Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Take Your Time

You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by;
but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.

- J.M. Barrie


We rush. Through everything. Through traffic, through the newspaper (online or off), through our day. It's exhausting. So why do we do it? Everything needs so much tending that we worry the weeds will get us if we stop too much, too often, or even at all. And yet, when we do, there's a certain delight in those stolen moment where nothing is happening but nothing. A sigh. A certain relaxation of the shoulders. That can't be bad for us now can it?

Today, I'm stealing a couple of hours. One to go to the bookstore to wander among the shelves and see what jumps out. I've been meaning to buy a calendar since... oh yeah, January (do you see how much time goes by?). I also want to check out the iPad at the Apple Store. That's right. To add to my collection of all thinks "i". A woman I encountered was using one and my eyes lept to it and I thought "that is so cool, I'd love to see one of those up close." So rather than just hoping that a calendar will just saunter down my wall, or that an iStore will open in my back yard, I'm going to head out and lose some time.

What do you do to let time slip by?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax Banshee Fun

To celebrate tax day, I wanted to bring some levity to all the number crunching. Hallmark might be kind of corny, but they've really branched out in recent years. And one of their most hilarious creations is the Screaming Banshee. And the Tax Banshee is the best. Click the link below to watch the video.

Enjoy


Monday, April 12, 2010

I won something!

Hey you guys,

This is probably one of my only sincere no-jokes-attached blog entries, so get it while it's from the heart. I went to the LA Writer's Day on Saturday, and won first place for my YA novel entry "The French Class Confessional of the Mysterious Mr. Bridge." It was very exciting to be called up front with the other winners, to hear my words read aloud, and to get some external validation that yeah, the writing works for others too. There were so many echoes from the conferences I've gone to where published authors spoke of their days starting out, figuring it out, and finally breaking out. Writing can be very solitary and isolating; it was wonderful to see my people for a day, and hear so many great speakers. So much humor and frank advice.

I was lucky enough to have dinner with some other writers (you know who you are!), and they even got to meet Luis, my partner, who some people were convinced was just a "Jan Brady/George glass" figment of my imagination.

Newly inspired, I'm back at they keyboard, channeling all the energy I've got leftover after cleaning the house, tending to the cat box (nothing like a pet to keep you grounded), and making sure I get out for some fresh air now and again.

Keep at it, there are rewards.

Now get back to your books (and that goes for me too!)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

What I Saw on the Street - Pennysaver

Who has time to write anymore! I'm going to try vlogging for a while. I mean, if the Pope does it, so can I, right? Oh, that's flogging?! Oh. I stand corrected.

video

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What I Saw on the Street: CVS Art

Now THIS is what I'm talkin' about.


I never expected to find art at my local CVS, but there it was, staring me in the face. She said it takes about a half an hour just to do her eyes.


I love the friendly smile, the splash of hair color, and the cheetah-print eyeshadow. Where else are you going to see this? Ok, ok, I admit I have make-up envy.

Now get back to your books!

Colon-Go

It's hard to make puns about colons. It doesn't really rhyme with much, and the subject is just not that funny. So I'll just go straight to the photos.

So it was all clear. A mystery bout of colitis. I hope it never returns. It was no fun. On to more entertaining blogs.

Now get back to your books!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

4 Liters of Yum: Timeline



3:53 pm – the Alarm goes off from a very pleasant nap (complete with kitty by my side)
4:00 pm – scramble to drink the first 4 oz glass in the first 10 minutes. By 4:08, already feeling kinda crampy. Yikes. This stuff works fast. Maybe I should move the computer from the kitchen to the bedroom for easier typing/toilet dashing.





4:12 pm – 2nd 8 oz glass, here I come.
4:15 pm downed glass 2 with a shiver. The stuff is somehow like water, and yet like river slime. Not pleasant to drink. Took photo showing how much is 8 oz, and how HOW much more there is too go. The jug mocks me on the kitchen counter. I don’t think I’ll make it to 4:30. Any bets?
4:18. Houston. We have movement. Not much, but I’m sure it’s just the beginning. It’s awful living in fear of your own toilet. I keep telling myself: thinkoflunchthinkoflunchthinkoflunch.
4:20 pm. Incredible! It’s ALREADY 4:20!? I’m so glad. Time for another yummy glass of pre-d (as in pre-disarreha, oh God how can anyone think that this is a good way to lose weight?!) Here goes. Bottom’s up.

4:26. 3rd glass “down.” As in, maybeIwon’tbeabletoKEEPthisdown. Nothing like nausea-inducing waves of near-puking to make you want more. Yes more. The photo is the 4th glass full, and the jug still leering at me like a whore with v.d. c’monbabyyouknowyouwantsome.

4:29 pm. 4:30 is SO far away. Maybe I’ll do some gardening. Or Taxes! Yeah. Taxes! Anything to take my mind off of this. But wait a second! I made it to 4:30 without Niagara coming out my rear. What’s going on. When will it hit? What will happen then?
4:31 pm. A slight knife-edge turn in the gut. Maybe more of a fork tine. But something is happening down there. I’m so glad my houseguests from France are out for the day. And that no one else is coming over. And I can turn the heat up to 80 degrees if I want to.
4:32. Going for it. Glass number 4. Oh God. Involuntary salivating. As in pre-vomit salivating. I am halfway through glass #4 and it’s winning. Though they advised heavily against it on the packaging, I’ll have to judiciously sip. Ahh, the cocktail of colon cleansers: Golytely. Back to the sink incase I do actually have to throw up.
4:37 pm. Wild parrots fly over-head, squawking their little green lungs out. God I wish I were one of them.
4:42 pm. I can’t do it. My hand puts down the glass after each sip. And I’m barely able to get it down without really almost spewing it all back up. And that’s 3 and half glasses I’m not going to RE-drink. So down it stays. The directions do SAY “drink until all 4 liters are consumed, or until effluent is clear.” I didn’t know I could be put in the same categories as the Amazon and the Orinoco, but here goes. Now I say I won’t make it to 5 pm without my very own rush hour. I’m distracting myself with CNN and Yahoo News. Go Katheyn Bigelow. Heh…heh…
4:52 pm. Glass 4 is waiting. Waiting. And now glass 5 is behind it. I’m busy watching SNL clips on Hulu, and praying for ‘clear effluent.’ It’s like rolling intestinal dice at medical Vegas: C’mon clear-effluvient!!!!
5:01 pm. Ok, so clearly Vegas-style betting is not my strong suit. And maybe I have to “drink” more of the “liquid” over there. Way over there on the counter. Across the kitchen where it belongs. OhGoddon’tloseyourhealthit’sallyou’vegot.
5:27. Nothing. Well, something. But nothing significant. Perhaps I will have to drink more. Oh God in Heaven No Please Don’t Make Me Drink More.
6:09 pm. Have downed the rest of the 4th glass. Something, but not the Promised River. Am going to prep clothes for tomorrow. The 5th glass is waiting. There has GOT to be a more pleasant way to do this. Like maybe several days of starvation instead.
7:00 pm. Though I texted them, my housguests are back, and I’m not quite “ready.” The word “ready” in this instance means “empty.” So while chitchatting about their tourtisting down the tacky Hollywood Boulevard, Beverly Hills, and beyond, I’m wondering Will I suddenly explode during this conversation?’
7:`5 pm. I drive from my place to Luis downtown, the entire time wondering, Will I get pulled over, and explode during sobriety tests? Or Will I make it to the apartment building only to let loose in the elevator as it lurches skyward?
8:00 to 11:30 pm. Two more delicious glasses of Holly Golytely await me. Yes, I brought the jug with me! I wouldn’t want to go anywhere without it! Finally, around 9pm, what I’d started involuntarily chugging at 4pm finally started to become that magical word “effluent.” Sometimes it was worthy of launch-pad metaphors. When the body wants to get rid of something, there’s really no stopping it.
It’s now 6:21 am the Day of the Procedure. I’m completely empty and ready for lunch. Forget determining what is the source of my problem, I’m starving!
It’s now 6:21 am the Day of the Procedure. I’m completely empty and ready for lunch. Forget determining what is the source of my problem, I’m starving!
6:32 am. We will leave any minute to to go the Tower Imaging Center on Wilshire. My favorite part? Talking to the gorgeous anethestesiologist while I'm still on drugs so I say embarrassing things like, 'you're MY McDreamy!"
And when I get my pictures, I’ll be sure post them (blame Christy).
Now get back to your books.

Monday, March 08, 2010

4 Liters of Yum

The thought of drinking 8 oz of fluid every ten minutes until this 4-liter container is empty is enough to make me sick.

Which is why I'm drinking the stuff in the first place. I'm having a "procedure." The kind where they put you "under." It's for "Colitis". Inflamation of the... (insert high school Latin here). They're not sure why the "itis" is happening, but it was enough for an emergency MRI. What a joy that was. Nothing like an early morning enema on a sore bowel to get the day started. Then my doctor scheduled a colonoscopy for a week later, and antibiotics to calm the area down. Calm it down from what? Nuts & Seeds? Lactose intolerance? Cancer?

All I know is that the instructions for this Golytely (don't you just love the clever Audrey Hepburn-esque product name?) will make me trot to the toilet like a race horse, and I'm not allowed to eat anything after taking it. Until TOMORROW AT LUNCH! And the fear of all that "evacuation" is making me not want to eat today. So over 24 hours fasting and boy do I have an appreciation for all things illness related. We really do only have our health.

It's incredible how thin a line separates us from feeling good, or from even feeling normal. Go without drinking water half the day and see how you feel. Try skipping food for more than 8 hours. Now imagine that this is a state in which much of the world lives for a lot of the time and it really puts a new perspective on things.

I keep wanting to be productive, or use the down time productively, but all I can wonder is 'what is it?' 'Will they find something?' 'Will they find nothing?' and more importantly, 'What am I going to eat after I wake up when the procedure is done?' (I have a sneaking suspicion it will involve the Girl Scout cookies that I bought.)

Stay tuned.
In the mean time, get back to your books!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What I Saw on the Street: Uh Yeah, LA is just Like Everywhere Else

Sometimes I fool myself into thinking that LA is just like any other place. Part Big City, part Small Town. But then I see this on the rooftop of my partner's building. Yeah, of course, a fitness model being photographed at sunset on a ledge overlooking the city at sunset. Something you see everywhere. Right?



But I think maybe a closer view is needed, don't you?

This is Mark. He's 26ish, and has 8% body fat. And he's, well, gorgeous. And sweet, too. I console myself with my 25% body fat with the knowledge that, were our plane to go down in the Rockies in one of these winter storms (he's on his way to star in an action movie, I'm on my way to sign with a NY editor), I'd have to kiss him good-bye like Kate did with Leo in TITANIC, or like Ralph Fiennes and Kristen Scott-Thomas in THE ENGLISH PATENT. Because at 8% body fat, there is NO WAY that he would survive. I would be the lone lover, sailing (or flying) back to civilization to tell my brave tale. Oh Mark, we could have been so happy together. Instead, you'll just have to live on in my rooftop memories...

Alright he rest of you, get back to your books!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

What I Saw On the Street: SIGNS OF THE APOCALPYSE

How is that Madison Avenue continues to come up with New products. Just when you thought chocolate milk was as stable and nostalgic as an After School Special, they go and invent Chocolate Flavoring Straws. Not flavorED mind you, but flavoring. Screw nouns, these folks have moved right in verbs.



Your food product will now flavor other food products! This is the most exciting development since perhaps GOOBER, the peanut-butter/jelly hybrid jarred foodspread of the 1970's, or the do-it-yourself salsa/chili/Velveeta party dip.




I'm not much of a football fan, but maybe I can make an attept to slyly enter straight-guy sports-world by bringing some Flava-Straws to a SuperBowl party this weekend. It's sure to pursuade everyone that I'm with it, that I'm hip, that I'm so Lady-Gaga-NOW, right? Right!!?? Oh, wait, Lady Gaga's not a straight-male reference? Oh, no. I'm doomed! Doomed!

Now get back to your books!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

No "Blow and Go"!

It really is the little things.
Like leaves in the laundry room.
How?
How do they get there?
And the dust, too?
Ok, so I'm a guy, and I live in my own place.
I can't blame any roommates. And I can't say that it's
all dryer lint.
So where is it coming from?!

From this guy!



















And believe it or not, it took MONTHS to figure this out.
The yard guy (Juan), comes every Wednesday when I'm not home. Days later I would go into the laundry room to fetch something from the fridge (it's a small place, the fridge is on the service porch), or to do laundry. And it was always, well, dirty. Eww, a dirty
laundry room! Who wants that?
So I'd vacuum, figuring that the lousy door, or the old windows, or maybe the gas vent for the water heater was letting in dust. And
leaves? It was like having a ghost, but not being able to admit it at first. Hmm, leaves? Ok...I'll just go with it...
But then I noticed that the floor mat by the door was sometimes moved away from the door, as if by a gust of wind. But it's just not that windy in sunny, weatherless southern California.
Hmmm... Really, what could this be?
I moved into this place in June. It November before I finally figured it out.
The Yard Guy! The Blower!
As he goes by the back door, he uses the hurricane-in-a-backpack they're all sporting these days. It's enough to blast under the gap in the door. In just a few seconds, leaves, dust and sand are blasted in. Dust settles everywhere, the leaves scatter, the mat moves. And when I wandered in one day, I finally had a Newtonian moment: Aha! It's the Blow and Go!

Well today, no more. I waited in hiding (see photo from behind kitchen window and screen), and popped out at the appropriate moment. Finally, no more tornadoes in my laundry room. And what's funny is that I caught my neighbor asking Juan for EXACTLY the same thing at her back porch. And she's lived there for THREE YEARS. So now I don't feel so bad.

Sometimes it takes a while to figure things out. And sometimes it's the little things that make a big difference. Right now I've got things so clean that I'm eating off the laundry-room floor!
Now get back to your books!