I’m currently temping for a fashion school downtown. It’s definitely a whole other world for me: model sketches, clothing designs, sewing machines, mannequins, and all the other stuff you’ve ever seen in the movies.

There’s a bunch of boards on the walls outside of the office that are covered with student projects. The closest board to me is a Bob Mackie (yes, the designer for some of Cher’s more elaborate costumes) mentored project, which basically comes down to shiny and extravagant. My brain kind of exploded when I heard that Mr. Mackie is a great supporter of the fashion program and that more jeweled decor on fabric could happen in the near future.

I shared this feeling on Twitter during my lunch break yesterday. This is what popped up this morning:


That. Happened. End of story.

Lesson Learned (RE: Comedy)

Mark asked me if I wanted to go to a comedy show in Santa Monica. Since my birthday is fast approaching, I’m not really in a social mood, so I declined. “It’s okay,” I thought to myself. “I’ll be much more comfortable at home watching something on Netflix.”

netflix fail

So that just happened. I even refreshed the screen to see if it was a fluke but no such luck. Looks like it’s going to be a DVD night tonight.

Because I Laughed At A Typewritter Ribbon Joke Last Night

Being unemployed means a fair amount of dead time exists between the hours of 9PM and 6AM. To fill those hours, I’ve been watching a lot of things on Netflix. So much in fact, that I’m running out of things to watch.* I’m actually looking into the recommendations the site keeps pushing on me to view, and it’s been about fifty-fifty in terms of like/dislike.

The Jack Benny Show has been popping up lately, and I think it’s due to the fact that I just finished a documentary on Johnny Carson. The first scene is with Jack Benny and Rochester going over a draft of Jack’s biography:
JB: Let’s see what you’ve got that’s written already, huh? Oh, for Heaven’s sake. Rochester, look at the way you’re typing. Some of the words are so light, I can hardly read ’em!
R: Boss, I’ve been asking for two years to buy a new ribbon!
JB: Why should I buy a new ribbon?
R: Because pulling the old one out and dipping it in grape juice is ridiculous!

I laughed at that. Because I think I’m one of the few people of my age group who grew up on the typewriter.

That’s right, hipsters. Yours truly grew up using a TYPEWRITER. While my friends had word processors or a Macintosh computer, I prepared sheets of typewriter paper with margins and clacked my way through about five pages on the life and times of some historic figure. If I wanted to make text pop, I typed out the word, retyped it (to make the ink darker), and adjusted the roller a notch so I could underscore it. And I always had to reuse ribbon (thankfully never to the point of having to re-ink the thing).

Don’t even get me started about formatting the whole thing. One tiny mistake and I’d have to start the whole page over.

I felt incredibly awkward coming in to class with my one sized font while the other kids had different fonts, sizes, and styles. Eventually my parents got tired of having to listen to me type away into the wee hours of the night and invested in our first computer when I started high school. It took fourteen years for me to catch up with the rest of the world.

Unfortunately I didn’t come out unscathed. Having been trained on a real typewriter, I am the current day nightmare for editors in regards to formatting. It took me a long time to stop indenting paragraphs with five spaces before I discovered the tab button. I hit space twice after a period (it’s taking me forever to type this post trying to break the habit). I detest the automatic setting of ten-point font when hitting enter to start a new line on Word. But I’m slowly adjusting.

Crate & Barrel Wouldn’t Lie To Me

Last night, I was winding down with an episode of “Say Yes to the Dress.” It’s not that I enjoy the show, but if it’s on, I’ll watch about fifteen minutes’ worth. (My pleasure in watching this show is the same pleasure I got out of “John and Kate Plus Eight” – it’s a fabulous train wreck.)

I just finished screaming out my frustration at the women who were spending six thousand dollars on their dream dress (YOU CAN’T EVEN PEE IN IT BY YOURSELF!) when the commercial break started. A white background with black text and a catchy tune playing in the background flashed on the screen:

It’s the second to last set of text that made me literally scream out loud, “SAY WHAAAAT?!”

Mark & Katie

The VBF’s name and the oldest version of my name was right there on TV. Followed by the Crate and Barrel logo. What I’m taking away from this commercial: the VBF and I will someday go shopping at Crate and Barrel, because the TV said we would. And the TV never lies, at least not to me. Plus, it’s backed by Crate and Barrel, one of my favorite home stores in the entire world.

It’s the VBF’s birthday today, so I won’t ruin his day by suggesting we need to buy matching coffee mugs. We’ll pick them up later this weekend. ;)

It Smells Like Christmas

The VBF was shopping for Christmas presents for his family when he shared his philosophy on gift giving: Get them something they’ve been wanting but wouldn’t buy for themselves. It’s usually something practical, but it could be pushed down the list into the “When I Have Extra Cash” section.

At the start of December, the VBF was getting a jump on his Christmas shopping for his family. We popped into a small boutique gift shop in Downtown Culver after brunch and looked around. All kinds of items were displayed: handmade stuffed animals, one-of-a-kind jewelry, fancy candles…everything to please the hipster palate.

We were browsing through various scented candles when I came across a white frosted glass jar with a pine tree on the front. The candle smelled exactly like a Christmas tree – something I missed terribly after my parents switched to an artificial one three years ago. I almost bought it, but the price tag was outrageous, so I inhaled deeply and got a little nostalgic.

Fast forward to the weekend before Christmas. The VBF and I were exchanging gifts early, as he was flying to Alabama for the holidays. He handed me a brown paper bag that had been tied with ribbons on top. I dug past the tissue paper on top, and discovered this:

Christmas present

It was the candle I had picked up at the boutique. He remembered that I really liked it, but knew that I would never buy it for myself. That alone makes this candle the best present I’ve received from a boy.

There’s Always Room For Dessert

Lisa and I finally managed to meet up for the long promised “Girls’ Night Out.” Her schedule was always crazy busy (it happens when you’re a doctor saving babies), and I was still in between jobs. It was a miracle that a date popped up right when I got a job close to her home. When I told her that we should meet up one of these days after I finished work, she suggested meeting up the following week.

We decided on going to Osteria La Buca. She told me the pizza was really good there, so that’s what I ordered. She had ravioli stuffed with lobster. Like all girly dinners, we dished about dating, the gym, clothes, shoes, and the cardio we’d have to do to burn off our dinner.

Lisa was preparing for a bikini-ready body, as she was going on vacation shortly. I knew this, but since we’d already eaten bread and pasta and cheese (not to mention the two or three glasses of wine each), I figured we might as well live it up. It was a special occasion: after nearly a year of planning, two girls winding down after a long day at work. The waitress stopped by our table and asked if we’d like to see the dessert menu. Lisa was hesitant, but I said yes. Our original Girls’ Night Out plan consisted of us eating ice cream and bitching about guys we’ve dated.

“I have to be able to get into a bikini,” she said.

“I haven’t seen you since the summer. Plus, if we split it, it won’t be as many calories,” I said.

We ordered something that was like chocolate pudding. We each took about two bites before throwing in the towel. It had been a great night.

We walked outside and gave Valet our tickets. Her brand new Acura showed up first, with my car following. We hugged each other, and I told her that I wanted to have a drink with her before the year was over. She nodded, smiled, and got into her car.

It’s weird how the simple act of sharing dessert is now one of my most precious memories. When I received the news of Lisa’s passing the next day, I was crushed. The fact that our dinner was the last thing she did was a terrible memory for many months after. It’s only been recently that I’ve been comfortable knowing we had fun, and that my last moment with her was a happy one.

But you know what really makes me happy? The fact that I talked her into having dessert.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

The veggie boyfriend ran in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in LA on Sunday. He finished around 1:43, a new personal record for him.

Bragging rights.

When he told me he’d signed up, I offered to do the good girlfriend bit and wait for him at the finish line with coffee. He responded with, “You’re my Emergency Contact.” (I swear, this one is always one step ahead of me.)

However, this presented a couple of interesting obstacles:
1. The VBF works a graveyard shift. The race was scheduled to start at 7:30 am, and he usually goes to bed around that hour. A drastic schedule change would have to take place. Was it possible that he could get enough sleep and still wake up stupid early to run a race?
2. I’d never waited for anyone to finish a race. I’d stopped by to support Nina and Will, but that was usually post-race and over breakfast. Did I have the patience to wait for over two hours while the internet love of my life ran through Downtown LA?

The answer to both questions was, “Yes.”

The VBF decided to stay awake for most of the day once he got off work. By the time we met up for dinner, his eyes were bloodshot and he looked ready to face plant into anything soft. (I half expected him to pass out at the table once he consumed his first carb of the evening.) Dinner was short and sweet and I took him home.

The next morning, I picked him up while it was still dark. We headed over to LA Live, parked, and grabbed a cup of coffee. He went off to the starting line, and I settled down with my iPod and my Blackberry. Before I knew it, he was standing over me, exhausted.

We headed back to the Westside, ate brunch, and then passed out. It was well past midnight when I shook the VBF awake to tell him I was going home.

I’m proud of him for running a half marathon with just a little more than a month of serious training. I’m happy I was there to congratulate him when he finished. But even more so, I’m thrilled that both of us caught up on the sleep we lost over the weekend.

It Wasn’t Meant To Be

Calexico at the Fonda Theatre. What better way to spend my Wednesday night?

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.

I had made plans with the Veggie Boyfriend the night before to go over the game plan: I’d pick him up between 7:15 and 7:30, and then we’d head over.

At 7:20, night of the show, I’m at the VBF’s house. I text him: “I’m here.”

Five minutes pass. I call him. Maybe he just got out of the shower and hasn’t bothered checking his phone. No answer.

Another five minutes pass. I text him: “Did you fall asleep?”

Another five minutes pass. I call him again. Same result as the last call.

Ten minutes pass. His neighbors must think I’m lurking. I call again; no answer. What. The. Fuck.

It’s almost 8:00PM. I don’t know how bad traffic will be if we don’t leave soon. I’m annoyed at this point. I call one more time, but there’s no answer.

At this point, I want to just go home and curl up in bed. But I also really want to see the band; the last time I saw them was at least three years ago. Plus it’ll be a crowd of indie peeps – I should be relatively safe in that crowd. And I’ve got Twitter to keep me company.

So I drive off, severely annoyed. Somewhere between the Westside and Mid-City, I go from being angry to a little worried: what if something happened? What if something bad happened?

I arrive at the Fonda, and the Santa Ana winds are starting to blow. It’s nothing serious, but it’s a little chilly. I get a drink at the bar and listen to the opening band. They finish a song, then stage goes dark, and small emergency lights come on. It takes me a minute to realize that the power has gone out in the theater, not a dramatic effect. The theater crew makes announcements from the stage with no megaphone (really, Fonda?). After nearly forty minutes of sitting in the dark, the show gets cancelled. Calexico comes out to play one song acoustically, with the promise of making it up later on.

It wasn’t the best night. One of my favorite bands couldn’t play, the wind had knocked out the power in the neighborhood, and I had a potential late-boyfriend. So I did what any girl in her right mind would do: I stopped by my local fast-food place, bought a chocolate malt, and drowned my sorrows in junk food.

P.S. The veggie boyfriend is alive and forgiven.

Image Attached

Tonight at work, this email popped up in my inbox:

Hi everyone,
I have an extra pear today that would make a delicious late afternoon snack for anyone that is interested. Please stop by my desk if you’d like to take this pear. I’ve attached a sample image of the pear below.
*stock image of a pear*
Project Manager.

I have awesome co-workers.

It’ll Be Cute

Sometime last night/early this morning (whatever you consider 3am to be), I woke up to hear the VBF say, “Oh HELL No.” This was followed by, “You need to see this.”

He was watching a horror version of “The Phantom of the Opera,” which had Julian Sands as the lead character. Because he’s nothing if not considerate, he’d kept the volume low while I slept, which meant he missed a lot of dialog but got a lot of screaming. It was partially the screaming and his “Oh HELL No” that gently shook me out of my slumber.

I’m not a fan of horror flicks, so I declined his offer. From the pattern of flickering lights in the room, I knew he was rewinding to the point he wanted me to see.

VBF: You need to see this.
Me: No.
VBF: C’mon, you love Julian Sands.
Me: I don’t do well with scary movies in the middle of the night.
VBF: Just watch it. It’ll be cute.
Me: I’m not wearing my glasses. (I was lying on my stomach and didn’t want to turn over.)
VBF: Put them on. It’ll be cute.

I knew he wouldn’t stop bugging me, so I obliged. A girl was screaming up and down a flight of stairs, desperately trying to find a way out. The Phantom (Julian Sands) discovers her; her screams increase in volume and desperation. The climax: Julian leans in and bites her tongue off.

Me: That wasn’t cute.
VBF: Did you see it?
Me: Not all of it.
VBF: You’re missing out.
Me: No, I’m not.
VBF: Why was she screaming with her tongue out?
Me: That wasn’t cute.
VBF: Aw…

He leaned in to kiss me, and I kept my lips shut. As cute as he is, I sure as hell wasn’t going to fall for that approach.