Archive for September, 2009

Life Insurance

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The recession is supposedly over, but don’t tempt the masses. Seriously.

Local Hero

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Because we would all be lost without the blinking orange safety light that CalTrans provides.

Or maybe it was a form of Engrish. (I was near Sawtelle and Olympic when I took this picture.)

Don’t Drink the Water

It feels like pregnancy is a contagious condition. If one woman is pregnant in my circle, it means that at least two more are pregnant somewhere else.

It usually starts with someone at work. Another woman in the same department will become pregnant, and then another department will announce that one of their team members is expecting as well. Based on previous experience, no more than four or five ladies will be pregnant at the same time (and only a month or two apart).

This summer I feel like pregnancy spread like the Swine Flu and required me to elevate the condition to epidemic status.

It started off with a department head and an admin, their due dates only a month away from each other. A Human Resources manager became pregnant a few months after they did. So far, so good – everything is following its usual pattern.

Then Annika of NoirBettie.com announced her upcoming pregnancy. A delightful surprise, to be sure, but it broke from my pattern. It was strange, but the Law of Averages allows for situations like this.

My friend Lynette dropped a bomb when she told me she was pregnant. “Are you sitting down?” were the first words out of her mouth before she announced “I’m pregnant!” The conception, after doing some quick math, happened right around the time I last saw her in LA. (And no, I’m not the father.)

At this point it was a 50/50 deal; I didn’t have to panic just yet.

Just a couple of weeks ago it came to my attention that a manager in Sales and a manager in Catering just recently discovered they were pregnant.

Stephanie (who started me on “Year of Photos”) of STV Live just posted that she’s pregnant.

Michelle Duggar from “18 Kids and Counting” is pregnant with her 19th child.

My pattern has totally been thrown off whack.

Seriously, people. It’s a pregnancy epidemic. The emergency color has gone from orange to red. My natural reaction is to avoid water (I can live off of vodka and mixers, right?) as a precaution. All sheets will be sterilized. All hugging contact with members of the opposite sex must have at least three inches of space away from my reproductive area.

The saddest part of this is that I am eagerly awaiting yet another visit from my bitchy Aunt Flo.

Things I Used To Do

Author’s note: I just now realized that I should have written about this on September 11th. However, it’s a bit in bad taste, so perhaps it’s better I waited a couple of days. I mean, I already know I’m going to hell for what I’m about to share with you. In my defense, I was about seven or eight years old at the time and was only starting to get smart assed.

My dad (the same one who scares me all the time) worked for the Big Business section of Corporate America. He had a fancy title and was constantly traveling half of this country to oversee 30 hotels’ worth of financial proceedures. I’d say he was only home about one week out of the month during this time period, so my mom and I spent a lot of time at LAX. (Mind you, this is way, way before 9/11. Non-travelers were still allowed to go into airports and sit at the gate while they bid goodbye to/greeted their travelers.) My mom had the route down to a science: with the usage of several residential areas, we were able to get to the gate in less than 10 minutes, counting the time it took us to find parking.

The times my mom would bring me to the airport with her were mostly at night. If his flight was delayed, chances were me nodding off in a pseudo-leather chair, dressed in my pajamas at the ungodly hour of 10:30 PM (eight year olds were required to be in bed no later than 8:30 according to my teachers; my bedtime was anywhere between 9 and 11). And heaven help my mom and the rest of the people in the airport if there was a delay. My attention span wasn’t much in those days, and the airport didn’t have that magical thrill it used to – going there at least once a week will do that. I would wander around, talking to strangers or scanning the headlines of magazines and newspapers in the gift shops. In her attempt to stop me from moving, my mom would ask me to check the flight board and see if dad’s flight was still delayed.

I walked over, found the flight number, and started making my way back. However, just saying that the flight was delayed wouldn’t eat up enough time. So I started prentend crying as I made my way back to my chair.

“The p-plane…it c-crashed. Daddy’s p-plane c-crashed,” I sobbed.

My mom was mortified (not that her husband could be dead but that I’d pull something like this). The crowd around us laughed.

I think I did this routine two more times before I got tired of it. A good comic knows when to retire a joke.

You know who keeps this joke running? My own mother. She loves to share this with her friends when she describes her daughter to them.

A Day Unlike Any Other

I practically did the same thing this year as I did on 9/11/01: woke up late and extremely confused. The two major differences are:
1. No terrorist attacks.
2. I woke up at 8:20 AM instead of 11:30-ish this time around.

In bad taste, perhaps. However, I actually wasn’t aware of the attacks on the World Trade Towers or the Pentagon until late in the game. (I am even willing to bet that Hawaii knew what was going on well before I did.) I was working closing shifts mostly back then, and I was also a full-time college student. Miraculously, I did not have any morning classes and I was dead tired from closing the night before. The fact that I did not have class until 6PM (silkscreening class, if you will) made for a perfect excuse to sleep in.

When I switched the TV on, the channels were showing images of a burning government building. I was under the impression that something similar to the Oklahoma Bombing had occurred. I wasn’t sure what building had been attacked, and I didn’t know about the Trade Towers yet. Changing the channels didn’t help at: no one was starting from the beginning. Not a soul would say the classic phrase, “For those of you who just joined us…”

These are the posts I had made over the course of the day in my old LiveJournal account:

Tuesday, September 11th, 2001
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12:21p
lol…I woke up so goddamn confused this morning. I went through my routine of checking email and then checking you guys’ posts here, and everyone’s talking about some bombing and WWIII and all sorts of other crazy shit. It was like waking up to some kind of sci-fi movie plot or war picture.

So I turn on the TV and check out CNN. I missed the channel number and hit QVC first, who, in their ever so touching tribute, have halted all sales of crap today. I couldn’t understand what was going on, so I switched over to ABC and saw a smoke filled building. Still no idea what was going on. I had the impression that someone bombed something, but not the full idea. I saw rebekahhh online and asked her what was going on. She filled me in.

All I can say is that it’s like some kind of freaky movie. I’m not scared, I’m not angry, I’m not even annoyed. It’s just like some kind of plot to a movie. I’d like to see what happens.

current mood: numb

12:25p
Okay…now some fear is settling in. Part of my surrogate family lives in NYC, somewhere between Chinatown and Little Italy. I don’t think it’s too close to the Trade Center, but NYC is a small place.

I’m sure they’re okay, but you can’t help but imagine the worst.

I was going to post a comment about work, but that just seems so petty now.

I wish I could pass this situation off like yesterday’s earthquake.

3:56p
Just when I thought part of my family was safe, my mom comes out and says, “I just hope Christine wasn’t in that part of town.”

I completely forgot that she does freelance work around the city.

Motherfucking A. Nothing is worse than uncertainty.

current mood: scared
11:27p
I can’t help but think of what would happen if a massive war broke out.

My grandparents lived through Manzanar. I doubt I’ll have the strength to endure the worst.

I can’t remember a time when something massive bothered me so much. I barely remember the Challenger explosion, despite the fact that I knew someone who died on there. Desert Storm had no importance to me because I was 8. The LA Riots were a bit scary, but since I live about 20 minutes from downtown I didn’t worry. The Northridge earthquake was kind of exciting. The Oklahoma bombing had me concerned, but I didn’t feel shattered.

This is fucking crazy. I want to wake up tomorrow and find out that this was just a plot for a movie.

I wish Alan were here. We could talk about silly things like records vs. mp3’s and not worry.

It’s not so much a question of “why?” anymore. It’s more like “what now?”

current mood: morose

(My, I had a rich and colorful vocabulary back then!)

I can remember that as soon as the entire situation had sunk in, I made toast and heavily buttered it. I figured that we would shortly begin rationing foodstuffs; who knew when I’d be able to eat butter again? Also, I worried that the internment camps would become a reality (Bush was in power, after all).

The sky was devoid of any aircraft. No one was out in the streets. I called the campus to see if they were still having classes; a recorded voice said yes but once I got to class, a note on the door said “no dice” in academic terms.

And that was my September 11th in 2001.

Today’s September 11th just consisted of me waking up for my first alarm, sleeping through my second, waking up 20 minutes after I should have been in the office, and being extremely confused and groggy whilst answering the phone and emails. No big deal.

Color of a Paper Bag

Back in my retail days, my only saving grace was when my manager, Dave, would send me out on a coffee run. That would allow me momentary freedom from being trapped in the store with annoyed customers, anal supervisors, and grumbling sales associates.

Dave would send me to the Coffee Bean on the Farmer’s Market side. There were two Starbucks locations within the vicinity of the store, but most of us would opt to go to the other major coffee chain instead: the coffee was cheaper, it didn’t taste like it had been cremated, and the people behind the counter were friendlier. Add a 10% discount (I think that was to be applied towards FM people, but they’d hook up Grove peeps), and you bet your ass we were there all the time.

I knew it was time for coffee when he’d come by with a five dollar bill. (If we had just been paid, he’d slip in another few bucks so I could get a cup as well.) As he checked me out/watched me do “jazz hands,” Dave would ask for his usual.

“Large drip with four Sugars In The Raw and make it the color of a paper bag.”

I used to laugh at his request for cream, but it proved to be helpful later on.

Once I climbed the ranks of Corporate America to my current position, I found that I had more mundane tasks to complete, coffee runs being one of them. Often times my bosses would request cream in their coffee but would use the terms “a lot” or “just a little bit.” Problem is, one person’s “little bit” is another person’s “a lot.” In order to make a good impression (having just been promoted to the Executive Office), I used Dave’s terminology.

“Would you like your coffee the color of a paper bag?”

My bosses, as well as any other manager within earshot, would look at me with a puzzled expression. Semi-exasperated (my bosses had the fate of 600+ employees in their hands and color references confuse them?!), I’d repeat my statement. As soon as the penny dropped, they would tell me what color they take their coffee.

And here I thought my time spent in retail wouldn’t amount to anything. :p

So thank you, Dave, for providing me with the skill of getting cream and coffee mixes correct. You have prepped me well for my venture into Corporate America.

AIDS Walk Los Angeles


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The last time I went was in 2006. I’m due for some charity work.

My workplace doesn’t really do “fun” public events. I am horribly envious of companies that will do something more interesting, like Flickr’s Day of the Donut or JPL’s annual Open House. This is about as wild as we get.

Times are tough, and AIDS Walk is a big event. I know you’re thinking that they can get donations from whomever they want. But this is ME who will be asking you for donations so my ass looks good in front of my company.

To sweeten the deal, I will promote your blog or website. Forward me your logo and I’ll print it out (in color!) and slap it on my Corporate brand tee for the entire population of West Hollywood to see. Even if you don’t live in the area, I will have your logo somewhere on my person.

The LA AIDS Walk will take place on October 18th, so I’ve got a little more than a month to reach my $100 goal. Help a sister out!