21 December 2010

holiday joy, part 2

Conceptual snowman:
Yes, that's from the wedding. Those things took effing forever to make ... I am NOT throwing them away. If you see me with a pair of them swinging from my earlobes, don't you dare laugh.

holiday joy

What? ... that's not enough?
Okay, FINE. Off to the mall, grumble grumble, general Grinchiness, grrrrrr.

18 November 2010

Lucy's first (best) trick

the Lucy channel

I was admonished recently by a friend (hi, T!!) for not getting doggie pictures up here yet. I know ... I know. But I've just been kinda hanging out with her, you know? Nonetheless, T's right: it's time to share our puppy's cuteness with the world. I'll be posting several times (soonish?) in reverse chronological order, as is the usual here in BlogLand.

First, the early days*:
*Seriously, this creature gets visibly larger by the day. The Mr. & I keep looking at her paws & laughing about how we are so fucked.

This is the first time she hung out with me while I got ready for an audition. She's really good about chilling in the bathroom ... as long as she has access to a potty pad, and I let her lick water off my hand from the shower.

Also: could you effing die?!?! Those polka dots. And those ears. And that face. **
** Stylish red collar that compliments her coloring beautifully selected by The Mr. -- credit where it's due.

Well, hello there! This seems like a good time to formally explain what I've already given away: her name is Lucy. Technically, she's Dame Lucille HisLastName. (She totally needed the honorific -- the doggie across the street is a "Dr.") She's named after one of my grandmothers, which is cool because my kitty (kisses in heaven, Lady B) was named after one of my great grandmas, and I like making a tradition out of it. Also, she just looks like a Lucy, doesn't she?

She was barely 3 months old when we found her at the city shelter near us*** -- can you believe anybody could let that face get away?! And we've been having lots (read: "lots") of fun with potty training. We're down to about 1 accident a day, which is actually a massive accomplishment. And she's pretty solid with "sit!" & "stay!" ... next step: "off!"

More to follow ... above ... silly formatting.

*** This shelter is really well-run, and there are all kinds of sweet animals there that need loving homes. Dogs, cats, bunnies -- they have everything. And the people who work there are nice. If you're local & considering a pet, please rescue.

10 October 2010


We're gonna be pet parents tomorrow! Well, technically, we already are, officially, but we get custody of our new daughter tomorrow. (No photos yet, sorry. Tomorrow in the p.m.) We went to the local shelter yesterday & fell in love. I personally found 5 or 6 dogs, 2 cats & a couple of bunnies that I wanted to bring home, but the Mr. insists that we start slowly. Drat him & his "practicality".

I want to call her Dame Judy Dench. The Mr. wants to call her Snooki. Which really is remarkably illustrative of the yin & the yang of us.

27 September 2010

can we all calm down about Colbert ... please?!

To everyone out there in 24 Hour Media Land who has their panties in a twist about Stephen Colbert testifying before Congress ... ahem:

"Elmo is the only non-human or puppet ever to testify before the U.S. Congress. At the request and with the assistance of Rep. Duke Cunningham, he testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education in April 2002, urging support for increased funding in music education." source

I'm all for better funding for music education. (Full disclosure: I was a marching band geek. And the school one town over from us, which actually funded its music program, routinely kicked our asses.) Music education is a good thing. Even when it's proposed by a douchebag who's currently serving time in an Arizona jail for major financial malfeasance.

As a general rule, hypocrisy makes my blood boil. And while Colbert may have remained in character during his testimony, at least he's human. And capable of speaking without having some guy's hand rammed up his butt. At least, as far as we know.

Your move, Pundit Nation.

22 September 2010

getting it wrong on purpose

Seen at the Las Vegas airport baggage claim:

If you barely glance the ad (like I did), you could think for just a moment (like I did) that Andrew Dice Clay had joined the Blue Man Group. And I kind of want to live in a world where that would happen.

Imagine the Blue Man show with a 4th guy, still painted blue, but also wearing a leather jacket & chain smoking. He has zero percussive abilities, and keeps breaking the "no talking" rule to lob F-bombs. Especially when random Blue Man machinery whizzes past his head -- he can't dance, either, and doesn't know the show's choreography -- he slept through all the rehearsals because he was still drunk from the night before.

It could happen ... I mean, seriously, how many other offers do you think the Dice Man is getting these days? Also, why do I feel like I just described many of this week's performances on Dancing With The Stars?

08 September 2010

another reason to hate Target, plus some random silliness

Please don't hate me -- I ordered it before I read about Target's political fuckwittery. (And yes, it's taken me this long to open it. Your point is ...?) So now that that's settled: check out this noise:

Gee, guys ... way to use efficient, earth-friendly packaging. Douche nozzles.

(Just to settle wtf that thing is: it's a shoe rack. Current Score: Last 2 moving boxes in the bedroom: 0, Me: 1.)

And from the Dept. of Proof That Everything is Political, I bring you a literal transcription of texting 'twixt me & the Mr. yesterday:

Me: I went to the free neighborhood poo pile*, and they were out of poo!

Him: I hear the Tea Party rallies are full of shit. Try there.

I heart him.

* the City of L.A. provides free mulch. Or at least, it did. It looks like the Budget Crisis has gotten so bad, they literally can't give us shit anymore. Thanks, Mayor Asshat.

13 August 2010

i'm not sure about this tree ...

Our banana tree is making babies. That part I'm sure about. What I'm not sure about is how it's making them. As you can see, our "tree" is actually three separate trees in close proximity. And once I got past worrying about whether or not it was going to die (things grown from cuttings look rough for a while, kids) I was pleased to see it thriving. And then I noticed these little guys:

And this dude:

and this brazen fellow:

Here's the thing: I'm home during the day at wildly varying hours, and I get home from teaching pretty late. The Mr. leaves for work at first light. Neither of us has ever seen these trees getting it on. When the heck are they doing it? Do they hear us coming & straighten up, brushing off any telltale dirt & fluffing their leaves like sofa cushions?

Also: three trees reproducing = who are the parents?!? Is there an awkward arboreal love triangle in my backyard? Are the kinky bastards involved in some kind of hippie banana commune "free love" arrangement? (Kinda redefines "tree-hugger", doesn't it?)

One thing is for sure, though. Based on the complexion of the babies, I think we can rule out the red banana from the other side of the yard:

Which is kind of surprising ... I totally had him pegged as the neighborhood perv.

breaking in the house

We've survived a couple of firsts recently:

1) Our 1st House Guest:
His Mom came to visit for a long weekend. We had a blast -- although we learned a very important lesson about the movies in the cemetary: If the line is off the lawn, you won't make it in before dark/ in time to enjoy your picnic before the movie starts. And if it's wrapped around the corner onto Gower, abandon ship. (Side note: the movie that night was "Airplane!" ... wtf, people? Freakin' "Airplane!" brought out the hordes?)

We did some other cool stuff, too -- she even came & took one of my classes. (And loved it -- phew!) And we now have an air mattress that fits quite nicely in the office/ 2nd bedroom, so we're primed & ready to accommodate future comers.

2) Our 1st Dinner Party: Our friends L. (who was Best Man in the wedding) and his girlfriend S. came to hang for the evening. I managed to cook up a meal that didn't a) set off the smoke alarm, or b) kill anybody, so I'm calling the evening a success! Also, I finally managed not to come in last in the game of Scrabble we played after dinner -- the Mr. has a really annoying habit of always kicking my ass. But with non-family members involved, I came in 2nd! (Note to self ... write that down.) I suspect that the bottle of Glenlivet we were slowly killing while we played had something to do with leveling the field, but who cares? Victory-adjacent is mine!

Also: it appears that I do, in fact, still have some things to say about the house. So perhaps I'll keep this blog on topic for those purposes, and start a 2nd one for my cranky ramblings. Because I am pretty cranky. It just got a little out of hand yesterday ... probably on account of that whole mouth-full-of-blood thing.

12 August 2010

hello? is this thing on?

I'm not sure if anyone out there is still reading this thing ... my prolonged lack of posting seems to have driven most of my darling readers away. But just in case anybody is still out there -- I'm feeling a need to change things up.

Partly because there's plenty of stuff in the news these days that has me riled (a brief list to follow shortly), and partly because I just need something to DO right now. Auditions have hit the summer doldrums, I'm barely interested in talking about the damned house (let alone my original topic of the damned wedding) so I sure as hell don't expect anyone else to give a flying rat's butt ... and because I had a minor oral surgery this morning & the stitches just dissolved. And I'm hungry, but the whole mouthful-of-blood thing isn't exactly appetizing. (Also, it's weirdly making me feel like I constantly need to pee. So this may take a while ....)

So I guess what I'm saying is brace yourselves. Or stop reading (if you haven't already.) I promise no hard feelings.


THINGS THAT ARE PISSING ME OFF (did I mention there will still be lots of swearing? Because I still suck at not-swearing.):

*Obama not suspending Don't Ask, Don't Tell

*Glenn Beck

*L.A. having no viable public transportation

*Menstrual cramps


*Puppies. And bunnies. And kitties. Anything with 4 feet & fur, basically.

*Air conditioning

*Not having a mouthful of blood

*This American Life

*A new suggestion for supporters of Prop 8 -- one that I'm happy to get behind!


Also, I think this is pretty funny:

it's finally happened

Things I have recently acquired:

I guess it was inevitable ... and it only took 10 years. Looks like I'm officially an American again. (In the interest of full disclosure, I also own a pair of cowboy boots. But I bought them for a costume, so I'm not sure if that counts.)

06 August 2010

attention all wives: HIDE!!!

This is just too awesome not to repost. Consider it a Public Service Announcement.

Found here.

24 July 2010

me: quite contrary

I don't call ... I don't write ... I sure as hell don't blog ...

... but oh, how my garden grows:

Also: just because it's overcast doesn't mean you can't burn. And I knew this ... but now I know this.

07 June 2010

victory over Swedish Hieroglyph Man!

We just successfully assembled our kitchen table.

I only made one egregious mistake along the way. I consider that a victory. (Those are Temporary Chairs. Real Chairs to follow, as soon as we agree on some.)

04 June 2010

the incubator

There's much to report on the progress of converting our yard from a weed's field of dreams into something that we're willing to let people come over & see. I'm woefully behind in posting about it -- mostly because I've been outside getting a) filthy, and b) unintentionally tan as I try to make the transformation happen.

Also, our outdoors has invaded our indoors, where the bay window shelf in our kitchen has proved to be the perfect place to start growing seeds into larger green things. (As for the one item that I transplanted to our great outdoors, well, the less said about that the better. It's a learning curve, dammit.)

Backlit though it may be,I think you get the idea.

Oh, and are those rubber goldfish in our zen fountain?

Why, yes, Yes, they are. Because that's how we roll.

we were SO ahead of this trend

Remember this tender moment from our reception?

The one (and subsequently only) time our guests tried the "dance, monkeys!" tactic of tapping their glasses to make us kiss, we let them know we weren't playing that way.

And then last night, on the "Kiss Cam" at game 1 of the NBA finals, this happened:

Yes, the bigger, uglier cousin of glass-tapping-for-smooches zeroed in on Dustin Hoffman, who rather than turning to his wife (seated to his left in the top photo) planted one on Jason Bateman.

Not only is this the funniest thing I saw today, and a very welcome improvement to the usual "Look, Celebrities!" atmosphere at Lakers Games (because who else can afford the effing tickets?!) ... but with all the homophobic crap out there in the world (Rekers, Foley, Haggard, Craig, Allen, Murphy Jr., Massa, Prop 8 -- shall I go on?) it just makes me smile on a whole 'nother level.

26 April 2010

the garden of misfit toys, pt. 1

I apologize for the shadows in some of these pictures -- but if I waited for ideal lighting conditions, I'd get distracted by something shiny & forget altogether. And then where would we be? Probably in the same location, physically, but photoless. Photoless, people! And I refuse to let that happen.

Ahem. Where was I? Oh, right -- outside. Scavenging on Craigslist for free things. It turns out that there are a lot of people re-doing their outdoorsy areas this time of year. And most of them hate to see things get thrown away. So if you're willing to put in a little work (aka dig it out of the ground yourself), you can take it away for free. For free, people! I know! That's totally my favorite price!

First up: the papyrus. I drove down to Long Beach to get this, from a very nice man who wanted it out of his yard. It was raining that day, but by some miracle I managed to get to the digging just as the weather went to "heavy mist that threatened to start pouring again any moment." So I tried to work fast. And discovered that papyrus is effing hard to dig up. There was a lot of sweating involved, and more swearing than I'll get specific about since some of our family members read this blog (hi!). Suffice to say that by the time I was headed home with 5 giant trash bags full of plants & rhizomes (the rooty-type things), there was no way I was putting them into the ground that same day. I didn't care if it could survive overnight that way -- I was willing to take a chance on having just driven 15 miles to do some manual labor for a complete stranger. I was that tired.

Good news: it lived! Well, kinda. The green bits turned brown after a few days, and we had a lovely bunch of stick-looking things lining our front fence. But I persisted, and we currently have new growth! (I feel like a mad scientist at times: "It's ALIVE!!!") Hopefully it'll get with the growing quickly, and start covering up the ugly wrought iron fence.

Next up: the agave. The former owner of these just had too many of them to deal with -- and the mother plant who threw off these "babies" was a 25-foot-across monster. These make me happy because I basically just jammed them in the ground -- no mulch, special soil, fertilizer or any of that. You've gotta love desert plants. (Incidentally, we're aiming for all drought-tolerant stuff, for obvious reasons. But it turns out that some of them need extra water &/or attention while it's getting established in a new place. Like that sneaky papyrus.)

I thought it was wise to put them against the wall, since they have pokey bits. The big one is presiding over something that's really cool: our firesticks.

Those are an African-type succulent with a really bad-ass defense mechanism. If you break off part of it, it emits this white milky stuff -- lots of it -- that itches like crazy (or so I was told -- I'm not eager to test it, so I just stay a respectful distance away & say complimentary things. I don't want it to turn on me.)

The same guy who gave me the firesticks was super-generous -- when he heard that we were just getting started on our yard, he gave me a bunch of other stuff and told me how to care for it. (The plant people are, thus far, kind of amazing.) Lots of jade plants:

(better pics to come), a bunch of aloe & a cactus that's supposed to grow white flowers,

and several snake plants.

Like I said: amazing. And so far, they're all thriving (by which I mean Not Dead). So hooray on all accounts!

Lastly, there are a few things that I (gasp!) paid for. But I bought them from people who were thinning out their own gardens, for super-cheap. (We have thus far spent about $85 on plants, and this post isn't even half of it.) Here, we have a bunch of cannas (the whale tail-looking things) and fortnight lilies (the fan-shaped ones) with some purple apple ground cover in between. These want more water than the other stuff, and they're being pretty damn coy about whether or not they're happy ... but yesterday I saw new growth on the cannas. The ground cover is another story -- it's turned yellow in some places, but it's also spreading and producing new flowers -- so I have no idea what to think. (In case it wasn't already abundantly clear, I spend a lot of my outdoors time confused.)

And I also got 2 hibiscus plants, which are staying exactly the same size but not visibly ailing. Brats.

There was also a cutting of an angel's trumpet that did really well for a few days ... but it's clearly dead now. Sorry, no photo of that -- it's too depressing.

24 April 2010

I, scavenger

I've been outside a lot lately. And I've learned many things -- firstly, that I'm better at applying sunscreen than bug spray. Secondly, that the jury's still out regarding my ability to keep outdoorsy-plants amongst the living.

Allow me to explain: I have a unique ability to kill houseplants. It's extreme -- so much so, that I've used it as an excuse when people ask me why I don't have children. It's a talent that I believe I inherited from my mom (and in direct contrast to both of our talents when it comes to furry, four-legged types, I hasten to add.) I know that as I child I saw her dehydrate a cactus, and she may have supervised the expiration of a silk plant or two. And I am definitely her daughter when it comes to matters botanical. If ficuses had post offices, my picture would be on posters there.

But: I've heard that these things are easier out-of-doors. Or "easier", at any rate. As one might expect, I'm a bit hesitant to dive right into an expensive landscaping scheme before I properly evaluate my own planticidal tendencies ... which has led me to the greatest source of free-except-for-the-hassle-factor greenery on the planet: Craigslist.

The upside: we won't be out more than gas money if stuff dies. (Okay, fine: "if".) The downside: my strategy is at the mercy of what's being offered, an how well eHow.com advises me on not killing it. So we're sort of building ourselves the Garden of Misfit Toys. But I believe in my little freak plants. Even the ones that insist on looking a bit like they need some caffeine & a plant brassiere (you know -- for the drooping).

Pictures tomorrow -- it was too dark tonight, by the time I'd finished today's transplant. Dr. Frankenstein has nothing on my yard.

10 April 2010

the great outdoors

When last we chatted, the yard was looking like this:Better than weed-a-palooza, perhaps, but still leaving "a bit" to be desired. Enter the heavy machinery!!
For the record: yes, the nice men at Home Depot will laugh at you, the scrawny blonde chick, as they help you load the giant roto-tiller into your Beetle. And yes, you "may" need to call the Mr. at work when you get it home & realize that you cannot get it out of your car unassisted. And it's definitely a bad idea to use your body weight to steer it, since it weighs considerably more than you do, especially when your job requires you to wear shorts most of the time and you have to explain repeatedly that "No, nobody is beating me."

BUT: once you take all of that into consideration, you have yourself a fun and noisy (Zöe was not pleased) way to make sure those weeds don't come back!
Why is it that when most people picture "woman gardening" in their heads, it involves someone genteel in a sun hat amongst lots of flowers, but when I try it, it involves heavy machinery that could maim a person? Also, why do my arms look like they belong on a dude in this picture? WTF?!?

Ahem. Moving along. So: after 2 days of tilling, during which both the Mr. & I pretty much exhausted ourselves in an effort to avoid paying another day's rental fee, we had clean tilled dirt. And my daily scouring of Craigslist began to pay off.
Thanks to D. in Hacienda Heights, who wanted his river rocks gone so he could plant some grass. (Free, folks -- my favorite price!)

And thanks to S. in Reseda, who's re-doing her backyard & wanted her Heavenly Bamboo gone. Bonus: it's not actually bamboo, which means it won't attack the foundation & sidewalk. Also: another freebie (plus a little manual labor to dig them out of the ground.)

That's the reverse angle.

And since I tend to get overly excited about things, I figured I may as well build some raised garden beds, where we can plant things that smell good and may even turn out to be edible:
I found the instructions online -- they're upside down here, waiting for me to dig holes for the corner pegs. And yes, the nice men at Home Depot will laugh at you as you cram a few 10'-long boards into your Beetle. Why does everyone keep mistaking me for a damsel in distress, I wonder? Not only am I not distressed (at the moment, anyway), but I'm pretty sure I don't even qualify as a damsel ....

Oh, and just because we're so effing proud of ourselves: We seem to have finished the kitchen!
Well, except for the stove & a table. But those can wait until we get our tax refund ... unless I find 'em for free on Craigslist.

29 March 2010

we're Zöe-sitting!


(Thank you. We now return to our regularly scheduled ramblings.)

We are officially Zöe-sitting! My friend B. is freezing her buttock-region off in New York, while we are looking after her darling creature (pictured above). And though I remain a huge fan of The NYC, I feel pretty secure in the notion that I got the better end of this deal.

This experiment is a) a test-run for our ability to make our lives accommodate a 4-legged furry creature, and b) an excuse for me to talk in a silly voice & "legitimately" blame it on someone else. So far, so good on both counts.

23 March 2010

four cool things

1) It's kind of awe-inspiring, all piled up in one place:
And in the morning it will go buh-bye.

2) These are hooked up now:
For the first time in a decade, I don't need quarters to get clean underwear.

3) My friend J. is moving this weekend ... and she's taking ALL of our moving boxes.

4) Today is Z-minus-1 day & counting!!!

22 March 2010

my latest project, aka why I ache

Our fabulous little house was vacant for almost exactly a year by the time we moved in. Frankly, I was surprised that the yard hadn't gone more to-seed. To wit:

Our little patch of at-least-they-didn't-pave-everything on the right-hand side there looked pretty normal. Blank-slate-ish, almost. And then it rained.

It rained a lot. For a long time (for L.A., anyway). And this happened:

To use a local expression ... duuuuuuude.

Actually, we didn't think it was so bad -- at least it's green, right? Sure, we started to get flyers for landscaping services on our gate every day. Okay, fine, fair enough. But it wasn't a priority (hello, bathroom?).

Then we got a notice from the city about fire hazards & fines for non-compliance with brush-clearing ordinances.


The Mr. suggested acquiring a weed whacker from the nearby Home Despot. I countered that unless we yanked those babies out by the roots, we'd just be caught in an endless cycle of brush-clearance despair. (Side note to the neighbors I suspect were laughing at us during the Puffy Yard Stage: at least we don't park cars on it, n'est pas?) And just in case you were hoping (you? okay, me -- I was hoping) that said roots were shallow & not-so-hardy, behold:

In other news, I've discovered that gloves aren't for pussies ... they're for people who don't like bleeding.

Anyway: after a few days of "perhaps" overdoing it (where "perhaps" = lying in bed at night, unable to make a fist because my hands were so swollen), I produced this:

Also, it turns out that the city of L.A. will pick up as much yard waste as you can bag/bundle once a year for free! -- which is a good thing, because we are about 25 Hefty bags past our green trash bin's capacity. Why so many? Did I mention I did the backyard, too?

It's cool -- I know I'm insane.

I also have plans. They're modest plans, at least to start, and they involve scouring Craigslist daily for free stuff we can use to make a desert-friendly garden (because we live in the desert, folks. There are no lawns in the effing desert! Ahem.) For starters, I want to hide our lovely retaining wall with some of these:
I ordered 4 "starter sized" plants, and seeds for some smaller ones like these:
all at Amazon. As soon as they arrive, we'll see if I can manage to not kill them. Because it's important to have goals, kids. Write that down.