Friday, April 28

I'm so blue

Why do I torture myself?! I'm desperately hoping to buy a home some time in the next year or so. The good and bad news is that I live in Southern California. It's a great market but not for a first time buyer. A friend of mine recently transferred to Minneapolis and swears I'd love it there. Problem is, my friends and family are here.

Every once in a while I look online for houses in a few areas I might consider moving to. To help illustrate my troubles I've provided links to some homes in my preferred cities.

Take a look for yourself:

Austin, TX
Minneapolis, MN
Los Angeles, CA

I'm screwed.

Thursday, April 27

You know what we want

Last night I had to go to a work dinner. It was with some of my favorite clients so I knew it would be fun but I'd had a huge meal the night before and just wasn't looking forward to another. Even I have my limits! I, of course, ended up having a nice time so on the way home it got me thinking about all the fantastic meals I've had since I got this job. Let's be clear, the best thing about this job is the occasional travel and fantastic food it brings. It's always the first thing anyone worries about when they come to town or when we go somewhere: "Where are we going for dinner?" is the primary concern. (And let's stop for a moment to thank God for that attitude) I'm very fortunate to be able to eat amazing meals I'd never dream of paying for myself. Hooray for expense accounts!

Here are a few of my favorites that I've come to know and love while "on the job":

West Coast-
Appetizer: Tuna Tostada at Katsuya

Main Course: Pretty much anything at Morton's but the Cheese burger was about the best I've ever had.

Side dish: Garlic Noodles at Crustacean (I swear they sprinkle a little crack on these noodles)

Dessert: Butter cake at Mastro's (If I ever make it to Heaven someone will immediately hand me this cake upon arrival. That's how I'll know I'm there.)

Middle America-
Del Frisco's has a lemon cake I'd beat an old lady for.

East Coast-
I'm here to tell you that every single thing I put in my mouth at Philippe was amazing. After a while I stopped asking what everything was and just kept shoveling it in.

I never thought I'd like sushi but once you go Nobu you never go back. I even learned to like Oysters at the Oyster Bar. Now here's the lesson: I have a low "ick" threshold but I've learned that if someone else is paying I'm willing to try about anything and I'm glad I have.

I also highly recommend the famed Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity3 (another crack item I'm sure). A friend and I walked all over Manhattan one day looking for it. When we finally found the place and were asked "What would you ladies like?", my friend looked at the waiter and solemnly said "You know what we want and we're not sharing." Five minutes later he arrived with two GIANT Frozen Hot Chocolates and I haven't been the same since. I found this recipe online but I doubt it's the real deal. Also, they don't claim any illegal substances go into this and that just can't be true. I don't believe anything this delicious can be entirely legal. Did I mention that my friend and I walked all over Manhattan looking for Frozen Hot Chocolate after eating cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery? That's why we walked all over the city that day. I actually managed to lose weight that trip. Who knew this exercise thing really worked?

So there are a few of my faves. My list maybe a bit steak house heavy but so are working meals. Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, April 26

Quote of the day:

"Ewww! Did Helen Keller design this?!"

Hurry up!!

I don't know about the rest of the nation but in Los Angeles a turn signal no longer means "Heads up! I'm coming over." It now means "Go ahead and speed up so I can merge in behind you... and make it snappy!" Last night I realized that for some time now, when I change lanes on the freeway, I turn on my signal and say "Hurry up asshole". It works every time. For some reason a stranger pulling in front of us is now considered a personal assault. I'm not sure when this happened but it's a fact of life in LA.

One time, an especially rude driver was having a problem "allowing" me in his lane from an on-ramp. I was eventually able to merge in front of him. The next time we reached an on-ramp I slowed way down and waved about five cars in front of me. I thought this guys head would explode. It was great!!! Of course, this being LA, I immediately took off leaving him in the dust.

Driving has become a competitive sport around here. I can't be sure but my theory is that driving is the great equalizer. It doesn't matter if you run a Fortune 500 company or are starting out at McDonald's, everyone on the road is equal and acts accordingly. Certainly some cars are more expensive than others but it just doesn't matter. In fact, the fancier your car the less considerate I'm likely to be to you. If you were dumb enough to spend $100,000 on a vehicle I know damn well you're going to get out of my way on the road. God forbid that precious car gets hurt. Oh, and when I see you driving that big dumb gas guzzler I don't think "Oooh, he's a real man with lots of money!" (because I'm here to tell you nobody worth their salt thinks that). I think "Oooh, good luck with that debt!".

Tuesday, April 25


I saw this and immediately forwarded it to my boss. I told her I considered it a sneak peek at what is bound to happen in one of her staff meetings. We constantly bicker over who will get what segment of our business and this is inevitable: Ouch!

I can't wait!

Monday, April 24

The agony of defeat

My Dad gave me this beautiful torch lamp for Christmas a couple of years ago.

Well, I moved things around recently and finally cut the warning label off the electrical cord. For some reason I stopped to read it (probably because I was exhausted from moving furniture and cleaning out my dreadful closet). Imagine my delight when I got to the final warning.
I'm sure it's too small to read but allow me to fill you in. After going on and on about the blades being different sizes and warning the user not to force the plug it warns: "Do not attempt to defeat this safety feature."

I'm sorry but the word "defeat" in this context is just damn funny. I enjoyed this so much because I immediately imagined Darth Vader, Saddam Hussein or some other fallen villain as a copy writer somewhere and it just made me laugh. Do you think there is some dictator wannabe out there somewhere writing text for warning labels? While the most obvious explanation is that some poor soul with a weak grasp on the English language was asked to write this, I prefer my tortured villain idea so much more.

Saturday, April 22

It never fails

VIP parking & tickets to the Dodger game: $0 (thanks to a client!)
Dodger Dog, Diet Coke & Peanuts: $14
Getting seated directly in front of a young Sam Kinison wannabe: Priceless

Thursday, April 20

We work with animals

Every morning I get on the elevator and see a few faces I haven't seen in a while. It's a nice 30 second chance to catch up. This morning I ran into a friend I rarely see these days due to a department change. Every time I see her I fondly recall the time she shamefully admitted that she could tell me every woman on our floor who did and did not wash their hands after using the bathroom. Even after I told her how terribly impressed I was she was still a little embarrassed. She wouldn't divulge too much info about anyone (dammit!) but I always appreciated the fact that she took the time to 1) be as mortified as me when she heard someone walk straight from a stall and out the restroom door and 2) she made a mental note to never shake an offenders hand or eat their home baked goods.

Now THAT'S a woman to admire... and I do!!

Tuesday, April 18

My new friend Skinny Bitch

So, while driving to work today I got stuck behind an SUV with a license plate holder stating "Just Another Skinny Little Bitch". Now, mercifully, someone had written "not" in the dust on Skinny Bitch's back window. I wondered if the "not" referred to the "Skinny" or "Bitch" portion of the message. Mostly I marveled at the bizarre message being sent out to the world. She's obviously feeling boastful about being a skinny bitch but I don't get it. Why so proud? Is she really that happy about her implied eating disorder and resulting crabby nature? Is it supposed to be somehow endearing? Do you think her parents agree as she drives away? I like to think her Mom bought the plate holder and installed it without telling Skinny Bitch. That thought made me very happy. This is how I improve my morning commute.

Thursday, April 13

My boyfriend Tivo

Tivo, oh Tivo, how can you be so cruel?!

I'm in a big fat fight with my Tivo and Tivo is winning. Anyone who owns this evil device understands how completely freeing yet addictive Master Tivo is. I find I read more because I no longer worry about when Lost or Grey's Anatomy starts. I'm spoiled. So far Tivo and I have been so happy together. How could it all go so wrong?

What's a girl to do you do when out of the blue her Tivo decides to stop pulling his weight in the relationship? I diligently clear out his "Now Showing" box and make sure he doesn't have to waste time recording infomercials. I even turn the other cheek when he makes dreadful viewing suggestions. Why is he suddenly refusing to download new programming?!

I may be forced to set him up with my home computer (that tramp!). ME! I'm the daughter of an Engineer who can usually figure stuff like this out...but I DON'T WANT TO! I will now have to spend my vacation day dealing with my disgruntled boyfriend Tivo. He can be so cold and selfish. I committed to a two year relationship and he's wimping out on me. What will I do?!

Wednesday, April 12

Yea me!

I just had my mid-year evaluation. I got nice raise so I'm pretty happy (of course the whole thing is going to my 401k but that's beside the point).

I'm lucky enough to currently have a great boss who gives amazingly gentle constructive criticism. It's all so positive that I barely realize she pushing me to grow and be even more bossy. All in all it was a good touch base. It made me realize that I sometimes get so caught up in the minutiae that I forget all about my real job.

Here is my question: How large a role do you think personality plays in career growth? I get along very well with all of my superiors, do you think that helps when they are deciding on raises and strokes or do you think it's strictly based on job performance? I know I do a good job but do you think the ability to make ones boss spit diet coke out of her nose helps? Just wondering... Also, is it bad to occasionally proclaim "BO-RING!" in the middle of a meeting when things drift off topic? I've seriously done that.

Monday, April 10

We're a family company and we hate your family

So, I finally took the time to read our guidelines for "Bring Your Kids To Work Day". You should see the rules. It's basically a list of how my company is not liable for anything anyone ever does in the history of time.

The bottom line is that I'm apparently not allowed to bring my niece and nephew because 1) they are not my kids and 2) they are too young. Whatever! I've already asked my brother to bring them by for lunch that day. Besides my boss won't care., how can I really cause some trouble? Maybe I'll have the kids run through the halls with scissors or something! Yeah that's it...

Friday, April 7

Big Whore

I had fun at the races. I won a $25 gift certificate to Macy's. It was perfect. I had planned to stop by the mall to pick up my favorite lipstick anyway. I called my mom earlier in the day because she is always in the know as to which stores are featuring cosmetic gift-with-purchase promotions, or "prizes" as she so optimistically calls them. My lipstick came with a "prize" at Macy's so it was a fortuitous day.

Every time I buy this lipstick I laugh because Heidi once said to me "What's the lipstick you like called? "Big whore" is it?" One day I really must sidle up to a Clinique counter and demand a tube of "Big Whore...and make it snappy!".

Thursday, April 6

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Today my work clan is getting together for a "team building" exercise. We're going to the races! I know nothing about betting but we usually do some sort of give-away involving gift certificates. I fared very well at last year event, let's hope my luck holds. And by the way, how much do I love that fact that I'm working with people who regard gambling as a fun way to get to know each other!?

I tend to like the horses with hopeless/ironic names. Pick your own horse name here:

We leave in about an hour...wish me luck!!

Wednesday, April 5

Danger: dipshit crossing

Well, it's official. I'm a dipshit.

While driving to work today I heard a story on NPR about somebody going to jail for sending sexually explicit materials to a miner. I thought, what's the problem? Miners work pretty hard in a dangerous environment, why can't they unwind with a little porn like any other grown up?Only then did it occur to me that the report was about minors. I had a good laugh at my own expense.

Tuesday, April 4

Party Central

People have been asking what I'm going to do for my 40th birthday and I've been saying "nothing". Then I started thinking it might be fun to gather all of my friends and family together. I haven't had a reason to do so in decades so I'm thinking why not?

I mentioned the possibility to my brother. I told him some of my ideas and said "and you know, instead of gifts I'll ask for donations to a charity or something."

His incredulous reply: "God, only a chick would do that."

What I thought, but didn't say: "Only a dick would say that."

I love my brother and nobody makes me laugh harder but never has there been a more Republican soul. How did we come from the same parents?

And then a terrible thing happened...then I thought...maybe he's right! Maybe I should cash in baby! The little devil on one shoulder was whispering "Just think of all of those wedding and baby shower gifts you've had to cough up through the years! You must have spent thousands. It's about time they got something for you". Then the little angel on my other shoulder says "What are you talking about you freak? These are your friends. You love them! They'd have showered you with gifts if you'd bother to get married and have kids. God, you're such a bitch! Besides, just think of all the good you could do asking for donations!"

This stuff seriously goes through my mind when I driving to work. There I am, minding my own business then BAM...I'm feeling like a world-class asshole.

As for my little shoulder buddies, they both need to shut up already. Maybe I'll just sit in a corner a rock myself to sleep with a bottle of gin on my b-day.

(God, I can't believe the stuff I'm willing to post here!)

Monday, April 3

Cute boys in tight pants

The Boys of Summer are back! Today is opening day for Major League Baseball ( ) and it's about damn time. I love baseball. I used to hate it with a passion. I considered it beyond boring and frankly wanted to open a vein whenever my family was watching it on tv. Eventually I learned to love it for the following reasons:
  • Harry Caray
  • Tight pants
Allow me to explain. I've always liked the sound of baseball, you know, off in the background somewhere. I think this comes from hearing Vin Scully ( ) on the transistor as a kid. I played in the backyard while my dad did yard work. I'd occasionally get dragged into some variety of child labor, like raking leaves or pulling weeds, but mostly my brother and I played while dad did manual labor. Eventually Vin Scully's voice came to mean sunny weekends and, well, that's always a good thing.

Because I liked the sound of baseball, I started tuning into WGN's Cubs coverage soon after we got the station on our cable line up. I could never figure out if Mr. Caray ( ) was suffering from a stroke of just drunk and tryng to figure this out made for some great television. I now believe it was probably both but mostly he was rather tanked. He would slur his words more and more as the game went on and said some insanely inappropriate things but, God, did I come to love those broadcasts. Harry Caray games became genuine a joy for me. They were almost too much fun. I miss him a lot.

I eventually gave in to the temptation of loving baseball because the following thought finally occurred to me "It's cute boys in tight pants! What's not to love?!" With this I started embracing the Dodgers (National League) and Yankees (American League). A conflict of monumental proportions according to dear old dad. Daddio was a Brooklyn Dodger fan and lived through the glorious day when the Dodgers moved to LA. The man saw Sandy Kofax's perfect game for God's sake. We're talking hard core Dodger fan here. To this day he HATES the Yankees and can't understand how he could have possibly raised a Yankee fan. Like any teenager in love, his disapproval only makes my love deeper.

Last year I finally made it to Yankees Stadium. I don't care how much you hate the Yankees, there is something truly magnificent about that place. A friend managed to get spectacular seats and we enjoyed a great game. They Yanks were down 10 - 0 in the 6th and managed to come back and win something like 21 - 10. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I, of course, called my dad and screamed "It's too much Daddy! It's just too much!" Even he could appreciate how cool the experience was.

So here's to the Boys of Summer and all the joy and heartbreak they will bring. May the season be kind to my boys.

Sunday, April 2

Pay attention

ENRON, THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM has been sitting on my Netflix queue for a long time now. I watched it last night. I finally get it. I've had a vague idea of what went on but never grasped the details. This really should be mandatory viewing/ reading for all Americans, especially if you lived in California between 2000 - 2001. What these a-holes did is outrageous. Californians paid Enron billions. There isn't a circle of hell miserable enough for these jerks.

There are, ironically, some laughs in the film. My favorite came during a taped address Ken Lay gave to Enron employees. Enron stock has been taking a dive for months and Jeffrey Skilling has cashed out and quit. People are getting tense. Ken Lay is standing at a podium taking written questions. Ken reads the following from a written question:

"I would like to know if you are on crack. If so, that would explain a lot. If not, you may want to start because it's going to be a long time before we trust you again".

It was, as a friend use to say, "a $9.00 shot". It's the part of the movie that makes it alone worth the price of admission. For my friend, it usually involves exposed breasts. For me, it involves an a-hole being publicly humiliated right before the fall. Unfortunately, this a-hole took a lot of hardworking people with him.

I can't wait to see how it unfolds for Ken Lay in the next few months. Let's hope the Karma Express makes a special stop for Kenny Boy and his buddies and takes them straight to the life & death they deserve. Am I mad? You better believe it.

Watch this movie, you'll get mad too, but you'll be better for it. We, as a country, must pay attention to the messy details not just the easy to register issues.


(stepping off soap box now...)