You're Just Not That Special

Ever had a day when no matter what went right--like you kicked ass in that presentation you made to an entire team of senior executives, showing them how you're going to come in 30% under budget on a deadline tighter than a bullfrog's ass, thereby disproving the old adage you can't have it cheap, fast AND good--and you're feeling like you're walking on air, and then one little thing goes wrong and it turns your entire world to shit?

Because that was me today.

I've been living in this fairytale world, I admit that. But reality slapped me right across the face and pretty damn hard, so there's no pretending anymore. It's over. What's done is done.

Ugh. Enough with bullshit clichés. At least my girls and rock stars still love me. As will be proven by the copious amounts of alcohol we'll indulge in later.

Training be damned. I ran my 6 miles this week. It's time to unwind.

Work hard, play hard. That's me. And I am special, dammit.


Birthday Wishlist for the Brat

My birthday is the most important day of the entire year and it's the one time I refuse to apologize for being a Class A supreme pain in the ass. Everyone knows this. The news alerts went out last week to mark the 20 day countdown (thanks KM!). We're at T-14 days people. It's crunch time!!

So here's my wishlist:

  • iPod (My baby brother already hooked this up!)
  • Running paraphernalia (gift certicates to New Balance, or anywhere I can get a good sports bra, running shorts, etc)
  • Canon 580 EX Speedlight (but I'll take the 430 EX for $100 less!)
  • Hensel Integra Pro 500 two-light Kit
  • My website designed to my liking
  • Models (and TIME) to finish the 44 women
  • Gift certificates to any of the following stores:
    • Bed, Bath & Beyond or Linens N Things
    • Old Navy
    • Macys
    • Nordstroms
    • Sonia K or SNI (both boutiques on Ventura Blvd)
    • DSW
  • Mani-pedi spa treatments (I'm partial to a certain salon in West LA. Ask and I'll tell you which one.)
  • Any of the following movies:
    • Mulholland Drive
    • Kilometer 0
    • Entre Las Piernas
    • Singles
  • Good pilates workout DVDs (look for the Gaiam line)
  • Yoga lessons
  • Either of the new Chili Peppers or Goo Goo Dolls cds
  • Tickets to any of the following shows:
    • Weenie Roast
    • Angels and Airwaves (at my favorite club, the Troubadour! On my actual birthday!!)
    • Erasure (at the Ford! Also on my birthday!!)
    • Madonna
    • INXS (not that the new guy will EVER replace Michael Hutchence, but I'll always have my memories from 1997!)
    • Shakira in August
    • Chili Peppers
    • Goo Goo Dolls (also at the Troubadour!!! Last time I saw them, the Palace still existed!)
    • Ozomatli (at the HOB Anaheim, where I've got the hook-up!)
  • Other bands next time they're in town:
    • Lit
    • Bouncing Souls
    • Sanction got my tequila ticket on that

    Still lost? Feeling like you ain't got the cash to spend? Then you're a horrible friend because you knew this day was coming and you should have been saving your money like I did for you. If that's the case, hang your head in shame and just make me a card. It's the thought that counts. (Actually, that's total bullshit, but you feeling like an asshole is almost enough retribution. Actually, that's bullshit too. Pool money with everyone else and you can all pitch in for one big giftie! THAT and you feeling like an asshole is sufficient. But barely. You're still buying me drinks on party night.)

    Since we're on the subject, here are some ground rules. Your taste is NOT my taste. Unless I explicitly stated that I wanted something, don't go thinking for yourself. If there's even a hint of doubt that I may not like that cd/shirt/hat/fragrance/jewelry/book/etc, do NOT buy it. Get me a gift certificate instead. This is especially true if you think I'd LOVE it. I'll tell you I loved it because I'm not going to be ungrateful to your face, but in my mind you are next in line for a Puerto Rican cut-fest.

    Save us both the trouble. And for the record, my piss tastes better than Jose Cuervo, so do NOT buy me tequila unless you know what you're doing. Which you don't. So don't.

    My daddy always called me his little princess. Blame him if you don't like my attitude.

    Happy birthday to me indeed!!


    Training Week #3

    All right, I've been hitting the gym religiously for nearly two months. The last three weeks I've been training for the marathon.

    And yesteray, I officially became a gym rat.

    After all this time, I've got my routine. "My" locker, "my" weights, "my" stretching area. And I don't do well with people infringing on "my" sphere of existence.

    I got into the locker room a little late yesterday. Lo and behold, someone I didn't recognize was in my way. She didn't take "my" locker, but she took up "my" bench space with her shit. I was ready to tell this newbie to move it when I realized what had happened.

    I'm now one of THOSE people. The ones that love the gym. Can you believe it?

    Instead of bitching at the girl, I ran 2 miles, worked my arms till they burned so good, and came home to a nice hot shower. I felt fucking fantastic.

    Me, a gym rat. Crazy.


    Youthful Naïveté

    When I was about 10 years old, the United States invaded Panama. I was too young to understand the whys or whats of that operation, but it did scare the hell out of me. I decided that the rest of my life was going to be lived in an era where my country never went to war again.

    And I truly believed that was a possibility. Of course, I didn't inform the goverment about my declaration. Then, 2 years later we were in Iraq. I was dismayed that my promise to myself had been broken. And that people were dying.

    It's been over 15 years and that broken promise still stings like betrayal.


    This is not a commentary on our current foreign policies or the state of our involvment in foreign regions. It's simply a wistful look back on innocence lost.


    CHG Confessions #3

    The CHG was a naughty little girl today. Without telling a single soul what mischief she was up to, the CHG underwent hair surgery.

    12 full inches. Gone. What used to nearly graze her ass now barely sweeps her shoulders.

    It's kind of a 5th season Carrie Bradshaw look, minus the blonde highlights:

    Mama & Papa CHG were the first to see. They liked. But the look of shock on the people more used to the mermaid look is going to be muchly fantastic.

    Ha ha HA!!


    Training Week #2, Part 2: The Pain

    I gave up drinking when I started marathon training. Not even consciously, but the other day my dad asked me if I wanted a glass of wine, and I decided I shouldn't. Not while I'm in training. Problems arise when tequila comes into play, though. We all know how I greatly enjoy my tequila, and will take any opportunity--large or small--to savor it.

    Lucky me, there's a tequila tasting at Republic tonight.

    It's like the universe is mocking me. But I will remain strong. I will not give in to the urge to use my corporate powers to finagle myself an invite. No matter how badly I want to do it.

    And that, my friends, is willpower.


    Training Week #2

    I was a overly ambitious today. And I wasn't even trying. But somehow I managed to work off more calories than I actually consumed. This after a lunch of nothing but fat and carbs in the form of spinach & artichoke dip. With tortilla chips. And extra cheese. I love cheese. And spinach dip. And tortilla chips.

    It was the perfect lunch. Made more so by the perfect companion, a Sailor, who bought it for me. Yay for corporate whores and their fat raises!

    So I consumed about 900 calories today, mostly at lunch. Then I went to the gym and worked off almost as many. Um. That's not good, right?

    Needless to say, I need food. I'm going to Baja Fresh to indulge in more carbs and fat, with a little itsy bit of chicken for protein.

    All that aside, the training is going really well. I ran 2 miles out around my parents' Burbank neighborhood on Sunday before the family hoopla began. Running outside is such a shock to someone who's used to a treadmill. First, there's the concrete. And then there are the hills. And I did all this without a soundtrack. My MP3 player blows, so I'm asking for a new one for my birthday. (Which is only 3 weeks away!! More on that some other day...) I think I actually managed to push myself harder outside than I do at the gym. Not as easy to regulate yourself, despite the heart monitor, pedometer and stopwatch. Go figure.

    But I felt pretty damn good after that.

    And even though I'm starving, I'm feeling pretty damn good right now too. Tomorrow is another running day, so I know I won't go overboard. That's reserved for non-running days!

    I'm babbling. I need food. Mmm, food.



    My dear friend Lex works at a laser hair removal clinic. We had this conversation over drinks the other night.

    Lex: I had to get into some girl's "business" the other day.

    GPG: Huh?

    Lex: You know, to put the numbing cream on her. Then wipe it off. Luckily she did her own butthole.

    GPG: You had to get in her twat?

    Lex: Yeah, and afterwards, they need to put a cream on then too. But luckily, she did that herself.

    GPG: Then why couldn't she put the first one by herself too???

    Lex: I don't know. Some people...I don't ask questions, I just do what I'm told. It's not usually that bad.

    GPG: *cringe*

    I love Lex. She's always got such great stories.


    Blame the Full Moon

    I'm so fucking cranky right now. And I really have no idea why.

    Actually, yes I do, but admitting it is going to make me sound like a bitter woman.

    Of all thing things I could be doing instead of pouting, like working on my website (I finally bought the domain to my very own name!), or cleaning the house, or even just clearing space on my DVR, nothing sounds worth my while. I had set aside this 5-day weekend to learn Dreamweaver and GoLive so I could work on the site, but I could really give a shit right now.

    PMS sucks.

    I should eat some ice cream. It's not on the training program eating plan, but aren't you suppposed to get a free pass on bleedy days? No? Fine, I don't even like ice cream.

    Though maybe if I had just eaten a whole gallon of it while crying my eyes out watching When Harry Met Sally in the first place, I wouldn't be feel so hostile right now.

    Every little thing is getting on my nerves, from a stupid remark made by an otherwise innocent drinking buddy last night, to the fact that my roommate owes me money for the bills. I'm holding on to grudges and creating imaginary fights in my head.

    I probably just need to go back to sleep.

    Maybe that will chill me out and help me resist the urge to claw someone's eyes out. Or maybe I can just dream about it and be happy that way.

    It's worth a try. I know tomorrow will be a better day.



    More Dear John-ing

    I'm annoyed. Again. So you get this:

    Dear Lady in the Bathroom,

    I heard you peeing when I walked in. I saw your pants at your ankles under the stall door, so there's no denying that you did indeed take a piss and--if you didn't want to stain your pants after--then you wiped. A process which then requires a decent human being to wash their hands. Which you did not do. You are an arrogant, repulsive, staph infection-spreading mongrel and I wish your next job review took into consideration the fact that you subject everyone around you to this filth.

    You're fired!


    Dear Black Jeep Liberty Driver,

    I get it, you need an extra 3 feet of space on the driver's side of your car to avoid having another asshole park so close to you that you can't get back into your car. I know the feeling, since every day you insist on parking your monstrosity of a vehicle so close to my little compact that you're practically on top of it. Did you happen to notice that car next to you as you scratched the paint pulling into your compact parking space? How is it that you end up parking next to me and only me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY??? Eventually I could end up impaling myself on the gear shift from hopping over from the passenger side, and I will sue you for every last red cent you have if that happens.

    I wish your next job review was also based on this juvenile and arrogant behavior. I wonder if you're the same bitch in the bathroom. If so, you're doubly fired!


    Dear Next Door Neighbor,

    I know you're young. You probably don't know what it's like to have to get up early to go to work and earn a living because you get to mooch off your crazy uncle or lover or whoever that is you live with. I'd love to spend my days and nights doing nothing but smoking pot and otherwise being a worthless piece of shit too. Actually, no I wouldn't, because my life rocks. Except when it's late at night and you finally drag your lazy ass home from wherever the hell you've been, stomping up the stairs directly behind my bedroom, having the loudest conversation on this side of the planet with whatever loser friend you've brought along, and generally being an inconsiderate jerk. How is it you manage to wake me up nearly every single night with this behavior? Why can't you just inhale so much THC that your brain finally implodes? Please? I'm asking nicely.

    Why haven't you been evicted yet? Stay off my roof and keep your trap shut. And learn to walk without crashing into the floor like it's running away from you. Asshole.


    Dear Xenon Headlight Manufacturers and the Car Companies Who Utilize Them:

    Why is it that your lights are so bright that aliens can see them from space? I understand that in the middle of nowhere, out in places where SUVs may actually serve some sort of purpose, it might get a little dark. That's why there are high beams on cars. But when you're driving in the city, which is NEVER dark, there is absolutely no need to melt the paint off the surrounding cars with the intensity of your headlights. Not to mention the burns my retinas have suffered.

    I would suggest focus testing these lights on the inventors. Force them to stare at these lights for about 5 seconds so they too can enjoy permanent blindness. We'll all be better off then.


    Dear Store Front Owner with Strobe Lights in the Window,

    Are you holding a rave inside your store? No? Then do you know what you're doing with that irritating light? You're distracting the casual driver innocently passing by your store, creating a huge potential for an accident. Do you know what an accident that you caused will cost you? More than what your shitty little store grosses in a year. You know what would be cheaper and more effective than a seizure-inducing blinky light? A lit sign over your store that actually advertises who and what you are. Because I have no idea what the name of your store is, or even what you sell. I just know that I hate you.

    Unless what you sell is the aforementioned blink lights. If that's the case, do some focus testing on yourself and see how you like it.


    Running in the Right Direction

    Over the weekend, I was hit with the crazy idea to run a marathon. Actually, not a whole marathon, but half of one. I was suckered by an advertisement for the APLA's annual charity event down at Disneyland.

    The funny thing is that I absolutely abhor running. My last trainer forced me to run 30 minutes every day and I hated it with a passion. The inability to breathe, and those horrible shin splints! They are horridly painful things, and after 10 minutes of running, I was stuck with them for the rest of the workout. No amount of whining got me out of it. It was not fun.

    I was a swimmer in high school. The worst I had to contend with was a little charlie horse when I didn't stretch properly. Other than that, it was smooth sailing. Running I did not do.

    So, because all my previous experiences with this sport have been purely negative, I've decided to take it VERY slowly. The event is in September, so that's a good 5 months to train. And it turns out the director of our gym at work runs training for another race in January, so I've got the whole program at my feet (so to speak).

    I'm still marveling at this decision. About 5 years ago, I had the same urge, but chickened out because of the damn shin splints. So I'm taking it easy, doing the research (ha HA!), slowly getting my body used to distance running.

    And I feel fabulous. Since I've been working out pretty consistently for the last month, it hasn't been the shock to the system that I expected. My body isn't revolting against me, I'm not in pain, I'm just pleasantly sore. And seem to be getting healthier and fitter by the day.

    In fact, today being a non-running day, I did some cardio on that "Natural Runner" thing that ALWAYS screws up my back because of the weird angle you're at on it. 20 minutes, and I was barely winded, let alone in pain.

    But I know myself. I get really excited about something and have the tendency to burn out quickly. So I'm pacing myself on this so that doesn't happen. Because I really want to do it. And being able to say "I'm training for the marathon" is pretty damn rad.

    Which is always reason enough to do anything.


    Fictional Diversions

    I've suddenly found time to read again. I haven't made a dent in the 300 or so magazines laying about the house. Why do I even have a subscription to Rolling Stone anyway? I blame James Ellroy for my GQs, but nothing explains all the other shit I get.

    I've picked up books instead. Rodger Jacobs turned me on to Joan Didion's Play It As It Lays. I'm a sucker for LA-based fiction (hence the Ellroy obsession). Turns out one of the characters in the book has my same name! Which is weird because my entire life, I've only met about 5 people with whom I share that.

    But the book was great. It's the story of a pathologically selfish 60s starlet decidely indifferent to the disaster she creates in the lives of those around her. It's painfully brilliant. I'll post the same excerpt he referenced, which just happened to be my favorite passage:

    She walked back to the car and sat for a long while in the parking lot, idling the engine and watching a woman in a muumuu walk out of the Carolina Pines motel and cross the street to a supermarket. The woman walked in small mincing steps and kept raising her hand to shield her eyes from the vacant sunlight. As if in trance Maria watched the woman, for it seemed to her then that she was watching the dead still center of the world, the quintessential intersection of nothing.

    Quintessential intersection of nothing. Bitter and poignant. And yet, the completely opposite experience I've had in this town that I love.

    L'sigh. It's so good to be a native.

    Though that is how I feel about Vegas. It's all about perception, isn't it?


    Adventures in Suburbia

    I've had the most interesting weekend of random sightings. No, not the celebrity kind, because there are so damn many of them it's never been interesting. These were definitely strange and decidedly unordinary.

    Yesterday, in Wal-Mart, I spotted a nun. Yes, a nun. In full black habit. She was Asian, which I've never seen. All my Catholic school nuns were Mayflower types. I found her in the laundry aisle. Which I suppose means that God's servants have dirty laundry too.

    Oh, I'm so funny with my puns!

    (Don't ask why I was in the big, bad W-M. I didn't want to go, but I had to get gift bags large enough to fit the twinsies' presents in, and the supermarket didn't have any, and that part of suburbia doesn't seem to house any 99-cent stores, so there you go. I'm morally opposed to their practices too, but by spending money there I'm actually indirectly ensuring my own paycheck, so sue me.)

    Curiously, no white people in that Wal-Mart. Except for the workers. This, in Valencia. Go figure.

    Today, in the part of suburbia where they make up for lack of W-Ms with an excess of Starbucks (wait, that's redundant!), I spotted a guy who could have been Kurt Cobain. That is if Kurt hadn't died last century and gone metrosexual on us instead. I had witnesses. They agreed with this assessment.

    It's just past noon on Sunday. Who or what else can I possibly run into?

    I'll check back in later...


    Update: I just got back to my cozy home and have managed no further weird run-ins. I guess one per day was enough.


    The Downside of International Travel

    The one thing I absolutely detest about Brazilian therapy (aka bikini waxing)--more than the inconvenience of driving all the way to Bevery Hills where there is absolutely no parking unless I want to pay Spago's valet rates, the post-treatment stickiness, and even the pain itself--is the awful regrowth period.

    It's itchy. And having a 5 o'clock shadow on my pubis is so incredibly annoying.

    But I refuse to shave it. I don't know how you girls manuever around all the delicate parts. And the ass? How can you even see back there?

    I need laser hair removal. Like, yesterday.


    Half-Drunken Thursday

    I've just spent the last 3 hours giggling with a bunch of drunken sales people. They were pissy they had to be at an awards dinner, I was happily reaping the benefits of double overtime.

    What to do with grumpy people, besides feed them alcohol? Get three guys to masquerade as waiters then turn their singing act into a comedy routine. It wasn't as corny as it sounds. And I got a short little serenade from the cutest of the bunch. Then I had two sales guys promise to celebrate my birthday with me next month properly.

    Gourmet food, good wine, laughs with a bunch of coworkers, and praise for co-organizing the whole she-bang?

    Some days, I really don't hate my job at all. In fact, on most days, I actually love it.

    Even after a full 14 hours.


    Wanna Arm-Wrestle?

    I'm very proud to say that my workouts are finally paying off. My upper body strength has improved ten-fold and I was really impressed when I realized it yesterday.

    No worries, I'm not turning into some top-heavy, weight-lifting, 'roid-fueled gym rat. (Uh, except for the top-heavy part cuz the D-cups aren't going anywhere.) But I'm a girl and we don't beef up like that. I'm just able to do a lot more push-ups than I could before.

    And that is very cool. Yay me!


    Hoop Dreams

    What is it about LA college teams choking in the last, arguably most important, game? First it was USC at the Rose Bowl last year (though that was actually a celebration at my house--Go Longhorns!), and just now it was UCLA in Indiana.

    16 points between us and victory.

    Dammit. I really hoped we would win. But it's okay.

    I still love my Bruins.

    You did good, boys. You did real good.


    In other news, that Florida coach Billy Donovan is pretty hot, for a serious, buzz-cut kind of guy. Kind of like Henry Rollins, sans tattoos.


    More Confessions from the Curly-Haired Girl

    The CHG loves her hair. That goes without saying. But the daily maintanence can be a bitch. The emollient conditioners, the detanglers, the expensive product that locks the curls in place without extraneous build up...some days it's enough to make her say "fuck it."

    Up until last December, the CHG's hair was down to her waist. On the rare occasion when she [sinned against all Curly-Heads--the horror!] straightened it, she could almost sit on it. Finally tiring of the mermaid look, the CHG cut four inches off, though it looked more like a full seven. (Curls tend to spring up when the weight comes off.)

    The Teddy Bear and other worshippers of the spiraled locks were muchly dismayed. "Don't worry," she assured them. "It grows like a weed. I'll have it back down to my ass within 3 months."

    For as short time, she could get around the daily maintanence. She stretched the routine to hold for two days, skipping a day of the intense regimen in between. The whole experience felt liberating. Not only was she able to sit back without catching her hair, she could wake up in the morning and not worry about re-perfecting each curl. The shorter the hair, the tighter the curl, the less need for product and daily attention. Sooo nice.

    Sadly, the hair did grow like a weed and this short respite could not last. But the CHG was unable to admit it was time to return to the daily 15 minute post-shower schedule. She had grown complacent and lazy as her hair continued its frenzied race to her waist. So she looked for shortcuts. Took to eschewing gels and mousse altogether for the simplicity of a mere hair serum. It had no hold, but the curls responded well, if only for a few short hours before dissolving into frizz balls. But the CHG didn't care. She had nobody to impress.

    No one was ever the wiser. People lacking in the joy of curls can rarely tell the difference between freshly set bounce and day-old, limp waves. The whole concept of curls is so foreign to them they seem to enjoy it all in equal measure. At least that's what she told herself to keep up her lazy charade.

    Until today. When she had to meet with an old friend turned client. She had not seen her friend in quite some time and didn't want her hair giving out in the middle of their photo shoot. So she acquiesced to her inner perfectionist and reluctantly pulled out the mousse. Took the time to make sure every individual curl was coated and set.

    It was a huge hassle.

    And in the end, the client was too nervous over his own pictures to tell the difference. But her hair looked great all throughout the session.

    And that is all that matters.