Monday, March 30, 2009

Don't be a quitter.

On my way to work today, there was a very nice Toyota Truck with a very sweet Brown Dog in the back. I followed them for a bit and watched the dog try desperately to put his face in the wind and stick his tongue out.

Every time he got balanced enough to put his head around the cab of the truck and actually get the wind in his face, the driver would turn quickly or abruptly stop...causing Mr. Brown Dog to loose his balance briefly and need to regroup.

Thankfully, he wasn't a quitter. And I appreciate that. Every time he'd lose his balance, he'd shake it off, re-balance and try again.

And finally, once we were on the freeway (the perfect, straight-shot opportunity to bask in all the wind glory)...he gave up momentarily. And gave me this cute face...

Ultimately, I think he was mostly just a ham. I tried desperately to get the "after" picture and failed. But I promise he got amazing wind against his face and sloppy tongue air like you wouldn't believe.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Oh, Chinatown and dating...

Today having Dim Sum and being coerced in to taking whatever hot dish the mean cart lady wanted to give us...we tried some sort of rice cake shrimp concoction.

I made Carolyn try it first and her immediate response was, "It's...tast-ee?" (a dash and two E's meaning a high note ending.)

Which we all decided was the equivalent of answering the question, "How was your date last night?" with "Um...he was nice? (question mark, question mark, raised eyebrows, scrunched nose)"

We just weren't that into the rice cakes.
Nor the emotional heartache we received from the cart lady whose dim sum we turned our nose up to.

But a sunshine all the same.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lights on or lights off

We participated in Earth Hour tonight. Which would have been cooler had the entire street gone dark and it felt like a community effort. But it was still great to have beer by candlelight and have a little chat. We felt very environmentally conscious for a whole 60 minutes.

Sitting in the candlelight reminded me of power outages during thunderstorms at home. Those were always so fun as a kid. And even though we turned the lights off on purpose this time, it still had the same sweet feeling from being a kid in the dark.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The 5th Floor

I have a meeting every Friday at 8:30a and I'm always running a few minutes late. For me, running a FEW minutes late can be more stressful than 15. I think because I'm so close to ACTUALLY being on time and I know the potential is there, so it gets me bent out of shape.

My meeting is on the top floor and I can feel the impatience start to boil up when someone else gets in the elevator with me.

However, just about every other week, the elevator stops on the 5th floor and a guy gets in and then gets off at the 9th floor. He never makes eye contact and always seems relatively busy, but its such a routine now. I catch myself every week waiting to see if the elevator will stop on the 5th floor.

For some reason this extra stop never seems to bother me.
It's just the comfort of seeing a stranger so often, you'd almost call them your friend.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This would never happen at Albertson's

My boss has a rule when we're at restaurants. If anyone is singing Happy Birthday, we have to join in. It's actually a pretty great rule.

Today I was at Trader Joe's and a voice came over the loud speaker, "Attention Trader Joe's customers. Today is Patrick's birthday and we're all going to sing. The staff would appreciate it if you all join in."

Almost all of the staff headed right towards checkout stand number two carrying a birthday cake and balloons. They sang the crap out of Happy Birthday.

Unfortunately, the only people who followed my boss's rule (even though technically we were in a grocery store) were the two people standing in line at checkout and me, in isle three, sort of quietly to myself.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Tonight, during a jog through the neighborhood, I passed a sweet young man in his 60's walking home around 9:30pm with his briefcase and an item that makes me smile.

Not fancy ones. Not ones he specially picked out. Just flowers.

Who knows if they were an apology, a celebration or just because.

My heart says..."just because".

But I suppose it always will.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I struggled with a sunshine for Tuesday. Mostly because of my attitude more than anything. So I'm stealing one from Wednesday. Because I can.

I headed out to my alley this morning and our favorite apartment maintenance man was blocking my garage. We chatted a bit about broken locks, my newly patched wall and the wood floors we're all pining for. As I walked away he said, "With the most respect, you're looking great. Really great. I don't know what your secret is, but you just look great."

Timing is an amazing thing. I didn't even know I needed to hear that, but I did.

I'm aware you might be thinking -- "Big deal. A maintenance man said you looked nice. Don't they always say that to young, blond girls?"

Sure they do. But it doesn't matter. I'm not sure if I trust him more because I know he has a 14-year-old daughter at home and has a very honest and calming demeanor....or if maybe its just always nice to have someone compliment you.

Again, doesn't matter.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why is free food so hard to turn down?

I was in Orange County today which means Chain Restaurant Hell. However, we ended up at Pat & Oscar's which I've decided is basically an upscale Fazoli's. And the beauty of BOTH of these chains is FREE, delicious breadsticks. And they BRING them to YOU while you're waiting in line.

Yum, yum and yum.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's a jungle out there

A friend was telling me some of the unsettling details about her little sister in the Big Brother & Big Sister program and shared a story that makes me so proud to call her my friend.

The little sister had run away from home and when my friend heard of this she drove to the little girl's neighborhood in the middle of the night to try and find her. Heroic indeed, but let me paint you a picture of the little girl's neighborhood - Baldwin Village. The last scene in the movie Training Day was shot at a Baldwin Village apartment, and this girl's apartment complex was identical. A two story, courtyard-style building with busted windows, limited lighting and more people loitering outside than should be at midnight on a school night. (This area is called "The Jungle" because it used to be known for its lush landscaping and the courtyards of these apartment buildings had swimming pools with young families splashing around in the summer. In the 1970's gang drug trafficking surrounded the area and the swimming pools were slowly filled in, the landscaping slowly disappeared and now it's called "The Jungle" because of it's high crime rate.)

My friend showed up with her husband, got out of the car and confronted a huge black man about the whereabouts of this little girl. She said it felt like the entire neighborhood stopped and turned to look at this 5 foot 2, sassy redhead and her sort of geeky (but attractive) husband. No one would offer much information, or even eye contact for that matter, until they found out my friend was a part of the Big Brother program. The huge, very intimidating man immediately changed his demeanor and seemed genuinely concerned and ready to help.

I'm so impressed by the respect people have for this program. And even more impressed when people, like my friend, truly implement the program and cross boundaries with hardly any hesitation.
Which is what any big brother or big sister would do.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The photo doesn't do it justice

There is something about this color combo that makes me happy. It actually reminds me a bit of Australia. I have some pictures from the Outback with amazing blue sky, red clay and a lonely green tree. There's something about the contrast that is just pretty to me.

This is the view out my bedroom window. I realize a green pasture or the ocean or a hilltop view are more coveted than seeing your neighbor's red building. But I really do enjoy the view and now it feels like home.

Friday, March 20, 2009

If I had wings

For some reason the 405 freeway has been really congested lately. I realize that's sort of common knowledge, but my usual commute is typically pretty easy and the past few weeks the ride home has been less than amusing.

However, tonight, the car in front of me had two passengers in the back seat and just as we got over the hill at Sepulveda (where the weather dramatically changes) the two passengers reached out of their window at the same time. My heart skipped a beat because I thought they were going to give their car wings and start flapping them.

I used to do this all the time when I had friends in the car. Its fun for the car involved, but its most fun for all the people sitting in traffic.

They never did flap their wings, but next time you have a friend in the car, try it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I won't be afraid.

There's always an email waiting in your inbox with something to watch, something to read or some interesting fact. This one showed up today from my mom. And watching it truly was my sunshine.

For some reason, the singer at about 4:33 gets me every time. And I'd do back up harmonica for Grandpa Elliot,

Creative projects like this make my heart start to swell and I can't sit still in my chair. My breath quickens and I just feel so alive.
I know one day I'll work on something like this. I just know it.

Stand By Me | Song Around The World from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You don't really need words.

I was weeding today at one of the guerrilla gardens (Wilton & Sunset) and finished the second half of the mission solo. Which is something I need to do more often. It truly is a sort of meditation. And getting a weed out from the very bottom of its root is a satisfaction I'm not sure I can put into words.

At some point a Vietnamese gentlemen in his 40's came passing by as I was yanking out the little intruders. He smiled and kept walking. Moments later, he turned around pointing at the garden and said in very broken English, "You work?"

Me: "No, I'm just a volunteer. My friends and I put this garden in...we're trying to clean up the city a little."

He sort of cocked his head to the side and stood there, kind of processing what I just said. He gave me a pretty generic smile and a head nod as if he was leaving, but continued to just stand there. I wasn't sure what else to say, so I continued weeding. He stood still for a solid 20 seconds, just watching me. Then, in silence, he bent down and started pulling weeds.

Neither one of us said a word. I smiled at him once or twice and then after he pulled a few handfuls, he stood up, waved goodbye and was on his way.

THIS is why I guerrilla garden.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Modus operandi

Watching a friend (boy) get hit on is so, so, so fun. I think I forget.

You watch the girl move in and assess the surroundings. And she decides she's IN. She has a chance.

And then, as a girl, I watch her moves, her plan, her M.O.

Tonight her plan was to be as witty as possible... try to compete with the boy. But as I've learned...boys like competition ONLY in the right circumstance. And, as a girl, you have to be aware of that situation.

Tonight, said girl was not entirely sure. And she didn't win.

But kudos, said girl, you made an effort.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Tonight, walking to my kickball game, I didn't think twice about my outfit. I was team clad...full of team spirit.

However, along my walk, after one and two and three sort of strange looks...I realized I might not be as average as I thought.

Bright yellow laces, purple/green/white argyle knee-socks, cut-off jean shorts, bright purple shirt and pig tails...yea, maybe not so least according to my local Santa Monica-ites.

However, the boy that purposefully rolled down his window to yell "Nice socks!" sort of ruled my world tonight. So much better than the typical "Hey hot stuff" or etc.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I'm unique and different

I was cleaning out some of my files tonight and came across some footage from shooting for the Australia interview. I totally forgot about this outtake and it makes me laugh so much.

The camera man truly had no idea what he was shooting, he was merely trying to give me some good advice. The outcome, however, is pretty hilarious.

Best Job in the World Outtake from Roly Poly on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Purple Horseshoes

Went to a friend's birthday party tonight and it was everything a house party should be. Good music, good drinks, good friends.

I had been there for about 2 hours and had yet to venture to the snacks table. From a distance it looked pretty average: chips and salsa, birthday cake and napkins. I dove right into the chips and continued my conversation with a friend. As I glanced down to assess the cake, I realized there was a bowl that I couldn't believe I missed. Lucky Charms! As an appetizer!

I mean....brilliant.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Waiting in line isn't all bad...

The Ladies Room again.

Went to Harvelle's tonight and b-lined it to the bathroom. There was already a line and we all crammed into the teeny space.

The woman who was first in line started gettin' down which then turned into her convincing all of us to dance. "Come on can't help it, you just can't help it. Shake it."

So we did. All of us. In our teeny little space.

Dancing in the bathroom is clearly my sunshine. But the sunshine to my sunshine was the dynamic of the group. The dancing woman was in her mid-50's and the rest of us were late 20's. When she first asked everyone to dance there was so much hesitation. But one by one, we lost our insecurities and had a dance party.

I want to be her when I'm 50.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Goooud ona cracker

Two glasses of wine.
Empty apartment.
Gouda cheese.
And a DVD.

A good friend sent me the movie Amelie as a gift. A movie that's been on my list of "Movies I Need To Own" for quite awhile. Tonight, I was reminded how much I adore this film.

A term I never use lightly.
To me,
adore is bigger than love.

This movie is sunshine after sunshine after sunshine. It makes me want to curl up and grin until my cheeks hurt. And then watch it again and again.

And someday, somewhere...someone will create a scavenger hunt to his heart (or I will for him).

And I will adore him.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Oh Trader Joe's, how I love thee. But my trips there are always a little stressful. I'd swear I'm trying to find parking at a sold out concert and then squeezing through the isles amongst shopping carts, dudes restocking shelves and mom's with Baby Bjorns...I almost can't breathe.

Today, right after my baby toe almost got run over and I was gritting my teeth, the cart driver stopped and said, "I like your tattoo. It's pretty."

Me: "Thanks."
Cart guy: "I really like it, but, um, wouldn't it be better if you could see it. Ya know, sort of as a reminder?"
Me: "Yea, but I know it's there. And to be honest, I have a lot of people stop and ask me about it. So I get reminded all the time. And then it gives me a chance to remind some one else to sort of take a step back and breathe."

And he did. Right then and there. And I couldn't help but do it as well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It could be worse

I sent a text message to a friend complaining about yet another parking ticket I received this morning. His text response was:

It's better than finding women's underwear in your pant leg in the middle of class.

I basically almost fell out of my chair laughing. I've actually had this happen to me. But they were MY underwear...stuck in there from the last laundry run.

The mental image of his reaction when he realized what he just pulled out of his pants, haunted me all day. Which made the work day a little more bearable.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hugh Grant is right.

I had a relatively rough day today but as luck would have it...found a blessing in disguise. I was meant to pick up a friend at the airport and didn't check the flight before leaving. Which of course left me at the airport circling 5 and 6 times when I realized I needed to pee and was going to have to suck it up and pay to park.

Flight delay: one hour.
Bathroom visit: check.
Time to kill: 57 minutes.

So I sought out a terminal with good seating and ample greetings of smiling and kissing and hugging. And a la Love Actually, it made my day. As I secretly knew it would.

Airport arrival terminals are the antidote to sadness, broken hearts and rough days.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The West Coast Hardware Store

As a kid, I visited Home Depot almost once a week. My mom loved that store. At first, I despised going there. It was big and overwhelming and I had no interest in plants or sink fixtures or sheets of plywood.

But now that I go by myself (not holding my mom's hand)....I realize how much I love the place. Yes, because I'm into home improvement now and gardening and such. But also because it's such a part of my past.

And in Florida, a trip to Home Depot also meant a visit to the hot dog stand outside. My brother went to Home Depot entirely for the hot dog. I went because I had to. Today, at Home Depot, there was a food stand. Except they served tacos instead of hot dogs.

And I couldn't help but want to be in Florida with my mom and eating the hot dog I never really wanted.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Knob Creek

We're in an economic crisis. And my roommate and I are trying to be sensitive to it.

We went to an art show tonight that was expensive to get in, expensive to drink at and....if you took gas into consideration...expensive to get to. However, we're resourceful and wanted to be sure to be prepared. So we brought what every recession-minded, late-twenties girl SHOULD bring.

A flask. Full of whiskey.

And in mid-conversation, with a friend I haven't seen in ages, I pulled out the flask to refill our drinks. He immediately paused in his thought and said, "I knew I loved you."

And I love him...and my recession-minded flask.

Friday, March 6, 2009

For A Good Time Call...

I'm not sure boys know the magic that happens in the girls bathroom.

The conversations that happen/you over hear there...are irreplaceable. They are conversations you may never hear anywhere else. I, quite possibly, could have an entire blog about just that.

Tonight was good, not A+, but good. I opened the door to about 6 girls trying to leave the bathroom and all I heard was, "Honey, I'm from the south, I get it."

I couldn't help but respond, "I'm from the south."
Which was returned by (with some slight attitude), "Oh yea, where?"

Which was promptly answered with, "Ohhh, you from the diiirty know girl, you know."
I said something like, "Yea, that's right."

I don't know.
I have no idea what they were talking about.
But I was damn proud to be from the south and even more proud that they acknowledged it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Faith in Humanity
brought to you by: Trusty Valet Guy

Another late night at my brother's, trying to be creative.

At some point during our chat, I heard what seemed like a few drunk people getting loud, perhaps rambunctious...which I ignored at first. Then loud turned into screaming which turned into brief concern, but Mark and I were in the middle of a great idea. And besides, someone else would surely check to see no one was being murdered, right?

That thought truly entered my head, and when it did, I immediately got up and went outside to check. I've been trying to make a conscious effort to act on that natural feeling of concern. Not because I'd like to be a superhero, but because I've been reading a lot lately and hearing stories about the majority of people thinking just that: someone else will do something. Which ultimately leads to NO ONE doing ANYTHING.

As I walked outside and peered down the alley, a valet guy from another building walked out to assess the situation as well.

And it felt so good to be proven wrong.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

If my date steals my phone...

...and decides to read through all of my contacts, there could be a minor misunderstanding. It would be around the H's when he came across "Hot Sex Pete."

I wish I had a phone full of names that described my evening choices, but I do not. I do, however, have nicknames for some of my favorite and closest friends. Getting a call from a good friend whom I rarely hear from is sunshine enough. But seeing a nickname* (especially this one) always makes me giggle.

I wasn't able to answer the phone, but knowing I'd have a message and guaranteed laugh waiting for me, was sunshine enough.

*I wrote an invite to a camping trip in Mexico and included a list of reasons to of which was, hot sex...sort of the ha-ha-last-on-the-list-are-you-really-reading-this item. My roommate at the time realized there was only one boy on the invite (ahem, Pete) and from that point on referred to him as such.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mark has the tattoo to prove it.

I've been saving this one for when I needed a sunshine.
My mom's nickname is Rudy.
What are the chances?

Monday, March 2, 2009

I want, I want, I want. Me, me, me. Mine, mine, mine. Now, now, now.

I can't think of a better afternoon than watching Hook AND Big and running to the store to get milk for a much needed Strawberry Quick fix.

Strawberry milk rocks my world.

And as my oh-so-good-friend, Mellon, put can never go wrong with an H squared afternoon. A little Hoffman and little Hanks.

Bangarang, Mellon.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Going home.

Tonight, I really didn't want to go to softball. But we've been rained out nearly every weekend, so I forced myself to the field.

And I scored. Which sounds pretty average...but I had yet to run around all three bases and make it home. And it felt good.

High fives all around.