The Single Life

Pulling off that "wedding" today was the highlight of my week. Mostly because of the federal cops I had crawling all over the place.

I adore men who get to carry guns for a living. I don't know what the attraction is. It's not necessarily the uniforms. My guys are in plain clothes. But there is one in particular who makes me all weak in the knees.

I don't remember when we first met, but his team has provided security detail for at least 3 of my events over the past year. During one, I heard he likes tequila.

This is a match made in heaven.

But I missed a crucial opportunity today just as the event was winding down. We were chatting about something inconsequential, but I sensed he didn't want to leave just yet. Then the company president came over to ask me a question and I got distracted. When I turned back 2 minutes later, it was to his outstretched hand bidding me adieu.

Or adios, seeing as he is Hispanic. Dammit. I could have asked him to join me for a drink later, but work got in the way.

I'll see him again at the next wedding-sized event. But that's not for another 3 months. It's time to make this happen already.


Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?

Have you ever planned a wedding? For about 350 people? Who had to be assigned seating? Then you know what a headache it can be, dealing with hotels and making sure your drunk uncle doesn't grope a member of the other family. It's enough to make you want to elope.

I have an event tomorrow which is kind of like that. But for my wedding, I don't have the option of running to Vegas. We're going to do it loud, proud, and with lots of pomp and circumstance. And we're doing it tomorrow.

On Monday, I had 350 people coming. Last night we worked for 3 hours figuring out who deserved the front row, who would accept the outskirts, and where we'd shove the stragglers. Success right? Until we realized today that we actually had 430 people coming. Cue a call to the hotel to increase the guarantee, plus a request for a new schematic of the room so we'd know how to make use of the new real estate. I had to leave a message. I immediately followed up with an email.

That was at noon. At 5:30 pm, I suddenly received an out-of-office email back. WHAT THE FUCK? That's a hell of a delay. I called again. Got someone else's voicemail. Left a slightly frantic message. You can imagine the minor heart attack I was experiencing. Visions of people being forced to stand while eating their three courses started to drive me insane. That's if there was even enough food! What if there wasn't enough staff to even plate/serve/remove the extra 80 meals? What the hell was I going to do?!

Thankfully--mercifully!--about 30 minutes later, the hotel called back and assured me they had enough banquet staff, food, and my diagram was on its way momentarily. We were back on track. I started breathing normally soon after that.

And now it's nearly midnight and I just wandered home. The upside of leaving work in the middle of the night is you can make 13 miles in about 15 minutes. Now I have to get my beauty sleep. Lest I look like hell for my "wedding" tomorrow.

And that is what I do for a living. Every, single day. So when it comes to planning my actual wedding, you can understand why I'll be paying someone else to carry that burden.

And I don't like to bring my work home with me.

Pussies Dominate in LA

There are news reports this morning of a wild cat running loose through the hills of the West Valley. Mountain lions own the foothills around here. So it's pretty absurd that people clear out these precious parcels of land, move in and then complain that the cougars are eating their young. How are they surprised by that?

If you move into one of these areas, you know the risks. And what you're risking is being eaten by a wild animal. Yes, in the middle of this sprawling metropolis, there are still vicious, untamed creatures roaming about. Very few of them now because we keep killing them anytime they get too close to our swimming pools. That's a damn shame. We're gobbling up their territory, destroying their food sources, but god forbid they start encroaching on ours.

It's pure arrogance that because you paid $1 million (or vastly more) for your plot of land, replete with a view of the entire city that makes you feel like a
Roman Emperor, the wildlife should be destroyed.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Maybe we should fiddle while the
cats eat the hill dwellers. They are, after all, getting what they deserve.


The Upside of Downsizing

We restructured my department today. It's been a full two months of planning for all sorts of contingencies, strategies, and all the eventualities that come with a reorganization--on top of doing my actual job. The fun part was creating the org chart.

I didn't get to do that part.

I did, however, find out that one of our support staffers is scared of me. I was both surprised and, oddly enough, flattered. He has very little reason to be afraid of me. It's just that he hasn't worked for me for very long, and I've heard I can be intimidating. And this is why he delivers everything I ask of him in a very timely and efficient manner.

Hey, if that's what it takes to get people to do their jobs, I'm all for it. It's not like I'm purposely terrorizing anyone. I'm just being myself. And most people like me as is.

I'm actually very nice to him. I just treat him like an equal instead of patronizing him, which everyone else does. And I don't think he's used to that.

It's an interesting new world. I'm still cracking up that someone finds me scary.

That's just too good.


No Hay Photo

You know what I hate about photoblogging? Having to do it. I started it as a way to force myself to take pictures, but what I find myself doing more often than not is sitting here on a Sunday night looking through my entire portfolio for something to post. So not only am I not shooting, this has become a chore.


I'm going to scale it back to a non-regular installment that I'll do when I feel like it. That means no picture tonight.

You'll forgive me eventually.

Oh, and if you can guess which movie this post's title is borrowing heavily from, you are clearly brilliant. My money is on Lex/Sasha with an X since she loves herself some...well, if I told you, I'd be giving it all away.

Lex, love: when you finally get your ass back into town, the first round is on me!


Has the Novelty Worn Off?

Where is everyone? Are you still writing? No, you're not. The only ones I can count on for semi-regular posting anymore are The Disposable Chronicles and our favorite Girl. So many of you harem dwellers have just fallen off the map. I won't name names because it's too easy to click on any of those links over there and realize your last post was in October. Or, you just haven't blogged this month at all, so your blog is actually BLANK.

What happened, people?!?!?

I know I shouldn't throw stones. God knows I've gotten tired of doing it every day too. In fact, I read over my old stuff and wonder when I had the time or inclination to do any of it, much less write about it. I'm lazy. And busy. I'd rather knit.

Have I already admitted that I knit? Oh well, there you go. I'm 29 years old and I knit. Like an old lady. Make fun, if you must, but remember that I'm Puerto Rican and I will cut you. Or just stab you with my knitting needles.

Does anyone else have something interesting to share?

Overheard in the Family #11

One of my many qualms about moving back to the suburbs was how accessible everything is. You don't have to go anywhere to get what you need because it's all within reach. Forget that I used to drive a total of 50 miles nearly every weekend to visit the family. Now, the next town seems like an eternity away.

Seriously, it only took a week before a 5-mile drive to the city limit seemed too far to go.

Another fear was that I was going to regress to the kid I was in high school. I haven't really lived here since I left for college. Well, it's actually become worse than that. This was over chocolate milk and cookies at my parents' house:

GPG: Mmm, I love chocolate milk!

G-brat: Me too!

GPG: It's like I'm five years old again. Can you believe that, G-brat? I'm only five!

G-brat: I'm six.

GPG: That means you're older than me. Can you teach me anything?

G-brat: Yup! Lapis means pencil in Spanish.

GPG: Wow, I learned something new!

Later she guessed that I'm really thirty. I told her to stop making me older than I really am.


Photoblogging Sunday 2.17.08

Just because it's a holiday weekend doesn't mean I'm letting myself off the picture-posting hook. I AM taking a vacation from the multi-line/pic project, only because I'm lazy. And spent nearly my entire day and night in a car yesterday, not taking pictures, so there's very little new to show you.

At some point during the drive back, deep in the night, Bruce Springsteen's haunting "I'm on Fire" came on and gave me chills. I love that song. And it inspired me to dig up pictures from other far-flung places taken way back when.

For you:

Pink Gloves
That's Mojave in 2005. One of the original Exxy readers owns an original from this series, but she's changed her colors to maintain anonymity, so I won't out her.

Enjoy your day off tomorrow, if you get it. I do. I'll be shopping, like a good American.


Are You White Too?

I have a confession to make: a few of my friends are white. Or, to be politically correct, they're Caucasian. Especially La Ria, whose people hail from the Caucus Mountains. So she's like ultra-white. I know, I should be utterly ashamed. I think I can safely assume most of my readers are white too. It's horrible!

But there's a hidden benefit to all of this. Being the only Hispanic in a group of white people automatically makes me the coolest person in the group, especially given that I'm the awesomest combination of Spanish-speaking people. When I have to share the ethnic token with someone else, then we look like your typical United Colors of Benetton ad, and that's just cliché. And the only thing worse than being a cliché is being white.

White people are fun to ridicule. It's totally acceptable to do so because, well, they've been oppressing everyone around them since the beginning of time, so now we get back at them the only way they understand: through clever jokes and innuendo. It's an intellectual challenge. And who doesn't love those?

Which brings me to my newest most favorite blog of all time: Stuff White People Like. It's pure genius. And actually really well written. I admit that I like a lot of the stuff they list too, like sushi, wine, (the idea of) marathons, and David Sedaris. It's quite easy to become confused about my own ethnic background. But my saving grace is that I hate Sarah Silverman, Manhattan, 80s night, and Apple Corp., so I clearly can't be white. And that means all is right in the world.


Revel in the Love

The excitement I feel for Valentine's Day is rivaled only by the love for my birthday. You can get more of why from reading my annual V-Day posts.

This year is no different. Since I'm still deep in rebound mode, I'm not spending today with a romantic partner. No, I have something better. My date this evening drools a lot, subsists on a mostly liquid diet, and is still in diapers.

And I'm completely enarmored with him.

That's right, I've got Baby Aladdin all to myself tonight! We're going to hang out and figure out this election and the Middle East problem. He's a very intelligent kid, even at 6 months. He'll then be spoiled by all of his cousins at tomorrow's love fest before I take him back to mommy and daddy so we can plan their wedding.

We've got love spilling out all over the place over here. Hope your day/week/life is as awesome as this.

Happy Valentine's Day!!


Please Drink Responsibly

Last night, a coworker and I decided a post-work cocktail was the perfect way to start the evening. We'd planned to attend a talk by author Walter Russell Mead, but it didn't start until 7:30. To kill the two hours, we sat at the swanky restaurant bar frequented by our more affluent clientele.

What you expect from these people, with there high-falutin' lifestyles, is an appreciation for the finer things. Hence the bevy of overpriced restaurants in that area, stocked with their excessively overpriced alcohol. I tend to stay away from the scotch because I know it's going to cost me over $20 each glass. Café Pinot has a particularly nice selection of moderately priced wines, so that's what we stuck with last night. And then it happened:

We overheard a waiter ask the bartender for a tequila and coke. I noted the bartendar's grimace. I cringed. And then I had to open my big fat mouth and ask: what the hell did they order? Oh, not just any tequila, like a Patrón silver or some crap that can afford to be mixed. They wasted a wonderful añejo I'd never even heard of (but was quite lovely) on that concoction.

I was disgusted. The bartendar just shrugged and did his job. It's a good thing I don't tend bar because I would simply refuse to make that drink, simply on principal. I catch a lot of flack from Jack for mixing bourbon with coke. But he's seen me drink whiskey straight, so he knows I can handle it.

I used to shoot 151, thinking I was a bad ass. I finally learned the finer points of enjoying a glass of good alcohol, be it tequila, scotch or rum. And I really wish I could educate the world about this. Because there is nothing less impressive than someone who should know better announcing his ignorance with a drink order like tequila and coke.

But if I did that, then I wouldn't be able to act superior to everyone who drinks vodka martinis and considers themselves cultured. So I'll keep my secrets to myself and the few people with whom I choose to enjoy a drink. I'm a drink snob, sue me. The other side of it is that I'm always willing to learn more. Just not about coke in my añejo!

I hope you, on the other hand, will NEVER fall victim to this serious social faux pas, like whatever idiot it was who asked for that mixed drink last night.

Honestly, that's just sounds gross.


On the Run Again

It's been an entire year since I ran a marathon. After that, I never wanted to run again in my life. I tried overcoming that by mentoring a group of newbies during the summer, but even that couldn't break me out of my anti-running stance.

Then today I learned that I served as an example for some of my coworkers. Two of them ran a race yesterday and they told me today that I had inspired them to do it. Now they want me to run a 10k with them in April. Eek.

I'm a little hesitant to do 6.2 miles in just two months. I mean, it's totally doable, but still seems like a forever distance. So I'm thinking I'll just do the 5k instead. 3.1 miles is much more digestable. Especially since there are a lot of hills involved. And hills will kick your ass.

Now I just have to convince myself to train for this...but how do you overcome gross laziness?

This might not be so easy.


Photoblogging 2.10.08

First of all, a belated happy birthday to one of our favorite bloggers, Mr. H. Wood! Everyone is hitting 30 these days. It's an epidemic.

Next, a break from the collaboration for a quick look at how Los Angeles looks in the winter. It's a rather shitty picture, but it proves that we do indeed get snowed on down here in the land o' sunshine and fake tans. Taken from the residential area below Chavez Ravine, where the boys of summer will soon be wreaking havoc on my weekday commute. Man, I hate baseball.

Pink Gloves
It's weird that on Thursday I was wearing a turtleneck and freezing my ass off, and then Friday it shot up to nearly 80 degrees at my place. Summer has come early once again. But at least there's snow, for now, in the local mountains.


Worst Places to Live

10 years ago, at the tender age of 18, I ran off to college on the east coast. Because all the "good" schools were back there. And also my perfect GPA, mix of extracurriculars, various internships, the fact that it was cousin's alma mater, and maybe even a dose of affirmative action combined to get me into Wharton. That's just not something you say no to.

So I settled in on the west side of Philadelphia. It was awful. It's grey. I know it's old and has a bunch of cool history (which, ironically, is the degree I ended up with), but the place is sad. Decrepit. Like having historical cache means it's allowed to be dirty. If Philly was a person, it would be the disabled homeless Vietnam vet that sits in his wheelchair on the corner in any given ghetto that we all want to pretend doesn't exist, who at one time was a war hero and is now just an embarrassment to society.

And it's overrun with pigeons, which are the dirtiest animals. Like rats with wings.

I'm not the only one that thinks so. Forbes.com recently ranked it as the 5th most miserable city in the United States. From the article:

How miserable is Philly? The residents of the City of Brotherly Love once booed Santa Claus and pelted him with snowballs at an Eagles game. Maybe it's the long commutes, violent crime and plethora of toxic waste sites that has people grumpy. Philadelphia scored in the top 20 in all three areas.

And the picture that accompanies that quote is of a crime scene. With at least 12 markers for what...bullet casings? And it's raining. Oh the fucking rain! God hates Philly, so he's always crying. That's why it's always fucking raining.

Coincidentally, Los Angeles ranked 6th worst. Because we have long commutes. Yeah. I've always been a proponent of living close to work. If you don't, you're just an idiot and have only yourself to blame. But at least we don't have "violent crime and plethora of toxic waste sites" to KILL us. Jesus Christo! We also don't have a pro football team, but no one gives a shit because our top-ranked college sports and pro basketball teams keep us pretty entertained. Oh, and that entire industry of entertainment keeps us from going ape shit on a poor guy dressed like an old fat man at a damn football game. It was probably raining then too. Or worse yet, snowing.

Philly is a shit hole. And I have yet to meet anyone from there that wasn't an idiot . I don't say that to their faces, obviously. But I do feel sorry for them. And oddly superior. Actually, I feel that way about everyone I meet, but Philadelphians bring out a special type of pity.

Don't go there. It's almost as sad as Reno...which is where your dreams go to die. Philly, on the other hand, is where they go to be brutally murdered.


January by the Numbers

Wow, this is late. Can you believe I forgot about this monthly delivery until I was driving to work yesterday? Thank Chinatown for sparking the memory.

2 birthdays celebrated
98 combined years
4 photo shoots
2 calendar set-ups
7 amazing non-models
402 pictures
12 still to narrow it down to
5 inches chopped off in hair surgery
2 people who noticed
10 suggestions for collaboration
5 dollars won for the cat legs riddle
10990 legs on the bus
1 wonderful glass of Macallan 18
6 glasses of shiraz
1 happy hour drinking no alcohol at all
2 particularly memorable football games
16 points for LSU
3 points for NY
20 dollars wasted betting on those stupid squares
3 knitting projects started
1 knit wrap finished
2 social lunches compromised by business meetings
1 amazing culotte steak reward for just showing up

Looking back, it's like nothing happened. Oh well. What did you do last month?


Craziness P-ersonified

I was all set to bitch about my 12 hour day--after I'd sworn off 12 hour days this year! But really it's just due to the fact that my life is so hard, I spent 3 hours at Simon LA over at the Sofitel Hotel. Which, by the way, is not as fancy a hotel as it wants to pretend it is. Expensive and trendy? Okay. But fancy? Fuck no. I'll go to the Bel Aire Hotel or the Beverly Hilton for "fancy," you overpriced, arrogant and quite dumpy hotel!

Back to my point: 12 hours!

Then I came home and Little Bull--winner of our last contest--had written about yesterday's glorious game and I just think that Eli Manning is the cutest little mouth breather on the planet, and I'd really love to have his babies if I could be guaranteed they wouldn't come out retarded, but I'll settle for just his jersey because this has officially become a run-on sentence and my brain has exploded.

But none of that is important because through LB I found us another blog that will definitely make you squirt coke through your nose, which burns like a bitch because coke should only go UP your nose, not OUT it, and there I go with another run on sentence.

Want to guess what drugs I'm on? Did I mention they serve cotton candy at Simon LA? Do you know that cotton candy is PURE FUCKING SUGAR and I'm still bouncing off the walls even though my lunch meeting ended 4 hours ago?

Go read My Crazy Roommate. It's really that good. Like a Super Bowl upset!

Confidential to Jack: I interpreted your text message to mean you would have taken the safe bet. Didn't your mama teach you to believe in the underdog? For shame!


Photoblogging Sunday 2.3.08

Because there's a big game on in a few hours and I have to get ready for the viewing party, and the possibility of winning untold fortunes (really just $100), lets keep this short.

Per Little Bull:

A smile of sweetest flowers, wilted so and soured
You know I burn like a junkie for you, baby
One drink to remember, another to forget
I fall so hard inside the idea of you
In the darkest times, oh, you shine on me

Per me:

Pink Gloves

Rules and regulations
here. LB, let me know where you want this sent.