Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Planning the Oscar Party

Dinah: Our Best Picture nominees are not lending themselves to good themed food. This is the best I've been able to come up with:
Dinah: Brokeback Bacon-Wrapped Dates
Dinah: Capote Cucumber Sandwiches (Amanda's idea. I don't even know if they're in the movie or what)
Dinah: Munich Munchies
Mac: Cool.
Mac: NICE!!!
Dinah: Or, like, brats or something.
Dinah: Little grilled brats with mustard & sauerkraut for dipping?
Dinah: CALLED Munich Munchies?
Dinah: Okay, I'm actually liking that one
Mac: Totally!
Dinah: Um, and.....
Dinah: You'll CRASH if you drink too much Funch and Good Night and Good Luck thinking up any more themed food!
Dinah: See.
Mac: Crash Funch. That's perfect.
Dinah: Really?
Mac: Ooh! Or the Funch could have "Walk The Line" under it!
Mac: I think we could have normal food "Sponsored by;"
Dinah: Well, see. That's just the Best Pictures. Other movies I haven't even played with:
Dinah: Constant Gardner.... something veggie? Maybe I could do a cute veggie basket like my aunt did at my shower.
Dinah: Hustle & Flow. Heh. We should have a keg for that one.
Dinah: Or a chocolate fountain
Dinah: Walk the Line...... Maybe the Funch? Maybe something southern? They didn't eat much besides pills in that movie.
Mac: What's a funny Canadian dish? We could call that North Country.
Mac: I thought the Funch should be Walk the Line.
Mac: Get it? Drunk test?
Dinah: No, I get it.
Dinah: North Country, Pride & Prejudice, Transamerica.
Mac: Carrot cake for Wererabbit?
Mac: Something dead for Corpse Bride?
Mac: Another drink for Goblet of Fire?
Mac: Maybe Funch should be Goblet of Fire
Dinah: Hee. We could serve tea and scones for P&P. With a side of Jake Jelly-hall.
Dinah: The squid and the whale..... nah. Too obvious.
Mac: Calamari?
Dinah: Yeah, but. "The squid and the breading and the marinara sauce. And the whale."
Dinah:Except without the whale. We're not eating whale.
Dinah: now I want calamari.
Dinah: Rachel Weisz it so hard thinking this shit up?
Dinah: Somewhere, Gene Shallot busted his spleen in jealousy.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


I'm a little cranky this morning.

Yesterday, I had a meeting in West Hollywood at 9:30 a.m. I left the house around 8:45ish and set off to make the trek over the Hollywood Hills via Laurel Canyon. I've taken other routes to our WeHo office before. They all take the same amount of time and this one is the most direct.

Here's what sucks about the morning "rush" over Laurel: start, stop. Wait. Start, stop. Wait. Start, ooh! 5 miles per hour, sweet! No, hang on. Stop. Wait.

Imagine how much fun that is with a stick shift. I'll just go ahead and tell you. NOT F'IN VERY FUN.

Oh, and did I mention, this whole start/stop/never leave 1st gear NONSENSE is totally happening while being pointed uphill for 30 minutes? Good times.

So here I am just trying to make it over the hill. I have a rad mix of new music in my car, I've allowed enough time for this bullshit, so I'm already proactively managing the stress a drive like this would usually generate. I'm doing alright. Until, that is, my gas light goes on.

Uh oh. But wait, that's just because you're pointed uphill and all the gas is sloshing to the back, right? Right. But then it keeps going down. When it started kissing the bottom of the gauge, I started to panic, just a little. When my car started revving really high trying to start & go (only to STOP 2 seconds later, GAH! I hate driving in LA!!!), then I really started to worry. So I pulled over and called the person I was meeting with to tell her I might not make it.

Eventually, I made it over the hill. The downhill stretch was much better, although now I'm doing a balancing act between my clutch and my brake, instead of my clutch and the gas. I made it to the first gas station I saw, spent approximately $400 filling up the tank (Y'ALL, SERIOUSLY, THE GAS PRICES!), and made it to my meeting 30 minutes late. The woman I was meeting with was really cool and sympathetic. I bought her a coffee for putting up with my car drama.

After my meeting when I tried to drive my car again, it wouldn't accelerate and would only rev really high. It would go, so I was able to get to the office and then to a mechanic. I was fairly certain that my little trek over Laurel had trashed my transmission.

Since living in LA, I've had my tires replaced, my brake pads replaced and now, I am having my clutch replaced. This town is wrecking my car.

The potholes are out of control, and it hasn't even really started raining yet. If one pothole blows out your tire (yes, there are several in the city that bad), then the city has to pay for the repairs/replacement, but what about when the repeated little bumps in all the rest of the potholes just accelerate the general wear & tear on your tires? Yeah. The city didn't pay for my new tires.

The stop & go traffic isn't so hard on the brakes, but what is hard on them is the collection of idiots in this town that like to make really sudden, dangerous moves that cause you to SLAM on the brakes every, oh, say once a month? Right after I got my brake pads replace, some dude pulled out in front of me suddenly despite the fact that I was cruising at around 35? 40? on a fairly major street. SLAM. My new brakes helped prevent an accident... but they're squeaking again.

The stop & go traffic has, however, apparently wreaked havoc on my clutch. No matter how carefully you try and dance from the clutch to gas to clutch to brake without riding the clutch, it gets hard. I can't count how many times I start in first in a given commute. On the highway. All I know is, when there's no traffic, it takes 17 minutes from office to home. With traffic? About 50.

I don't know what's to be done about it. The idea of taking the Metro is appealing except for the fact that I often work late and don't love the idea of sharing a bus with the freaks of LA. At least when the miscreants are in their cars, I can't smell them. Oh, and I don't fear for my life either. I don't know anyone from work anywhere near my neighborhood, so carpooling isn't a good option. I'd love to work from home, but it's not a practical option for someone with lots of meetings and two direct reports to manage.

So in the meantime, I just vent, get my car fixed, crank the tunes, and keep on driving.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Old Clothes

What is it about travel or meetings or conferences that make me want to shop? I have two conferences this week, back to back. I have no new clothes to wear, with the exception of this new t-shirt. It's driving me crazy. I have actually considered bailing on tonight's dinner activity just so I can hit the mall and find, like, a new pleated skirt or a cute top or a sassy jacket or SOMETHING. MAN, it's driving me crazy. I can't believe I have to go to WORK in OLD CLOTHES.