Monday, June 28

My latest obsession...

Here's the bummer, I've had a sinus infection and cramps for the first 2 days of my vacation. It's a bummer but I've got my trusty new laptop and loads of Kleenex and Aleve so it's gonna be fine.

While I recuperate I've been cruising around online and have discovered my new goal in life. I simply must figure out how to get myself one of these:

"What is that?" you ask. That, my friends, is what we call a sleeping porch. It's where folks used to sleep in the unbearably hot days of summer before air conditioning came along in the 40's. I now not only need to find a little house in the woods, as I've always known, but now it has to have a sleeping porch. Well, a sleeping porch with WiFi and some sort of cable access.

Then I saw this swing bed on a sleeping porch and I felt faint. I mean honestly, can you imagine anything more dreamy?

Saturday, June 26

Oy, what a week!

So, all of the stress from the past year has finally resulted in elevated blood pressure for me. Yay me. I've seen a few doctors and they all tell me to take a vacation, start walking and don't let my work or my boss get to me.

The good news is that it may finally get better. Last Tuesday evening I learned that effective this Monday I will be working with a new team through the summer. I've worked for both bosses on this new team and I've managed the accounts. At first I felt like a cheap whore being passed around but the Director of the new team told me that she had made a special request for me because they need help fast and they knew I could dive right in. That made me feel better.
The more I thought about it the more excited I was about this development. We have been in the middle of establishing our budgets/goals for 2011 so it's a stressful time BUT I stayed focused, got the job done and will begin the new job on Monday.

One EVP, from another company, that I will be working with again was happy. We're friends, and I heard he requested me too but he had the funniest comment for me. When I called to tell him I'd be back on his business he said "That's great! I don't know why I'm so happy though. You're such a bitch to me but I love working with you. I don't know how you do that.". LOL! I'll take that as a compliment... sort of. He's right. I'm no push over but I try to at least make the work fun. He told me that when I see "what's been going on over there you're going to kick my ass." then added "You're walking into a real shit storm." Great.

Did I mention that I'm on vacation this Monday and all week? Oops! Luckily nobody seemed to mind. Well, my direct supervisor seemed sort of bummed but what could we do? I need a damn break!

Then, back at the ranch, my sweet little MacBook started acting up.

I've been having trouble maintaining an Internet connection for a while but it's been getting progressively worse. Finally, this past week, it got to the point where I couldn't hold a connection for more than 7 minutes. I had almost no chance of getting a new connection once it had been dropped. I finally left MacBook with my favorite independent repair shop and soon got a call that I'd need a new logic board and a battery. It would cost over $600 to fix up the MacBook. To my mind that spelled New-Laptop... Pronto! I've had the MacBook for almost 5 years with little trouble until recently. It seemed high time to take the plunge.

I knew I'd get another Mac because I love them. I considered switching to a desktop computer because they are less expensive but decided sitting on the couch cruising the net sounded like more fun. I ended up getting a new MacBook Pro.

Here's the deal with Macs, when you slip them out of the box and plug them in the seduction is complete. I'm serious. I tapped the power button, sat back and sighed. The graphics start flying and the sound blows you out of your chair and you know that no other computer will do. And then Steve Jobs and team come up with something even more beautifully perfect and you do it all over again a few years later... and you look forward to it.

I spent more than I wanted to but I figured I use my computer every day of my life. I have to be half dead to skip a day on it so I may as well get the one I really want. Of course this means I'm grounded and can't spend any money until the end of the year but I don't mind. Being a shut-in with a Mac is fine with me.

Sunday, June 13


Did you know that The World Cup trophy is not actually a cup? Turns out all of those guys are actually fighting for a small gold phallus. Well, to my eyes it really looks like a twisted claw holding up a ball. Either way, it's a disturbing trophy especially when you consider how many of planet's earth's population is currently obsessed with it.

Listen, I can enjoy a big sporting event as much as the next person. I get up early to watch the Men's Finals of Wimbledon. I'm up for a good World Series and I even take in a live Dodger game from time to time. It's all good stuff, but I will never understand the fanatical obsession the rest of the world has with soccer... (I'm sorry, football).

Nonetheless, I decided to give it try yesterday. The match was between England and the US. All I knew was that the US was apparently about to get's it's ass handed to it. I was doing laundry and gearing up for a sleepover with my niece and nephew. A soccer game on in the background seemed like an easy enough task to manage. I quickly discovered that the South African game hosts have unfortunately handed out cheap plastic horns to the spectators. The resulting buzzing sound is close to unbearable. The world turns it's eyes to your World Cup and all we can hear is the sound of African Killer Bees. Well done South Africa!

Any chance I may have had of enjoying the dullest sport on earth died a horrible death about 20 years while on a trip through Great Britain with KAW. I recall another World Cup or some such big deal soccer situation going on back then. More than anything I remember meeting a young couple in the B&B we were staying in at some coastal town. The couple had been camping along on beaches for about 2 weeks when the man finally decided to spring for a room for the night because his team was playing and he wanted non-stop access to a tv. Hey big spender! This was annoying enough but did I mention that his long suffering wife was very pregnant? Yeah, the jerk wouldn't spring for a decent bed to sleep in until his team was on tv. I suppose I should blame her for wanting to pro-create with such a dreadful moron but I'm sure the realization that you're married to a jerk doesn't help when you're seven months pregnant and camping on a frigid beach.

Whenever I think of soccer (I'm sorry, football), and that is seldom, I recall that poor pregnant woman and this bit from the Simpson's. I think it perfectly illustrates how Americans experience soccer:

The Onion is currently featuring this fun interactive map of a soccer field and players further explaining this mind numbingly boring sport.

The Daily Show showed this fun clip perfectly showing the smug attitude England has towards US soccer (I'm sorry... football). Of course it's all made even more hilarious knowing that England only managed to tie the US in it's first game. To which I say:

It may be just me but I really thought this clip from The Colbert Report on the lameness of soccer & BP was hilarious. (I recommend skipping to the 3:00 mark for the soccer portion.)

So far all this World Cup stuff has made for some very funny stuff online and on tv.

So, before you soccer fans get your panties in a twist over this subject matter please understand that while I think AYSO is a great organization for kids, soccer remains painfully boring and most Americans would rather poke their eyes out with chop sticks before having to sit through 3 hours of watching men jog/run over a big field.

Now, how do I explain our obsession with NASCAR, a "Sport" in which people turn left for 4 hours at at time? Well, I can't. We Americans are a complicated group. Now please just leave us out of the this soccer nonsense once and for all.

Saturday, June 12

Well, that was wierd... again.

So, I was nabbed for jury duty. I'm a strange one in that I don't really mind jury duty. What I mind is the location. I ALWAYS get called into the downtown LA Criminal Courts building. It's a hassle to get to and the people are CRA-ZY.

I had to be downtown at 7:45 am for the first morning. Nightmare! After an orientation period that took way too long, becuase people are way too stupid, the first jury panel was called. We were told the judge had a bit of required reading for the jurors called due to special curcumstances. It was also expected to be a 30 day trial. *gasp* Everyone held their breath while names were read. I've never been happier to work for an employer who does NOT have unlimited pay for jury duty. There were a bunch of cameras and members of the media out front and it eventually dawned on me that the 30 day trial was actually this high profile case. Phew! Unlike the victim I managed to dodge that bullet. (What? Too soon? Sorry!)

Instead, I sat through a few rounds of names and finally was called to a jury panel right before lunch. When we returned from lunch 18 people were called into the jury box for questioning. that took the rest of the day and most of the next. The attorneys thanked and excused half of them before I was called up. They didn't ask me much and I thought I was stuck for sure. I'm a reasonable person capable of being objective so I think I'm a pretty good pick for a juror. Then the defense attorney promptly excused me. He seemed to be excusing everyone with "Manager" in their title.

The few facts about the case that I was privy to were: The defendant, an older African American man, was accused of robbing a manager of some parking lots. The manager and his employees were of middle eastern descent.

But that those are the boring facts of the jury selection process. Here are the bizarre fun facts:

Out of about 25 people, 5-6 had DUIs on their records.

One man's brother-in-law had been convicted of drug trafficking. When asked if he felt his brother had been treated fairly he shrugged and said "Well, yeah. He WAS guilty." (LOL!)

A women explained that when she was a kid her sister was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping. (WTF?!)

Some woman's ex-boyfriend had been convicted of embezzlement from his employer... a bank. (Well thought out, moron.)

A man was car-jacked by "two white college kids" who stopped in front of his car, jumped out, put hoods over their heads, pulled out a sawed off shotgun and took his car. (I repeat... WTF?!)

One moronic kid, who looked like a wee Neanderthal, claimed that his parents had once been robbed. It was dark and they couldn't see who did it but they assumed a black man had done it. He was "raised to believe that all robberies were caused by black people". (WTF?!)

A young woman claimed to be so paralysed by the thought of judging the facts of an alleged crime that she was shaking. (You imbecile!)

Another woman claimed that she hated cops because her parents had been robbed and they never caught the mask wearing gunman. When the judge asked "So you dislike police officers because they couldn't catch a man your parents couldn't identify?" she said yes. Then again, she also hated robbers because one had terrified her parents. She pretty much hated both sides of the case which may seem to make things even but apparently not. (You moron!)

A young man born in Israel claimed that all middle easterners were liars. When pressed he shrugged and said "It's been my experience that they always lie." When the judge asked where exactly the alleged victims were from we learned they were from Jordan. The potential juror shrugged again and said "Well, we did have a war with them." The judge said :Yes, but it's been a while. Things seem to be better lately wouldn't you say?" The juror agreed but again stated they were all liars. (OMG!) I later asked him if her really believed that. He admitted that he did not believe it but he'd seen how the other bigot got off so he thought he'd give it a try.

Way too many woman had been robbed or held at gun point. (Jesus!)

One woman had been convicted of grand theft auto when she was 14. She's now a born again Christian. (WTG!)

The girl next to me had six toes. (I am SO NOT kidding.)

These are just a smattering of the horrors I heard from these people before being excused.

OH! And did I mention that I could TOTALLY see the defense attorney's shwanger through his ill fitting pants? I'm not one to stare at a man's crotch but he seemed to have a pack of cigarettes in one pocket and keys in the other so it caught my attention. I then realised I could clearly see that he was circumcised. Ewwww! It was like seeing your bosses package through his pants. I was entirely grossed out.

So, it seems my Summer of Horror marched on in ways I'd never anticipated. I'm still recovering. I sorry to say that I learned that when people really don't want to be on a jury the men act like mega racist pigs and the women act stupid, confused and unreasonable. I'm so depressed.

Sunday, June 6

That was weird

So, the self imposed The Summer of Horror is off to a good start. I finished reading The Exorcist and really liked it. It's scary and obscene but a great read.

As much as I liked The Exorcist the most surprising aspect of reading it is not the content but the reaction people have to it. Maybe it was the location but I read it while in the waiting rooms of a doctor's office and later a blood lab and I got some very strange looks. People look at the book as though it were some sort of manual for evil. I read it at a hair salon and got similar reactions. One stylest asked what I was reading, I held up the book and watched as she took a step back turned on her feet and briskly walked away mumbling "I've seen the movie and that was enough for me." My hair stylist asked the same question. When I held up the book she too took a step back and held her hair dryer up as if in defense while shaking her head. All of these reactions were genuinely funny to me. I'm on jury duty this week. I'm only sorry that I won't have the chance to carry it around the LA County Criminal Courthouse. God only knows the looks I'd get reading it there.

I saw Splice yesterday. Sadly I cannot recommend that as highly as I can The Exorcist in written or film form. I've only seen The Exorcist three times in my entire life. The first time really doesn't count because I saw most of it while peering out from between my fingers. The second attempt was with my brother and his BFF. They got me a bit drunk and made fun of it. We laughed through that airing. The third time was with Shandon and Howard. I made it though that viewing sober but admit to having a hard time sleeping alone in the house that night. I think it's the scariest movie I've ever seen. The Shining is a close second but I've seen that one many times and it doesn't seem to keep me up at night... but I still hate those creepy twins.

This American Life recently ran an episode where a man describes how seeing The Shining as a kid wrecked him for life and his mother had the nerve to have zero recollection of the event. For me it was Rosemary's Baby. It was airing on tv, chalk full of commercials, but it scared me so badly that I had to sit in the kitchen where my babysitter and brother were playing a board game. I didn't see that film in it's entirety until about 25 years later. The film that scared my brother for life was Salem's Lot. All I had to do was raise my arms and pretend to hover outside of his bedroom door and he'd freak out. At least that is my recollection. I called to confirm this with him. He was slightly distracted by a hockey game but this is the conversation that followed:

Lucy: Ok, when you were a kid, wasn't Salem's Lot the film that scared you the most?
Bro: *adamantly* No, it was The Shining. Salem's Lot scared me but the one that really f@cked with me was The Shining.
Lucy: Did you see it in the theater or on tv?
Bro: In the theater. MOM TOOK ME!
Lucy: LOL!! What?!
Bro: I know! It messed with my head for years.

I promptly congratulated Mom for that decision.

Lucy: I just talked to bro and he says you took him to see The Shining when he was a kid.
Mom: What? Ohhh, The Shining isn't that bad.
Lucy: Mom, he was 12 years old!
Mom: *averting her eyes from mine* Well, just those two girls were bad. The rest was fine.
Lucy: What about the naked lady getting out the bath who turns into a rotting zombie making out with Jack Nicholson?
Mom: *shrug*

Mom later claimed "Well, I was a good mother most of the time. We all make mistakes!" She's right. She was and remains an excellent mother. She must have just had a lapse of good judgement. Sort of like the time I took my three-year-old niece on Tower of Terror at California Adventure. That was not my best aunty moment.

Aside from Rosemary's Baby my all time scariest movie is one I don't know the name of. I saw that one on tv and never forgot it. Yesterday, Shandon, Howard and I were talking about how most of the scariest things we saw were on local tv on the weekends of our childhood. Most parent's were busy and didn't really pay attention to what we watched during the day, alone in the living room. Howard recalls seeing Burnt Offerings on tv. That chauffeur still scares him. We agreed that anything with Karen Black in it spelled trouble in our childhoods. Remember this one? Of course it's now hilarious but in the 70's it scared the hell outta me. Someone seriously needs to put her in a a quality horror film to really scare us children of the 70's. Where is Quinton Tarentino's nostalgic side when you need it?

This pathological liar always freaked me out too. Worst of all were weekends when this was all that was on. It was worst in the summer when it was too hot and smoggy to go out and play.

What a whack job. Bad dubbing has been an issue with me ever since

And jeeez, remember this movie trailer?! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Shandon and her sister remember a film with a creepy priest or was it a monk? Anyway, she finally learned the name of that film and got to show it to her sister and got a great reaction. My unknown film was in black and white with a women a being chased through the streets. She may have been accused of witchcraft, I'm not sure. Ultimately she was thrown in some sort of cell with her head encased in a cage. There is a hungry rat on one side of the cage. A divider is lifted and the rat rushes to feed on her face. OMG, I'll never forget it. I don't think I even want to know the name of that damned movie. What I want to know is why on earth was that shown on local tv?! How did I go from Dusty's Treehouse to flesh eating rats?! And why isn't Dusty's Treehouse on YouTube by now?