Saturday, December 19, 2009

Things that wiggle.

Even though I love silly hats and themed socks and going overboard for the holidays, I've never been overly in to animated decor. They always seem cheesy and/or creepy.

However, my boss has a knack for finding some brilliant ones. And more than being amused by the toy, it's so amazing to watch his presentation and reaction when he first brings it in to the office. He's like a 5 year-old showing you his new toy.

I love it.


video

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I was hoping for silly hats...

Sooo...I might have received a ticket some time back and I might have opted for community service instead of paying the silly government.

I also, in true Pontius-fashion, waited until the very last minute to start putting in my hours. So I've been spending my evenings this week at the Santa Monica Moose Lodge.

There's minor cleaning to do, but never enough for the 5 hours each night I need to be there.

Tonight, there was a pot luck and after offering to help an elderly lady grab cookies out of her car, I ended up at the bar chatting with her all night. Her name is Brenda. She's been a member for 64 years, drinks VO and water (easy on the water) and has buried 2 husbands, 3 lovers, 1 son and 1 sister...and she warns, "Be careful around me, I seem to be the only one left in my little circle."

I learned so much about this woman and I couldn't get over how saucy she was for being 88 and hanging at the moose lodge. At some point she sashayed past the pool table teasing the 20-somethings about checking her out and even stopped to do a turn to give them a second look. She complained about bitter step children and gossiped about men in the bar.

I mostly listened.

And then we commiserated/puffed our feathers about being Scorpios and how the world needed to watch out.

Of course she talked about the "good old days" at the lodge and the crazy Friday nights she had there. And she did a fabulous job at trying to convince me to be a Woman of the Moose.

I could go on, but I won't.
The whole experience -- the smells, the oddly mismatched crowd, the fancy jewelry -- it was all my sunshine.

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's always the little things.

I pulled up to my favorite drive-thru coffee kiosk today and through the window I could see my boss in his car on the other side.

We laughed and waved and then I started shuffling through my bag for cash.

When I looked up, the barista handed me my coffee and said, "You're all set. That gentlemen over there paid for your coffee."

My boss had already pulled away and I smiled all the way to my office.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Flowers of the Sun Variety

I was taking Mark home the other day and drove up on some HUGE sunflowers. They immediately caught my eye and I thought..."Wow, those are awesome...and right here where it could use a little color."

As we drove slowly past and I was ogling them, I realized it was one of OUR Guerrilla Gardens..."Wait a minute...WE did that!"

(Extra special thanks to our friend who lives down the street and has been making sure they're not thirsty)


Washington Pl & Centinela

BEFORE (June 2009)


AFTER (Dec 2009)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Saving Lives

This morning at Boot Camp, our coach (Adam) was making conversation and said, "So what do you think Tiger Woods was doing at 2 o'clock in the morning?"

Someone immediately answered, "Fighting with his wife."

Adam laughed and said, "Yea, maybe. Or he could have been out saving someone. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt."

He was half kidding, but there was something so sincere about it. Like he genuinely would give anyone a chance that they might be doing something for good.

Refreshing, really.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Yay, technology!

Best surprise ever.

I was arguing with AT&T on the phone and staring at my bill online when I my Gchat started ringing and someone wanted to chat.

I assumed it was one of a handful of standard chatters and was going to give it a second while I finalized my argument with AT&T. Then I realized Gchat was singing a different song and it wanted me to VIDEO chat. I clicked over and OH MY GOODNESS, it was my friends in Ghana who are adopting a child right now.

When they left for Africa, I kind of assumed I wouldn't get to talk to them (via email or anything) until they returned. And THERE THEY WERE, on my computer screen; their cute faces and their new little boy!!

I forget how rad technology really is.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Its Fun To Be In Charge

We hosted the Beverly Hills Lighting Ceremony this weekend and I had a moment that is still lingering with me today. Sort of in the pit of my stomach, just stewing.

There were balloon artists.
There were insanely long lines.
And a woman with two 10 year old girls and a crazy-eyed rat woman.

As I came over to shut the line down so we could open the street back up for traffic, said woman started yelling at me about "older child discrimination" and that the balloon artist was partial to younger children and let them cut the line.

I wish I had recorded our interaction. She was one of the most entitled people I've ever met. She continued to throw a fit while I mustered up every ounce of Disney-trained customer service tricks I had left in my sleep-deprived, aching body. I offered her apologies and free trinkets as she gave me tips on how to better run a company and to LET Santa get mauled by children because "if you're going to volunteer to be Santa, you're gonna have to learn to take it." She made me write down my name and my boss's contact info so she could make sure "people like me get a talking to."

The two 10 year old girls were on the entitlement train as well. One of them pointed her finger at me while she cocked her head back and forth explaining that "she came to have a good time and it was ridiculous that the event was being run by inexperienced people." Her cohort crossed her arms, glared at me and vigorously tapped her foot.

I'm pretty sure I had steam coming out of my ears...but mostly I was in awe of these people. WHO ARE YOU?!

As I walked away in shock and frustration, a woman walked by with a child completely passed out in her arms. She came right up to me and said, "That was the best event I've ever been to in my entire life. You guys did such an amazing job. Seriously, just wonderful. Thank you so much."

That woman and her sleeping child saved the lives of two Beverly Hills women who could have gone home with black eyes and aching shins. And she completely made my night.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Whoa.

It doesn't feel as rewarding as I expected...but today, my friends, I paid the last installment on my student loan.

To celebrate, I decided to sit in the cold on Rodeo Drive with red wine in a to go cup.

That feels about right.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Number 2

I've had an interesting few days with work and the stress levels are relatively high.

However, today in a rush to get a new Porta-Potty rental, I just printed out all of the agreements and forms without looking at any titles.

When I went back to close the document, I realized the contract agreement is called:
Dookie Agreement.doc

UH-Mazing.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The F-L-A

Yea, yea...I talk about it all the time...but, oh, Florida.

We have a love/hate relationship just like me and LA. But I suppose that's what makes us a great couple.

The love part for Florida is the people. They're just so great. Whether they smother me with charm or they amaze me with quality people watching...I heart all of them.

And today it was Pam at Best Buy. She helped my brother and I through a hefty purchase and then gave us both high fives for a job well done.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Sunshine Continues?

I still haven't decided exactly what I'm doing with this blog. But feels weird to leave it hanging in Internet Space. For now, I think I'll post when it feels right...but not on anyone's schedule but my own.

And today, people, needed to be documented.

I really think my heart might explode out of my chest. I've had the best birthday week EVER. As I mentioned before, it started with different hats and appropriately so, ended with a sombrero.

I can't wait to tell my kids about my 30th birthday.

"Well kids...I played in the mud, I drank too many beers, I had a secret admirer leave gifts on my doorstep, I got millions of sunflowers, people WROTE SONGS FOR ME, I danced on a stripper pole on a moving bus, I danced my ass off at a bar and I got to do it all with the people in my life who are ridiculously wonderful and amazing."

Top that.

They will. I know it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wearing Many Hats

I'm not sure there's any other way to spend a birthday weekend.

However, I have to admit that sometimes I have hat envy -- of moms, wives, business owners, artists -- but I'm okay trying on other ones for now. And, hey, they keep my head warm!

I would strongly suggest throwing in a bear hat or two amongst YOUR many hats whether its your birthday or not.

Also not pictured: cat ears, conductor hat and thinking cap.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Three to the Zero.

I got a shit ton of emails today. Mostly from Facebook alerting me that someone had written on my wall.

Thank you wall writers. Seriously.

But my favorite email of the day was from OKCupid -- you know, an online dating site of the free variety.

The subject of the email was:
Happy 30th Birthday!

And the body of the email:
Happy Birthday, _rolypoly! Still single?

I mean come on. That's funny.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Meee Yow

I was walking into my office today (after a sweet costume showcase at Cassidy Preschool) and thought to myself..."What the hell is hitting my leg?! Annoying."

"Oh, right. It's my tail."

During the ride from Santa Monica to Santa Clarita, I some how forgot that I was in costume.

Tail and all.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Captain Crunch

Oh, the iPod shuffle. There's always a song that comes up that brings you back or makes you cry.

Today, it brought me back.

So you should hear this song, you really should. Because it made my day today when I was stuck on Sawtelle and thought I might kick myself in my own shins.

Listen HERE

This is my friend from high school who made a celebrity status for himself on Orlando Morning Radio. That doesn't matter though. This song makes me grin....always.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Adventures in Life

Whenever I host anything at my house, I'm always running late. I think I secretly get my kicks out of this...but regardless, I'm always finishing things very, very last minute. The to-do list usually consists of the following:

Finish making snacks
Fold laundry
Clean bathroom
Sweep
Make Playlist
Finish creating game
Do makeup
Etc
Etc
Etc

All with 52 minutes before people show up.

When I'm scrambling and wiping down counters, throwing the sponge across the room into the sink and lighting the last few candles...I ALWAYS feel like Elizabeth Shue in Adventures in Babysitting.

After their huge adventure in NYC (shit, apparently it's Chicago) and getting the kids home safely; she's scrambling to clean up the mess and just as the parents open the door she jumps over the couch, plops down, opens a magazine and looks up at them, "Oh hey...you guys are home already?"

Rushing around my kitchen reminds me of how much I wanted to BE Elizabeth Shue.

I maybe still do.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Beater.

I'm speaking of a chocolate beater, not an old car.

Made cupcakes tonight and LOVE that my roommate likes licking the beater as much as I do. It clearly tastes better from there.

She was telling me that as a kid she had to share because there were four kids and only two pieces of chocolate goodness.

Today, my friends, I was grateful that I only grew up with one brother.

Monday, October 26, 2009

La la la la love

Met a friend for dinner tonight and there is nothing like seeing the glow of someone who is in love. It's so mesmerizing and engulfing. Especially when you're sitting across the table from a girl who you could never understand why someone hadn't already scooped her up and ridden off into the sunset with her.

Yay for friends being in love.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Guessing Game

When flowers arrive at my door, I usually have three thoughts:

1. Oh my goodness...do I have a secret admirer? I totally do. And it's gonna be some perfect stranger.

2. Then I realize: highly unlikely. They're probably from my mom. Which is amazing in itself. How is my mom so great?!

3. They are also quite possibly from my best friend in FL because she knows my favorite flower, and THESE are THEM.

However, today I opened the card expecting to see my mom's name...and no.

It says, "Dear Raaaaaaabecca" which means it's my dear, dear, dear, dear friend who is currently traveling the world on a sailboat and managed to send me flowers.

Way better than from a silly boy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Funny thing is, he DOES have a brain.

My brother once told me that event coordinators are crazy. And if only seen in action during an event, I'd probably agree with him.

They're usually rushing by you at astonishing speeds with two radios attached to their hip, paper coming out of every pocket, slightly strung out, bloodshot eyes and lots of shouting orders.

You can call me whatever you like.

But I've never felt CRAZY...definitely overwhelmed, frustrated, exhausted, capable of strangling "higher ups", unappreciated, slap happy and lost. But I've learned to hire the right support to make those feelings less intense.

It may not be advice in business school books to hire your friends, but I will forever do it. Knowing I can count on someone to truly put their heart into something (whether it's serving appetizers to Ben Stiller or hauling straw bales in 90 degree heat) is a quality that is nearly impossible to find.

This weekend, rushing around my event and seeing this guy sneeze straw just to make a kid laugh was worth the exhaustion, the frustration and the heat.



Sned, you're kind of my hero.

Friday, October 23, 2009

B to the Rain

Our little Utopia (work) staff went out for drinks tonight after a long day of load in for our event. We're never a boring crowd, but tonight was particularly non-dull.

I've mentioned him before, but for this story, you'll need a quick run down of Brain from my office. He's a mid-40's techy type with a huge heart, short legs and one of the nicest guys I know. He's nerdy, in a very very endearing way but he's hip...ya know....he gets it. He surfs every weekend, he's mastered online dating and he loves everything Asia(n). My boss and I love Brain whose real name is Brian, but after tonight, he will forever be called B-Rain.

It was Latin night at Tijuana's in the lovely city of Irvine. And based on the outfits, I would have guessed we were at a South Beach prom gone wrong. Our crew was in sweaty polo shirts, various shorts and tennis shoes. But I will have you know, that WE, with our white dance moves and big smiles, started the dance floor. All because Brain looked over at the empty space with it's lonely disco ball and fancy fog machine and said, "Nice dance floor, but where are the bitches?"

It rolled off his tongue as if he said it every Friday night at the club. I convinced him that if we went out there, not only would we bring the dance floor, but the bitches too. And we did.

And B-Rain puffed his chest out the rest of the night as we worked it in the club.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dumpster Diving

Soooo....tonight I pulled up in my alley, grabbed a few empty cups from my car and headed toward the dumpster.

It's always challenging opening it with hands full, but I managed and proceeded to throw everything in.

Including my iPhone.
Shit.

I experienced a slight moment of shock and then the first thought to pop in my head..."Oh my god, I should Twitter about this."

And then...

Instantaneous laugh attack.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fangs and fur and such.

I got to color at work today. And not in a doodling on my notes kind of way...but, like, I was getting paid to do so.

I was drawing monster making machines and monster body parts.

Rad.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Ode



I get it.

It's just chicken.
From some seemingly non-special Fast Food joint.

But it's not.
It's delicious....for one.

But the experience only gets better from there.

Free wireless.
Amazingly friendly staff.
ICE DREAM.
And plenty of sauces to choose from.

Chick Fil A.
You know this,...but I love you.

And today, not only did you have fresh flowers on every table (I mean come on, what Fast Food place offers this?!), but they were SUNFLOWERS.

Top shelf my friend, top shelf.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The workout begins.

Mornings have never been my thing.
Ever.
Just ask my father.

But somehow in highschool, I woke up at 5:30am every morning and got my butt in the pool.

THIS morning -- it was not 5:30am, it was 6:30am. And it was not the pool...but I started a workout regime that I'm hoping to keep for at least 4 weeks.

And sunrise, ocean and Santa Monica...well, it's not a bad combo really.
If I could just smell like chlorine when I got home, it would be perfect.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cleaning on Sundays

There is still something about masses of Crayola markers and Sharpies that get me excited and make me feel like a kid in art class.

You can never have enough.
Love it.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Round of applause

Some more Guerrilla Gardening today and it never gets old at Wilton and Sunset when people speed by yelling "Thank you" out their window.

Today, a guy drove by in his truck with both hands out of his window giving us a round of applause. Pretty great.

You're welcome, Hollywood.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Approval.

Been working a lot of overtime lately for an event coming up and finally finished most of the artwork for all our signage.

Had to get it approved by the client and my boss today. And, I'm not gonna lie, the "Fantastic" and "Love it" comments I got...made my day. Hard work paid off.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vino

Stayed late again tonight...but drinking wine at work makes it less painful.

I suppose wine makes most things less painful. But its fun to blast my music, sip on wine and not have anyone bother me. Maybe I should work solo more often.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So kind.

I was late to work today because my windshield wiper does not like to stay in it's home. It fell off twice today on the 5 freeway and it sounds like a shotgun when it unhooks and hits my window going 70 mph.

Not to mention I can't see because it's not doing its job.

I was explaining this to my boss when I walked in and he said we'd go look at it later.

Later today, he left in a hurry to run errands and pack before a big trip and I totally forgot about my car.

I just happened to step away from my desk for a break and to watch the rain for a second....and low and behold, my boss was down there, IN THE RAIN, checking out my windshield wiper.

Wow and wow.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sick.

Everyone loves to puff out their chest and compare east coast and west coast. I'm technically partial to the east coast, but if you ask New Yorkers or even Bostonians, they'd tell you Florida is NOT the east coast and I should shut my mouth. Right.

So I, a girl from the SOUTH coast, was getting coffee today at my favorite local joint (Cafe Bolivar -- go here!) and the guy behind me saddled up next to me and said, "That's the sickest tatt I've seen in awhile."

Ah, but there's more to this sunshine than getting an early morning compliment.

I immediately thought..."Wow, I love when people are just friendly and talk to you. It doesn't happen very often here." And then I processed that he said "sick" -- which could mean he's east coast even though that word has morphed its way into everyone's vocabulary. But then (bear with my train of thought here), I thought of my friend Jane who was recently visiting from the east coast.

She came home after a day of gallivanting around and said, "LA is weird. People just talk to you...for no reason. It's creepy."

That was a long train to get here, but:
Friendly Strangers are great. No matter where you are or where they're from.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Boo.

It's my favorite month. I think we've talked about this before, but I love the rain, the cool temperatures, football in the background and Halloween.

And this morning I walked into my office and was greeted by this guy:

video

This is why my boss and I get along so well. We both agree that Halloween is BY FAR the best holiday.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Concerned.

I visited a couple gardens today and at both places set my keys down on the curb since I didn't have pockets.

People are very concerned about keys. I can't tell you how many people stopped to:
A. see if they were mine and
B. make sure I wasn't going to forget them

Girl stealing water from a church -- no big deal.
Girl hauling a garbage can full of compost across the street -- no big deal.
But keys, alone, with no owner -- huge deal.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Overly-Friendly-Kilt-Wearing-Guy

I saw you walking out of Starbucks and wasn't looking forward to running into you. But you were surprisingly really nice and your sort of over-the-top - "You're most certainly welcome, my lady" - actually made me smile.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Grrrr.

I got a phone call today from my mom and her voice sounded sort of concerned. I thought she had some bad news. She wanted to know "if I had a second to talk."

Come to find out, she was calling me to vent. She was frustrated and just wanted someone to talk to.

It was a first. It's almost always ME calling HER with some dilemma or complaint that I need to talk through.

I felt so honored that I actually got to be on the receiving end this time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Friendly Stranger

My brother and I walked into a bar tonight and the group of guys who had just walked in before us turned around, gave us high fives and offered to buy us a shot.

Fantastic.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So maybe there's a theme lately...whatever.

Kids seem to have infiltrated my life lately, but this girl isn't complaining. I feel like I'm surrounding myself with kids on purpose...they tend to brighten almost any day.

Tonight I attended a Back to School Night at Cassidy Preschool. Which was sort of unexpected. I ran by to pick up photos from our Guerrilla Gardening dig and was lucky enough to stick around for a bit to see a friend schmooze with parents...but more importantly, see a friend in the middle of a dream realized. She (and her loving husband) made a dream come true when they opened their preschool. And I got to see it!

And as a bonus, when I got home to edit photos, found this gem. I mean, come on.




Other photos from the GG Day at Cassidy

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lost and Found

As I pulled out my wallet to pay for lunch today, I realized a couple of my credit cards were missing -- namely, my LA Guerrilla Gardening bank card. My heart skipped a beat and I tried to remember the last time I saw it.

I decided it had to have fallen out in my bag and to not worry about it.

At the register, the cashier watched me as I autographed my receipt and then she sort of cocked her head and said, "Are you involved with gardening?"

Weird. "Yes I am."

"Are these yours?" She handed me a stack of cards, including my Guerrilla Gardening business cards. "I recognized your name. Someone JUST came in moments ago to drop these off...said they found them outside by the post office."

Thank you kind stranger who doesn't believe in finders keepers.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Head to Head Competition

Got to spend my afternoon at a BBQ with lots of kids. And one in particular convinced me to purchase a new game for my iPhone. Important to note that she's all of 7 or 8 years old, just moved here from Mexico and barely speaks English and knew how to use my phone better than I did.

I bought an air hockey game and the deciding factor was the position you have to sit in order to play. Granted, I LOVE air hockey and the perfectly copied sound effects from the game that this app offers, but mostly it was positioning.

We must have played for 30 minutes. And in order for both people to be able to see the board and be able to block goals, we had to sit across from each other, each of us holding one end of the phone -- literally head touching head.

Don't worry. I've already decided I'm bringing it out at bars when I meet a cute boy. Perfect.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Excuse me, mam...

I was in search of free mulch today and ended up on the westside at a place that is supposed to offer it 7 days a week. However, every time I've been to pick it up, the place seems to be closed early. Just like every other time, today, I drove off annoyed and frustrated that I'd driven there with zero success.

However, this time after turning around 3 times in my car, I noticed a posted sign. Apparently the location had moved to the back of the building, just around the corner.

As I stopped my car, put my flashers on and hopped out to verify the sign....a man pulled up in a pick up truck with his beautiful dog hanging out the window and said, "Are you having car trouble?"

I responded that I was merely trying to find free mulch and he said, "Oh, I saw you pull over a couple times and get out, I thought you were having trouble so I turned around to make sure you were okay."

THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IN LA. It just doesn't. Other places (i.e. Tennessee & Florida)....yes, it does. But it was so out of the ordinary today. And I loved it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cheers to big cars.



Soooo...I get made fun of for having a messy car and almost never having room for passengers.

But, ya know what?

I'm kind of proud of it. There's usually an insta-party in my car and you can't fault me for that.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just Because

I was just noticing the other day that my email inbox is mostly about work. Fulfilling favors or putting ANOTHER event into my calendar or deciding which forward to read.

Over the past year or so, the personal How Are You emails have dwindled and its made it less fun to see my inbox full.

But, as usual, just when I get down about something I'm always proved wrong. I got a very sweet Just Thinking Of You type email from a friend today and it made my day.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Little hands

Got to spend my lunch hour with a bunch of 4 & 5 year olds getting our hands dirty and learning about Guerrilla Gardening.

It's been a kid filled week and it's been awesome.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The lean.

At a friend's house tonight, my favorite 2 1/2 year old slowly inched closer and closer to me while we watched The Bee Movie. I was in mid-sentence in a conversation with his dad when I noticed the little guy had started leaning on my leg. First, just the tip of his elbow. Then slowly, his entire arm and within moments he was completely nuzzled under my arm. All of this, while never taking his eyes off the movie.

I love how kids barely have a boundary when it comes to touching. They lean on you, jump in your lamp without asking and just want to be close in general.

Since my average day is more normally filled with awkward hugs and sitting the appropriate distance from adults...tonight was a much appreciated change.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Please leave your name, number and a brief message.

I have a vendor that I've been talking to almost every day lately and I love when I get his answering machine.

It says the usual -- this is Clay, leave me a message, etc. But at the end he says, "And, hey, tell me a reason why you love your life." He sort of giggles and hangs up.

Today, after I left my reason for loving my life, our technical manager leaned over from his desk and said, "Did you just call Clay?...I'm totally calling so I can leave him a message. I had a great weekend and I'd love to share."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Getting close

One of my favorite moments in friendship is when you hear someone's real laugh. I feel like you can know someone for months and months and have experienced many a funny time, but there is a moment when someone starts laughing and you could swear there's a new person in the room.

It's sort of a vulnerable opening up and, to me, it's more special than any secret a friend could tell me.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

We don't need no stinking sand.

I love that my 35 year old friend (and idol) is still planning Saturdays where we can show up like this.


Sandcastle Wars 09

Friday, September 25, 2009

Actions speak louder anyway.

In my family, sometimes there's just an understanding of how much we care about each other. There aren't always words exchanged or sappy notes...but you just know.

Even though there's an unexplainable comfort in just knowing, it's still nice to have a little proof sometimes.

I was being sort of overly pursued by a guy at a bar and ended up separated from my brother and a friend. After the evening was over and my friend and I were chatting over Thai food at 4am, she explained how heated my brother was about this guy and how concerned he was for my safety.

Yes, I'm a big girl. But I'll never turn down a protective brother looking out for me.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Helping create sunshine.

Today I had the opportunity to make someone's day and, I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty rewarding.

Bon Iver will be playing a sunrise show at Hollywood Forever cemetery and tickets are being sold for 10x their face value! Ridiculous.

I had an extra ticket so I posted an ad online and said I wanted it to go to a true fan for face value. I've scoured Craigslist at the last minute before in hopes to find a kind soul who wasn't looking to make a profit and I know how frustrating it can be.

You wouldn't believe how quickly my inbox starting filling up with people begging me for the ticket.

When I met the lucky winner for the transfer, she was gushing. She must have thanked me 50 times. I loved having that little power to make someone so happy.

(UPDATE: She sent me a thank you email after the show and wanted me to know that I had made her month. So cool.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Customer Service, again.

There are places you expect some serious customer-is-always-right service. And in my mind, teeny-bopper clothing stores don't always make the cut.

But today, my friends, a lovely H&M associate sort of made my day. The details don't entirely matter, but she went above and beyond your average Tshirt-folding employee.

And she had a sweet Irish accent. Bonus.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Arachnid

My favorite holiday is, by far, Halloween. It could be because it's in conjunction with my birthday, it could be the candy...I'm not sure.

But today I got to partake in a Halloween decor shopping spree. We have an event coming up for work and I was the chosen decor shopper. Which is sort of a little piece of heaven.

And I now have enough plastic spiders to do some serious damage.

Monday, September 21, 2009

What shall I name him?

I have a little project that invloves using furry material to make costumes for this weekend.

There's a piece of the fabric sitting on my couch and every time I walk past it, my heart stops for a second because I think we've acquired a pet that I can smother to death with kisses.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Here's the deal...

You think your planned evening is sort of ruined because you find out you're sort of an idiot and what you thought was DVR is indeed just another basic cable box.

So you haven't recorded the Emmy's for your spontaneous Emmy party. Of which you only wanted to watch because if he wasn't gay, you'd have Neil Patrick Harris's children.

Regardless, people come over. Guacamole is devoured. And you watch what is left of the Emmys.

The kicker...it doesn't matter. The people who show up, i.e. Cameron Cash, make it all worth while and you end up laughing your ass off.

Brilliant.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I love strangers sometimes.

For some reason, I thought I could walk two bikes home all by myself. 20 blocks didn't seem like a big deal and I figured it would be a little mini-workout.

About 1 block in, I realized I was being pretty silly. Walking two bikes...well, it sucks.

There were two boys visiting from Phoenix who happened to be walking up the same hill I was and offered to push one of the bikes for me. They were only going about 6 of the 20 blocks, but offered to help until then.

When we got to their truck they offered to throw the bikes in and give me a ride. However, 2 bikes and 3 people weren't going to fit. So they threw one in their truck and then followed me on my bike home. I felt a little like a cyclist training with my coach in the car egging me on.

So incredibly nice. Truly made my day.

Friday, September 18, 2009

America's Best Dance Crew

I had a great time at Park[ing] Day LA today, but my favorite part was watching Ms. Graciela dance her butt off.

Graciela is 4-years old and might have better moves than all my friends combined.

She was the team leader on the parking lot dance floor and was telling all of us which moves to make and when.

I can only aspire to one day have moves like her. Seriously.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Roots

Mmmm...Dad's Rootbeer.

Man I used to drink the crap out of that rootbeer when I was little. I always thought I was so cool getting to drink out of what seemed to be a beer bottle.

Yay to The Oinkster for having it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A recommendation.

I was in my alley today on my way for a run and caught myself dancing in the streets. I hesitated for a minute because I wasn't sure if anyone was watching. But then something took over and next thing I know I'm trying to do the leprechaun leap -- sort of jumping up and to the side, touching your feet together.

I've always wanted to be able to that.

I'm pretty sure I looked more like a rookie football player trying to figure out my victory dance, but it was fun regardless.

I highly recommend headphones, dark alleys and dancing alone.
(Ya know, in those safe parts of town.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chaos.

Someone sent me a blog entry today and there was a line that read: "Behind the chaos there is peace."

The overall entry was good and hit home in a lot of ways, but I went to a meeting tonight and I saw that sentence in action.

Our meeting was meant to start at 6:30pm and be the final meeting before our big fundraiser next week. The elements in the room: A puppy, a beautiful 2 1/2 year old boy, a couple bottles of wine, adults gathered after a day of work, an absolutely gorgeous 8mo year-old girl, a bunny and 18 different ideas.

Chaos.

As 8:30 rolled around, I realized we hadn't achieved much, but it didn't matter. Sitting back for a moment watching the slight insanity, I noticed the peace behind it all. True friends. True family. A brilliant cause. And that damn cute puppy that I just wanted to eat....all of it, peace.

Monday, September 14, 2009

People can blow your mind. Or they can suck.

Had a little fundraiser tonight for Guerrilla Gardening. And I'm pretty sure my favorite part of the evening was having a random stranger show up with two large pizzas.

He'd seen our gardens before and actually works at a pizza place very close to one of them.

From what he explained, he doesn't have a car, so he made the two pizzas and convinced the delivery guy to deliver the pizzas and himself to our fundraiser. Pretty rad.

A successful evening for sure. But I also feel inclined to mention that my brother's bike (i.e. his only mode of transportation) was stripped to the bone while parked outside the bar tonight. I convinced him to come to support his sister and a project she'd put so much energy into. And, alas, bike demolished.



If you have a dollar to spare or you know someone who has bike parts to offer...I would be forever grateful. Seriously, $1 helps.

You can donate through LA Guerrilla Gardening (PayPal) and click on
"Add special instructions to the seller." -- Just add the word: MARK. More than likely, I'll recognize your name anyway...

No pressure here. AT ALL. I just couldn't help but ask.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

2nd and 10

There's something about the sounds of football that make me smile. I don't have a favorite team and I've never been a die hard fan (although my plan is to marry someone who is so we can be obnoxious and wear face paint and drink beer even when we're 80) but I love being in a room with football background noise.

I think it sounds like Fall and 7-layer dip and family.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

You might be...

Spent my afternoon in someone's driveway drinking beer, playing cards and getting rowdy. Passers-by made little comments or smiled with jealousy.

At some point someone in our group said, "I love that we're partying redneck style. In the driveway and all."

It hadn't occurred to me that our actions were categorized as such.

I'd like to pretend that I'm so open-minded and accepting that I would never label anyone. But who am I kidding?! I'm just a redneck at heart. And the kicker is...we were eating tri-tip and fancy corn salad. A far cry from hot dogs and Little Debbies.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Martha?


I forgot how much my heart leaps when I pull out the craft box.

Yay, crafty fun things.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Butter Cream or Whipped?

I was in search of a cake today and was sort of getting the runaround. I don't have the budget to hit up some amazing bakery in LA, so I was working the Grocery Store angle.

Apparently, Vons can only make you the custom cakes they have in their little booklet. Which are quite impressive, I might add. But god forbid I want to take Shrek off the garden-looking cake.

"Nope, I'm not allowed. I just got yelled at for that yesterday."

Really?! Grocery store bakeries...red tape. Who knew?

I walked up to the Ralph's bakery counter and that woman couldn't say anything but YES.

Can you scan an image? Yes.
Can I get green....? Yes.
Will it be ready by....? Yes.

I made sure to tell her that Ralph's would clearly win a thumb wrestling match with Vons, any day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Come Together

I spoke to a friend tonight about her weekend and left the conversation very inspired by people's generosity - and forgive the cliche - even at a time like this.

You may or may not know the story of the two firefighters who died last week in Southern California, but my friend most definitely does. She spent her weekend helping out at a friend's tattoo shop in Rosamond, CA that hosted a very spontaneous fundraiser for one of the firefighters who passed away, Specialist Arnie Quinones.

American Made Tattoo and Psycho City Tattoo both offered to tattoo ALL DAY Saturday and Sunday with ALL (every dime, people) proceeds benefiting Arnie's widow and their unborn child.

All said and done...they raised $25,000 over the weekend. TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. And those numbers only reflect the money raised at American Made Tattoo.

The turnout was so huge, they were able to raise money for BOTH fallen firefighters (Arnie and Capt. Ted Hall) and both tattoo shops gave people rain checks to come back this week to get their tribute tattoos with all proceeds still benefiting the cause.

Breathtaking. Truly.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hello friend.


She was a late bloomer, but look how pretty she is.
May 1, 2009, International Sunflower Day....success on Pico and 20th!!
It truly, truly made my day.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Its a secret.

Early, early this morning I made a decision that I was super proud of. A hard one, and a year ago, I would have chosen differently and been disappointed the rest of the day.

But I wasn't. And it feels good.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Belgian Beer was calling...

My friend and I left our Labor Day party because we were feeling tired (i.e. old) and ready for a movie at home. But once our bikes passed 23rd Street, the magnetic force of The Daily Pint pulled us in.

It's so hard to pass up! And, as always, made for a great evening inching into the wee small hours.


I guess The Pint makes you feel young.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Speaking of waiting 29 years....

Today was pretty fabulous in general. But the shining moment was getting a personal sizing for a new bra.

You may not be able to fully appreciate this unless you're:
A. Female
B. Rather large breasted

But it was an amazing experience and there's nothing like having your very own bra expert bring you sizes, hang up ones you don't want and flatter you with compliments.

My new bra, while not cheap, might have changed my life.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Long Weekend

My drive home tonight was so much more pleasant than I expected.

Thought I'd be pulling my hair out because everyone would be trying to skip town. But it was better than it's EVER been on a Friday.

It's the small things.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Don't even knock.

Locked myself in my room tonight to watch the entire 4th season of How I Met Your Mother.

I secretly want to be in that show. If only my life could be a sitcom.

Sometimes.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Pacific

Spent most of my day in the ocean. Heaven.

My two friends complained about sticky skin and a dry throat from the salt. But I love getting home exhausted from fighting waves and feeling kissed by the ocean.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

You make me happy when skies are grey.

Went swimming at The Roosevelt tonight surrounded by a bunch of Hollywood peeps who wished they were as cool as us. It was similar to an 8th grade dance. Everyone sitting close to the edge, and dying to get out there, but not wanting to chance looking uncool.

There were fun floaties and innertubes in the water and at some point my friend said, "Hey, watch this. I can make a sunshine come out of my butt."

He slowly leaned back and slightly off his innertube and the yellow, sunshine shaped toy flew out of the water straight at me.

Clearly, that's my sunshine.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Case of the Mondays

Nothing overly sunny happened today, but I was reminded of a story that I completely forgot about. Thought I'd share.

I went downtown with two friends (of the male variety) and one of them wore a FREE HUGS T-shirt. We here a huge hit at the bar...all the ladies loved him. And he even got hugs from big manly men. We had a few people turn him down, but they'd usually agree to a high five instead.

After the bar, we ran into a homeless man and my friend quickly opened his arms and offered him a hug. The man was not interested and even started to get a little angry with us. I could tell he wasn't dangerous, just seemed a little confused and nervous...so I offered up a hug from me first so he could test the waters...make sure we were OK.

He was still hesitant, but finally agreed. I gave him a good squeeze and he wouldn't let go. He then proceeded to give both of my other friends hugs and explained that he'd been on the street too long and you never know who to trust. We chatted a bit, he thanked us and we were on our way.

I really wasn't sure who made whose night.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Unexpected.

I was on the bike path in Santa Monica today and stopped for a sip of water and a rest. A cute boy in a yellow bathing suit caught my eye as he stopped in the middle of the path and started making a slow down motion with his hands at bikers coming through.

He just stopped in the path and kept doing it. Sadly enough, I was so focused on his broad chest and perfectly placed tattoos, that I didn't see the whole picture. I couldn't understand why he would arbitrarily slow people down.

Then I noticed the two ladies next to him. It was a woman about 60 years old helping another woman about 80 years old cross to the beach. She was moving slow, but she was making it.

His action was so subtle and seemed so natural. After he was sure the women had cleared the path, he went on his way and they didn't even make eye contact.

Cute, local, tall, surprisingly considerate....too bad I didn't say hello.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Aha!

Spent the day in the park today hosting a Field Day for 826LA.

My favorite part about Field Day, Game Night or anything encouraging people to have a little fun is the moment you see the shift in demeanor. People start out a little nervous, apprehensive and sort of "I can't be bothered to run around and look silly".

But there's this aha moment when people suddenly give in and the smile that follows is soooo great.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rated R

I was driving home in the 100 degree heat tonight and decided my hands were a little dry, so I reached in my glove compartment for some lotion.

I popped open the lid and before I could squeeze, it sort of bursted out at me and then kept a slow steady stream for like 10 seconds. My mind went directly to the gutter and I sat at the stoplight and laughed until my cheeks hurt.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thibaudet

There is never a better place to laugh than a place you're not supposed to. Those are the times the tears start to run, the snorts escape and you suddenly can't breathe.

As was tonight.

Hollywood Bowl. Classical music. Average crowd age: 64.
Four friends, wine and giggles.

We were THOSE people in the row in front of you that you hate. But someone has to be those people. And we DID appreciate the music, we did. We just had the giggles.

Sorry.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Normally I hate the BH

I was trying to park my car last night and the guy parked in front of me (who had already walked away from his car) started heading back towards me and said, "Do you want me to move up a little so you can fit?"

People, that doesn't happen in LA.

In fact, my roommate had to take the bus to work one day because someone had parked so close to her that she couldn't get out. And my other roommate was scolded by a fellow parallel parker.

So, yay Beverly Hills man in your sexy Landrover. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cheers

Man, I love when my barista knows my order when I walk in.

Makes me feel real special.

Monday, August 24, 2009

All the day you'll have good luck.

Driving home tonight, I reached up to run my fingers through my hair and something literally fell from the sky, bounced off my steering wheel and fell through my legs to the floor.

I immediately checked my back seat because it felt like someone had thrown something at me.

Negative.


So I started feeling around on the floor and low and behold, a penny. I wish there had been a video camera because my eyes got all big, I looked at the penny, I looked up...looked at the penny, looked up. Looked around to see if anyone had witnessed it. Looked up.

Then I realized it didn't matter.
It was heads up.
I win.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cumulus

Along with thunder, lightning and cheap beer...I miss fluffy clouds from Florida. I spent my drive home from Vegas creating stories in the sky with turtles and poofy chairs and unicorns.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Who knew?

Sometimes inspiration comes from weird places. But mostly places you'd never, EVER expect.

And it rocks your world when it's at 3am in Vegas from a couple who you feel you can only aspire to be someday.

Vegas has beautiful surprises sometimes. Including: jumping up and down like 12-year-olds on the dance floor, embelishing in alone time and finding a married couple who...in my mind...just gets it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

...stays in Barstow

I drove a fur piece today (uh huh, I said that) but it was so worth it when I got to show up at the bar and say " Galaaaaatte" to my favorite Mike in the whole world on his wedding eve.

(that's his last name - Galatte)

Say it with me....Gu-laAAAAaawwt-y. Oh, it's so pretty.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I wish you could see his kicks...

I went to a Zydeco show tonight and about halfway through this little kid just jumped on the stage, guitar in hand, and started jamming. The band didn't even blink...they just kept playing. It was like he was a planned special guest.

Please check out his pajama pants.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Haiku

A beer at sunset
Weekday summer laughter with
crazies walking by

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Normally...I hate honkers.

I was riding my bike on Santa Monica Blvd tonight and had a car actually do me a favor...instead of practically run me off the road.

In West LA, SM Blvd has those little side roads that join the main road. There's a yield sign at each of them, but most people just come right out and try to get on the main thoroughfare.

I was riding dead even with a Mercedes SUV on the main road and this car came flying down one of those side roads ready to merge. Mr. Mercedes honked (aggressively I might add) at this guy and pointed at me and then shook his head at the speeding guy.

Thanks for looking out! Most definitely an uncommon gesture.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A gesture.

Went to run an errand today and thought I'd actually run there to get a twofer: exercise and errand in one. I literally ran right up to the door of REI and a guy standing inside pushed the automatic door button for me just as I reached to grab the handle.

When the doors opened he said, "Thought you might be out of strength...so just a little help."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Take advantage while you can.

I stayed in bed long enough today to almost not even see the sunshine. Some would say a waste of the day, but I figure I'm just storing up for all those moments sitting at your desk when you fantasize about being under your covers.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dirty Dirty Dirty

Today I started my morning with changing the brake pads on my car (with the helpful instruction of a good friend) and ended the afternoon making homemade zucchini bread.

Looking down at my hands covered in flour, I laughed because just a few hours earlier, they were completely covered in black car goodness. And I couldn't help but think of the two people who taught me to get my hands my dirty...my friend Jesse Biltz and my mom.


Friday, August 14, 2009

The View

Tonight we opted to forgo the Hollywood house party and look down on Hollywood instead. A group of us climbed on to the roof at Hollywood and Vine and watched all the sassy Hollywood girls try to avoid the white-pants wearing Hollywood boys.

It's so interesting watching people from a distance when they have no idea you're looking. I feel like it should be similar to watching TV, but its just SOO much better.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Because nothing else was on?

I watched America's Funniest Home Videos tonight...a show I haven't watched since I was a kid. The new host is just as bad, if not worse, than Mr. Saget, but man...the videos are still hilarious.

It reminded me of watching it with my family and it being one of the only shows EVERYONE got a kick out of.

Geez, people running into fences and animals falling off of couches is never going to get old. Thanks, American TV, for a much needed laugh tonight.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fancy Pants

I had fancy coffee today with Green Tea Pumpkin Seeds as a snack. When I say fancy, I mostly mean expensive.

But the atmosphere with its waterfalls and light soothing music and the EXCEPTIONAL service were well worth it at Funnel Mill in Santa Monica.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Two for the price of one

I came home to TWO Netflix movies waiting for me. I'm only supposed to have one at a time.

Score!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Getting Lost

I was born to get lost. So much so, that if I come to a fork and think I should turn left, I'll turn right knowing I'm probably wrong.

Looks like a couple of my friends got the same gene...we drove about an hour and a half out of way tonight, but it was well worth it.

First of all, we saw part of the Sequoia National Forest we may have never seen AND in an effort to wake up a little and take a quick break, we stopped in the middle to stargaze.

About 5 minutes after we got out of the car, we saw the biggest, longest shooting star I think I've ever seen. Truly breathtaking.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Aspire.

The lake was a little chilly, but as soon as I touch a body of water, I tend to revert to 7-years-old and somehow the cold doesn't matter...I could stay in for days.

This happens to be the one moment when all the kids had fallen off and me and Super In Shape Old Guy were the only ones left on the log.

40 years from now, I will take this picture again. And I'll be the Super In Shape Old Lady.


Just wait.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tailwinds, Whirlwinds & Headwinds

My vacation has been a whirlwind of changes, layovers gone wrong and missing clothes. But all it takes to get rid of the madness is a few friends, some big ass trees and a kid we met at the lake.

Hume Lake is in the Sequoia National Forest and while still public, is the grounds of a Christian Youth Camp. My friend and I were getting situated in our kayak and almost ready to push off, when the spitting image of Ralphie from A Christmas Story paddled in to the shore.

He looked straight at us, huffing and puffing and said:
"Man, there's a nasty headwind out there. I've been trying to get in for an hour and half; I was stuck out there! And now I'm late for a baptism....I'm in so much trouble."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Drivers who wave.

I'm pretty sure I filled out an online dating profile and listed "drivers who wave" in the "Things I Like" category. Which, at the time, meant drivers who wave to say thank you....ya know...when you let them pull in front of you or slow down so they can get in.

But I somehow forgot the even better version of drivers who wave.

In TN, and in most of any "country", drivers wave simply to say hello. There's no agenda behind it, it's simply a friendly gesture.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The River

A glass of wine, a screened-in porch, pouring rain and my journal.

Not much more a girl could ask for.

(ooo, maybe a slice of cheesecake)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Perfect timing

Had to kill a few hours in Nashville waiting for my brother, so thought we'd check out the Honky Tonk strip on Broadway.

After my mom enjoyed her bar special (fried balogna sandwich, PBR and a Moonpie - $5) we headed to stop number two and ran into a guy I used to swim with in high school!

He's actually a Navy Seal and just happened to be in town for the weekend.

So AMAZING to see him and such a surprise!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Slowing down.

Doing Tennessee this week and got our first delicious taste as we were leaving the car rental place.

The nice old man taking our ticket leaned nearly all the way in the car to say hello and offer directions. I had already used my trusty iPhone to find the nearest liquor store but my mom obliged the man and asked for help.

He leaned in with his thick southern accent and said, "Well what are ya'll ladies buyin'?...and if it's whiskey, can I come too?

I felt myself get a little agitated because I wanted to go, but then I realized how nice the chatting was.

So we did. We chatted for a bit and he even told us a great joke.

(I'll paraphrase)

Married couple are getting divorced and are at their lawyer's office. The husband begins to explain some of their problems and the wife cuts him off immediately.

Husband: "SEE! This is the problem, she NEVER listens and she NEVER shuts up."

The lawyer walks straight over to the wife, grabs her and plants an amazing kiss right on her lips.

Lawyer: "See, that's what she needs. About three times a week. Promise it'll work."

Husband: "Perfect. Monday, Wednesday, Friday work for you? We'll be here."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Being an adult.

This girl is heading out of town for awhile and really looking forward to some down time. She also had plans to go out tonight, even though she has a 6am flight.

I think the thought of driving to The Valley got the best of her and she decided to stay home annnnd...get this...pack.

She was officially packed and ready to go exactly EIGHT hours before her flight. This is, most definitely, a first. And it feels amazing.

I'm so proud of this girl.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Local Yocals

Did some local shopping today at a cute little boutique on my street. I knew exactly what I was getting and thought I'd run in and out...5 minutes tops.

Twenty minutes later, I was still there chatting with the store owner and watching her meticulously gift wrap my purchase. We didn't have any big intellectual conversations...mostly about her dog, about babies and about living in Santa Monica...but it was so great.

Waaay better than any purchase I've made from Target. Twice as expensive too, but I guess you pay for the good stuff.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

West LA Courthouse

Spending time at traffic court is always fun. And today it was even better.

I was waiting in line to pay a ridiculous amount of money to the government (which really should be cancelled out, considering they still owe me money) and a voice came from behind me:

"Sooo, what'd yooou do?"

I kind of giggled...the question made me feel like a criminal and/or Ferris Bueller's sister.

This guy was sans leather jacket and more of a frat boy than a bad boy...but it was nice to have a little chat while waiting.