult, as he was constantly moving, shaking, making a deal. When I graduated college, he paid for his GED. When I graduated from grad school, he opened his first strip club. When I had the first grandbaby, he made his first million.

When the Wee MonkeyGurrl was born, he was practically a fixture in our lives. He was back in the parents' good graces. Then, inexplicably, he disappeared once again. I called, I left messages, I tried to contact him thru the younger brother, but I haven't heard from him in a good 4 or 5 years.

Why did he call me yesterday to invite me to Christmas dinner at his place? And why did he not return my calls for years, even though he and his wife and dog live an hour away?

I tell myself that I don't care, and on some levels I don't. But on some levels, I'm still the little gurl with the split lip, wondering what sort of a freak I must be to never have the love or respect of my brothers.

And you know? There's a song out now, that reminds me terriby of him. Here.

Of course, the video trivializes violence toward women in a predictable way, but the lyrics, particularly the chorus, resonates.

Just another reason to love the holidays.

13 December 2006

Because Life Sucks Without Photos

I'm regurgitating all the crap I get by e-mail. But sometimes, it's pertinent. Take THIS for instance. If you go to the web site,you can pick out a "thank you" card and Xerox will print it and send it to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services. My daddy was a career Marine and some of my best friends are in one service or another. Regardless of how you feel about the war (lawd knows I'm against it!), it's a great idea for some demoralized people.

Speaking of which, I'd like to point out that TARGET already has their Valentine's Day goodies out on the floor. What the F*CK?!?!?! And also, I always thought customer service was the absolute worst at Target (or Wal-Mart, or any other of the high-end emporiums I frequent) because of the location and/or clientele. I can be *so* wrong sometimes. I went to Cost Plus (Westwood) for xmas goodies last night, and even with a positive attitude (i.e., post-work cocktail) and the patience of Job, I think it remarkable I left without committing a major felony. People, I know it's "THE SEASON", but really. A little civility never hurt anyone.

12 December 2006

Odd Balls

Too frickin appropriate for me and all those I love.

Also, if you haven't seen it already, go check this out. I laughed my arse off (because I'm coarse and politically incorrect like that).

11 December 2006

Oy Vey, Whatta Day!

So, I ended up going to the felt club on Saturday. While I don't doubt that it was their "biggest event ever", I think the organizers either had no idea of the popularity of the event (doubtful), or did themselves a real disservice by making available the "goody bags" for the first 250 visitors. I was there at 12:45 (event started at noon), and already people were leaving with goody bags in tow. The place was so incredibly crowded I stayed for all of ten minutes - the time it took me to go from one side of the room to the other. There *literally* wasn't enough room to breathe, much less give full appreciation for all the items being exhibited. Which is sad, really, because I had full intentions of spending some serious cashola . . . or at least up to the $200 I had in my wallet. Next time, the organizers might want to give away 10 goody bags per hour, or at 2 or 3 various times during the day. That way, you won't find yourself in a zoo at noon, with a graveyard by 3pm.

Since I found myself with a few extra hours to enjoy the beautiful FALL-like weather (crisp, cool, just a hint of rain in the air), I adhered to the MonkeyGurrl's Basic Saturday Road Rules and went on an adventure. MGBSRR are basically as follows: (1) you must go somewhere you haven't been before; (b) if you are going somewhere you've been in the last 6 months, you can have a general map of where you are going, but no door-to-door directions; (iii) no freeways (except when the road on which you're traveling inadvertently turns into an on-ramp, which has happened more times that you wudda thunk); (fourth) NO u-turns. Under any circumstances. and (V) no getting yer panties in a bunch b/c of traffic.

Which leads me to some pretty interesting parts of town. But mostly lets me enjoy the day meandering to and fro, with nary a care in the world. Annoyingly, my profoundly accurate sense of direction prevents me from getting too lost, but at least I'm beginning to understand how these different (cities? towns?) relate to one another geographically (vis-a-vis, Glendale/Burbank).

I serendipitously (by way of one of my favorite parts of town) made it over to Unwind, where I knew they were hosting the HI-larious Stitch McYarnpants and her traveling museum of kitschy stitches. She was every bit as sweet and unassuming as her posts are wittily acerbic. And seeing the knit and crochetted monstrosities up close and personal was a bit frightening - it brought me face-to-face with the memories of some of my early forays into acrylic.

I wish I had pictures, but my cell phone *still* isn't transmitting!!!

07 December 2006

How Many o' Me?! How Many o' YOU?!!!

Here's an interesting thought. My marred (spelling intentional) name:
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally? ZERO?!?! Hmmm. I guess I don't count for nuttin.

As for my given name,
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

One other. And she's some chiro/gym-rat/something-or-other out in the great northwest. Right about my age. And given the relative dearth of folks with my last name, we're probably related. {{shudder}} Scary!

06 December 2006

Gonna Be a BUSY Weekend!!

Well, the high holydays are here - you can tell by the opportunities abounding for conspicuous consumption. Lucky for me, I'm po', so there aint no money to be spent.

But I *am* contemplating going to the West 3rd event - even if I don't buy, there is wine and other goodies FOR FREE.

the only bad thing is, it's during our weekly SnB, which I missed last week, due to much needed shopping for the firm holiday party.

I'm gonna have to ponder that.

ESPECIALLY since there will be no drunken knitters meeting at the Frolic Room this week. {{sob}} I got two invites - one from The Knitters Studio and one from Zulu. And I wonder why I'm broke all the time!!

On Saturday, there is the monthly meeting of stitchers at the Farmers' Market, which is always a hoot. I met some really nice folks the last time I got up on a saturday AT THE CRACK OF DAWN, er, I mean, before noon, to knit. And I could really use the time to work on The Holiday Knitting (which will NO WAY be ready in time for said holidays. Urgh.)

Afterward, we have the big Felt Club XL event. Wow. I wonder if they'll take payment in blood? Body fat?? I have plenty of that to spare!!

Btw, I heard a rumor that there are "candid" shots of the firm holiday party circulating. If I can get my hands on them, I promise to show you The Dress, and prove to you that my artist's rendering is not off the mark.

05 December 2006

Lady In Red

Well, "holiday" party is over, and I managed to not embarrass myself (too much) or sacrifice any small animals. I think I stole one guy's date, but she was *cute*!!!

Actually, very unlike me, I was Little Miss Talkie-Talkie Gurl. You couldn't shut me up with a 2x4 to the back of the head. I talked to people I've never even met before. I was working the tables like I was Nathan Petrelli at a fundraiser. Which is an interesting idea, because then I'd be both incestuous and. . . is there a word for someone who wants to have sex with himself?

Anyhoo, since so many folks are more visual and I managed to avoid any film or digital documentation of the evening, below is an artist's rendering of my outfit. I went with the red because (IMMA HUSSY!!!!!) it's the only color I haven't worn at previous parties (2 black, 1 purple and THREE shades of blue!!!)

My jewelry was nice.

01 December 2006

Who Ya Callin' a HO?!

The season is upon us - tonite is our annual Holiday Party for FatCatLawFirm, LA. When I first started working here, some 7 years ago, the attendees were limited to employees of the Firm. No spouses, no dates, free alcohol and good eats. Much debauchery was to be had. Well, I never really witnessed anything much beyond pissy drunkenness, but I heard RUMORS...

Anyhoo, it's a very hifalutin' affair. My first year, it was at the Peninsula. Very chi-chi.

The hotel is really nice. This being my first year, I was inappropriately dressed in a nice, conservative blue suit. I'd heard about law firms that had "employee only" holiday parties, but I'd never witnessed one. I thought it would be very Peyton Place-esque.

My attorney, Mr. S, is the nicest guy in the world. I was in for a great surprise when I saw him dressed as Santa Claus, climb up on a chintz-covered reproduction chair, and deliver his cutting observations on the accomplishments of the office in the past year. His style is a lot like Letterman, only more erudite and a bit less unctuous. I laughed my a$$ off.

The office manager got drunk and prattled on about her dogs. I left after the dinner, since WeeMonkeyGurl was only 6 months old at the time, and I'd just won a bunch of money on a game show. I should have hung around - after dancing, a bunch of folks went over to the bar, where they met Shaq.

Over the years, there have been two parties at RegBevWil,
where I managed to embarrass myself to the fullest (highlights include drunkenly yelling at people to "shut up while Santa's talking" and breaking the strap on my bra), and three at Hotel Bel Air, where the dance floor is actually a stage with, oh, eleventy steps down. . . which is a far way to fall. But the surroundings (the swans! the topiary!) are enchanted.

But my favorite location (and site of this year's debacle) is The Club. The dance floor is an actual FLOOR, the bar is a real BAR, and the facilities are POSH. La-dee-da!! Last time we partied there (the *first* time dates were allowed!), I took home the jacket of our managing partner (whom I thought had left and forgotten it!), leaving him without a wallet or his car keys for the balance of the weekend. Oh, it took me WEEKS to get over that embarassment!

All this fahncee dress (i.e., CLEAVAGE) and free booze reminds me of a sweet time back when I lived in San Diego, when I was asked to a "Dining Out" by a very handsome young Naval officer. Having never been to a prom or other formal affair, I was a bit concerned about what to wear and how to behave - I wanted to be attractive to him, but not like this. In any event, that was a very special experience. Sometimes I think I try to replicate it at the parties, but it's just not the same. I guess the absolute dearth of men in uniforms will have that effect.

Wish me luck, and turn off your cellphones. There will be drunk dialing tonite.

OH, WAIT - I forgot to ask. I went to Ross(™) last nite to find a dress (you can tell I have a LOT invested in this!) I usually have a huge problem finding anything because I'm "cushy". Last nite, after trying on (no kidding) at least 40 dresses, I came home with FOUR (and all for under $100!). I have my choice of (a) a red (b/c I'm a HARLOT! a HUSSY) grecian number (lycra, floor-length, yadda, yadda); (2) a midnight blue velveteen column dress (very elegant, but dark); (iii) a purple *gown* (literally; it has swirls and layers and a tasteful applique!); or (four) black tea-length dress that for the life of me I couldn't figure out why I liked it until I realized it was a black version (with seriously low cleavage) of this dress, when Maria gets rid of that witch and finally gets the Captain. WHICH SHOULD I WEAR?!?!?!