Thursday, May 19, 2005
This is Noel, my oldest cat. Not a good picture of him, but it was taken this morning, so it's a recent one. He's almost 12 years old and is the grumpy old man of the bunch.
Here's Matisse, the second oldest at about 10 years old. Also taken this morning. I need to take kitty photos in better light. And I still need to take pictures of BJ and Edison. Perhaps tomorrow.
The Pacific Design Center, in the neighborhood in which I work. Some people hate this building, some like it. I think it's rather neat looking, but I've been known to have odd taste. So sue me.
Because I like to save the best for last, here's GruvLoungeGoth (a nickname that's got to go - it doesn't really describe him). I took it today during lunch, catching him completely unawares. Still, I think it's a really good photo of him. He doesn't agree, but was gracious enough to allow me to post it. The only GruvLoungeGoth accoutrement missing is his smile. Shame too, 'cause it's a nice one. Perhaps I'll capture it another time. He likes this one better anyway:
Have I annoyed y'all sufficiently yet?
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Listening to KGDS and what pops up? Simple Joys from Pippin, a musical I love, as sung by the marvelous Ben Vereen. As a result I'm chair dancing and singing and very glad no one else is in the showroom.
Fun, baby, I'm tellin' ya!
And now off to bowling with Sarriah and friends I go!
After some discussion with the cell phone salesman, I decided to join the human race and get a phone with an honest-to-goodness contract and everything, just like most cell-phone having people. Especially since the plan I wanted to get came with a free cell phone.
So now I have an adorable little cell phone that makes me super happy. And best of all: it has a camera. Yep, now I can be just as obnoxious as every other person with a camera phone. Yea!
And here's my first picture:
(Okay, not the first picture I took, but certainly the first one I found acceptable to post, even if I don't look that green as a rule. Nor are there usually such dark circles under my eyes. It's the lighting, yeah, that's it. BTW, I'm at work.)
So this is what life in 21st century Los Angeles is like. Huh.
Thanks for the quiz, Chuck!
Yesterday I worked the Los Angeles Mayoral Election as a poll worker. I have two things to say:
1) WooHoo! Way to go, Antonio! It sucks that voter turnout was only 30%, but I'm happy it was better than the March runoff.
2) Because voter turnout was so low, I had time to play a lot of Texas Hold 'Em with a fellow poll worker who plays pretty regularly and has participated in a few tournaments. Ya know what? I ain't half bad. Yea!
Tired as I was, I had a good time and I really like meeting my neighbors. I think I'm gonna keep doing this poll worker stuff...
Monday, May 16, 2005
Friday night was spent not doing a damn thing. That's all there is to say about that.
Saturday: woke up kinda late and spent too much time primping and preening and trying to look really pretty, but still casual enough for daytime political meetings and an afternoon first date. As a result I ended up missing my first meeting of the day (all meetings were in the same place in Van Nuys). I thought it was going to go longer than it did, but it was breaking up just as I arrived. But I was able to chat with some friends and debate with a few other people I didn't know before the next meeting started, so that was a positive in my book.
Attended my Communications meeting, took notes, talked to people afterwards and wondered where my date had gotten himself to, as he was going to try to come early enough to sit in on the meeting and see what it was all about. Since 3pm rolled about and no sign of him, I was beginning to worry if I had given him bad directions. Luckily he seemed to not pay attention to that and instead just paid attention to the address I had given him, because not long after I called home to see if he tried to reach me he walked up to me.
And now comes the time for a nickname. Yes, it looks like he may end up warranting a nickname in these pages, so why not come up with one now? For the time being I'll call him FXMakeupMan (which is what he does). It may change in the future.
So up walks this man in a short sleeve black shirt, black t-shirt and jeans. A nice looking face, very short thinning pepper-and-salt hair, facial chin hair that's bigger than a soulpatch, but with no mustache attached or even in the vicinity. Slightly larger than average, but not too big. Taller than me, but not too tall. And, most important, very sharp, very warm dark eyes. Once upon a time I was a sucker for blue eyes. Now I'm finding that I'm loving the dark eyes.
I look at him as he hurries up and instantly I knew who it was. I step forward from the people I'm talking to. "FXMakeupMan?" I ask, reaching out my left hand as my right is full of stuff and he's extending his right hand. Of course I used his real name. I think he would have thought me strange otherwise.
"Carol! I'm so sorry I'm late!" He takes my offered hand and there's a bit of a friendly squeeze and a pleased smile on his face. I think I have a responding smile.
I glance off to the side and see MusicianMan - who had been earlier sitting next to me during the meeting and whom I didn't think would be there because he had told me earlier in the week that he couldn't show up - looking at me with an odd look on his face.
(Confession time: MusicianMan and AttractiveFriend - one and the same. Show of hands for folks who already figured had that out? That's what I thought. Damn, y'all are smart! Why I didn't just be upfront to begin with, I don't know. Probably because initially I didn't want to seem to be following the CuteNerdBoy pattern again. Which I totally was/am, but sometimes a girl doesn't like to admit that to others, even if she has admitted it to herself. Now, back to our narrative.)
Anywho, so I'm glancing off at MusicianMan and he's got this look on his face that's a combination of surprise/Who is this guy?/expectation of introductions. But FXMakeupMan is talking and we're walking to his car and we're not all that close to MusicianMan, so I wave goodbye to him and to a few others and into FXMakeupMan's car we go.
(I've been mulling over what that look meant ever since. Yeah, I need to just shut my brain up sometimes.)
We ended up at Gladstone's in Malibu (which is nowhere near Van Nuys) without a break in conversation during the entire drive. Or the lunch/dinner. Or the drive back to my place, which is back in the Valley. And we ended the date with a big hug and plans to see each other again this weekend, if not earlier. He didn't kiss me goodbye exactly, instead leaving a nice little kiss (more than a peck) to the side of my lips, but I got the impression that he was just being a gentleman, as he had been throughout the date.
And yes, the date was very nice. I enjoyed myself very much. He seems like a very cool guy. He's intelligent, funny and cute. And he said at one point that he was having too much fun - with that statement accompanied by a sweet goofy grin - so I'm taking that as a rather positive sign. I think our next date will be just as pleasant and fun.
I was home by 9pm on Saturday night, so I just spent the evening relaxing and thinking and finally watching Frida, which I'd wanted to see for a long time (I liked it - mainly because I love Alfred Molina), then Sunday I met Boychik and his parents (whom I'd never met before) for brunch and the JPL Open House, which was fun and exhausting. It's always interesting meeting family members of good friends. The dynamic fascinates me.
And that's it. Here I am, back at work, and glad for the weekend. Definitely time for another...
Friday, May 13, 2005
This has been one of the longest weeks in the history of the universe. Seriously. If a scientist took all the weeks throughout history (or at least all of the historical weeks as measured by the Gregorian calendar which, okay, actually does count out pretty much all of the universe except Earth, but it's my blog and I'll twist scientific/chronological fact if I so choose) and lined them up next to each other, took carefully calibrated measurements of said weeks and performed strictly controlled (but still humane) experimentation on the hapless weeks, she would come to the incontrovertible conclusion that this week counts as one of the longest weeks in the history of the universe. Or, you know, she could just save all that trouble and ask me.
I don't know why. Hell, I wasn't even at work all week, because I wasn't feeling all that well on Tuesday (another reason I was in such an emotional mood - the whole thing with CuteNerdBoy was just a really depressing icing - which, okay, feeling better about that, but those issues are still hanging around - working on 'em, working on 'em...). But as each day, each hour, each minute crawled by on their soft white underbellies I swore that I would never see the end of the week because I was going to end up dying of old age and/or boredom.
I'm happy to report that I am neither dead nor appreciably older in appearance than I was at the start of the week. And I'm rediscovering a certain spring in my step that has been missing. Maybe it's just my brand new trampoline shoes. But more likely it's because I've got a nice little weekend planned (or mostly planned) and I'm looking forward to it.
From 10am to 3pm I will be in political meetings. I haven't been to any since the convention, so I'm chomping at the bit a little. I want to get going again! And after the meetings I'm going to have an honest-to-goodness first date. No, really! That strange gentleman that ValleyGirlRep picked up in a bar for me and I will be getting together for a late lunch. He might even be popping his head into the tail end of my final meeting of the day, as he's as liberal as I am and is curious about my meetings. We spoke on the phone for the first time Wednesday night and chatted about this and that for an hour and a half. Movies, music, politics, TV, cats, a wee bit of our backgrounds - we packed a lot into our conversation. A conversation which ended with him asking me out to lunch on Saturday. Because it seems we have a lot in common so far, which is very cool. And he thinks I have a great voice, which will always make me inclined to like a person a little more.
It is going to be a bit of a blind date, as neither of us knows what the other looks like - though he has a nice voice and ValleyGirlRep has assured me he's cute and has described him favorably and I think she told him I'm pretty - but I've done the blind date thing a few times before via online personals, so I'm somewhat experienced. And willing to take a chance. One never knows, right?
Then on Sunday I'm tentatively scheduled to help BSHubby put together a website, which I haven't done in a long time and I know I'm going to enjoy. I just need to find my Dreamweaver software to loan him, as he's been making noises of purchasing FrontPage and I hate FrontPage software. But building websites! Fun! Yea!
So, is it 5pm yet?
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Your Political Profile
Overall: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Social Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
And I think I'm even feeling a little better about CuteNerdBoy and his girl. Not that I'm about to declare her my bestest friend forever and invite her for a sundae at the local ice cream parlor or anything. But I am feeling less Sturm and Drang about it all, which is obviously of the good.
Doesn't mean that I don't think the male gender as a whole - and unmarried straight men in particular - doesn't deserve a collective smack upside the head. That is still very much in effect.
What? You think I let go so easy? Oh, how little you know...
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
That's not entirely true. I could pretend I was in a terrific mood, write all happy and positive things and, if done well enough, y'all wouldn't know the truth. But that would be disingenuous and I try not to be that. I may decide not to reveal all that happens in my life - or I may downplay some parts while emphasizing others - but I don't want to lie here. That's not what this space is about.
Perhaps a little later in the entry I'll write about my mood, but first - the weekend:
It was a good one. Friday night I hung out with ModelGirl and her family, talking and munching on appetizers for dinner, catching up. They gave me a beautiful blue and gold translucent hanging glass plate with suns and moons and stars, which I love. It was fun and challenging, as ModelGirl decided that it was Time To Give Carol Man Advice. I know her heart was in the right place, but much of what she said is antithetical to who I am - i.e. honest about who I am and what I'm capable of. And horribly shy in a number of ways, which precludes me from going up to total strangers and just striking up conversations. I'm proud enough of myself for doing that with AttractiveFriend, which was very difficult for me. And see where that got me. But it was still good to see her and her family, as it always is, and as I said I know she was only trying to helpful because she wants to see me happy, so I can't be too upset at her. Annoyed, yes. Upset, not so much.
Saturday was a rush of cleaning for Saturday night. I had planned a belated birthday party for myself at a restaurant near my home, with the hope that people would come by to my place afterwards for drinks. The dinner went well, with a nice selection of people: Sarriah, NewYorkWriter and her hubby, TheFirst and his wife, GruvLoungeGoth and his wife (for whom I must come up with an appropriate nickname as she is also an old high school friend), Jim and his girlfriend Gayle, Brian (who happened to be in town for the weekend) and a friend of his whom I'd previously met at Jim's party, and MusicianMan, who was my rather late ride. I had been running late, so I called him to see if he could pick me up. Unfortunately he was running later than he originally thought, so I ended up being about half an hour late to my own party.
It was still a good evening, with lots of laughter and interesting conversation and, of course, lots of attention being paid to me. Just the way I like it. And though I said presents weren't necessary, still people brought them. And since I am loathe to insult my friends, I just had to accept them. Because that's just the sort of thoughtful person I am. So gifts of necklace and earrings, of Bushworld and Barnes and Noble giftcard, of traveling case were ooh'd and aah'd over, as was the beautiful card handmade by Sarriah's roommate, who was invited but couldn't make it due to the Dread Flu Roberts going around their apartment complex. And I overheard invitations to poker games amongst the various factions of my friends, so cross-pollination happened, which is always a positive thing. As both Jim and MusicianMan said, I have some interesting and nice friends and neither was surprised by that fact. That certainly warmed the cockles of my heart.
Sunday was spent returning a few things I bought for Saturday night, but had never opened as everyone was too tired to come by my place afterwards. Then off to Hollywood to meet Sarriah for an early afternoon show of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which, due to traffic and Sarriah losing track of time, became an early evening show in Burbank. But that was fine as Boychik had wanted to join us and this enabled him to do so. So we shopped and ate and got coffee to kill time, then met up with Boychik and off to see Hitchhiker's.
My verdict? I liked it. I've only ever read the books and played the computer game. I haven't seen the BBC TV show or heard the BBC radio show, plus I haven't read the books since Douglas Adams died, so I don't have them committed to memory. Not to mention that Adams himself tweaked the universe with every incarnation, so there wasn't really anything to which a screenwriter (of which Adams was one) could remain slavishly true. It was close enough in spirit that little differences didn't bother me. I think Marvin could have been more prominently featured (both because the character seemed too family-friendly and, well, there can never be too much Alan Rickman), but otherwise I enjoyed it. And I've become a huge fan of Bill Nighy. If I'm not careful I may have another little celebrity crush a-brewing.
And that was the weekend. A nice weekend all told. Glad I had it.
What's that? My odd mood tonight? Yes, it does have a reason for being. But it stems from some of the same old, same old reasons for me to be in an odd/sad mood and again I'm bored with it. Tonight was my BookCrossing meeting, I saw CuteNerdBoy for the first time since February and had agreed to go to dinner with him afterwards, as he was taking me out for a belated birthday dinner since he couldn't make my party on Saturday. I thought I was ready, but maybe not so much. Because as tends to be the case, the men in my life move on to new people before I do. And he's no exception. He's got a new girl and has had one for quite a few months. Frankly I'd suspected for awhile, but he confirmed it a few weeks ago. And I'm trying to be happy for him, told him I was happy for him (though I don't know if he believed me) and I thought I could be. But it isn't there.
Probably because I'm making no headway in that arena myself. Still. And having had something similar happen with AttractiveFriend (if in a rather compressed time-span and without the falling-in-love part) as happened with CuteNerdBoy - and so soon afterwards and fairly recently - well, I'm just tired of it all. Perhaps my not being happy for him makes me a bad friend, but so be it. I'm a bad friend.
Hence my odd mood. I'm in one of my "swearing off all men" moods. It'll last for about five minutes, but it doesn't make it any less real. Maybe Patrick and I should get married after all. Okay, so maybe the sex won't be there, what with the distance and him being gay, but we get along wonderfully in our e-mails. And he's damned cute, so that's always a plus.
I may not be around much this week on the blog. I just don't feel like writing much, at least nothing I want the world to read. Or specific people. That'll teach me to be so open with my URL in the future. I will be okay, though, that I know. I just need to do a little more headwork. Look at a few options.
Word of advice, though. If you're someone who is deeply, emotionally affected by music and you're about meet someone for whom you've had strong feelings and you're trying to do the "friend thing" - don't listen to The Henry Rollins Band and October Project beforehand. At least I also had Common Rotation in the mix, for a little fun balance. But Henry Rollins and October Project together? No good can come of that combination...
Thursday, May 05, 2005
It all got straightened out and the moving company guy and dock workers (who are cool guys) started taking away the furniture, leaving only the samples owned by SisterCompany (which, admittedly, are the majority of the samples). As the formerly crowded floor space opened up, an odd emotion washed over me.
Maybe it was the stress of the morning. Maybe it was my own tiredness. Maybe it was my flowering PMS. I don't know. But as I watched the huge dollies take away the furniture and I stalked around the floor verifying what was removed and what stayed, I felt misty. And sad. And I realized: even though the closing of the showroom is a good thing for me, I think I'm actually going to miss this place. So very strange, but there it is.
Maybe it's just time for a little Pamprin...
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
I tried to move quickly down the street as I walked to the bus stop about a quarter mile away from my home, dragging my rolling backpack behind me, my too heavy bright blue wool coat draped over my arm - in case I needed it for the evening - but my body was having none of it.
I had a couple of minutes, so I ducked into my local (somewhat unclean, so I never buy anything made there, including coffee) donut shop and picked up a Monster energy drink, even though I don't like to start the morning with such a drink. It just felt necessary today. I made it to the bus stop just in time for my bus.
Less than ten minutes later, as I waited for my subway, I popped the can and started drinking. I finished it before I got to work whilst on the train or waiting for other buses or actually on the buses (I kept it low key and kept napkins at the ready, just in case).
I arrived at my soon-to-be closed showroom, unlocked the door, turned on all the lights, shuffled to my desk and started the morning work routine. As I returned calls I hoped that the drink would kick in at some point, as my body never reacts the same way twice with these things - sometimes I turn into a hummingbird on speed and sometimes I remain a Quaalude'd slug.
I spoke to my VP about staying on (as in I'm not) and suddenly my hands started to shake. I put it down to being nervous about telling her my decision, but then we hung up and I started on other work. And my hands continued to tremble. Just a little bit, but enough so that I knew that maybe it wasn't just nervousness. And the warm restless feeling just grew.
The Monster drink finally kicked in. And it kicked in hard. Hello, Ms. Speed-Addicted Hummingbird. I see you've brought Restless Coke-Head Cheetah with you this morning.
Maybe I shouldn't get that mocha that I'm craving.
I could make it a decaf, though, right?
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Your #1 Match: ENFP
You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverant, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're qutie the storyteller!
You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.
Your #2 Match: INFP
You are creative with a great imagination, living in your own inner world.
Open minded and accepting, you strive for harmony in your important relationships.
It takes a long time for people to get to know you. You are hesitant to let people get close.
But once you care for someone, you do everything you can to help them grow and develop.
You would make an excellent writer, psychologist, or artist.
Your #3 Match: ENTP
You are charming, outgoing, friendly. You make a good first impression.
You possess good negotiating skills and can convince anyone of anything.
Happy to be the center of attention, you love to tell stories and show off.
You're very clever, but not disciplined enough to do well in structured environments.
You would make a great entrpreneur, marketing executive, or actor.
Your #4 Match: ENFJ
You strive to maintain harmony in relationships, and usually succeed.
Articulate and enthusiastic, you are good at making personal connections.
Sometimes you idealize relationships too much - and end up being let down.
You find the most energy and comfort in social situations ... where you shine.
You would make a good writer, human resources director, or psychologist.
Your #5 Match: INTP
You are analytical and logical - and on a quest to learn everything you can.
Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge.
Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat.
A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.
You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.
Line forms to the right. No metal weapons, please, and be kind to the face.
The Lucky Clipboard Meme, as described by Chuck:
Go to Google. Paste whatever’s on your clipboard right now into the search box and click the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. Report your result.While Chuck didn't report his text (because, I suppose, it led him to the BBC’s Teletubbies page - can't say as I blame him), I will.
I have exchanged a few e-mails with a fellow online writer in Boston (Patrick, my almost husband) - turns out his company has an LA office and he's already contacted them for me. I'm going to check to see if they would hire part-time or swing shift so that I could go to school.
I was simultaneously IMing with the lovely Linda and the stunning TheFirst re: my new job developments and my fingers were too tired to type the same thing twice. I'm just lazy that way. And yes, Patrick does indeed rock.
So what was the result when I plugged the above into Google and clicked the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button? None other than the March 2004 archives of Wil Wheaton's blog.
I think Google now has the ability to read my mind. Or at least my browser cache. Which doesn't bode well for Chuck, come to think of it...
*cue spooky Theremin music*
Monday, May 02, 2005
A few months ago Commercial Furniture Company, after having a year of financial problems, declared bankruptcy. And though we tried to keep a positive view - chin up, stiff upper lip and all that rot - many of us saw the writing on the wall. We waited for the other shoe to drop. We employed other cliches appropriate to the situation.
This morning the other shoe dropped. The showroom in which I work will be closed within two to three weeks. Meaning that by the end of May I will be out of a job. Again.
Now, I have been offered to move to the company's design center so that I may keep my job. Because all of my reps really want to keep me on, have told me they would hate to lose me and are totally sincere about it. Even a rep in the Bay Area, whom I met when I went to Tennessee last year and whom I speak with fairly often, has declared that she really hopes I can stay on. It's all very flattering. And I might have accepted the offer.
The design center is in West Covina. Which is very, very far from where I live. There's no way I'm going to commute, especially sans car, and no way in hell I'm relocating to an area which, from what I understand, is primarily industrial.
I haven't told my reps my decision yet, as I've been asked by my VP to think it over for 48-72 hours. So I don't want it to seem as if I'm reacting in a knee-jerk fashion. But I have made up my mind. I made it up during my conversation with my VP this morning. I'm not staying with the company. I'll be taking the two week severance package.
It's really just as well. I'd always known I was going to stay with CFC for only one to two years. This is just forcing me to stay on that timeline. And since I've recently been seriously considering going to school to pursue writing and graphic/web design, again, I'm being told - by G-d/Higher Being/The Universe/My Self-Importance - that I need to follow through with my plans.
However, this will mark the third time since June 2001 that I've been laid off. First Disney, then Lions Gate, now CFC (I won't reveal the company name until I actually leave - privacy reasons).
Maybe the universe really is telling me to follow my damn dreams already...