Overheard after the Mani-Pedi

Lets cut to the chase. The moral of this story is that you NEVER pick up a man in a nail salon.

My vacation started off nicely enough. I'd slept in, ignored the mounds of crap still to pack, schedule a massage and a date...and then decided to get my toes done.

I walked in and was the only customer. Score. I sat in the spa chair and let the rollers do their job while the girl went to work on my feet. Then he walked in.

We'll call him Nail Salon Guy.

He was dropping names left and right while chatting on his cell phone. And because the place was absolutely empty, he had to come sit down right next to me. Lucky me.

As soon as he ended his call, he complimented my color choice. OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress: bright red and shiny. He said it would make a great lipstick. I responded that the only shade of lipstick that counts is red.

I, of course, assumed he was gay.

Despite the shallow Hollywood vibe, he turned out to be thoroughly entertaining, in an ADD sort of way. So I let him take me to lunch. Because who doesn't need a gay boyfriend?

After a few glasses of Sapporo and sake, he told the waiter that I was someone famous. I let him believe I was Jordin Sparks. Who NSG, supposedly in the music industy, had never heard of. Yeah, right.

He finally agreed that I wasn't this Jordin girl, but I had to be someone "known." And so the conversation went something like this:

NSG: You really are famous aren't you?
GPG: No, not at all.
NSG: Of course you are! You're just laying low, getting your nails done in the middle of the day.

GPG: I'm NOT famous. Do you want to see my license?
NSG: No, famous people have fake IDs all the time. You're definitely someone. The way you walk, the hair, you don't wear make up, and that sporty red car...you're somebody, you just don't want to admit it.

Then he tried kissing me and getting me to go back to his house with him. So I guess he wasn't gay. Which was probably the most disappointing part of the whole story.

But seriously, me as an undercover celebrity? Because I have curly hair and opted not to wear make up? Can you think of anything more absurd?!

It's been over a week and that story is still making me giggle. Some people are just bizarre.

And that is why, boys and girls, you should never go on a date with a guy you meet at the nail salon.


End of an Era

My baby brother is moving his family to San Diego tomorrow. He currently lives around the corner from my parents' house. But tomorrow, the corner will become over 100 miles long.

I am sad.

His fiancee and I get along like gangbusters. Always have. His kid is so fucking adorable, he's the kind of baby you just want to snuggle with. And my baby brother is one of my most best friends.

All this to say that I'm going to miss them all very much. A lot a lot.

It's time to study the train schedule and get myself a pass. And probably find a hotel contact to hook me up with a weekend every month.

But for now, I am too sad for more words.


New Greatness

Have you felt the void lately? Relax, the cure has arrived. Wonderful reads available for immediate consumption at Big Bang Linguisticity!

The internets are complete yet again.


Overheard on Christmas

I don't know if it's a Latin American thing or what, but we've always celebrated Xmas on the Eve rather than the day of. The entire family gets together at my parents' house for a meal that includes mostly Puerto Rican fare, topped with Mexican salsa. It's fusion at its best.

Like most Puerto Ricans, our family is LOUD. Mostly because there's a lot of people in one space, but also, because they're Puerto Ricans. You have to be able to handle this if you're ever invited to a family function. The weak are eaten alive or summarily ignored. Those who have a mouth on them and like to use it are immediately adopted.

Thanksgiving Incident was referred to numerous times. We like to poke fun at ourselves, and by extension, the rest of the family. And since some of the family hadn't been there, we had to bring them up to speed.

During a particularly rousing game of Mexican bingo, the following took place at increasingly decibel levels:

GPG: You guys, keep it down, or my mother is going to throw you all out!
Mom: *rolls eyes and chuckles*
Aunt J: You were in Hancock Park for crying out loud, what did you expect?
Cousin R: *loudly* We expected them not to be so uptight!
Aunt J: *louder* Eh, you were being low class, of course you got thrown out!
GPG: Mom, are you going to tell these people to shut up and go home already?

This threat kept coming up the rest of the night. It was much fun at someone else's expense.


My father believes everyone should drink wine. You don't get to come over to our house and not drink. He takes this as a personal insult:

Dad: *to my younger cousin* You want a drink?
GPG: Dad, he's only 15!
Dad: So?
Cousin: It's okay. I don't drink.
Dad: Well, I'm surprised.


The elder generation likes big families. My father has 6 brothers and sisters, my mom has 3. My mom's sister, Aunt L, had 5 kids. Apparently she and her husband expect the same of their own kids:

Uncle: I want 25 grandkids.
Cousin: Keep wishing. Or, go to Africa.

Adoption jokes are funny.


Later, we plugged in a Wii someone received for Xmas. It started with baseball among the 8-year-old set:

Cousin R: Now, I don't want to see you on 'roids, okay kids?
His brother (their dad): Hey, if you ain't cheating, you ain't trying!


And of course, because my baby brother is routinely mistaken for Middle Eastern (and his fiancee actually is), his nascent brood are the butt of more jokes:

Cousin M: Do we have a terrorist in the house?
Cousin R: Great, now we're going to get thrown out because of YOU!
Baby brother: My wife-to-be is actually part terrorist: she's Turkish and Iranian. Total Arab.
Cousin R: No shit?
Shambot: Hell yeah!
GPG: Please, we refer to his kid as Baby Terrorist!
Baby brother: *proudly holds up his son* Terrorist in training!

Politcally correct we are NOT.


The Shambot got her nickname because she's clumsy. Like a bad robot. We shouldn't let her drink:

Shambot: Oh no, look what I did! *shows red wine spill on her son's sleeve* I'm not even drunk, I'm just retarded!
GPG: Better on him than my mother's couch!
Shambot: Better on his sleeve than his head!
GPG: You were planning on giving him a Catholic baptism, right? Baptism by alcohol!
Baby brother: Get him a shirt that says, "My mommy spills wine on me."

Religious jokes are funny too, especially on Christmas!


When the night was finally winding down, the discussion turned to the baby's inability to sleep through the night already. My older brother, having lived through that hell with his two kids, made a suggestion:

Big Fish: Trust me, read the book. We gave you the book for a reason, READ THE BOOK!
Shambot: I have. But it's hard when you're in the situation and they're crying. I can't just let him cry.
Shambot: *to BF's wife* Your husband is being annoying.
BF's Wife: BF, shut up.
Shambot: Yeah, shut up.

And then it was midnight and time to go to sleep. So we could get up again in 6 hours because they kids hadn't yet opened up ALL their gifts.

Hope your holidays have been as memorable!


Two Things #4

1. The worst part about packing is the unpacking. I can't find a fucking thing.

2. Cost-co will turn you into a stark raving madman. A murderer. It makes sane people tear their hair out. You may very well lose a limb or an eyeball attempting to just find parking. Stay far, far away. Especially during the holiday season.


Committed to the Cause - Update

Turns out the strikers don't picket when it rains. Can't blame them. It's wet out there. Has been for a few days. Cold too.

They're kind of like my building's handyman that way. He refuses to work in the rain too. Probably afraid he'll melt. Like the Wicked Witch.

But when it's not raining, they're out waving their signs. The lady I wrote about last time isn't alone anymore, either! She's got a gentleman at her side now. And her cane is festively decorated for the season. Who doesn't love tinsel?

I wonder if she picked her writer escort up in some sort of displaced WGA-friendly Match.com. Can you imagine?

Just to show solidarity with the working man, Spanky and I ate lunch at a deli that had the picket signs prominently displayed in their window. We're good that way.


Overheard in the Ring

I was once really into kickboxing. None of that Billy Blanks bullshit, but the real stuff. I like to hit. Heavy bags or people, I'm open. My little brother recently took up Muay Thai because he likes to hit all Southeast Asian-style.

Tonight I joined him and the Shambot at one of the local boxing clubs. It was so much fun, I forgot how much I really loved laying into a bag with crazy combinations. My form is all off, but I don't care. This is probably going to become my renewed obsession. The great thing is that the club is literally around the corner from my new digs. Score.

I was talking to the person behind the counter about costs and whatnot when we got into how my little brother is so into the sport. I never really censor myself, and because I've been referring to him as "my baby brother" for so damn long (26 years, to be exact), it just kind of comes out. Which leads to these kind of exchanges:

GPG: Yeah, it's my baby brother who brought me tonight.

Counter Girl: Your BABY brother???

GPG: Well, yeah. He's younger.

CG: I never would have guessed.

GPG: Yeah, so what if he's an entire foot taller than me and has a kid? He'll always be my baby brother.

CG: *looks at me like I have 3 heads* Uh huh.

GPG: We go out drinking and I always get carded. Not him. But that might be because he looks like a terrorist.

CG: *cracks up*

GPG: You can't deny it.

CG: I guess not.

And then we went back to punching bags. So much fun!!


More Free Gifts

Remember how my super cool clients bought me an iPod? I casually mentioned it to Spanky, who is a member of a different client group, and his response was that they had to get me something even better.

Who doesn't love a healthy competition for my attention?

Guess what I got today? A gift basket. A small one.

Laugh. Out loud. Hard. Please.

I immediately called him up to thank him for passing along the message that something better than an iPod would be the best way to bribe me into giving a shit about the work I have to do for them. And then asked him if a GIFT BASKET would fetch more on Ebay than the $65 I got for the iPod.

The consensus: decidedly NO.

There was a bottle of dry sparkling wine in it. Which I don't normally care for, but there's an architect that I could be spending all weekend in bed with, and we're going to need something to drink, so sparkling wine might just fit the bill.

But seriously: a fucking GIFT BASKET? Isn't that what you get for someone you don't like too much? And how do middle-aged lawyers assume that a basket of foofy shit like tapenade and fake champagne trumps a cute little mp3 player for a hip 29-year old event planner???

Guess who will be getting more of my attention in the new year? The people with taste, that's who.


Weeding Out the Junk

How is that no matter how much you pack up and/or throw away, there's still a plethora of shit? How is it we managed to pack up an entire kitchen in just an hour, but my bedroom has taken a week and still looks as if nothing has happened?

I've packed up roughly 8 boxes, cleared out 98% of my closet, and yet, I still feel like I could live here for an entire month and not want for anything.

Except a pair of black boots that have already arrived in their new home. Argh.

After this whole experience I might just divest myself of any and all material possessions and live the ascetic life. Except for the wardrobe part. Even though it's taken 8 suitcases to move the clothing, I had to choose between only 30 or so shirts when I went out tonight, and had a serious case of "nothing to wear-itis." So the clothes stay.

Clothes, bed, computer, tv, camera. Everything else is probably unnecessary.


Two Things #3

1. I don't like refrigerators that look like they're part of the cabinetry. That kind of decor strikes me as really odd.

2. Why does my hair look so damn great after 3 days of being unwashed? Usually after two days the curls just aren't what they used to be, and yet here I am with perfect fucking hair with nowhere to go but into the shower.



The End Is Near

Tomorrow the first one of my childhood friends turns 30. The big 3-0.

Of course, I've known plenty of people to hit (and survive) this milestone. I was 11 when my mother celebrated her 30th birthday. A few other friends are already deep into the decade. But this is different.

Mr. Reed and I grew up together. We graduated from high school together. He's the one that gave me a kick ass present for my 24th birthday: a big black baseball bat so I could beat the shit out of people! A few years later he proposed. Kind of.

The point is that we've gone through stuff together. Way back in the day we'd ditch school to hang out in Santa Monica. Or drive up to Santa Barbara for the weekend so we could chill in a hotel room and just get drunk. Being 17 was fun.

And now we're supposed to be adults? I started the countdown over a year ago, and even though I've managed to cross a few things off the list, I don't feel like a "grown up" most of the time.

This is a weird transition period. I know Mr. Reed is having a hell of a time dealing with it. We exchanged text messages all day, just so I could tease him about tomorrow being The Big Day. Because even if we are supposed to be mature, deep inside we'll always be those 17-year-old brats.

That's a comfort.


Breaking the Cycle

I made a very important promise to myself today: no more OT.

It might seem like a no-brainer to normal people like you, but when you're a glutton for punishment you have a pathalogical work ethic like me, it's almost impossible to make this kind of shift. When you're so used to having your nose to the grindstone, throwing every bit of your soul into the task, defining yourself by the quality of your work, you just don't know any better. Life outside of the office? Is that allowed?

Fuck yeah! No more diabolical 60-hour week! No more eschewing a social life for the ball and chain that is my desk! No more killing myself for a job that I hate!

I used to have a really great life. At least from what I can dimly remember. Lots of friends, lots of plans, lots of fun. Now, all I do is work, work, work. It didn't help that I was in a relationship where he did the same thing. We fed each other's pathology. Now that it's over though, I'm leaving all those bad habits behind.
I don't need the money, and I don't need the stress.

There will still be periods of time that I'm not going to be able to get around it. February, for example, is going to suck. But I'm treating myself to a cruise in March! It's called a well-fucking-deserved break.

I'm not a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist. I'm not saving lives or creating a better world for people to live in. I plan events for a very narrow portion of the white-collar population. Most of whom don't appreciate a damn thing. So why am I subjugating my entire life to them and their needs? What about my own?

Today I start concentrating on those. From here on out.

I like the new me already!


Random Hypothetical #4

I love these posts because they allow me to posit the most absurd scenarios.

Like, if one were to find a small amount of white powder that was most certainly older than your typical kindergartener, would said powder have any effects, ill or otherwise, at this point in time?

In other words, does coke go bad?

I'll look to the doctors and drug aficionados among you to answer the question. Hypothetically speaking, of course.


Reasons for Road Rage

There are some amazingly dangerous drivers out there. Every city has them. You can complain all you want about how people forget to drive when it's raining/snowing/etc. But today, that was not the case.

Today, there was not a cloud in the sky. It was so clear that you could see the snow on the San Gabriel mountains looming just 45 miles away. Pretty to look at. With that view in the distance, I was able to enjoy a leisurely and uneventful drive to work this morning.

Until I reached the intersection of Venice Blvd and Hoover St, in a little area of the city known as Pico-Union. It's kind of the 'hood. It's also a scant 3 miles from my office.

At this little juncture of my travels, a charcoal grey Mini Cooper without a license plate decided he was going to race me down Venice Blvd. I have no idea why. But as soon as the light turned green, he immediately sped out and cut me off, nearly slamming into a van making a right turn into my lane.

Since he was driving so erratically, I let him have a wide berth. I slowed down and changed lanes. With a good city block between us, he was clearly keeping an eye on me because he swooped into that lane too. I switched back. He did the same. I stopped at a light and he sped off.

But he was waiting for me at the next intersection. Him in the right lane, me about to make a left. He stayed a few car lengths back so we'd line up next to each other. He glared at me. I waved. He started making obscene gestures. With his tongue. And yelling something. I'm sure it was nasty. But his window stayed up, so I have no idea what it was.

The light changed and he sped off again like a bat out of hell. I honestly have NO idea what I did to antagonize the guy (prior to waving, anyway). And to risk all those innocent people on the road? What a fucking asshole.

I really wish I'd had the LAPD number handy. I was ready to call the police on this freak. There are usually traffic cops in that area all the time, so I'm surprised one didn't catch him speeding down a business district. But I was so rattled, I wasn't about to try dealing with 411 while driving. And there was no way I was pulling over, lest he double back and ram right into me.

People are fucking crazy. No wonder everyone hates Mondays.


Call Me Wonder Woman

In the middle of this massive packing project--who knew how much shit you can amass in six years?!--I've found time to do many other things:

1. List 22 items on ebay
2. Rent a lighting set up
3. Get yelled at by a fake judge for her fake problems
4. Break up with my boyfriend
5. Buy a new camera
6. Shoot a slew of family portraits
7. Celebrate Xmas with my coworkers
8. Flirt with an adorable gun-toting fed
9. Return new camera
10. Flirt with an architect
11. Enjoy a piƱa colada
12. Flirt with several newly-minted lawyers
13. Knit a purple scarf
14. Buy makeup and new clothes for myself
15. Flirt with some veteran lawyers...and a judge
16. Shop for shoes...and purses...and jewelry...and more clothes

And that was just in the last week. I'm so fucking productive. I should reward myself with sex and scotch. Oh wait, I did that too!

La dee da. I'm pretty satisfied with myself.


Buried Treasure

It's amazing what randomness you'll come across in the midst of packing. There are movies I didn't realize I even owned, forgotten portaits of a certain Krazy Mommy we took for her husband back when they were first dating, and just now, an interesting trip through the memories of an old fling.

It was August 19, 2004 and between the hours of 3 and 5 pm we engaged in an incredibly filthy email chain that spans 5 pages.

I'm getting a little hot just reading back through it. He was dirty in the best of ways and I adored him. With blond hair and blue eyes, he was the exact opposite of my usual prey, but the moment I set eyes on him it was all over for me. He spoke Swedish, French and English. Man, I loved that accent. The one he refused to admit he had.

That was a fun summer.

He's back in Sweden now. I'd practically forgotten all about him. Until now. As I was rifling through old papers, ready to throw them all away.

I think I'll hang on to this one for a little longer, though. Never know when you'll need a good read.


Free Gifts

I received an iPod Shuffle from a client today. An early Xmas present. Everyone say "aww" all at once.

I already have an iPod Nano. So what should I do with the Shuffle?

Maybe I'll raffle it off in a future Exxy game.

Be on the lookout!


Americans are Fucking Retarded

I am truly embarrassed by the citizens of this country. This is worse than what the Tonight Show captures on their Jay-Walking segments:

The religion of Israel is Catholic? How about Muslim? Australia mistaken for Iran? Hiroshima known for its Judo-wrestling? We had 3 world wars? That was my favorite. Mostly because it was said by a guy old enough to have lived through both world wars.

How fucking stupid are we???

My head hurts.


November by the Numbers

Sorry for the delay. There was a bit of disappointment over the weekend that led to my boyfriend Karl Dorrell losing his job. So sad. Part of the fun of watching the games was to catch him in that blue polo.


Other things that happened recently:

1 football-themed bridal shower
100 dollars spent splitting the cost of said shower
1 wedding
12 coworkers sitting around the bar
13 dollars for one drink
3 birthdays
68 combined years celebrated
2-day celebration for the G-brat
700 people celebrating the life of a departed bench officer
33,000 dollars spent on food
1 birthday completely forgotten due to overwhelming work stress
11 days before I remembered
75 minutes spent with the birthday boy
0 mentions of his missed birthday
1 discovery about his unnecessary untruths
12 days spent on stomach drugs
168 pills ingested in that time
3 days of unfortunate side effects
0 alcoholic beverages during that time
1 gas leak
5 restaurant workers oblivious to the leak
1 massive headache
5 sushi dinners
1 very delighted sushi-stuffed GPG