Road Wars

Complaining about the price of gas is as effective as voting for Ralph Nader. And when I decided to use my mother's V6 sedan while my parents are on vacation, I knew I'd take a slight hit on the gas end.

Holy shit. $71 for regular unleaded. And I should have used the premium stuff, but with prices being what they are? Hell no. Two weeks ago, it cost me $50 for my own car, and that's a tiny little four-cylinder...this one has a bigger tank and gas is up 13 cents since then.

I was so furious.

You know what else costs $70? Two weeks worth of groceries for my house--and that's including the new jacked up prices and all my special gluten-free crap. $50 buys you a full sushi dinner for two at Sushi Dan's--replete with celebrity sightings. I can get two pairs of shoes for $70. The other day I bought seven dresses for that much. My phone bill is even less than that. The only thing that rivals it is my cable bill...but only by a couple bucks.

Food, clothing, entertainment, and communication. All of it amounting to less than a goddamn tank of gas. That will last me a week--if I'm lucky. Too bad there aren't any real alternate transportation options.

Somehow that just doesn't equal out. How long before there's a revolt? Oh right, we have an election in November. How much worse can it get in the next 5 months?


Kitchen Wars

I don't cook a lot. I'm not bad at it. I've been known to throw a good dish or two together. Mostly I don't have the time, or I don't want to make the time, or any of the above. But today there was fixins in the house, so I figured what the hell.

I can never just make a typical dish. I always have to make it unique, or add a layer of difficulty just for shits and giggles. Like my quacamole with peaches. Sounds weird, right? Till you try it. Everyone loves it.

I've also never made risotto, but I like it lots. And following my usual stubbornness, I opted to use black rice. Which takes notoriously forever to cook. The instructions say about 30 minutes. Normal risotto should take about 20.

2 hours later, my rice was still kinda crunchy. WTF?

This was annoying on many levels. It's edible, and even kind of yummy, but for the love of sanity that took too damn long!

And now I'm too tired to eat.


Got Sauce?

Mildly weird and/or annoying occurances:

1. I'm going to see STP at the Hollywood Bowl. The Bowl has always seemed like a venue for higher cultural events, not pop music. Forget that it's where I was first exposed to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But now I get to see the one 90s band I regret not having being able to see when Weiland was still a functioning and entertaining drug addict. The band that my friend and I sat OUTSIDE the Greek Theatre for in 1995, while a drunk guy named Ron hit on us and then threw up next to our blanket. To the tune of Interstate Love Song.

It's a night that lives in infamy in our 1996 high school yearbook. Along with a reference to how I busted my tennis racket in 1992. But that's a story for another time.

2. G. Love, another notch missing from the musical bedpost, is coming to said Greek in September. I love the Greek. It's nestled in the Griffith Park hills and you get to park on top of one another on a huge grass field. It's all part of the experience. That's where the Krazy Mommy and I got to see INXS just four months before Michael Hutchence died. Rodeo Clowns was my first taste of Jack Johnson. He's dreamy. And touring Europe with G. But he won't be coming to LA. Oh no. We get not the Jack, but instead we get the dirty Black Crowes. I'm less than thrilled.

Why G, why???


The Idol-Free Life

There's always something going on in this tiny city of ours. Tonight it was the American Idol finale at the Nokia Theatre vs. the Spurs/Lakers game at Staples Center across the street. Who wants to bet that traffic getting out of downtown was about 800% worse than normal?

Thank god I left at 2 pm.

I was invited to the finale taping. But turned it down for four simple reasons:

I hate American Idol.
2. Dentist appointment at 3 pm.
3. Dinner with my parents before they leave for their Puerto Rican vacation tomorrow.
4. Did I mention I hate American Idol?

My girlfriends subjected me to their chatter about it for weeks. Krazy Mommy will send me emails with nothing but AIAIAIAIAIAIAIAIAIAI!!! in them just to annoy me. I even got roped into sending a good luck message to one of the earlier contestants (friend of a friend, hence tonight's invite).

I spent my night drinking wine and watching the Spurs give up with just over two minutes left in the game. It's the playoffs. Even though San Antonio lost, I was still better off.

AI is for retards. Basketball is for the rest of us.

Oh, and to the idiotic morning DJ that called them the Indiana Spurs: you clearly watch too much AI. Retard.


Eight Years Later

She saw the missed calls on her cell phone and she cursed him for not learning the new number. 2 calls, four hours apart, one message.

"Hey sweetie. Hopefully you get this before the end of the day. If not, maybe we'll catch up sometime during the week."

It was 7:30 am the next morning when she heard it. 10:30 on the east coast. He'd be at work. Wouldn't answer his cell.

"Hey sweetheart. You have to stop calling that other number. I just got your message. Sounds intriguing...let me know what's going on."

At 5 pm her time, he let her in on the news. He was moving back to the town they'd made their playground for 3 years.

2 years ago they'd
met up in Dallas, both on business trips. That was the weekend they'd decided they were both adults. And felt good about it.

Now he's coming back. All grown up. Everything has changed. They really are adults with real jobs. No more rock shows, no more whoring for the camera.

But their friendship still runs deep. Nothing can change that.


Overheard in the Family #13

To fully understand the following conversation, I should give you some family background you probably can't glean from the many, many la familia posts:

1. My mother and father are 19 years apart.
2. The cousins on my father's side are all about the same age as my mother.
3. No, it's not creepy and if you dare say so, I'll cut you.
4. My family is kooky, but that you probably already did know.

May is also full of family birthdays: mom, Auntie J, my nephew, me, Cousin R (who is also Auntie's son). It's a huge hit to the wallet. Because Mother's Day is thrown in there too. Much fun.

So at my nephew's 5th birthday party yesterday, we were talking about how we're celebrating Cousin R's 50th today. I had this conversation with his daughter Juju Bee (who is 9):

GPG: Your dad's 50! Isn't that old?
Juju Bee: No, 50 isn't old. You're not old till you reach 63.
GPG: 63? That's the new old?
JJB: Yeah, that's what it said in my health book. Oh wait, actually it's 65. Yeah, you're not old till you're 65.

I choked on water when she very matter-of-factly stated it was 63/65. It was too cute.


Blame those Damn Commercials

"Hello, I'm a Mac. And I'm a PC."

I might be crossing over. Computer issues are driving me insane, and the longer I deal with Vista, the worse it gets.

Vista is seriously awful. Give me back my XP.

So...I'm considering getting a Mac. I hate Mac Sympathizers, they're just so damn self-righteous...and it might also make me
partially white. But I already own an iPod. Would a MacBook be that much more of a stretch?

I have to decide kind of immediately though. Because I need to upgrade to CS3, which the college kids get an 80% discount on, but that means committing to one platform over the other.

Decisions, decisions. My life is hard.


God Loves Aliens

Do you believe in E.T.? The Vatican says it's okay to do so.

Read more

Those crazy Catholics. You gotta love them.


Mercy, Mercy Me

1. Earthquakes in China.
2. Cyclones in Myanamar.
3. Tornadoes in the Plains.
4. Wildfires in Florida.

Does anyone else have the feeling that the planet is in full retaliation mode? Earth so hates us right now.

What's going on, indeed.


T-1 Day

And so here we are, at the very tail end of my 20s. Tomorrow morning I'll wake up and be 30. What a way to end the week.

And a decade. It started with me in all my youthful naiveté running around UCLA, surrounding myself with boys in bands, stealing their souls. I graduated from college and that scene, but I still own their souls. And at least one of them still has my heart.

Then came real life and the urban tribe. The background players came and went, but the core group has stayed the same. We have each other to celebrate the accomplishments, support when life deals out lemons, or just to share a drink at the end of the day. We've moved across state lines and time zones, but we've never been closer.

There have been laughs and heartbreaks. Nights that flew by, when we had so much fun it was hard to believe life could get any better than that. And days that stood still, when we prayed it wouldn't get any worse. Pleasure and pain in equal measure. I've learned humility and I've earned my pride, taken my lessons and hopefully imparted a few where I could. The last 10 years of my life have been the absolute greatest rollercoaster ride.

I lived the life I wanted, just hard enough and just fast enough, yet still came out pretty much unscathed. The memories of these 10 years make me smile, even the cringe-inducing ones. Because now I can laugh at them; it was all worth it. It's got me to where I am now.

My 20s were fantastic.

Thanks for playing along. Catch y'all on the flip-side.


T-5 Days

The Official Birthday Countdown started way long ago. And as we enter the home stretch here, there is suddenly a juggling contest going on.

Whoever sang that raining men song had it right. Just last month I was pleasantly single, making out with random guys at parties. Fast forward a few weeks and suddenly I've got suitors. THREE of them. What the...? It's like I won the Man Lottery.

I am NOT complaining. Just trying to figure out how I got so lucky and so suddenly. Did I mention I get to see my sexy fed on Thursday? Woo wee. He's just eye candy. But still.

It's going to be a really good week.

Speaking of which, I have one, possibly two, dates tomorrow night. One will definitely be lowering my already weak inhibitions with that good scotch I love...the other might be the one I make out with at sunset. Who knows?

The only other question is, what do I wear?

Photoblogging Monday 5.5.08

I'm up much earlier than necessary today, so you get this little treat, taken with an iPhone:

Pink Gloves

That's an actual set of letters I had while playing Scrabble with my dad and baby brother. I was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of the game till my dad put down a word to give him a 60-point jump. Argh.

We like our Scrabble. We're nerds. Word nerds. But you knew that already.


April by the Numbers

Is April the shortest month of the year? Remember when we were kids and days lasted forever? Now suddenly turning 30 is a mere 9 days away.

But it was a month well spent:

2 whole weekends with my baby brother

1 horribly unexpected UCLA loss
1 tornado in Memphis because even God wanted UCLA to win too
5 games until Phoenix gave it up, dammit

5 various other playoff games watched
4 horse races watched
0 bets placed

5 guys hitting on 3 girls
3 Blues Travelers harmonica solos before I recognized a song
5 hours of a Christian Film Festival
2 appearances by Pat Boone in a white suit
1 unexpected appearance by a certain man
4 nominations bestowed on our filmmaker friend
0 awards won for his efforts
350 dollars paid in taxes
250 supposedly returned
2 happy hours with my favorite Spanky
1 exquisite shot of Don Julio 1942
1 interesting evening under the red lights of
2 instances of wheat ingestion that seemed harmless

3 days before I realized it actually wasn't
3 games bowled with a Republican
2 broken nails
1 unhappy back
2 old flames possibly reignited
1 new one to consider
5 frustrating days creating an e-marketing piece
7 failed attempts to upload it to the server
13,200 people who finally received it last night
2 wine bars

1 failed to deliver without cigarette smoke
111 minutes enjoying funnies and penis in Saving Sarah Marshall
150 minutes enjoying greeness in Wicked The Musical
13 days dreading my inevitable birthday
16 days spent getting over it
9 days left before it finally happens