Monday, April 30, 2012

Cat Vomit and other fun stuff

Attila may vomit on our bed, but he is
definitely our best cuddle kitty. 
As far as emergencies go, Chef and I have thankfully been spared for the most part. However, there seems to be something about our comforter that says "Have a cat emergency HERE!". Mila took a crap right in the middle of it (while Chef and I were sleeping in the bed, no less) which got her banned from the bedroom for almost a year before she was allowed back in. And rightfully so. No one likes to wake up to the smell of feces.

Yesterday, Attila decided to vomit on my side of the comforter. The poor kitty has been vomiting up everything he's eaten for the last two days which means in our world means unplanned vet visit time! Hooray. I also got to see the inside of a lovely LA laundromat because our comforter is too big for our washers in the complex. Instead of brunch and mimosas, I had Diet Dr Pepper and a book while waiting for it to wash.

Anyway, hope he's better today. This is yet another reason that I may not be cut out for parenthood. Too many bodily fluids.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Who Stole My Tailgate?" Not Me.

The other day Chef called me over to the computer to chuckle at a picture of the above that was posted on a pretty popular blog he reads. I saw it and shrugged my shoulders. 

"So, that car is parked at the Target near my office all the time. I think he works there."

It was then that I realized this car was Internet famous. So to prove that I actually meant what I said (not that Chef even remotely challenged my allegation), I took this pic today at the Target parking lot near my work. I don't know who stole his or her tailgate, but I suspect that whoever did has not yet returned it after about a year. It might be time for him or her to just buy another tailgate. Although I kinda like the board and spray paint version. Reminds me of Tennessee,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Splenda Didn't Give My Mom Cancer. Her Boobs Did.

Suck it, smug lady.
Why do people care what I eat? Or what any stranger eats for that matter? There are so few things that people truly can control, and for the majority of people in the US, food is one of those things. I'm fairly certain a look at our waistlines might show that our decisions aren't always the best, but can we pick the major battle to win first?

Here's my point: I have struggled mightily with eating my entire life and have come to terms that I will never conquer this beast. When it goes out of control, I shamefully eat whole loaves of bread dipped in vats of olive oil and Spike seasoning (which if you haven't tried is awesome--for seasoning with or without massive amounts of olive oil). After this consumption, I go into a shame spiral which then triggered me to eat an entire roll of chocolate chip cookie dough (yes, I was that cliched). Eventually ending at 220+ pounds with at least five of that coming from wine and cocktails. Then I mustered up the energy to care about myself and set off to eat well. 

Here's the kicker: Even when I was overweight and eating fruit, people STILL felt the need to comment on my food. 

"Aren't you avoiding carbs? You should be avoiding carbs. That fruit has carbs."

Are you kidding me? Fruit carbs were the LEAST of my worries. I wanted to have people take pictures of me actually eating fruit just to document the occasion. (Side note to the whole Atkins craze: I had an acquaintance in college who wouldn't eat plain breadsticks because they were loaded with carbs, but WOULD eat cheesesticks, because the cheese "negated the bread underneath." I shit you not. That was her argument and 30 minutes of arguing could not shake her belief. Did I mention she was going to college to supposedly learn something? Clearly not a Dietetics majors.)

First it was the snootiness around Atkins. Now it's Frankenfoods and organics in general. I completely respect someone's right to want to control what goes in their body. As a person who uses any healthy method I can to get to a healthy weight, I'm not going to judge the quality of someone's fruit or if they choose to buy ready made salad mix or non-organic, non-soy REAL  DAIRY  milk.  I appreciate the fact that they're trying. 

Can we keep our comments about other people's food to ourselves? I sincerely doubt the lady who made a snide comment about me using Splenda on my cantaloupe truly cares about my well-being. She doesn't even know my name. She just wanted to be a smug person who could take the time to tell me about getting cancer from Splenda. Our conversation went something like this:

Anonymous nosy lady (ANL): Do you know that your Splenda there causes cancer? You're ruining that cantaloupe.

Me: At least I'm not putting Splenda on a donut.

ANL: But the Splenda will give you cancer before you have a heart attack. 

Me: Really? My mom died of cancer before Splenda was even invented. She got it from her boobs. 

Me: walking away from open-mouthed lady whom I hoped learned  to keep her fucking comments to herself. Or at the very least to not annoy strangers.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Less than Saint-ly

From the Washington Post
Okay, New Orleans. You can now take down that "Super Bowl XLIV Champions" ad that mocks me in the Louis Armstrong Airport every time I fly in. I wanted it down a long time ago because I'm bitter they beat my beloved Colts. Now I want it down because it's not only mocking me, but every NFL fan.

First there was "Bountygate." Coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis get suspended for the season for supporting a bounty system which aimed for defensive players from the Saints to purposely hurt opposing players (QBs specifically- including Brett Favre, who I don't like but don't think needs to be intentionally hurt. He does that enough to himself.) and get paid extra cash money for it. I can't say it suprised me a lot that this was going on. What surprised me was that they tried to deny it when the league had 50,000 pages of evidence on them. To put it in perspective, that's roughly 50 Bibles of evidence. 

And today it comes out that Loomis had a wiretapping system installed so that he could spy on opposing teams headsets from his corporate suite. WHAT?!?! Not only is this wrong, bad sportsmanship and all that, it's actually illegal. Hence the FEDERAL investigation that's now going on. 

Um, how much is a Superbowl really worth? I mean, I love that the Colts have one, but I would hope they wouldn't stoop so low to get it. And to NOT sign Drew Brees to a long term contract in the mean time. Ridiculous. 

It makes the Peyton Manning and Jim Irsay's back-and-forth, and Irsay's crazy tweets look like fun little diversions now. The Colts off-season wasn't this much of a nightmare. 

How far would you cheat to get ahead at work?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pizza Slut, Vampires, Stuffed Animals and Succulents

Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, on
the left, Soleil Moon Frye on the right
(Man scratching his head-dead center)
I spent the weekend carbo-loading. Not for any particular reason other than I had a heart-to-heart with myself last week and decided that my skin, hair, body and clothes were telling me one thing: I needed to try harder. It's not my full effort and without that, I can't depend on my best results.

So between my gorging of all things baked, fried or just plain delicious and shopping at various nurseries for Chef's new love of gardening, I got my car fixed (kind of. The damn tire pressure sensor was off for half a day and then came back on which sent me over the edge in a fit of fury), added red to my head, got my hands and feet all pretty in coral, and saw Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, being interviewed by Soleil Moon Frye (aka Punky Brewster).

Chef was gracious enough to go with me to the Bloggess event (book reading, signing and interview thingy) even though he wasn't totally into it. I could tell because he was looking up gardening stuff most of the time. However, I enjoyed it, although there was a lady there who blogged in the voice of her stuffed sheep which kind of creeped me out. The Bloggess is delightfully dirty and odd, but that was a little odd, even for me. Also, Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, was in the crowd in cognito. I remember seeing her at the time, but didn't put two and two together. As is the case when you're still reeling in laughter from a story about an at-home cleanse using ex-lax and a question from a lady that came through the voice of the stuffed goat she blogs through (FYI- the goat was not full size, but rather a small hand-held goat. If it had been full-sized, I think I would've been less confused. Maybe.)

After that, I helped pick out two plants that I wanted because they were pretty and made me happy. Then I decided that I needed to concentrate on making myself happy, in various ways. I bought a book of writing prompts, read about 100 magazines that had been piling up, and decided to get my ass back in gear. Again. YES AGAIN. I work out now and count calories, but I haven't been super strict about my diet in a while. And while I haven't eaten an entire box of TGIFriday's potato skins and an entire DiGiorno pepperoni pizza (that may have happened in the past, I'm just saying), I also haven't stuck to lean proteins, restricted carbs (my love for which can only be topped by my love for Chef and our cats, most of the time), and eaten fruits and veggies. So back to the original diet plan it goes. I even had Chef buy my old protein shakes when he went to the grocery store. I had a French Vanilla EAS CarbAdvantedge (yes, it's spelled like that) this afternoon for my "high-protein" snack. And tomorrow, I go on a cleanse. We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Just a Day in the Life of Zooey Deschanel

I saw this and had so many questions:

Such as:

  • Who gets tomato soup delivered? It's like the EASIEST thing to warm up. Aside from a can-opener (which can be worked around), soup is fool proof. 
  • No one gets delivery in the rain in LA because it takes three hours. How do you do it, Zooey?
And just when I was starting to wonder if my liking of Zooey Deschanel was a little too unwarranted, I see this on Gawker and I fall back in love. 

Tonight Chef and I are off to see the Bloggess get interviewed by Punky Brewster. Hope it's entertaining!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

From the Outside In

As I was looking in the mirror this morning at the splotches on my face, the good inch of roots and dead ends on my hair and my chipped nail polish on my hands and feet,  it made sense to me. How can I expect to get myself out of this funk if I am relishing it too much. I've decided to fight this from the outside in.

I've made my hair cut and color appointment (sadly I think I spotted a few gray hairs in my roots, but I'm hoping it's just powder from dry shampoo that hadn't absorbed), and am going to get a mani-pedi while I'm at it. I'm going to find a skin solution to try, as no solution is perfect, and I'm going to refill any prescriptions that I have run out of for my psoriasis.

If I look better on the outside, then I feel like it will help me feel a little better on the inside. At least that's my theory now.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Just Can't Shake this Apathy

The last few days I've been struggling with a debilitating case of apathy. Okay, fine. It's not debilitating, but it's certainly not been fun. I have no idea why this hit me or if I'm just moody, but here goes.

I could care less.

Chef and I went shopping this weekend (typically one of my favorite things to do). I got to play "navigator" an could choose our destinations. But I didn't get all that excited and I ended up not buying myself anything. I couldn't muster the enthusiasm to get excited about clothes, or purses or even-GASP- shoes. I used not feeling well on Sunday (which I legitimately didn't) as an excuse to do very little.

I have enough energy and care to propel myself through my routines. I still get up and run. I make my daily to do lists at work and cross everything off before I allow myself to be done for the day. I try and watch what I'm eating (but I let up on that when I'm apathetic too).

The big difference is that the things maybe I only noticed are getting dropped. My outfits look pretty shabby and I haven't gone into my closet to try and restyle anything in a few weeks. My hair needs a recolor and my bangs are so long that they cover half my eyes. Don't get me started on my nails.

So I'm slumping. Any tips for how to get out of a slump?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Somebody that I Used to Know

Pretty much spent my free time today trying to get this song out of my head:

And I registered for Pottermore, the Harry Potter extension website from JK Rowling. I'm anxiously awaiting my results to see what house I got sorted in. It's kind of like a sorority rush but without the hairspray and judging. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sorry, Ashley Judd, My "Puffy Face" Moment is Not the Same as Yours

Puffy or not, she's still beautiful.
I get it. Women are bitches. We pick each other apart instead of building each other up. I got that point in the fifth grade when I wore my first training bra and was teased incessantly about it. It's actually a lesson learned practically daily when dressing and wondering what the female world will think of my outfit. Sad, but true.

But lucky for me, I do not make a living with my appearance. I am aware of the fact that having a better looking appearance helps me in the workplace (sad but true), but ultimately I get paid for my brain. I'm not a model or actress or professional cheerleader. I add that last one in because I was appalled at hearing a professional cheerleader talk about losing those 5 lbs--she was tiny in my opinion. I expressed my anger and then a friend's husband mentioned that there are physical requirements to be a cheerleader, just as there are physical requirements for being a professional football player, and most normal people cannot live up to those requirements. This isn't grade school where everyone gets to be on the team. This is real life.

Which ultimately brings me to my point: Ashley Judd gets paid, and fairly well, to look good. Actually better than good. She gets paid to look idyllic. If she did not look idyllic, chances are good she wouldn't be an actress, at least as successful as she is. Society has always had idyllic examples of beauty and those people--men and women--have always felt the pressure and consequences of living up to their example. But they also get the spoils of what that means too.  So, while I may not agree that the "puffy face affair" was fair, I can understand it.  And honestly, it's not even that bad compared to what some celebrities have gotten (Britney, anyone?)

What I mean to say is this, while I appreciate and actually enjoyed Ashley Judd's essay on her puffy face, I have a few problems with it:

  • Now? Ashley has a problem with the way media treats women NOW. As in, when it happens to her. This essay wasn't about, say, Calista Flockhart weighing 80 lbs in the 90s, or even Christina Aguilera having gained weight now. It was because it actually happened to her. 
  • Okay, Ashley Judd cares. Now WHAT? Just asking people to change and "share their puffy face moments" isn't enough. If she wants to be an advocate, then she should be one. Do something about it, don't just say something about it. 
  • Ashley Judd's response got play on NBC Nightly News, Rock Center and MSNBC. I'm fairly certain none of those programs actually showed her puffy face or criticized her for it. Meaning, she actually more press for herself (and the show she's hawking) through her response than the speculation. Not a bad media plan in my opinion. 
Lastly, as Chef actually mentioned, there are few women who can relate to the extremes that Ashley Judd felt in the criticism. I'm fairly certain that TMZ could give a rat's ass about my psoriasis, no matter how sensitive I am about it. However, there is one group that actually could: high school girls. Those are some mean bitches, and I say that having been one. Maybe this can be a lesson Ashley could help them with. Or maybe it's just a chance for a nationally publicized rant. That remains to be seen. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Can I finally be petite?

Petite. My mom told me I was petite when I was in high school. Well, kind of. She said something like "You're technically petite because you're short, but not really."

The "not really" came into play because I was fat. And while short and fat are good qualities for a fire hydrant, they are less than desirable for a teenage girl. Or rather any human, unless you have recently been cast as an Ewok.

So, I bought lots of mini-skirts because they were actually normal skirts on me and looking into finding the right tailor to hem my pants. I say right tailor because in middle school my mother sent my jeans to a family member and they came back looking odd. Not the type of thing to make you NOT stand out in middle school, as I was trying desperately to do. In the end, I came out roughly the same size as I went in and relatively unscathed. I didn't really blow up until college and shortly thereafter, but it all worked out in the end.

Lately, though,  I've had an urge to actually live up to the word "petite." I wonder if it's because I'm not really a delicate or shy kind of personality or if it's that I've always been somewhat large around, if not tall, that now I'm wondering what would it be like to be "petite." Would my personality change if I felt suddenly smaller? Am I really just projecting a need to be taken care of?

I hope not. I'm not sure that I'll ever really get (or stay) in the petite range, but I'm gonna try to get there and let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Not Really Like Paula Abdul's "Rush, Rush" Video

The Griffith Observatory
This weekend Chef and I went to the Griffith Observatory. I had wanted to go since I was teenager and used to stay up every night during the summer to watch the Top 10 video countdown on MTV. I stayed up to watch Paula Abdul's "Rush, Rush" video that reenacted Rebel Without a Cause and starred her and Keanu Reeves. It even had spoken word intermixed with the song. It was awesome.

While the observatory was pretty good, there was no Keanu Reeves. There was a statue of James Dean, which made me wonder if Keanu Reeves had died shortly after making the "Rush, Rush" video if there would've been a statue of him, too. Do you get a statue if you copy not only the film but also the length of life of an icon? Not quite sure the rules on that (by the way, the Hoosier in me needs to remind you that James Dean was born in Indiana).

The observatory was free to visit which translates into "Busy as hell at all moments". Chef wants to go back at night and I'm totally down for it. Anyway, here are some pics from our adventure:

Looking into  Downtown

Looking into Downtown again

The James Dean statue (squint and you can see the Hollywood sign in the distance)

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

Here are some miscellaneous things that have popped into my head today:

Despite the placement of
the wooden stake, I'm
pretty positive that I
would've been impaled if
I had slammed into this. 
  • Why can't I ever remember what biannual or biweekly really means? Is it every other week or twice a week? 
  • While I generally think of being impaled by deer antlers as a fear, really it's just anything that could impale me while driving. (I stayed behind this pick-up for all of two seconds when it pulled in front of me today. Better safe than sorry).
  • Why can't I seem to concentrate for longer than 15 minutes at a time? This has only started happening recently. How long does one have to watch Michael Bay movies before their attention span is shot to hell?
  • Is Kim Kardarshian really just J.Lo 2.0?
  • When will saying "2.0" finally fall out of fashion?
  • Why does everyone think they can wear skinny jeans? Conversely, I know I look good in mine. And am slightly delusional.
  • My cats fur has become silky soft after just a few days of changing diet, but my hair doesn't react when I change mine. That doesn't seem fair. 
  • I make a mental note at least three times a day to turn off the "autocorrect" on my phone. I instantly forget said note at least three times a day about a minute after I think of it. 
  • Why is it that comedians are always assholes in real life? 
  • Should I buy a sodastream or is it a waste of money? Do any of my friends have one that I could rent for a week to see if I would use it?

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Waiting in the Gunslinger's Office

This is actually a much more
substantial gown than I was
Yesterday afternoon was the annual event known as my Lady Day. Let me rephrase that properly my Lady Parts Day. The annual day where myself (and women everywhere) get to dress in paper clothes, have nightmares from the posters we are forced to look at, and genuinely curse our womanhood. So, if you're a dude and actually still surfed in despite the picture, now might be a good time to move on out and wait until I have another sports post.

Still here? Don't say I didn't warn you. I was in sort of a pickle (that's not a reference to any body part or smell, just a phrase). I had gone to Planned Parenthood last year because I was working but did not have my insurance yet when I needed my annual exam. Thinking that a year was surely PLENTY of time for me to find an actual doctor, I left and went about my business. Until I realized that I was due for another annual visit and had not actually found the aforementioned doctor. Which is why I again found myself in the waiting room of Planned Parenthood typing "Gyno" into my iPhone only to have autocorrect change it to "Gunslinger." Which I kind of prefer calling it now. Except not Planned Parenthood because I imagine saying "Gunslinger" near Planned Parenthood is akin to saying "bomb" on an airplane.

I can imagine the intense self-reflection that goes on in the Planned Parenthood waiting rooms, as I could see it on the faces of others. I, on the other hand, was reflecting in thankfulness that my mother had been overly open about sex as teen. So much so that I actually put off doing the deed way past the national average. But the upside is that I can sit in a Planned Parenthood (or rather ANY gynecologists' office--as I will have a "real" doctor next year) and reasonably predict how my visit will go. And in case I didn't know for sure, the receptionist told me when I checked in that the wait time was about 2 hours from start to finish. Which is another reason that I'll have a real doctor next year. Because those people don't play.

I waited, filled out paperwork, and then was lead to the back to answer those lovely questions. Except now at my age they don't make me blush and when I answer them saying that I have a husband, it seems to relax the nurses a little more. I only wish I had seen my old Nashville doc this year. He had been with me so long and while I kept assuring him that I was loyal to my one man, he was always a little suspect of my truthfulness. Of course, he ran a menopause clinic so I was his only patient smack in the middle of child-bearing years. I halfway think he asked me the litany of questions just to flex his old gyno reflexes. I actually miss him. He was really good.

Yes. That's Kathy Griffin getting a
pap smear in public. 
But I digress. I answered the questions and realized that I couldn't really scoff at the pregnancy and "family planning" questions because I wasn't too young any more. Not that I was technically too young in my twenties, but the nurses used to breeze through those questions if you gave a laugh as an answer to "Are you planning to get pregnant in the next year?". Now when I laugh, they look at me funny and ask again. I straighten my face and say yes before realizing that I'm getting old. Pretty soon those questions will give way to new ones that even question whether I can have kids. Such a turn of events so quickly.

After the third degree, that assistant left and I was forced to strip down to a paper vest and an over-sized lap napkin. . .in 60 degree office climate. . . for 45 minutes. Waiting in a room in my clothes is one thing. Waiting ensconced in paper is entirely different. To pass the time I read about someone who made friends "everywhere". I do not think she made them in a Planned Parenthood Clinic, so she might need to redefine "everywhere." I am bold, but not that bold either. Instead I passed the time by reading and then studying the poster of the male's sex organs. I am finally educated enough to know where the prostate is. Yippee.

My actual exam took all of 5 minutes. Literally. And then I argued with the nurse who did the exam about giving me a prescription for something she insisted vehemently that she had to give me on-site. I finally gave up and said "Fine. Whatever. Just give it so I can get out of this napkin." Three minutes later (and me fully clothed) another nurse came in to say that the previous nurse was indeed wrong and I could have the prescription I asked for. I'm guessing Nurse A was too embarrassed to come tell me but after seeing my who-ha up close and personal, could she really be the one who was embarrassed?

All in all, not a bad gunslinger visit. And it came in at just 3 minutes under two hours, so there's that.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Getty Villa: What Rich Old Men Do With Ridiculous Amounts of Money

The courtyard of the Getty Villa
Chef and I visited the Getty Villa this weekend. Not to be confused with the Getty Museum. The Villa was a place that J. Paul Getty built when he realized that the large collection of his Roman, Greek and Etruscan art was something others might want to see. So he built a ridiculously large villa that mimicked what was the layout of a Roman or Greek quarters back in the day and opened it for the public to see.

Noble sounding, right? Probably, but the cynic in me was really thinking "this old rich dude really wanted to let people know he had money to throw around." In fact, when the Getty Villa had to be renovated, the collection was moved to a second location that was built to house it called the "Getty Center" which is now the larger of the two museums. Both are free to visit, but require you to pay for parking. Not a bad deal, but then Getty himself was known for being a tightwad. In fact, when one of his grandson's was kidnapped, Getty refused to pay the ransom. After multiple attempts to get the money and pleas from his son, he ponied up $2.2 million of the $3 million the kidnappers were asking for because that's the only amount that was tax deductible. The other $800K he loaned his son...with interest running on it.

I wonder how much of the art was a tax write-off? Either way, it was a fun day with Chef.

The reflection pool in one of the main gardens

Chef looking at a statue in one of the small ground floor galleries

My favorite part was probably looking at all the different jewelry they had back in the day. 

I also loved the huge cat funerary. 

View from the top of the villa to Malibu. The blue in the background is the Pacific. Or the sky.
 They kind of blend together nicely. 

Monday, April 02, 2012

Mad about 'Mad Men'

Am I the only one who's wondering if this season of Mad Men has been worth the wait? I know we're only two episodes into the season, but I'm not digging it thus far. First there's the creepy song/ dance number with the "cleaning in my undies like all normal people do" by the new Mrs. Draper and this time there's a horrible "poor Fat Betty who almost had cancer" story line. Could these women be any worse?

What makes a good drama? Um, some drama for starters. Seeing Betty feel sorry for herself: first because she's fat and then because she DIDN'T have cancer, was just plain sad. And how bad is it that the lady who actually did have cancer in the plot had to console bitch-ass Betty.  Really? I wonder if this wasn't just thrown in there because January Jones (who I cannot stand) was preggers and they needed to work that in. For the record, it's quite obvious that January Jones knew these episodes were coming up because she's been purposefully parading around LA in the tightest clothes known to man. It's from her new "I'm not pregnant or fat and I'm gonna flaunt it" line.

And after years of hearing "dumb women" jokes, we now get to heard "dumb black women" jokes. That's a real improvement. I realize this is supposed to be a time capsule of the era, and maybe I'm completely wrong, but do we need to be reminded every time someone enters the door that Don's new secretary is black? How many more episodes before the novelty wears off?

Am I wrong in remembering old episodes as so much better. Filled with drama and resentment and hostility. Maybe it was just a better show when Don was a philanderer. Although it is nice to hear people talk about him being handsome this season. They never seemed to have said so before.

I think Matt Weiner needs either some additional time off, or some help. Are you loving Mad Men more than I am this season?


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