Committed to the Cause

I drive past Sony studios every day on my way to work. The strikers have been out, diligently doing their picketing, while talking heads think about sitting around a table and hammering out a pact. Get everyone back to work already.

There's a group of them that congregate near the western end of the studio lot. Maybe 7 or 8. I honk each time I pass. It doesn't cost me anything. Gotta fight the good fight.

And then there's always the lone figure, slowly limping past one small gate. There's a sign against her shoulder and a cane at her side. Quiet, solitary, back and forth. I wonder what happened to her. She isn't that old, maybe 40. Why the cane? And why is she alone at the gate when a larger group is just down the way?

Regardless, she's there. Every single day.


When the Rose-Colored Glasses Break

I like to take people at face value. I'm not gullible, but I want to believe the best of people. Especially if that's what I think they're presenting to me.

But earlier this evening I was perplexed by a discovery I made about someone I care for quite deeply and thought I knew quite well. I'm confounded because it goes directly against everything he's purported to desire. But I guess it doesn't change my opinion of him too much. Only because I know this doesn't impact how he feels about me, our friendship, or any of that important stuff. In fact, it only goes to prove that he's human, too.

That's a comfort.

Still, I wonder how much I'm glossing over in other areas of my life. How many truths am I missing, misinterpreting, or just plain ignoring? I honestly don't know.

But since I'm a 58-year-old man with awesome boobs only pretending to be a 29.5 year old woman with awesome boobs, what do you expect?

I do wish I'd had this secret knowledge about my friend when I saw him this weekend, though. I would probably have called him on his shit. Or at least not swallowed it whole. Because if he wants me to believe one thing, clearly there's a part of him that wants it to be true.

It's too bad we work so hard to hide our true selves.


How to Shop Successfully

Over the weekend I came away with the biggest steal I never imagined. If you want to be a master consumer, do as follows:

  1. Drive under an overcast sky and realize you left your cheapie sunglasses at home.
  2. Pass by a Ross Store.
  3. Become enticed by the prospect of more cheapie sunglasses.
  4. Brave a crowded parking lot and holiday shopping crowds at said Ross.
  5. Enter Ross.
  6. Immediately find 4 pairs of sunglasses that fit the bill.
  7. Fall in love with the pair that has no price tag.
  8. Decide on two pairs and assume they're both the same non-designer brand.
  9. Stand in tiredest looking cashier's line who will ring up both for $6.99.
  10. Drive on with hip, supposedly-cheapie sunglasses.
  11. The next day, show off really cute sunglasses with coworkers.
  12. Have coworker inquire as to brand of sunglasses since they appear designer.
  13. Scoff at her because your find is clearly non-designer and cheapie!
  14. Check sunglasses and realize they're actually made by Michael Kors.
  15. Laugh your ass off.

Ross not sell this particularly over-priced brand of accessories. Someone must have left them by accident and, like an idiot, I assumed they were merchandise. My question is, if you can afford to throw away $200 on non-prescription shades, why are you shopping at Affordable Knock-off Central?

Whatever the reason, thanks!


Ninnies on the Road

This post has absolutely no importance. It is solely to ridicule a car I saw on the road this morning.

There I was, minding my own business today, when I saw this:

I've dubbed it the car for a guy who wants a Honda Civic, but can afford an Audi.

Why else would you drive this car? It's like having a BMW station wagon solely because the X5 is too high off the ground.

In other words: lame.


News from the West

Seems the fire season wasn't quite over yet. Just one day after newscasters warned of fire-friendly conditions, Malibu was once again on fire.

Whoever is trying to burn down Britney Spears' home really needs to just throw a Molotov cocktail through her front window and leave the surrounding areas alone. Flea lost his house. That sucks. It also sucks that my cousin, a fireman, is stuck working these senseless fires. Yeah, it's his job and all, but creating unnecessary dangers in simply ridiculous. People are risking their lives out there for this. It drives me crazy.

Bad pun. Sorry.

Hope you all had a good turkey-grubbing day. For all non-Americans, I hope the weekend passed with your teams winning, whatever they were.

We are T-6 days until the big LA game! Can we pull off another win? Cynics say no. Fuck them, that's what I say!


Don't Trust the Internets

The one thing a person should not do, should they find themselves sick in bed on a Friday night, is search the world o' tubes for possible explanations to said sickness.

That aches in my chest and back every time I cough, and the accompanying swollen glands in my throat, are probably not a serious reaction to my billion and one meds for stomach ailments.

The doctor told me that the pharmacist was probably going to be nervous about giving me metronidazole and tetracycline together. As I peruse Wikipedia, I can see why. The relevant info:

Cautions, contraindications, side effects
1. Inactivated by Ca2+ ion, not advised to be taken with milk or yogurt
2. Inactivated by aluminium, iron and zinc, not to be taken at the same time as indigestion remedies
3. Inactivated by common antacids and over the counter heart burn medicines.
4. Drug-induced lupus, and hepatitis
5. When used for acne vulgaris, skin can be extremely dry and flaky if overused.

In order to avoid a possible yeast infection, I've been instructed to eat yogurt. Along with these to antibiotics, I was prescribed an antacid that also helps with indigestion. As well as a liberal dosing of bismuth (aka Pepto Bismal). All of this 4 times daily.

And the skin on my forehead is flaky. So pretty.

On top of that, I could get lupus or hepatitis? WHAT THE HELL???

But at least it doesn't state anywhere that I'll end up with flu-like symptoms. So that must be completely independent of the many synthetic remedies ruining my stomach bacteria.

Both antibiotics also may cause dizziness, nausea and fatigue. Which I've got in spades. So is that due to the impending upper respiratory malady, or just meds?

I've got an afternoon date with a certain man tomorrow, and only 2 more days before I go back to work...doing crap like employee reviews. Though it'll probably be a lot easier to tell people they suck at their jobs if I just don't give a shit, right?


The Thanksgiving Incident

In case you somehow missed the multiple references, I'm Puerto Rican on my father's side, Mexican on my mother's. It's a very lovely combination. And a trend started by my dad: 3 of the Puerto Rican men in the family are married to Mexican women. My baby brother is the only one breaking rank by marrying an Indian...who loves Mexican food and has a mouth on her, so she fits right in.

Few of the family lives in LA: only 4 of my cousins on the PR side. And we all get together on family occasions. About 20 people. It's not huge, but it's fun.

This led to a bit of an issue on tonight...our very well-to-do cousin graciously invited the clan over to his 3.2 million dollar Hancock Park home. Their 10-week old child had not yet been allowed outside, and they kept him locked in the ivory tower that was his nursery. There were to be no tours of the new home, lest the baby be exposed to unclean air (the night nurse and nanny tended to him in the background). This in and of itself was weird, but new parents can be overprotective, so everyone let it go.

Like most large families, we're rambunctious, we're jovial, and we love on each other quite boisterously. My cousin and his lovely bride know this, having attended many a family function. Her own Sri Lankan family matched pace with us at their wedding. It was a ball.

But when they politely called the Thanksgiving celebration to an early end because they just couldn't deal with the commotion that is children chasing one another in the yard, or a discussion on how Mexican women are hard to handle, this did not go over well.

You don't invite 20 Puerto Ricans over for a large dinner and expect them to be "quiet." Actually, I don't think you invite ANY 20 people over for a meal, offer them a LOT of wine, and expect docile behavior. That's pure stupidity. My cousin and his wife, with their Wharton degrees and huge mansion, are pretty damn dumb to think this was going to be a quiet dinner party.

Needless to say, this left a bad taste in everyone's mouth. No one is too keen on the couple anymore. We like our family gatherings less formal. Thanksgiving has traditionally been at my parents' house, so this year, not only were we cheated out of the comfortable setting, but also the leftovers!

But in the end, we're still family. Even if this particular contingent is a little different, they're still loved.

Though they probably won't be invited to many family gatherings for a while.


Overheard during Dessert

Monsieur's gift arrived today. I was so excited, I had to try it on. It's big in the exact perfect way a boyfriend's jacket is supposed to be. And the leather is so very soft.

I'm going to have a hard time not giving it to him for a month. But then it was time to talk about my present, so we had the following conversation over coconut creme brule:

GPG: I got your Xmas present today. It's so fucking cool.

Him: You did?

GPG: What, are we not doing that?

Him: Of course we are.

GPG: Okay good. Because you know what I want? *pulls out Blackberry to show him the website*

Him: Is that a diamond ring?

GPG: No, of course not!

Him: Is it appropriate to be telling me what to get you?

GPG: I'm trying to save you the trouble of figuring out what to get me.

Him: I've never had a problem figuring out what to buy women.

GPG: Really? I wouldn't know that because I've never received a gift from you.

At which point he got my dazzling smile. He just laughed.

GPG: I'm kind of obsessed with that ring. And I think I deserve it.

Him: You definitely deserve it. That, and so much more. That's just the beginning.

At which point he gave me his dazzling smile. I went back to my brule blushing slightly.

I seriously can't wait until Xmas!!!

Maybe I'll go buy him something else too...god, I'm such a girl.


Random Hypothetical #3

What if I told you the person behind this blog is 58 years old? That the pictures you've seen of me are actually those of a relative? What if everything you've read about me, that I have supposedly confessed to the internets, is all a lie?

What if, in reality, I was a man? A 58 year old man?

I just wonder what you would think.

(Obviously those who have seen me naked would be harder pressed to imagine this. But you don't have to play.)


Pill-Popping Princess

Nearly 8 weeks ago I had my stomach scoped. Immediately after which I was told that everything looked normal.

A month later, the doctor who performed the procedure called to say they found an ulcer-causing bacteria in there and I needed to go on meds for 2 weeks. I was actually relieved because I still had serious tummy issues, so at least now I knew it was all in my head. I tried to make an appointment. The earliest they could fit me in was 3 weeks later.

That was today. So I had to take the morning off work, pay to park, then wait 30 minutes to see the doctor. All so he could just write me 4 prescriptions. That's it. He didn't examine me. He didn't do a damn thing that warranted me going into the office at all. In fact, he could have called the fucking pharmacy 3 weeks ago and I could have been finished with these damn pills already instead of spending all that time suffering unnecessarily.

Fucking asshole.

So now I have the joy of taking 18 pills a day for the next 14 days. During which time I can't drink because of weird side effects from one of the meds.

You can imagine how irritated I am.


'Tis the Season

I know everyone gets pissed that Thanksgiving is glossed over in favor of the more commercialized and lucrative gift-giving holidays in December, but I just bought Monsieur's gift and I'm feeling pretty damn satisfied with my purchase.

He loves Kenneth Cole. So I got him:

In return, I'm asking for:

And after the conversation we had last night about how I'm awesome at providing him LSU football highlights when he sleeps through the early games, and am therefore the bestest girlfriend ever, I totally deserve it.

Especially since he kept offering me scotch, but I was trying to protect his finances so I only drank beer. The alcohol I like is quite expensive, and he's gotta save it for that fabulous gift.

I really am a great girlfriend. Worth all 3.375 carats.


Taking it All for Granted

Ever since I made the decision to move, I've suddenly become very aware of what I'm leaving behind:

- The beach a mere four miles away
- A cooler climate than the rest of the city
- My favorite dive bar, where the owner knows my name, and the Sunday morning regulars greet me with a high five, especially if the Saints are winning

There are far more negative things, like traffic, ridiculously high rent, traffic, never-ending street construction, and did I mention the paralyzing traffic?

But the one thing that I noticed on the ride home tonight was the line of planes. Little points of light. Like a linear constellation. It reminded me of the week after 9/11. My roommate, who had just left NYC, and I headed down to the beach one night. It was eerily deserted, like most of the city. People were afraid to leave their homes in those first few days. But what struck us most was the absence of that line of lights hovering over LAX. It was strange.

For some reason, leaving that to move 30 miles inland is making me sad.

It's funny what gets you.


More for The Harem

The stat counter is filling up with new blogs that I had no idea were pointing in my direction. So instead of reading my rantings about work, lets spotlight them:

Ambiguous Amber: A journey into the mind of an ADHD thirty-something. Justifyingly Sassy. Offensively Witty. Excessively Dramatic.

Knaphrodesiac: Stealing candy from children since 1980.

So This One Time...: I am single, twenty-something, and have a lot of random things to say...mostly about men and sex (my two favorite subjects).

I have no real idea how they ended up here, so I'll wait to hear that from them. Ladies, feel free to share.

And while we're at it, why don't the rest of you lurkers share how you got here? Confession is good for the soul. And it makes good reading.


An Event by the Numbers

I just pulled off one of the most chaotic events of my life. Mostly because it required coordination between 4 separate organizations, none of which seemed to want to help me out by cooperating. Fuckers.

And this was for a charity, of all things! Remind me to never do that again.

This is how it went:

6 weeks from notice to execution
16,000 dollar food and beverage minimum
600 estimated attendees
9 top level sponsors
70 mid-level sponsors
27 hours personally dedicated to this in the last 3 days
46.5 man hours of staff time in the last 2 days
5 feds on site
1 super happy GPG
75 minutes spent in heels
1 back-up pair of flats
27,000 dollars spent on food alone
400 dollar bar minimums
6 cash bars
2400 dollars in alcohol apparently consumed
756 confirmed attendees
2 hours of cocktails
175,000 dollars raised for charity
1 very weary GPG

All this and I supposedly was also thanked in the speeches. Of course, I wasn't in the room to hear this, but I was told about it after the fact. Which is almost as good. Except not at all. Because if I'm going to work my ass off this hard for something that wasn't even supposed to be my responsibility, I want to bask in my 2 seconds of glory, dammit! Especially in a room filled with 700 drunken people.

But at least I got the feds. And that alone is worth its weight in yummy.

I never said my job didn't have an upside.


There Aren't Enough Hours in the Day

My time is valuable. I cost my company a great deal of money, especially after 5 pm...not what I'm worth, but relatively speaking, I'm not bad off.

So when a minimum wage clerk at Office Depot wants to waste time playing games with me instead of finding the item I'm paying $300 for, I get a bit irked. Understandably so.

Therefore, it wouldn't be considered rude at all if I snapped at him, told him to get is ass in gear, and get the shit I'm trying to buy.

Don't waste my fucking time.


Growing Up is Hard to Do, Part 2

Over the weekend, I realized I'm living a life I don't quite recognize. Not totally happy with it, I've decided to do away with the hypotheticals and accept certain truths.

In list form:

- Quitting my job would not be the end of the world
- Maybe having a kid wouldn't be so bad
- I'm moving back to El Valle next month

Usually, when I want to make a big change in my life, I just cut off all my hair and take up a new endurance sport. But this time, it's going to take more than a sassy haircut and a renewed commitment to the gym. I have to shake it up completely: relocate and start fresh.

I'm lucky that I have the luxury of making these decisions on my terms and no one else's, even if coming to grips with them is breaking my brain. And no, I'm on pregnant...but apparently the biological clock started ticking on Saturday.

Probably due to the fact that Saturday marked the 6-month countdown to 30.


In the meantime, happy 6th birthday to my G-brat. She's 6 today. What a fun age.


Why Work is Bad

Have you seen those Careerbuilder commercials where workers are in a Survivor-type environment, the tagline being "Do more than survive the work week"? There's one where hapless workers are enticed by free doughnuts and bagels, only to fall down a hole and get trapped in mindless meetings.

That gives you an idea of what my typical workday feels like.

Meetings are like purgatory: an endless limbo of people talking in circles, deciding nothing but to continue "thinking by committee" at the next meeting.

It's so painful that stabbing myself in the eye would accomplish more and still hurt less.

But recently I've noticed an even more annoying trend: chewing gum in meetings. In fact, one director goes so far as to bring in new flavors every time we meet. What the fuck? So everyone sits around the table chomping away at Berry Blast or Citrus Melon.

Do you know how difficult it is to take a department head seriously when they look like cows chewing cud? It's awful. I lose respect for them with each smack of the gum. And then I start to wonder why they make more money than I do. Which makes me depressed. And makes the time in the meeting that much more miserable.

Sometimes I wish it was a little more like Singapore.


Fatty, Fatty Two by Four

You know how the American public has a severe obesity problem? Well, the new joke at Disneyland is that instead of being "this tall to ride this ride," you must "weigh less than an elephant."

Fat fucking Midwesterners are
breaking the boats in the It's a Small World ride. They have to close it down in order to rejigger it to allow their fat asses to keep taking up space.

And in another 50 years, they'll probably have to do it again.


Signs of the Apocalypse

The writers strike is on. Coffee drinkers beware.

I just bought raspberries. Five bucks for a handful.

The price of gas is climbing in leaps and bounds.

So the California economy is going to take a dump because an entire industry is about to grind to a halt. Food is becoming prohibitively expensive to get to market because the gas in the trucks is too fucking high.

We can't eat. We can't drive. We can't be entertained.

And the holidays are just around the corner.



October by the Numbers

Oh it's late. Again. Sue me. No really, go ahead. I have lawyers in my pockets. And I'm just dying to force them to do my bidding. For 33%. Unless we go to trial, then it's 40%.

Fucking lawyers. They're also the reason last month's wrap up is so late. Lets all hate them together.

2 casual Fridays spent in a suit
11 events requiring my attention
17 stories before my lungs exploded in an icky mucus nightmare
6 days sick in bed
3 half-days of work missed
1 birthday party missed
24 years on the planet achieved by our favorite Shambot
3 months achieved by her baby son
1 Yoda costume for the baby
16 dollars for two Clippers tickets
1 surprise appearance by the newest member of the Phoenix Suns
21 points scored by my boyfriend Grant Hill
2 glasses of Simon LA's yummy California syrah
1 book unsigned
1 free glass of scotch
1 double shot of tequila spilled at Stone Rose
10 pieces of sushi
3 glasses of California Symphony @ T&A's
132 minutes cracking up over the unrated version of "Knocked Up"
1 little Krazy child taught to root for the losing Bruins
3 Saints wins
0 promised Saints t-shirts delivered
4 Raiders losses
0 Raiders merchandise owned
1 generic hooded costumed figure
1 NASCAR fan without his mustache
15 dollars to park
4 blocks walked, both up AND downhill
80 million freaks dressed up for the WeHo Halloween Carnaval