Sunday, December 30, 2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sundance 2008 Fashion is a time drain. But it is terribly fun. This is my Sundance 2008 must haves set.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Without Grace

Three people asked my today if I was ok. Do I look that bad? And only three days into my mid-thirties. Wow, this is not good.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Decorating

I can't wait for Christmas break. I am so thankful a have a mantle to decorate. I love this part of my house. This has been a difficult year and the next year promises to be as well. But I can't wait to pause for a moment and consider myself blessed.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

fuck the pizza hype.

This whole fucking pizza in NY is the best fucking shit on the whole planet cosmos infinate universe is just so annoying. I've eaten pizza everywhere I have been. Sometimes it is orgasmic and sometimes it's a little burned on the bottom. So, what the fuck? And that is about all I have to write about on this, my shitty ass b-day.

oh and I love the shitty luke warm pizza that has been sitting out all day in really shitty places like Salerno. It's the fucking best.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Red Zinfindel

goddamnit I am tired. Do you ever feel you've woken from a dream into a nightmare?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Half-Life in Sundance

The film that Big D worked on as Exec Producer got into Sundance's New Frontier section which will be it's premiere screening. It's a little indie film that could and if you happen to be at Sundance check it out.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I Could Have Been Somebody

We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful
We hate it when our friends become successful,
We hate it when our friends become successful.
Oh, look at those clothes,
Now look at that face it's so old,
And such a video,
Well, it's really laughable,
Ah hahahaha etc.
We hate it when our friends become successful,
And if they're northern
That makes it even worse and
If we can destroy them
You bet your life we will destroy them.
If we can hurt them, well,
We may well.
It's really laughable,
Ah hahahaha etc.
You see, it should have been me.
It could have been me.
Everybody knows, everybody says so.
They say, "Oh, you have loads of songs,
So many songs,
More songs than they can stand --

Liz Phair...
Shitloads of Money
Louis is probably thirty years old but he looks like a solid 45
Louis says he's got a headache
I look in his eyes, and I believe him
The big L.K.'s and the gangster disciples
Louis can't think of who else could take over, but he just can't
Get up in the morning
A genuine face, braced for survival...

It's nice to be liked
But it's better by far to get paid
I know that most of the friends that I have don't really see it
That way
But if you could give 'em each one wish
How much do you wanna bet?
They'd wish success for themselves and their friends and
that would include lots of money

Don't know how many times you were stuck in the morning
You just couldn't move, though your mother was calling
You know what you need
Is a Lotto revival
A train flashes by and you're lost in a spiral...

Take the train on up to the zoo, don't look back
On what you've been through
Cause everyone's got a Monday...
It looks like shit and it must be America

It burns so quick, then it must be America

We all need a shitload of M-O-N-E-Y, money

Personally, I love it when my FRIENDS become successful because it somehow validates me while I wallow in my loserdom. But I really really hate it when those less talented than my friends become successful. I hate it when my enemies become successful--and usually just because they started out with shitloads of money.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Thanksgiving isn't my favorite holiday. Much of this could be because I don't eat meat and well, it's a holiday that's all about the bird. Or my lack of interest could be attributed to having spent most of my adult life partnered to a man who grew up on an Indian Reservation (where, needless to say, it's not a much celebrated holiday). Or maybe it's one of those holidays, like Christmas, that I don't think I will have much interest in until I have kids. I know, I know, it's a time to celebrate with family and friends. And I can't complain about having the time off from work which, if I include the weekend, is five whole days straight! Still, every year that passes, these holidays whisper clearer and clearer to me that something is missing.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Talkin' 'Bout My G-Generation

I went to two different b-day parties this weekend. One on Sat. One on Sun. Both for 1-year old girls. One of the girls is the daughter of old friends, college days, undergrad. days. The other little cherub is the daughter of new friends, neighbors.

Both parties were sweet and low key and made up of friends eating cupcakes and singing happy b-day. Joyful and loving and simple. And I am proud of my g-generation. Gen-nice.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Alone(the me version)

D ditched out on me again. He is a really selfish asshole.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Winning Beats Losing

This week started out so incredibly crappy. The crappiness was encapsulated within the losing of my cell phone out of state at a conf. I attended for work. I thought it was gone and it was a phone I couldn't afford to replace. The place I lost it at told me they didn't have it on Sat. but today left a message that they did have it. I called them and they are going to send it to me.

In less trivial news, we won our appeal against the shitty building in our neighborhood getting the co-location of a cell phone tower on top of the building. Basically three average run of the mill Angelinos (ok I'm the average one in the group but you know what I mean) fought a slumlord, the city, and T-Mobile and WON! No lawyer, just homegrown grassroots community activism. I spoke at the hearing and the commission voted unanimously to uphold our appeal! This is a huge victory for my neighborhood and for the rights of stakeholders in Eagle Rock.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I Never Really Cared Until I Met You

Big D's younger brother is a man of few words so when he speaks, the room quiets and settles onto him. One evening several years ago while the room was flipping through channels, Young Bro stated, "Celine Dion is the perfect woman."

But Heart Rocks!

Hey M, the next time your in town we so have to K this song. I promise to try to not be sick and lack voice and be dripping snot.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

no title

I don't have time to post any more. I leave the house at 6:30 AM. I am lucky if I get home by 6:00 PM. Then I have all the neighborhood stuff to work on in the evenings. I am tired and miserable and have had a headache since June. Also, I have nothing funny to write about and don't have the time to waste uploading pics from this shitty ass computer. I basically hate every aspect of my life. Except that I like my house. I just hate that it's in this noisy fucking ghetto when I know there are clean cheap places to live where I would actually have the time to do things I love doing and not just waste away existing in this cockroach life.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

How My Garden Grew

Some things lived. Some things thrived. Some things just made it. And some things died. The summer was hot and dry. They fought off fungus and whiteflies. Ana, my neighbor, brought them magical potions to make it through the drought. Just don't say the "F" word--frost and they should have a nice fall.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

MS Challenge Walk

The walk is here. I'll be walking 50 miles this weekend! I am close to my fundraising goal of $3,500---YAY! I am not sure I am prepared for the walk itself but I am really happy to just have one thing to do this weekend. I have been so busy and scattered it feels good to have one task to focus on. My mom is walking with me. She has been training for the walk for several months so she will probably kick my ass. But competition is not he point of the walk---it's to raise money and awareness for MS. In talking about the walk with friends, I have been surprised to find out that it seems everyone I know has someone close to them affected by this disease. I am going to keep the stories that I have learned with me as a walk and in that sense hopefully make some sort of difference. You can check out my fundraising website at

Saturday, September 1, 2007

No Lights, Big City

Yesterday afternoon was really hot. I decided the only thing to do was to drink beer. Lots of beer. So Big D and I headed over to the The York to do just that. As we were heading into the bar at 5:00 on the dot, I could feel the heat rising up from the concrete and told D that it felt like the opening of Do the Right Thing, where you just know something no good is about to happen cause it is just so damn hot. So we drank several beers and headed home. At about 8:30 PM after just arriving home, the lights went out. Not a clean lights out, mind you but a sound like the world was a giant vacuum and had sucked in something it couldn't digest. And then mini-explosions filled the air and neighbors yelling "turn everything off, it arking its arking!" Then darkness and heat. The heat was so bad that we slept outside. That is when I knew for certain it is time to leave Los Angeles. The electricity came back on at about 2:00 PM today but it is still too hot.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Positively Awesome Blog

Big D wants me to be more positive in my blog entries. He often suggests topics---I find this irritating which is not positive. I don't write this because I have any intention of anyone ever reading it. In fact, I never even told anyone I was writing a blog. I started my blog because I wanted a way to hold myself accountable to journaling and to write about topics that interest me and perhaps participate in a discussion or two. I was not trying to win respect or praise or be popular. But Big D thinks someone we know might read it (never mind he sent out the link to his friends not me) and get the wrong idea. Hmm? Truth be told I like my blog and it's kind of like me---a little distant, true to my friends, non-committal, and pretty mundane. I am so positive about that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Swept Away

Yeah it's been awhile and I fully acknowledge that I suck so there you have it. In other news, yesterday I spent about two hours in traffic, I am seeing my new doctor tomorrow for my ongoing stomach/allergies/female issues mystery illness, a group in my neighborhood is banding together to fight a cell phone tower placement on top of a blighted building--yes, the city is financially rewarding a known slumlord--gotta love LA, and my job is still tentative as they work out the "reorganization" of the office. Oh and I went to SF over the weekend to visit my brother and his wife and I had one of the best night's sleep I've had since well, the last time I was in San Fran.--not sure what it is about that city but I sleep really well there.

Monday, August 6, 2007

My Own Private Hollywood

This is far too addictive. I found it on one of my favorite Los Angeles blogs, Franklin Avenue who found it on Metroblogging Los Angeles or as Franklin Avenue refers to it because they are way cooler than me. And so I am, as is my lot in life well behind the crowd. But I still must share and hope I entice you to waste a few minutes or an hour. You can check it out here

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Did I Mention

that I am back to work? Which means that I am back to drinking heavily so daily blogging becomes a little more tricky. I apologize to my small but loyal group of readers. My brain is mush.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The York On York in Highland Park

The York in Highland Park may be the best bar in all Northeast Los Angeles. No, scratch that, in all of Los Angeles. This is the kind of place you find in that other California city up north. The exposed brick and wood beams create a lofty urban downtown feel and I think its the windows opening to the street that really make it feel like a San Fran neighborhood bar. The u-shaped bar is a beautiful beast and like no other bar in town, you feel like you are meant to stay as long as you like because there is plenty of room for everyone. My dirty martini was perfectly dirty and Big D enjoyed a fat tire followed by a pilsner. They have small plates, large plates, sides, and desserts and the food is really good.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Moving On (Not Me)

My dear friend Bee got offered a new and better position at a school that is so not in Los Angeles. I am thrilled for her but it just hit me today that she will be leaving. We have worked together for five years and have become good friends. She is one of those kind of people that you can count on--and she takes that seriously. She will be moving soon.

Friday, July 20, 2007

There Is A Special Place In Hell For Michael Vick

Michael Vick is a sick disgusting sub-human and so is anyone else who participates in the lowest form of aggression available to man, dog-fighting. Personally, I would like to see him have done to him just a few of the things he did to those dogs, like "shooting, drowning, hanging and electrocution" as stated in his indictment. Furthermore, he shows absolutely no remorse for what he has done only that "he apologized for any distractions the scandal may be creating". In other words, he wants to keep his job at the Falcons and within the NFL. And from what I can gather, he has not even been put on suspension pending his indictment and trial. That is absolutely abhorrent and makes the Falcons and the NFL organization look like they are merely one step above dogfight organizers themselves.

Oh, I found this too while researching this story. I hadn't heard about this one but wow Michael Vick is a skanky SOB.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Rape By Any Other Name...

Sometimes I have these little fantasies about buying some huge plot of land somewhere where land is cheap, like the midwest, then I read shit like this...

Have you heard about this? This judge ruled that the witness (the victim) cannot use the word "rape" in court. Not only that, victims of rape cannot use the words "sexual assault" or even "sexual assault kit". This is sooooooo fucked up. Free speech is dying folks and women's rights are going right down the tubes with it.

To help the victims in Nebraska describe their rapes without using the word rape or sexual assault, I give you the following...

-He used his penis as a weapon and violently entered my body without permission.

-He violently used his penis against me without my permission

-He violated my body with his penis

-He robbed my body violently

-He is a sick fucking pig who used his penis to brutally attack me

Well, that's better than calling it what it is, right?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Introducing Josie

Our family just got bigger. We adopted a puppy from a rescue organization this weekend. Big D found her on on Sunday and we passed our house inspection later that afternoon and then drove down to Carlsbad that evening to pick her up from her foster family.

She is part golden retriever/part German Shepherd. Although, that is just what they tell us and I secretly suspect she might be part horse. Needless to say, she is going to be a big dog. She has a sweet submissive personality and wants to please.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Vacation All I Ever Wanted Vacation Had To Get Away

I was up in Pismo for a few days. Getting a little respite from Los Angeles was long overdue as you may have noticed from some of my recent blog entries. I love the Central Coast for it's laid back beachiness and lack of the SoCal attitude. Two days wasn't long enough. A true summer vacation should be a least seven days but it gave me a taste of relaxation and it was much needed.
You can see more pics over at my flickr site.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

And Now We're Ten Years On...

in Los Angeles. The U-Haul puttered in on the 10 from Vegas ten years ago on the Fourth. Big D always seemed to find that symbolic. I never got it. Still not sure what it all means or if it even should. But I thought it worthwhile enough to mention, so there you have it. Never thought I'd still be here. If you asked me ten years ago as I was unpacking into my bungalow in Los Feliz where I would be today I would have said, or at least thought, some mud hut in Africa or a houseboat on the Huong River.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

You Can Always Blame the Parents

Despite her immense wealth and privilege, I feel bad for Paris Hilton. She is not entirely a monster of her own making. Certainly, she contributed to her persona, but her parents are there every step of the way. Did they cut off her monthly check when the sex tape surfaced or the tape of her getting high and using the big N? Oh hell no they didn't. And you know why? They are participants in her celebrity. They feed off of it as much as the paparazzi and you and me. Did you see how her daddy jumped the seat of the SUV when she was released from jail so Paris could have the good tabloid view or how her mother rolled down the window so all the sleazy photographers could get their shot in?

An acquaintance of mine taught Paris in middle school. She told to me that at one point during the year, she called Kathy Hilton into a conference because Paris was not doing any work required for the class. She said that Kathy responded that Paris would be making money off her looks and not her brains. And then, at sixteen her parents apparently condoned her moving to NY to be a model. So I believe Paris when she says she wants to drop the dumb blonde act. The problem is that behind the dumb blonde is just another dumb blonde--and she can thank her parents for that.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Two Confessions

I hate the Fourth of July. I hate everything about it. I particularly hate fireworks, stars and stripes paper tableclothes and napkins from Walmart, not to mention red, white, and blue cups, paper plates, and plastic utensils. In fact, the Fourth of July reminds me of Walmart. I hate Walmart. Driving by Walmart gives me a panic attack. Walmart reminds me of the Fourth of July. Crappy beer, crappy bbq, crappy chips, and crappy desserts. I just hate them both-Walmart and The Fourth of July. Does that make me a bad person? A bad American? So be it. I have to be me.

That's Wack!

WACK! closes July 16 so if you haven't seen it yet, you should stop by the Geffen Contemporary in Little Tokyo and see this important exhibition of feminist art during the late 1960's and '70's. I had been meaning to see Wack! since it opened in March but finally had some time off from work (not by choice but by circumstance) and used one of the afternoons off to see this incredible collection of feminist art. I came of age in the period following this group of second wave feminists and looked at these works as ground, the foothold that supports female artists today. In school, we studied these works. We used their language but we questioned and even poked fun at the anger and the frustration--how quaint those pre-global, pre-internet (pre-photoshop) times were! We were the Gen-X third wave feminists tip-toeing across the millennium and we could love our whore just as much as our Madonna because these foremothers had punished themselves enough for all of us and now we were all cleansed and Amen.

But seeing the exhibit and these works as a whole movement rather than selected female pieces was awe-inspiring, difficult, powerful, thought-provoking, and joyful and wrought with pain. This is life and art and the personal was, and I think still is, political. This exhibit argues that these female artists not only influence current female artists but contribute in a profound way to the foundation for all contemporary art, period. No pun intended.

If you can't see the exhibit, you can check out the website:

The only thing that was weird was the high-anxiety guards in the Geffen. They have at least one posted at every corner of the space and they follow you around and kinda stand next to you when you are viewing the work like they are guarding a prison and you are the prisoner who might revolt. It added a very strange touch to seeing this exhibit.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Big D Got a Grill

Big D has a hard time buying things. If a were to play shrink (and this is my wifely duty, right?) I would say this comes from a mix a childhood variables. First, he grew up on a Reservation and though it may be a derogatory term off the rez, "Indian time" does exist on the Reservation. Things don't happen fast. That's more of a western way of being. You know, I'm talking about the whole "if I want it I need it now" mentality. Whereas, on the rez, 'now' is at least an hour and a half in any direction. So, you have to really consider if you want it that bad to uproot an entire day to get it. Life just has a different pace there. A house might take years to get built or maybe never get completely built and, well, so what? Secondly, Big D's parents were pretty big on not buying things you don't absolutely need--maybe too much on this side. Have you ever noticed that if you swing too far in one direction, you end up completely on the other side? In other words, a couple of free spirited, live off the land hippies can wind up rigid controlling tightwads if they hold too closely to any one way of being.

I could go on with my shrinkville analysis, but it isn't really fair to Big D, so I'll just mention this and then move on...Big D has been looking at grills for about a year and a half, ever since our old grill went caput. He wasn't looking for anything fancy just something simple to grill shit up on and there have been several close buying calls but we always came home defeated without a grill.

So in a recent trip to the ol' home depot Big D said, "let's look at grills when we go" and I said, "Only if you are actually going to buy one. Otherwise, I never want to look at another grill ever again." While at the depot we bought the garden hose we needed, some Damp rid, and priced some wood for a fence we want to build, and then, to my astonishment, Big D actually bought a grill. It's totally basic but an upgrade from our last grill and we have been using it since we bought it. The first night we made the obligatory hamburgers (black bean burger for me), then grilled salmon and grilled asparagus and grilled pineapple for dessert the following evening, and then shrimp fajitas--and I actually took some pics of this grilling episode:

The next night we made burgers again (using the leftovers from grilled shrimp fajita night as toppings). Tonight Big D and I agreed that we should order Indian food.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cookie Party

Just because this makes me happy...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Back In My Salad Days

First, this is simply a post about salads. In the US, salads are a first course or an appetizer, but in many countries . . . those with more refined palates, salads often come after a main course or at the end of a meal. They are a way to cleanse the palate or add a little roughage to a protein. But in the US, a salad is the beginning of things.

In Los Angeles, salads, like sushi, are what french fry deprived women eat to feel full without feeling guilty by eating a real meal or without running to the bathroom at a culinary treasure like say, Luques on Melrose, to you know what before the main course.

When I lived in Santa Monica, my brilliant friend M (pronounced em), came for a visit from NY where she was working as a parallel and making plans to escape to Paris (which she eventually did). While visiting, she mentioned, "I am really into salads these days," and she made us (and by us a mean M and me) a salad with greens and avocado and scallions and tomatoes and a dressing made with nayonaise and sesame and it was delicious. But, at the time I was tiptoeing across my 20's and was a little too thin to appreciate a good salad as anything other than a prelude to a kiss (and by a kiss I mean a large bowl of pasta). For, I had been dieting on vodka and yoga and, let me say, I had found my bliss!

These are some Los Angeles salads that I like:

Briganti South Pasadena
Insalata di Rugoletta e Carciofi--is an arrugola salad with baby artichokes hearts,topped with shaved Parmesan, lemon and olive oil. I love this salad because it is simple and clean. The salad dressing is simply lemon and olive oil and this is perfect because you can actually taste the ingredients of the salad.

Fritto Misto Santa Monica
Greens and Gorgonzola is baby greens, Gorgonzola cheese, Roma tomatoes, and toasted walnuts in a balsamic vinaigrette. This salad is piled high on a plate and is perfect for sharing (actually, Big D and I almost always share the salad/appetizer course because this ensures that we can make it through dessert.

Canele Atwater Village
Shrimp salad with parsley and celery root is one of the freshest palate cleansing salads I have had. I love the use of parsley as an actual salad ingredient rather than a garnish. It makes the salad extremely soothing and yet bold and unexpected at the same time.

Cafe Beaugolais Eagle Rock
Mixed Green Salad has perfectly ripe pieces of tomato, fresh greens, a creamy dressing and pieces of french bread smeared with herbed goat cheese. Come on, that's just damn good.

Il Buco Beverly Hills
Tricolore Radicchio with Belgium Endive, Arugula, Balsamic Dressing, and Shaved Parmesan Cheese had the quintessential balsamic dressing, the perfect mix of greens and the shaved Parmesan has that perfect sharp bite. It's just perfect.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

They Shoot Blonde Women In Los Angeles, Don't They?

Al Sharpton recently met with the Los Angeles County Sheriff to discuss his concerns that Paris Hilton is getting special treatment in jail. Of course she is getting special treatment in jail--she is a celebrity and this is Hollywood, baby. This is not about race, it's about class, wealth, privilege, and the power of celebrity. In this town, every male celebrity is allowed one murder--it's the rules. And we are worried about the special treatment Paris gets? Wow, I wonder how the families of these women feel:

Back in the seventies, the son of sam killer had fearful brown-haired women of NY changing their hair color to avoid being a target. So my suggestion, my fellow Los Angeles blondies, next time any one of us dates a celebrity--we must dye our hair brown before strapping on the Manolo's and heading out the door. We need to look out for each other because the law certainly won't.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Stop Taunting Me - I Hate You Norton Antivirus


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Catching Up On Pop Culture - The Sopranos and Paris Hilton

Sopranos - Tony got whacked. Unless they make a movie. Ha ha! Glad I wasn't a die hard fan. My HBO shows, Six Feet Under and Sex and the City had totally satisfying endings and can still be made into movies (gross).

Paris (Hilton that is) - In jail again, found God, told Barbara Walters via a collect call, and is now planning to move to Calcutta and follow in Mother Teresa's footsteps. Can I get a hallelujah?

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Get Back To The Ghetto - Morrissey at the Hollywood Bowl

I was there dammit. I had wicked seats. I didn't though, have a camera. My teenage angst is still here and the music still matters and I will always love Morrissey--so go fuck yourself.

Set List: The Queen Is Dead / The Last Of The Famous International Playboys / Ganglord / The National Front Disco / Let Me Kiss You / All You Need Is Me / The Boy With The Thorn In His Side / Irish Blood, English Heart / Disappointed / I've Changed My Plea To Guilty / Everyday Is Like Sunday / In The Future When All's Well / I Will See You In Far Off Places / Girlfriend In A Coma / First Of The Gang To Die / I Just Want To See The Boy Happy / You Have Killed Me / That's How People Grow Up / Life Is A Pigsty / How Soon Is Now? // Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want / You're Gonna Need Someone On Your Side / There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Pave This

My street needs to be resurfaced. Many streets in my neighborhood have recently been repaved. I've written two e-mail requests asking for a response as to when our street will be repaved. I know, it's Los Angeles---but hey as my friend Bee always says, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. So, I was searching the city's page for a number to contact a human being and stumbled upon this.

Bureau of Street Services
The Resurfacing and Reconstruction Division
Vision Statement
The Resurfacing and Reconstruction Division provides the highest uality of resurfacing by striving for continuous improvement and a search foe excellence.

Now I know I often have typos, even misspellings but hey I never claim that I strive foe excellence.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Saturday on the Eastside

To help out my dear friend Bee, I spent Friday evening watching the Dewster who lives on the Venice Canals. Venice Beach is without a doubt, my favorite place on this here planet. So after a couple of weekends chocked full of noisy gangsta pounding base in which I had to call the police that never arrive to my corner of Eagle Rock, I was more than happy to spend an evening on the quiet quiet quiet canals. But the Dewster (a dog did I mention that) is a mess. He is happy to see you when you arrive, happy to have a walk, happy to have dinner---but then he gets angry. Like Jekyll and Hyde angry. Oh, he has some sort of skin condition and wants to be itched itched itched. So, he starts barking at you, not a friendly bark, mind you. A I want to kill you bark. Then you must ignore him until he falls asleep. Then you try to get out alive in the morning (before stopping in at the French Market Cafe on Abbott Kinney--a little piece of paradise in a very french/ industrial sort of way).

So after the much needed respite from the 'hood, Big D and I spent a relatively quiet ER day out in our new Target gazebo followed by a side trip to Los Feliz to eat some PINKBERRY and walk little M De Cuba around the Silverlake reservoir. It was pretty wonderful despite the argument we had because Big D had me playing chicken to get back to the car rather than walking a few extra steps to the crosswalk to be all proper and stuff.

This was followed by what I really want to post about which is Marty's in Highland Park. Marty's is the new bar/restaurant of Rudy Martinez who I think just may be a genius and made a simple menu with most of my favorite comfort foods on it--mac n cheese and caprese salad, shoestring sweet potato fries and big D's Kobe burger. And washed down with dirty martinis. Rudy Martinez deserves an award for not only thinking outside the box by opening a zen like bar in Highland Park (not to mention a sushi restaurant in Eagle Rock) but also for reminding us all that we are only as ghetto as the ghettos in our own heads.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Breakup

My doctor broke up with me. Actually, from what I can gather she broke up with my health insurance who then notified me through a letter. So I'm like the kid of the parent who got dumped--through a letter. And I'm heartbroken because I really liked my doctor. She was great. She always had time for me. She returned my phone calls promptly. She was professional and thorough.

I sensed bad things ahead when my employer switched to a new health care provider (from Healthnet to PacifiCare) last year and I had to do a lot of investigative work to even keep her as my doctor. But I prevailed, found out her number through covert means and got to keep her. And all was well. I've had several sucky not to mention embarrassing health experiences this year so I was all happy that I had been able to keep my doctor.

And then I got this horrible letter from this crappy new health care company beginning: RE: Physician Termination. It goes on to say that my doctor is no longer contracted with them. At the bottom it gives a number to call if I have any questions or concerns. So I called with some questions and concerns and was told they could not answer any of my questions or concerns!!!!!???????

On top of that they selected a new doctor for me. I'd gone to this doctor before when my doctor was out of town. This was because I had a wicked sinus infection and needed to see anybody. He prescribed antibiotics which killed the infection but left me with a number of issues down south that I would not want to go to a male doctor to discuss--particularly a male doctor with a moustache. It's not that I have anything against male doctors, I just don't want one for my primary care doctor because most of my issues are freakish female issues that I prefer to talk about with a female.

Anyway, it just sucks to be dumped.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


It may seem as though I have been swallowed into the vortex of negativity lately...but I have been up to a few cool things. The most important and most pressing at the moment is this...

I am walking in the MS Challenge Walk this September 7-9. It's a fifty mile walk from Carlsbad to San Diego and the mission is to raise money for MS research. My goal is to raise $2500. The reason I am doing this walk is that my sister has this awful degenerative disease. She was diagnosed when she was fifteen and is now 31. Her entire adult life has been spent dealing with this debilitating illness and the frustrating array of symptoms that it name it...muscle weakness, numbness, memory loss, blindness, and the list goes on. She'll often say to me, "Hey you know smart people, can you ask them to find a cure for this?" It breaks my heart because the smart people I know write screenplays, edit reality shows, and teach rich kids. And so when she asks me this I feel like a total blowhard inept loser. Here she is struggling every day just to get out of bed, fold clothes, do her hair, not be in a wheelchair, and I am depressed?

Anyway, this is something I can do. Well, the walking part at least. The fundraising part is my personal challenge. I have a hard time asking for help so this has been a new experience for me and as much as I hope to raise a few bucks for MS and show my support and commitment to my sis, I have a feeling I will learn a few things about myself along the way.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


I found this today while cleaning my desk drawers:

It's a c.c. cummings poem copied, i imagine, from a book of poetry onto a plain piece of paper and cut to the size of the poem. This was a gift. An unlikely gift. A gift that saved me for an afternoon.

Graduating with my MFA was a major low point in my life. I felt burned out, used up, and directionless. I sold my camera that year and felt like I had sold my arm and pulled my eyeballs out with tweezers. But it paid the rent.

I decided to focus on getting my body back in shape after years of sitting in an editing room and rewarding myself with brakes to baja fresh and snickers bars. I dropped a lot of weight and looked better than I had in years. But my head was a jumbled mess and I remember being so withdrawn that I had a hard time making simple conversation with people. Fortunately, I found yoga around that time at the YMCA and would go sometimes six days a week.

The person who gave me this poem was far more advanced than anyone in the class. He had the flexibility of an overcooked vermicelli noodle and exuded joy in his poses. One day he told me that the size of my hands reminded him of a poem. I think I responded something like, "oh." The next class that we had together, he gave me, quite to my surprise, the poem.

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look will easily unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

e.e. cummings

Thursday, May 10, 2007

No Way Out

I am going through a sick of Los Angeles phase. I am sick of the noise, the pollution, the people. At times like these, I get really immersed in the idea of moving somewhere else and focus on a place or region. I never end up moving but I learn a lot about other places. Right now I am living in (in my head--I don't just mean immersed I mean IMMERSED) the northwest. It is cool and calm. I live in downtown in a cool new converted loft in Vancouver, Seattle, or Portland. I've chucked the car cause I take public transportation everywhere. I drink a lot of coffee and tea and volunteer at the rep cinema where we show marginal films. I take a lot of walks. Life is awesome from here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

It's Hot

I'd like to write about how weird the last two weeks have been. How I stood up for myself at work and in doing so, unwittingly stood up for a whole bunch of people and how I found out how supported (even respected) I am at the place. It was interesting. I'd like to write about all of this but...

IT'S JUST TOO DAMN HOT. I mean it's like 1000 degrees. It's 8:00 PM and it is still just really really hot--sweaty hot, take off all your clothes hot, sit in a cold bath hot, my brain is mush I can't think straight hot. It's just really really hot. I think the earth is burning up. Well, at least Griffith Park. I can see the fire from my front door.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Thank God For Celebrities!

Paris to Prison!

Britney's Comeback!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Bad Day

Really bad day, bad fight, bad job, bad commute, everything sucks so much that I can't even write about it. I need a change of scenery.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Peace is Radical

When I envision a radical I imagine some paranoid guy living out in the backwoods of Montana, stashing cans of food and piling up machine guns, making homemade bombs in his basement to send through the mail to the folks that are "after him" and pacing impatiently for the end of the world. However, I am wrong. A radical individual is someone who thinks striving for world peace is the correct course of action for humanity. A radical believes that diplomacy should be policy. A radical wants to be educated about world cultures and history and use debate, communication, and discourse as a means to solving the global issues.

Bill Maher Interviews Dennis Kucinich (04/27/07)

In other news, cause you know how I love me some urban renewal, blogdowntown, one of my favorite blogs about Los Angeles, is quoted in an article about downtown Los Angeles by Susan Pigg, a travel writer from the Toronto Star.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Biggest Discussion Taboo: Gun Control

One of my least favorite slogans: Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People. When I hear this moronic statement I want to kill someone, with a gun. No not really. I want to use my fists--- no wait I'm not very strong---I'll use my psychic powers---oh wait I don't have those either. Oh well, I don't really want to kill anyone anyway. But if I did want to kill someone it sure is comforting to know that I can quickly purchase a gun, isn't it?

If you want to have a gun have a gun...but unless you need to kill something or someone really fast you shouldn't be worried about gun control. Well, unless there is something on your record that should prevent you from obtaining a your a psycho. Or, maybe you are just an idiot and actually believe in the slippery slope (oh but then you probably also believe that the US invaded Iraq to fight terrorism).

Democrats are such wimps on the issue of gun control because they are afraid they will lose elections over it and Republicans are in bed with the NRA. And the majority of Americans can't think their way out of a paper bag...wait maybe with guns they can shoot their way out.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

America's Violent Heart: Poetry is Dangerous

This was forwarded to me as an e-mail and I think it is important...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Poetry is Dangerous by Kazim Ali

On April 19, after a day of teaching classes at Shippensburg University, I went out to my car and grabbed a box of old poetry manuscripts from the front seat of my little white beetle and carried it across the street and put it next to the trashcan outside Wright Hall. The poems were from poetry contests I had been judging and the box was heavy. I had previously left my recycling boxes there and they were always picked up and taken away by the trash department.

A young man from ROTC was watching me as I got into my car and drove away. I thought he was looking at my car which has black flower decals and sometimes inspires strange looks. I later discovered that I, in my dark skin, am sometimes not even a person to the people who look at me. Instead, in spite of my peacefulness, my committed opposition to all aggression and war, I am a threat by my very existence, a threat just living in the world as a Muslim body.

Upon my departure, he called the local police department and told them a man of Middle Eastern descent driving a heavily decaled white beetle without of state plates and no campus parking sticker had just placed a box next to the trash can. My car has NY plates, but he got the rest of it wrong. I have two stickers on my car. One is my highly visible faculty parking sticker and the other, which I just don't have the heart to take off these days, says "Kerry/Edwards:For a Stronger America."

Because of my recycling the bomb squad came, the state police came. Because of my recycling buildings were evacuated, classes were canceled, campus was closed. No. Not because of my recycling. Because of my dark body. No. Not because of my dark body. Because of his fear. Because of the way he saw me. Because of the culture of fear, mistrust, hatred, and suspicion that is carefully cultivated in the media, by the government, by people who claim to want to keep us 'safe.'

These are the days of orange alert, school lock-downs,and endless war. We are preparing for it, training for it, looking for it, and so of course, in the most innocuous of places-a professor wanting to hurry home, hefting his box of discarded poetry-we find it.

That man in the parking lot didn't even see me. He saw my darkness. He saw my Middle Eastern descent. Ironic because though my grandfathers came from Egypt, I am Indian, a South Asian, and could never be mistaken fora Middle Eastern man by anyone who'd ever met one.

One of my colleagues was in the gathering crowd,trying to figure out what had happened. She heard my description-a Middle Eastern man driving a white beetle with out of state plates-and knew immediately they were talking about me and realized that the box must have been manuscripts I was discarding. She approached them and told them I was a professor on thefaculty there. Immediately the campus police officer said, "What country is he from?"

"What country is he from?!" she yelled, indignant.

"Ma'am, you are associated with the suspect. You need to step away and lower your voice," he told her.

At some length several of my faculty colleagues were able to get through to the police and get me on a cellphone where I explained to the university president and then to the state police that the box contained old poetry manuscripts that needed to be recycled. The police officer told me that in the current climate I needed to be more careful about how I behaved. "When I recycle?"I asked.

The university president appreciated my distress about the situation but denied that the call had anything to do with my race or ethnic background. The spokesperson of the university called it an "honest mistake," not referring to the young man from ROTC giving in to his worst instincts and calling the police but referring to me who made the mistake of being dark-skinned and putting my recycling next to the trashcan.

The university's bizarrely minimal statement lets everyone know that the "suspicious package" beside the trashcan ended up being, indeed, trash. It goes on to say, "We appreciate your cooperation during the incident and remind everyone that safety is a joint effort by all members of the campus community.

"What does that community mean to me, a person who has to walk by the ROTC offices every day on my way to my own office just down the hall-who was watched, noted,and reported, all in a day's work? Today we gave in willingly and whole-heartedly to a culture of fear and blaming and profiling. It is deemed perfectly appropriate behavior to spy on one another and police one another and report on one another. Such behaviors exist most strongly in closed and undemocratic and fascist societies.

The university report does not mention the root cause of the alarm. That package became "suspicious" because of who was holding it, who put it down, who droveaway. Me. It was poetry, I kept insisting to the state policeman who was questioning me on the phone. It was poetry I was putting out to be recycled.

My body exists politically in a way I can not prevent. For a moment today, without even knowing it, driving away from campus in my little beetle, exhausted after a day of teaching, listening to Justin Timberlake on the radio, I ceased to be a person when a man I had never met looked straight through me and saw the violence in his own heart.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Retail Therapy

The world feels very heavy these days...but the shoes make me feel light.

Sneakers with heels--It's the stuff a short girl's dreams are made of!
(Sugar Shoes Purchased at Neo 39 in Old Town Pasadena)