Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Work blah blah Pink Flamingos

Ugh. Work has been a little much this week. And wasn't it just last week that I was saying that I was in an I'm-so-bored-at-work-I-can't-stand-it mode? Yes, well, the work gods heard me, and laughed. An example: I have a quarterly report that I have to submit to our corporate office. Each quarter it ends up being fifteen or twenty pages of blah blah blah, here's what I've been doing this quarter, blah, blah, blah. This quarter? One hundred and thirty three pages. One. Three. Three. And it's not that I've been particularly busy this quarter, it's that corporate has decided that my word isn't quite enough, that I need to provide four different kinds of documentation. Why have one when you can have four? It's madness.
So we had a little earthquake yesterday, which is always a hoot. I actually noticed the water in my giant plastic mug shaking before I felt it, and then I dove for the doorway. For those of you not living in Cali, that is what you're supposed to do...hide under your desk or get in a doorway, and sadly, there is so much crap under my desk that I don't think I could fit under there. It passed in about twenty seconds, and all went back to normal. Is it weird that sometimes I wish those things were a little more dramatic, so that we would just have to go home, or at least have an interruption to the workday? I mean, don't get me wrong, I don't welcome a natural disaster or anything quite that extreme, but any reason I can find to go home and lie on the couch and watch bad afternoon TV (or these days, catch up on the ten gazilllion things that have piled up on my DVR) is okay with me.
I saw the fabulous new John Waters film this weekend. It's not like he ever deviates from his formula, but it never fails to delight me. If you've never seen any of his earlier work (yes, earlier than Hairspray), you'd do well to seek them out. Pink Flamingos is particularly good. And when I say "good", I mean so incredibly bad and naughty and awful, that it's good. You know what I'm saying.
Yeah, this entry has been absolutely fascinating. That is totally the kind of week that I am having, so I shall bid you goodbye. Perhaps I'll have a super fantastic Thursday, and will write to tell you allllll about it.

Friday, September 24, 2004

A Romantic Comedy, with Zombies

Today my boss was awarded some...award...for exemplary service. What this means to me is, expensed lunch at lovely fancy restaurant on the beach. And because all of the higher ups were there, as well as most of my department, it ended up being a three hour lunch. How great is that? I was sitting at my desk this morning wondering how the fuck I was going to make it through eight hours, and lo and behold, I didn't have to worry. I have one of those jobs where I am either insanely, insanely busy and stressed and overworked, or I am bored to tears. Sadly, I am in the bored-to-tears mode right now. I work far better under pressure and under the gun, so when I don't have that going on, I get into an "I hate my job and have to find another one immediately" frame of mind. That leads me to think about the fact that there really are not any jobs in Santa Barbara these days, at least none in my field, so that means that I have to think about moving some place else. Seattle comes to mind. San Francisco. I can't really consider moving back East because the Peanut is delicate and can't deal with the cold weather. Oh who am I kidding? Neither can I. I have floor to ceiling windows in my office, and 99% when I look out of them? I see blue skies and sunshine and loads of trees. I've become the most weather-spoiled person ever, and there is no turning back.
I am looking so forward to seeing the new John Waters film this weekend, because sex crazed housewives? Are funny. We also may see Shaun of the Dead, because the tag line is "A Romantic Comedy, with Zombies", and that makes me giggle. I am also out of things to read right now, so a nice long trip to the bookstore is in order, and because vegetables are good, a nice long trip to the Farmer's Market is in order, as well. It will be a good weekend.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Hey look! Two subjects that have nothing to do with each other!

Is anyone else incredibly creeped out by the new Burger King commercial where the King himself is in bed with some guy eating a breakfast sandwich? And the King kind of looks a little like King Friday from Mr. Rogers? That is the stuff nightmares are made of, my friend. I also really, really hate every single Carl's Jr commercial that was ever made, because why should I be enticed by some dirty frat boy who smells his disgusting shoes while thinking about doing laundry, and then takes a big 'ol bite of his burger, which just happens to be dripping all over his shirt? And there is always some macho guy talking about how men are simple and women don't understand them and don't they all just want to eat a bunch of big sloppy burgers (I'm generalizing here, so bare with me). Another problem I have with those of you in the marketing to the masses field of business (K, you do good work, so disregard), is the liberal use of the blaring alarm in commercials. What marketing genius decided that this particular sound will really, really make me want to eat your ho-ho's or swoops or whatever it is you're selling?Because people? It doesn't at all. I think that in the future I just need to DVR everything so that I can always fast forward through the commercials, because clearly? The commercials make me crazy in the head.
Thanks ever so much for letting me get all of that out.
So in the past four days I've done two Spinning classes, two Step classes and two weight sessions. Let me get it out there right now that I am not bragging. I am simply taking note of the fact that this is fucking ridiculous, and tonight I am going to order pizza and lay on the couch. In Spinning last night we did this thing called Twin Peaks. Let me paint you a picture: it's a 45 minute class, so the first five minutes we warm up, and then for the next fifteen minutes we do a standing climb, then a five minute recovery (and I use that term loosely), and then another fifteen minute standing climb. Then there's some stretching or something at the end, but by then I am incoherent and sweaty and smelly and can't really focus. Standing climbs are hard. And a half and hour of standing climbs? Not so much fun. I was toying around with taking a hip hop class tomorrow, but I've decided that I'm not quite ready to humiliate myself in that manner just yet. I also need to rope in several friends for back up, because I ain't doing that shit alone.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Wine. Woohoo!

Oh happy day. I've just made plans with the fabulous K and J for our second annual Harvest festival excursion. Harvest is this great thing that happens once a year here in Santa Barbara (actually in Santa Ynez) where about 10 gazillion wineries are represented, and there is food and music and general debauchery. Every time the four of us go to one of these wine events we have grand plans to be responsible this time. You know, hit every third or fourth winery and taste just one of the wines, instead of hitting every single blessed one until there is nothing left. I think last year we ended up tasting a few of the wines twice, just because we could. I will wisely choose a better color shirt to wear this year, as last year's pale pink did not fare so well, and the wonderful Wine Away? Doesn't work so well the third time you've spilled. This will be an especially good time, as K and J have recently moved back to Seattle, and I miss them, dammit. They are the friends who you can depend on when you call and say, "Hey, let's drink a few bottles of wine and go to a fabulously expensive restaurant tonight", because you know they will always be up for it. That makes me happy, and now I am sad because it is no more. Of course, now I have an excuse to go to Seattle and do much of the same there.
Speaking of wine, the Peanut and I are heading up to Santa Ynez tomorrow to do some tasting, and perhaps attend a birthday party for one of the winemakers. It should be a hoot. Tonight I'm having a pedicure at my favorite, favorite new spa. It is just so freakin fabulous I can't stand it. They have the best massaging chairs and a paraffin wax treatment that is to die, and giant flat screen TVs and the best magazines. I think I am in love.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

It's totally not fun to be an adult

I really need to get myself a financial advisor. Or something. I've come to this conclusion this morning while sending out my monthly bills, and finding that I have to rummage through too much crap on my desk (why yes, I do take care of my household bills while at work) to even find my bills, and then I have to check my day planner for any reminders of online payments, and then I have to, you know, balance my checkbook. It is all far too much for me to handle anymore. It doesn't help that the Peanut has delegated (and when I say delegated, I mean he doesn't do it so I do) the bill paying to me entirely. I don't think he's written a check for himself in at least two or three years. We've finally decided to take that step and get a joint bank account, since I sometimes fail on the coordination of what bills were paid with whose account, so perhaps some of the burden will be lifted, but Jesus Christ. Too. Much.

I'm also trying to coordinate our Las Vegas trip, which has its tricky pitfalls. This trip is going to be a surprise birthday celebration for our friend Big D, who is turning 30 on Halloween weekend, and he doesn't know a thing about it. There has been much secret planning between JR (Big D's woman) and I, because we'll be picking him up at work that Friday and whisking him off to Vegas to meet up with about thirty friends. So there is the planning of the flights, and talking to Big D's boss about picking him up early from work that day, and finding the best group rate at a not-ghetto hotel (probably here) and confirming who is going and when they are arriving. There is also the important factor of what we will be doing for costumes on Saturday. I actually haven't dressed up for Halloween since college, but the concept of flappers has come up, and that intrigues me. So we shall see. It will be a hoot once we are there, but it is giving me such the headache in the planning stages. Come to think of it, it's going to be a crazy few weeks, because the week before Vegas I'll be in San Francisco for a conference, and then three days after Vegas I'm going back East for a family reunion. The Peanut and I are kind of bummed about where we are staying in Vegas, because each time we go we tend to try someplace new, and we had grand plans of staying here, and more specifically at their new tower, THEhotel, on this trip.

My car's emergency brake light has been on for, oh, I don't know, three months? I've done my best to ignore it, because that's how I am with my car, but recently I've been thinking how much it would suck if my brakes decided to stop working while I'm going 80 on the freeway. Also? There's this obnoxious squeaking noise when I drive. I took it in to a mechanic this morning, and am now waiting to hear the damage. I'm kind of afraid. What if it's thousands of dollars? What if I've waited so long that it's beyond repair? I think I'm probably being a little overly dramatic, but these sorts of things freak me out. And I just don't think it's fair to have to spend money on things like car maintenance. As I shared with Amalah today, I am far more comfortable buying expensive purses. Alas, we shall see.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Root canals and LSD, all in one neat little entry

So it has been just a fabulous week here around Chez Ameliorate. I started to get a bit of a toothache on Sunday while attending a sweltering-but-fun hat party. I popped a few Aleve and had some more wine, but the toothache, she persisted. By Monday it was an all consuming pain, complete with me in the fetal position on the living room floor, crying and wishing for sudden death. I called my dentist Tuesday morning and told her that I needed a root canal (because this very thing happened to me on Memorial Day weekend, as well, and that turned into a root canal), and she told me that I had already "used up" my dental insurance for the year, and that it would be $1400. Umm, yeah. I work for a health care company, and I seriously have the worst dental insurance ever. Ever. The Peanut, because he is awesome and loves me ever so much, said he would front me the money, and then I had to wait two more days before Dr. P could fit me in for an appointment. People, these were the worst two days ever. Apparently, my ever-aging body decided that it would allow no pain killer to both kill the pain and prevent me from vomiting up everything I had ever eaten. I tried Darvocet, Vicodin and Vioxx (which made me immediately suspicious because of the two x's at the end), and all of them made me incredibly pukey, while not really making the pain go away. There was an ugly scene at the pharmacy when I didn't think the pharmacist was moving quickly enough to fill my prescription, and I really should pop in there and apologize, but what can ya do? When I finally got into Dr. P's chair, she found that I had an abscess in my jaw bone. That is such bad news to hear. She gave me the root canal along with a stern warning to never, ever wait this long again to take care of a cavity (which I really, really do plan to heed) and a nice dose of antibiotics. Ugh.
Before the tooth fiasco, I did manage to see both Garden State and Napoleon Dynamite, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Well, Garden State I loved, loved, loved, and I love Zach Braff and I love the soundtrack and well, just, love. Napoleon Dynamite made me laugh out loud and is so ridiculous and silly that everyone should see it. I then watched Raising Victor Vargas, Laurel Canyon and House of Yes in the comfort of my own home. Thanks so much, Netflix. All three movies had a kind of slow meandering pace, which I tend to like, but I couldn't quite get passed the repeated appearance of Tori Spelling in House of Yes. It just didn't sit well with me. JR and I went to Spinning Sunday morning, and then had the Best Trader Joe's Experience Ever. You know how sometimes you go to the grocery store and you find the best stuff? Or when you go and find everything you need? Or when you go and everyone is friendly and it's not crowded and it is just plain pleasant? Our trip was all of these things and more. Maybe all of the planets were aligned or something, I don't know. It went really well, though.
This weekend the Peanut and I will be checking out a new restaurant here in town, Quantum. It is supposed to be fabulous, and we were unable to get in there last Friday night, so wish us luck tonight.
Oh, and for anyone playing along? I found out last week that the Peanut's mom moved to London in the late 60's to participate in a cult that used LSD therapy, and she underwent 50 or 60 episodes. This explains so very, very much about his mother.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Is it 5 yet?

I am really just too excited to go home in exactly one hour and eight minutes. I haven't gone straight home from work in well over a week, and I am fucking exhausted. Plus, we were out of town this past weekend, so I wasn't around to clean my house or buy groceries or really do anything productive at all, and the touch of OCD in me is coming out as I sit here at my desk and go just a little crazy thinking about the mess that is my house. About a week ago, the Peanut and I decided that we really needed to clean out our bedroom. Specifically, we needed to do something with the giant pile of crap that our bedroom closet had become. We spent about five hours sorting through clothes and shoes and computer stuff and camera stuff, and made quite a bit of progress. However. That progress made it just about out to the living room, where various piles of, just, stuff are currently sitting, waiting to have something, anything, done with them. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed just thinking about it, but yet strangely calm knowing that hour and two minutes, I will be at home, doing something with the piles. JR and Susan have spent the better part of the day trying to convince me that perhaps a shopping trip to Ventura (we really have no chain stores in SB, like Target or Old Navy or anything, really, so occasionally there is a trip down south to visit said stores) would be far more fun than cleaning, but I am holding strong. Also, once I've gotten my house under control, I can then make a delicious and nutritious meal and not have a Pizookie at BJ's instead, which I know is what the girls have planned after a hard evening of shopping. I should also make note that JR and Susan successfully convinced me on Monday that I should not go to the grocery store or go home and clean, but rather I should hang out and be silly and watch 13 Going on 30, which I totally succumbed to. Fucking peer pressure.
How fabulous is it that this weekend is a glorious three day weekend? Pretty fabulous, I think. I plan to drink some wine and be outside and read a bit and see a few movies, and lots of other things that I haven't thought of just yet.
I just found out that I have to go to San Francisco for a conference next month, and of course the first thing I did was to make reservations at First Crush, which is seriously one of my favorite restaurants in the whole world. The Peanut and I ate there a few months back with K and J, who have recently abandoned us to buy a fabulous house and dog in Seattle, but I digress. We were in town for a wine festival (one that ended in such drunken debauchery that we shall never speak of it. J passed out in the elevator? I'm looking at you, buddy) and ate at First Crush, and I've never had such perfect, perfect scallops before, ever. Ever. And the cheese plate was ridiculous, and I can't even talk about the wine. In any case, I've convinced my officemate, who will be going to the conference with me, that we should go up a day early and eat there and be happy. So, yah.
I cannot believe that it is not time to go home yet. Goddamn it.