Photoblogging Friday 8.31.07

Who loves downtown? Me!


Downtown Skyline #189

See that big building right smack in the middle? That's the tower I'm going to try to climb. It'll be fun.

A cousin of mine works in one of these buildings. Yet, I never see him. We work 3 blocks apart. Why do you think that is?


Short-Yardage Attention Span

I've got a confession to make: I'm not a huge football fan. If it's not UCLA playing, I'm not really engaged in the game.

But two of my
favorite men love it, so I try. It's hard when one is a hard core Saints fan. I just cannot root for a team that has a former Trojan like Reggie Bush on it. That's like trading my Bruin card in for half a brain and a gigantic wad of stupid.

Lucky me, today my insurance company sent me a token of appreciation: the entire season's schedule. So now I can make sure that the Giants, Raiders, and Saints are all accounted for.

Don't start shit because of the Raiders. When you grow up in a house with a dedicated Raiders fan, there's nowhere else to go but Raider Nation.

Hello, pirate!

Confidential to the ultimate football junkie: Steve Young, dammit.


You Drive a Faster Car

Today was a near carbon copy of yesterday. Too many projects vs. too little hours, and this time I didn't get a lunch. Again, not complaining yet. Because on September 15th, I'm going to have a huge fucking paycheck! Which I won't be able to enjoy because I'll be chained up in my new office, but at least it'll be earning interest for a future I also won't be able to enjoy because I'll be dead!

Did I mention that I wasn't complaining? I'm really not because both days were punctuated by a mid-morning break with a man who despite all this shit still makes me smile somehow.

But the true purpose of this post, other than for me not to complain, is to talk about how my driving improved today. I manned up and actually hit 75 mph (that's 120 km/h for you, Dr. Miss Blade) for most of the way home. Stayed in the fast lane and everything, like a good little road racer. And then, a white Lexus SUV blew right past me so fucking fast that my car shook.


I don't know why he did that, since he immediately cut over 3 lanes and slowed down to about 50 mph(80 km/h). Go figure.

People are so fucking stupid.


You Drive a Fast Car

I left work after nearly 12 hours today. 'Tis that time again, when 60 hours a week are the new norm.

But I'm not complaining, except for the fact that I am utterly exhausted. It's a double-edged sword, this whole working late thing. Because if I leave work on time, I sit in traffic for at least 45 minutes. But if I leave later, I can race down a completely empty freeway in 5th gear and get home in no time.

Except tonight, I was too tired to care. I could barely get enough momentum to justify shifting into that last gear. And I realized just how fast 55 mph really is. Cars were flying past me at the speeds I normally drive: 75+. And that seemed so odd. I just couldn't do it. I was the old lady in the slow lane letting everyone pass her.

But I left work at 8:15 and was inside my bedroom at 8:40. Probably saved myself a few ounces of gas too. So maybe there is something to be said for slowing down.


Overheard in the Powder Room

Saturday night, my friends and I got together to throw back a few at the local pub. The crowd was a bit more dressed up than usual, which was strange. This is, after all, a dive bar. The 3 most overdressed girls just happened to be primping in the teeny bathroom when I went to pee.

GPG: *walks in to a line of women at the single-person sink* Um, are you guys in line?

Club Girl #1: Oh, no. You're next.

New girl walks in, stands directly in front of me in the already cramped room.

New Girl: Ugh, it's so hot out there. I have to take this undershirt off! *smacks my boob as she tries to remove her shirt*

GPG: Sorry my boobs are in the way.

NG: Yeah, they're out there!

GPG: A good bra is worth the money.

And then I got to pee. While I was doing so, the new girl relayed my conversation to the other two, less endowed club girls. So when I came back out:

GPG: It's all about having a really good bra.

Club Girl #2: Hell yeah!

CG #1: *looks down at her own teeny breasts* Well, it's nice when you have something to fill them with.

GPG: Yeah. My life doesn't suck that way.

And then I went back to my friends and my beer, with my lovely tits ensconced in their lovely red carriage hidden under a simple, casual, black sweater.

The bra, however, did cost me $50. And it's worth every single penny.


Photoblogging Friday 8.24.07

Even though I usually give you something I created with my own camera, this is something I created when fucking around in a photoshop class. It started as a stock photo and led to too many filter applications.


Can you guess what the original picture was? Winner gets bragging rights.


Overheard at Roy's

Next Friday is my boss' last day in the office. Her departure, coupled with the fact that our newly promoted director is about to disappear on maternity leave, is what opened the door to my promotion. I'm not unhappy about that, but I am going to miss her like crazy.

We call her the HBIC: head bitch in charge. She loves it, because she's fucking nuts in the same way I am. Her husband has the same name as my man. We're both bloody type-A personalities with a horrible propensity for using FUCK all too often, who work waaaaaaaay too hard and long and drink a lot to make up for it. So it was no surprise when she demanded a mai tai upon walking in the door of downtown's upscale Hawaiian eatery. Once we sat down, she talked about her wishes for us once she's gone:

HBIC: And GPG, you get the F-torch.

GPG: Is this an actual passing of the torch ceremony?

HBIC: Yes. *pretends to pass me a torch*

GPG: Woo hoo, she just gave me free license to cuss all day long!

HBIC: Might as well start now: fuck!

GPG: Hell yeah!

HBIC: Make sure to wave your arms around a lot. That way you get the full crazy person effect.

It was a great afternoon. I started with a bourbon martini at noon and didn't stop till 3:30. Then we went back to work. Totally sauced. And then I met my brother for a drink at 6:45 and didn't leave the bar till 11:30.

I love being a drunk.


Marathon in the Sky

Y'all know how much I really like the Library Tower in downtown Los Angeles; you've seen the pictures. Technically, it's now the US Bank Tower, but whatever to corporate greed.

Every year there is a run up its 75 flights. Sponsored by firemen and damn, do I need me some more of those. So this year, I'm joining in.

I'm done running over land. I want to run up into the clouds. And did I mention: FIREMEN?!

1,108 feet. 1500 stairs. And yeah, I totally think that sounds like fun.

I might be crazy. So what?


Overheard in the Family #7

My brother laid a guilt-trip on me because I haven't come over to visit enough since the baby was born. He told me my nephew missed me. So we had dinner and talked about birth control.

GPG: Can you even get pregnant while you're lactating?

Shambot (aka No-Longer-Pregnant Z): Well, they do make a pill you can take while breastfeeding. But I really hate remembering to take it every day at the same time.

GPG: Oh yeah, me too.

Baby Brother: *pointing to his son* And look at what happens when you forget. It was probably the Thursday pill. I think we should just call him Thursday.

Dad: That's what happened with you. Your mom forgot a pill.

GPG: Haha. We can call you Thursday too.

BB: No, I want to be Monday.

We're so bad. Between Baby Werewolf Thursday and talking sex at the dinner table, we're probably all going to hell.

But at least we'll be there as a family.


The CHG Takes Charge

The Curly-Haired Girl feels like tomorrow is the first day of school. It kicks off a 2-week transitional period, the end of which will find her in her own office, with new business cards, and the title of Boss.

She's excited. And nervous. And a little nauseated.

It's pretty stupid to feel like this. It's a full two weeks until the safety net is gone, so she shouldn't worry about it until Labor Day weekend. But since a memo went out on Friday that said "Starting Monday, please go to the Curly-Haired Girl for any and all managerial issues," the safety net seems like it's already been yanked away.

She remembers the first day of college. It was an ecstatic time to be the the CHG. 3,000 miles away from home, anxious about the workload, but loving the fact that she was an "adult." And that was a complete joke because she was no more than a little kid back then.

Fast forward 11 years: she actually is an "adult" and yet couldn't feel less like one. Instead she feels like she has the stomach flu, which is only partially due to the fact that she drank whisky for 5 solid hours yesterday.

Maybe if she has another drink, she'll be able to relax?

It couldn't hurt.


Photoblogging Friday 8.17.07

Bunker Hill is an interesting place to work. Lots of suits. Lots of money. Lots of tall buildings. Lots of great views.

That I usually only get to see from the street:

Nice view

Library Tower and Flags, #33

I shot this from the walkway over Flower Street, bridging the WTC to the BofA tower. It was a pretty afternoon.

I really like downtown.


Who's the Boss?

Today the carrot that has been dangling over my head for the last five months finally fell into my lap. The offer was made and I accepted. The promotion is official, and starting in a couple of weeks, I get a real office and a hefty raise.

For the record, this is even better than soda in a mobile container.

Seems like just yesterday I was the new girl. Now, I'm the one in charge.

And it only took 10 months and 15 days. So much for being the benchmark. I'm the fucking gold standard. The poster girl for kicking ass and taking names.

Go me!


In other news, happy birthday to two kids. Who between them have 36 years. And both had piƱatas at their parties.


Dear John Letters #8

Remember how last week life was going too good to be true? Guess where we are this week?

At Dear John Letters, that's where!

Dear Crashed Up Morning Commuters:

We all lack patience. We are all in a hurry. But when you decide to get a little too aggressive with the gas pedal and plow your 2-ton metal coffin into the one in front of you, guess who isn't getting to work on time? ANY of us!! So do us all a gianormous favor and just wait your fucking turn. Gridlocked freeways hurt us all. Your accident, while painful to your body and your wallet, is crushing my bottom line. So get the fuck out of my way, or learn to fucking drive. I've got money to make and you're wasting my valuable time.

Thank you very much.


Dear Asshole SUV Driver Who Can't Park,

When there are a limited amount of spaces in a lot, parking so far over to one side that you effectively take up 2 spaces is completely unacceptable. Why not just go the last step and actually park in both spaces? This is especially infuriating when the spaces are actually wide enough to accomodate your emission-bloated fat ass of a vehicle. We all had to pay eight dollars to park. This doesn't entitle you to lay claim to every available inch. There are rules. There are lines. Obey, or risk having damaging scratches down the side panels.



Dear Holiday Inn Airport Parking Designer,

If I'm going to pay eight dollars to park my vehicle in your unmonitored lot, I sure as hell am NOT leaving it out in the sun. So what possessed you to only build 40 shaded spaces for a 400-room hotel?! I don't care that there are another 100 spaces outside. I'm not leaving my bright red car outside to be ravaged by the sun's harsh rays. And until someone designs sunscreen for my car, I'm not going to be satisfied with giving you my hard-earned money and leaving my it exposed.

Your stupid budget hotel should be burned to the ground.


Dear Fragile Uterine Lining,

Why are you here again? Weren't you just here 2 weeks ago? I wasn't happy to see you then, I'm less than thrilled that you're back for a second visit this month. How long do you plan on sticking around? The last week has been exasperating. You really need to go away and never come back. Ever. You're not welcome here. You were not invited to this party. Leave.



Dear Powers that Be,

You are holding my very future in your teeny little hands. So why are you delaying the inevitable? We both know what the outcome is going to be. I'm just waiting for all the i-dotting and t-crossing to end. So why are you dragging it out? I beg you, please just end my unnecessary anxiety and put the damn offer on the table! Because I know there sure ain't any stress pay in it.

Thank you kindly.


Profit & Loss

In an era of instant gratification, it's very easy to walk away from the things that require work. It's pretty easy to give up when the return on investment isn't immediately apparent. We want what we want and we sure as hell don't want to wait for it.

Some things, though, just don't come easily. Some things are worth waiting for, going after, fighting for. Blood, sweat, tears and heartbreak should all make the end result that much sweeter.

But at what point, in the middle of the painful turmoil, do you stop and say enough? I'm worth more than this. I am worth fighting for.

I don't know. I really don't.

But I'm hoping that eventually--soon--I'll figure it out.


Overheard on Glendale & 2nd

While coming back from lunch the other day, a coworker and I were stuck in a little bit of traffic caused by something that required two fire trucks to block the road. As we patiently waited (and stole a few more precious moments out of the office), I told her a story about the new man. Finally traffic cleared and the fire trucks passed us by.

Unfortunately I was too engrossed in my story to pay attention:

GPG: Dammit, I didn't even get to get to catch a glimpse at the firefighters!

Coworker: And the one cute one in the back was staring at you hard.

GPG: Shit, don't tell me that! He was probably just looking at you.

Coworker: No, he was definitely looking at you.

GPG: See what having a boyfriend does to me? Firemen are my ultimate fantasy and now I can't even pay attention to them. This is bad! So very, very bad.

It's been a few days and I'm still pissed off that I missed checking out a fireman. I need to break up with this guy immediately so I can return my attention back to what's important: hot men in red trucks!



Photoblogging Friday 8.10.07

I've started forcing myself to just take pictures. It doesn't matter if there's an actual subject, I'm making it up as I go along. I've never been good at just shooting from the hip. But who says I can't pretend?

To wit:

Portal to the world?

5 and 1/2 minute hallway?

The World Trade Center on Bunker Hill is a conduit to all the surrounding high rises. I use it to get to my semi-daily Starbucks fix from the BofA building across the way. It's a very odd little place. Dated, looks like an airport terminal, albeit very quiet. I always feel like I'm in bizarro world when walking through there. Which is apropos of my life these days, where little makes sense because too much is going so very, very well.

Best not to overthink it. Have a nice weekend!


It's All in the Timing

A few months ago, we had a disagreement. It was the first time in over 6 years that I had ever heard him be so negative. A little mean, even.

It affected me quite poorly. I didn't know this person. And I didn't like what he had to say. I promised myself I wouldn't let him get to me, even if it meant not talking for a while.

And it was quite a while before we spoke again.

Then right when life suddenly took a turn for the crap heap, there he was. Back to being his old positive self. Calling to find out if I was okay.

I wasn't. But it was nice to know I could still count on him to be there. It's like he knew right when I needed to hear from him.

And that's love.


Funny Money Joke

A few years ago, Washington Mutual made a gianormous advertising stink about ATM fees. Billboards and tv commercials everywhere shoved the notion that "the buck-fifty stops here" down our throats.

What they meant is that any non-WaMu customer that used their ubiquitous ATMs could do so for freeeeeeeeeee! They did NOT mean that their loyal banking customers--should they find themselves without a WaMu-friendly money machine nearby--could use any other banks' ATMs without fees. That's right, their bullshit ad campaign wasn't directed at the poor schlubs they'd already convinced to join their corporate coven, but at the people who now had no incentive to change banks. Since they could pull their money out from just about anywhere without sin.

That pissed me off the first time I realized the yellow&blue had charged me to use some random ATM. That probably charged me its own fee too. Fuckers.

And now, they've changed their fickle minds again. Oh, they will still charge me to use a foreign machine. But now they'll also charge you. That's right, all those billboards and tv ads--that probably cost a pretty penny and that's why my savings account gains no interest--were a colossal waste of money!

(A little internet research just proved that this isn't new, but happened in late 2005. That's okay, bitching never goes out of style.)


"Can't Make Both Ends Meat"

It's infuriating when people without the proper means choose bling over basic needs.

Case in point: yesterday I was waiting for my car to be washed. I drive a common Toyota. Nothing fancy, but it has nice rims. That came standard on the car. They're not flashy. It's just how the car is put together. And it's what I could afford.

I was minding my own business when along came a little family. The mother was dressed in her Sunday's best, black-on-black right down to the pantyhose. (It's 85 degrees beachside in Los Angeles. Why anyone wears head-to-toe black is ridiculously beyond me. But I digress...) Her wild children ages 6 to 11 were jumping around like spider monkeys. And then I noticed that the youngest one was sporting some serious metal in her mouth.

it's not uncommon for young children to lose their front teeth to the ravages of milk. Hispanic mothers tend to allow their kids to sleep with a bottle in their mouthes, which leads to some awful tooth decay. The front teeth end up rotting and that explains why you see so many kids with silver smiles in the Spanish-speaking 'hoods.

It happened to my C-note when he was about 2 or 3. But vanity and the ability to pay dental bills allowed for his parents to give him natural-colored veneers. It was either that, silver chompers, or a huge gap for 5 years. Because those suckers don't grow back until they turn 7. That's a loooooooooong time to be sportin' the toofless look.

Finally, they pulled the little family's minivan out to the drying area. And wouldn't you know it, it puffed out black smoke and rattled like it was dangerously close to exploding right there. But wasn't it pretty with its four shiny chrome rims? Because, you see, it was more important for this family to sport unnecessary and expensive accessories on a shitty car than to take care of their own children's teeth. Or, better yet, a car that isn't going to break down on the side of the freeway, stranding its occupants and causing a 4-hour bottleneck.

There's nothing more ghetto that fucked up teeth or a shitty car with ridiculous enhancements. Isn't it awesome when a beatup 1982 Datsun with busted headlights and exposed primer rolls past with a set of spinners? No. It's merely pathetic. Poor people are willfully keeping themselves poor.

But I guess that just means there's more money for the taking by me. So that I too can one day afford spinners of my own.

For now, I'll just put them on my shoes.


I Can't Hear You

I feel bad ignoring people. I know you think of me as a caustic bitch, but that's only on the inside. On the outside, I do manage to project a distant semblance of approachability.

So when the kindly old man with the missing teeth roped me into conversation in the Trader Joe's pre-made salad aisle, I couldn't turn away. For some reason, he felt it necessary to share his Adventures in Rest Home Shopping. He was appalled that one place admitted to him that they don't feed their guests but once a day. It was a sad tale.

But why I was the one on the receiving end of that conversation is beyond me. I wasn't even smiling. I was grimacing at the pre-made salads. There was too little variety. And all I wanted was to get home. I had just accidentally smacked my
thumb, so I was in less than a chipper mood. And also, poor salad selection.

It was enough to make a shopper batty.

I'm thinking that my only options to avoid this scenario in the future are:

1. walking around with a monkey on my shoulder that will howl loudly at anyone who attempts conversation,
2. pretending not to speak English,

3. or just keeping my iPod headphones in my ears.

Monkeys are messy and worse than children, and I hate using the Immigrant Card, so I'll probably opt for the iPod. But I could change my mind.

Notice none of these solutions includes avoiding the pre-made salad aisle. Dear god, no. Because even though that's where the old man trolls live, it would require making my own salads. And that's just not going to happen.

Because on top of everything else, I'm also a lazy caustic bitch.


Photoblogging Friday 8.3.07

I spent yesterday afternoon with the newest edition to our family. He's a squishy little thing. Looks exactly like most newborns. And has a LOT of hair.

His mommy, recuperating from the surgery, looks amazing for someone who just had nearly 8 pounds of squirming goodness yanked out of her just 5 days ago. His father is the proudest man I've ever encountered (since my other brother had a his kids, that is). He's completely overcome with emotion and admitted that up until this weekend, he didn't even realized how much he truly loved the mommy.

She almost cried when he said that. They're the cutest little bunch.

Here's a shot I snapped just 30 minutes after the birth, through the nursery glass.

It's a baby werewolf!

The proud papa and his progeny

I got to feed him finally. He fell asleep on my chest. So innocent and peaceful.

Life is so incredibly good right now.


July by the Numbers

Wasn't June just yesterday? Why is it I merely blinked and an entire month disappeared? The world must be spinning faster. I blame global warming.

3 free glasses of scotch

2 birthdays guessed exactly right on target
3 baby showers
3 "Automatic Sprinkler" onesies received for one baby

8 hours in Burbank's shittiest hotel
5 consecutive days off
15 stories above the world
1 incredibly romantic evening
2 clubs on the Sunset Strip
3 new restaurants
165 minutes of Johnny Depp yumminess
95 minutes of operatic divaness by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles
300 minutes spent as a mermaid
1 head smacked into the side of the pool
3 seconds of humiliation for attempting a backstroke without properly counting the strokes
15 family members present for the arrival of the baby werewolf
7 pounds and 11 ounces of squishy baby goodness
2 incredibly exhausted new parents
2 new dads observed bonding in the nursery

116 pictures taken of the event
1 useless thumb
40 minutes waiting to take x-rays
5 minutes spent being radiated

2 x-rays taken
2 doctors visited
0 diseases found