Friday, December 30, 2005

Christmas Vacatian Recap - Day 1 & 2

Well, I'm at my Dad's house in Michigan at the moment. Just woke up about 15 minutes ago (11:20 a.m.) and am now eating a gigantic slice of caramel apple pie for breakast. If I had a camera on me, I'd take a pic and show you guys how huge this piece is. Have I mentioned I love going home for Christmas???

I've decided to spend the time to actually recap my trip so far, as I was rather motivated by seeing some of my "loyal readers" (read: my relatives and Max's relatives) and felt like a famous author rather than some girl who writes about her dog's bowel movements and lack of gym-going. I also have nothing better to do as I've lost my last dollar in my online poker account, and my sister is STILL sleeping on the couch out in the living room, where the TV is...

Anyway, I left for Michigan last Weds night, the 21st, on a red eye flight. Getting to the airport and on the plane was a nightmare - it took me forever to pack, I had to pull things out at the last minute and stick them in a smaller bag since I went over the weight limit, and I didn't have an actual seat number until I got to the gate. Luckily though, I got bumped up to Economy Plus on United, which was seriously awesome. The only bad thing was that I didn't figure out how to use the leg rest thing until the flight was over. And I didn't really sleep so I was really tired.

Anyway, I had an hour layover in Chicago O'Hare, where I became one of those people who squashily lay themselves down over two bucket seats and try to sleep. It was as uncomfortable as it looked.

My mom and my sister picked me up from the airport. We headed to the Original House of Pancakes (not to be confused with the International House of Pancakes - OHOP is far superior) and then to the mall, where I still had several gifts to buy. By that point, I was exhausted and practically delirous and let's just say a lot of people should be glad my mom found me wandering in a daze at Marshall Field's because I had just about decided it would be really funny to get people things they couldn't use - like getting Max a women's turquoise ruffled scarf. Luckily she helped me pick up the last few things I was looking for and the only gift I was missing was a turtleneck for my Dad.

Let me just pause and note that for a city where it's practically freezing for months at a time, there is a serious lack of interest in stocking turtlenecks.

The next day, I woke up and got ready to go meet up with Lala (Max's sister). The plan was that we'd go to the airport to pick up Max and then head up to Grayling. As my mom and I pulled up towards their house, we were greeted with a rather strange sight - a man, on a red scooter thing, had stopped in the middle of the road. As we got closer I realized it was Marco (Lala's hubby) on his new red Vespa, trying to figure out how to attach a camera around his head so that he could record life on a Vespa. That would have looked funny enough, but on top of it all, he was wearing a leather fur lined Russian hat. I took it as a sign for a fun weekend to come.

Anyway Lala and I picked up Max and we were on our way. Usually it takes about 3 hours or so to get up to Grayling, but that day it took us 7 hours. I didn't mind it at all though - we made several stops to finish all our Xmas shopping (I finally found the turtleneck for my dad at a gigantic outlet mall on the way), and made an additional stop to have lunch at Bob Evans. It's been years since I've gone to a Bob Evans and I have to say, it was pretty damn good.

We finally got up to Grayling close to dinner time. Lynn (Max's mom) had made a nice hot meal of broccoli & chicken rice, and we drank wine out of some very Christmas-y glasses. We also cracked open the bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne I brought up last year (which Max and his brother Forrest insisted on calling it "Da Vuuuuuuuuve") and it was every bit as good as I thought it'd be. Far better than the Andre and J Roget I'm used to drinking.

Anyway, Max and I stayed in the "apartment" which is really a guest house attached to the garage near the main house. Lynn had spent four hours cleaning up the apartment which has hosted many a party over the years. She also got a new twin mattress (pushed up next to existing twin, they made a gignatic king size mattress), new sheets, laid out towels, and even included little hotel soaps and shampoo. Everything was great and Max and I went to sleep quickly, but only after playing a game of AIR HOCKEY! I guess Max's parents bought an air hockey table for them this year so we stayed up and played a bit first. It was awesome.

Anyway, that was Day 1 & 2.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Weekend Recap

I'm sick. *sniffle sniffle* Must be a relapse of my bird flu.

Let me recap all the things I DIDN'T get to do over the weekend.

Friday night, I didn't get to go to Dinah's, which is this diner near the airport famous for its huge fried chicken meals. Since I really like fried chicken, and I really like to over eat, I was pretty disappointed. Plus, a few people were getting on a plane that evening, so it was sort of a holiday dinner thing and I had to miss it. Boo. I also didn't get to go over to Jessie's place, where a group had gathered to play various parlor games. Sad.

On Saturday, I didn't get to do any Christmas shopping, or any of the seventeen loads of laundry I needed to do. I also didn't get to go to the midnight screening of THE ROOM. I read Thode's blog about the movie today and I'm sad I wasn't there to participate. Waah.

I also missed a dim sum outing Sunday morning, and a poker game Sunday evening.

And did I mention I didn't get to do any Christmas shopping???? Our office xmas party is Tuesday and I don't have a single gift for anyone. And I'm pretty sure that those charming Sareet coupons ("Good for one hour of babysitting," "Good for vaccuming the living room" "Good for doing one load of laundry") that I used to make and give my parents when I couldn't think of anything to give them, would not be welcomed by my co-workers.

What I did do this weekend was lay on the couch, blowing my nose raw (at one point I started thinking there should be some sort of nose guard that you can clip onto your nostrils so your nose skin doesn't get all red and sore from the tissues) and watching horrible tv. Like five hours of "Red Carpet Moments" and crime shows like "Body of Evidence" on Court TV. Man, there's a lot of crap on tv...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Dalmatian Colors

Okay, probably no one else will find this page particularly interesting, but I do...


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

In Other News...

Pig has love handles. And a harmless cyst on her ear.

Took her to the vet last Friday to check out the possible wart/mole/cyst/tick that Thode had spotted a few months earlier. Turned out not to be a tick, but a cyst. Vet said that if I want to have it removed, I have to have it done now, before it grows any bigger b/c ears are not a good place to have surgeries since the skin can't stretch together to stitch up. But, he said the best thing was to just leave it alone - especially since it's harmless and doesn't bother her. So, we'll leave it alone. It's a beauty mark - like Cindy Crawford's mole.

Then he pointed to some "muscle" around her waist and said, "See those? Those are love handles." Apparently Pig is overweight, maybe by about 4-5 lbs or so. He says she doesn't necessarily need to go on a diet, but she should watch what she eats.

I don't know what he's talking about. I mean, come on, she only eats 2 1/2 cups of food a day. Plus maybe 2-3 cookies. And sometimes a Greenie. Or a rawhide chewie. Oh yes, then there's the corner of my toast every morning with a bite of fried egg, a few pieces of lettuce from my salad at lunch (it's only lettuce!), a treat she gets from my coworkers when she comes to the office, a bite of whatever Trader Joe's frozen entree I've heated for dinner, and small helping of ice cream for dessert. That's not a lot of food...

I think she, like many women, is putting on the weight at "work." Afterall, she does provide a daily cleaning service for the streets of West Hollywood by eating gum and other bits of food laying around.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Fundraiser Gala

So last night I went to this fundraiser gala thing for the rescue group that I got Pig from. Free vodka drinks and appetizers. Fun fun. Anyway, I went up and said hi to one of the volunteers who completely did not recognize me. I've always suspected I could rob a bank with no make-up on and with my hair in a pony tail, and if I just wore make up and left my hair down for the rest of my life, I'd probably never be identified. This woman blinked and stared at me and was like "Oh wow, you look so different. ..I didn't recognize you....It's just that you were always in sweats. And had glasses on."

Anyway, the event was fun. Jonathan Silverman, (of Weekend at Bernie's and the short lived sitcom The Single Guy fame) and I hung out and showed each other cell phone pictures of our dogs. I had a few too many vodka drinks and nearly bidded $600 on a weekend stay in a cabin at Big Bear, but luckily my assistant, who I brought with me, stopped me in time. I unfortunately was unable to stop her from bidding $40 on a small basket of body lotions and soaps, but she said she felt it was going to a good cause so I don't feel too badly about it.

The whole event reminded me of how grateful I am that Pig came into my life and how I really have the Bill Foundation to thank for it. Had they not gone to the high-kill shelters, and rescued Pig, out of the hundreds of dogs there (and they can really only save 2-3 dogs each time they go in there), she would have been put to sleep. So, if any of you are looking for an additional charity to donate to, especially since all donations are tax deductible and we are approaching the end of the year, I would highly recommend giving to the Bill Foundation. Here's a link to their site:


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Thursday Blah's

Woke up grossly late this morning. Like at 10:00 a.m. late. Yikes! My trusty alarm, Pig, slept in for some reason. Maybe because we had a late night.

I blame Trader Joe's for my late night. After my super long yoga class in Marina del Rey (which I was not able to talk Amol into - bastard) - I - wait, let me first talk about the crazy yoga instructor. First of all, she seriously would not shut up. And she was really really into yoga and Sanskrit. Half the time I had no idea what she was saying. And when I did understand the actual words, they didn't make any sense to me. She'd say things like, "You are noble, you are divine....Push away the negative energy without judgement...Come to a greater equilibrium. Your color is beautiful, feel your color, let your color reach the white light..."

White light? What white light? Does she mean the flourescent lights in the ceiling?

Incidentally, the only Sanskrit I know is the word "Namaste" which all yoga instructors say at the end of each class. And I used to do say it back, thinking it meant "Bye, have a good night, great yoga session, thanks!" until one instructor explained that "Namaste" means, "The divine spirit within me recognizes the divine spirit within you." And then I stopped saying it...because that's just silly. Sorry.

Anyway, long yoga class. Got home late. I had bought 2 chicken breasts from TJ's a few days ago, and decided that despite the late hour, I would throw all the ingredients into my slow cooker to make my favorite Chinese radish/turnip and carrot soup. Normally you make it with pork ribs, but I didn't have any and figured chicken breasts would be just as good. I had defrosted an extra chicken breast from the freezer (needed 3 to make my soup) so I went about peeling and cutting the radish and carrots, which took some time. I threw in the defrosted breast. And then I opened the TJ chicken breasts and yuck, they stank. The chicken had gone bad. And there I was, a little after midnight, standing in the kitchen in my flannel pajamas, with only one breast for my soup. I could have run to the store, but really didn't want to, so I raided the freezer and fridge for any meat I could add to the soup. I decided against the ham, and several packages of sausages I found, but figured a small boneless pork chop might be helpful so I threw that in the slow cooker.

So anyway, long stupid story short, I woke up at late this morning, to some wonderful smelling but rather bland soup.

Grr...Friggin' TJ's....

Monday, December 05, 2005

Weekend Recap

Man I can't believe it's Monday. Sucks.

I wish it were the weekend again. Work got incredibly stressful last week as the dreaded renegotiation of my current contract with the company began. I've had two intense long powwows with the two partners (both over 70, so you can imagine the experience they have on me) and have felt so drained after locking horns with them for hours at a time, so to speak, that I can barely drive myself home. It's really just the thought of a nice glass of wine and Pig's company that gets me home each night. Otherwise, the janitor might very well find me sitting in my office, staring off in space while I contemplate how I can make a living making perfume sachets out of fancy fabric with Kate, and selling them to Urban Outfitters at a huge profit. Or maybe starting up a doggie day care service.

But I did make it home Friday night. And then out again to see a play. It was well written although frankly, I just don't really have an appreciation for theater. I find the acting to be so hammy and over the top. Just not my style I don't think. Afterwards, I met up with the gang at a bar called Nacional. The size of the dance floor was decent and the music was okay. The drinks were ridiculously overpriced though. The best part of the night was that I was so hungry (had only had a few pieces of bread and a handful of peanut m&m's for dinner) that I actually for the first time, ate one of those hotdogs wrapped in bacon that you buy off of some guy cooking them on the street. I've been tempted many times before, but I've always been worried that they're not very sanitary. That fateful night, I gave one a try and IT WAS AWESOME. So good. And I didn't get sick. Even better.

Saturday was a sit-at-home-and-nap-with-Pig-on-the-couch-day. So nice. She's much more willing to cuddle and spoon with me now that it's getting colder. I also went to the gym and took a Total Body Conditioning class, where I did about a million "butt tucks." I wish there were better names for some of these moves. Like maybe "Exercise A." Or "Move 101." The other day, I did a bunch of "booty bops" where according to the crazy aerobics instructor, I had to pretend "my ass was hanging over a large pail of water, but there's crap on my ass, so I want to dip it in the water so it'll wash off, but I don't want to dip my entire ass in there, I only want to skim the surface."

I am. not. kidding. Lyptykgirl, who took the class with me, can confirm.

For the record, if there's crap on my ass, I want some Charmin and a hot shower - not a large pail of water to skim my ass over.

Anyway, Sunday was another pretty laid back day. Some people gathered to play football, but Thode and I brought our dogs instead and just cheerleaded. It was a beautiful day out and I had a very relaxing afternoon. Later we played the world's most boring game of poker. It took over two hours for the five person game to finish as everyone was checking and half watching the Manchurian candidate. But I'd rather do that, than be here. Of course, I'm guessing I'm not alone.

Mondays suck.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Random Slice O Life

Bored at work. Want to post a Pig story, but nothing really interesting has happened to her lately. Except at lunch, I was hanging out with her in the living room and decided, for reasons unknown, to wrap my black winter scarf around her head. I suppose all pet owners do this, right? I spent several minutes cooing to Pig, "Who looks soooo beyoootiful? I think yooooooouuuuu look soooo beyootiful, Pig. Who looks like Jackie Pig-Nasis? Grace Pig-kelly? Would that be yoooooou? Yes, I think so-ooo. Or a nun. Are you a nun, Pig? Or a terrorist? Huh, Pig?"

And then I hopped on the computer and surfed the internets for awhile. Half an hour later, I got up and found Pig, lying on the floor, staring at me with these forlorn big eyes, still all bundled up ridiculously in the scarf. I had completely forgotten to take it off.

Poor Pig. I should probably never have children.


Friday. At last.

Finally finished off all the leftover turkey. Still working on the Danish cabbage and beets. Guess this is what it's like to be Russian. They've actually become part of my daily routine, like taking a multi-vitamin once a day. I actually almost had Danish cabbage and beets for breakfast this morning, but opted instead for a fried egg on toast.

I'm going to see a play tonight, writtten by one of my ex-coworkers. Though tickets are $20 a piece, it will inevitably be in a tiny shithole of a theater in Hollywood with about 25 worn-down seats and a stage smaller than my kitchen. Oh well. Gotta support the arts, I suppose.

Afterwards, may go dancing. Not sure yet. Friday evenings are always so difficult to plan for some reason. We always leave it to the last minute, and everyone is so non-commital. Me included, of course. The thing about Friday night is, I'd be just as happy sitting at home watching Monk as I would be going out. On Saturdays, however, I want to go paint the town red.

Sunday we're supposed to play football. Seeing that I can neither catch or throw, or really run without tripping, my option is to either be a lineman or a cheerleader. Think I'm gonna go with the latter...