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Showing posts from 2004
I'LL HAVE SOME UPPER BODY STRENGTH PLEASE
Boy I wish you could just order that up. True, I've never had any to speak of and am a constant source of exasperation for Joe as I strain myself daily. He's been known to say things like, "Christ Ivy! You could pull a muscle picking up a grape! And then you'd say, 'but you should have seen the size of that grape! It was like a shot put!"

Ha.

So a few days ago I was having a jamming workout session with the gals at work and we're doing the soon to be released Yoga Booty Ballet Burlesque workout. I'm miming pulling up stockings and flinging my imaginary feather boa and generally acting like I'm on a 1940s Vaudeville stage when my flailing got to be a bit too much and I hurt my shoulder. Really hurt it. Getting out of my jog bra wasn't fun (even though I have the fab new front zip one from Nike Goddess!). I spent forever under a hot shower letting it run on my shoulder.

Now since then I've been p…
HE CAN'T BE WORTH IT

This morning I read in the NY Times the following about a Fanny Mae exec:
"Mr. Raines, who was chairman and chief executive, is eligible for monthly pension payments of $114,393 for life, or close to $1.4 million a year, the company said. He is also owed $8.7 million in deferred compensation. And Mr. Raines, 55, holds vested options for 1.6 million shares of stock, plus options for 368,800 shares that he becomes eligible for upon retirement. He has a life insurance benefit of $5 million until age 60, with a benefit of $2.5 million afterward."

Come now people. There is no fucking way Mr. Raines could possibly be worth that kind of compensation. You see, compensation in my mind means that you are performing some task or group of tasks and the company that you are performing them for compensates you so you'll continue to perform those tasks. I assume this gentleman arrives at an office, gets his messages from his secretary, goes to the meetings she ha…
A VERY IVY CHRISTMAS
Here's a rundown of my Christmas. I absolved myself of Holiday Cards and felt no guilt at not sending them this year. I felt great in fact. I went last minute shopping on the 23rd & 24th and only purchased things for myself. I again, felt no guilt. I was so excited that Joe let me open a gift on Christmas Eve that I ripped the box open before he could get up to put Christmas music on (Monkey's CD - thank you Mia & Rog). He felt cheated. Again, I felt no guilt.

Christmas morning I ripped into the rest of my goodies and at least Joe moved a bit faster and my shredding was accompanied by Louis Armstrong's non-Christmas music. Then it was on to his folk's place. Marianne and Goose outdid themselves with the most amazing breakfast ever. I can't speak for them, but I stuffed myself happily beyond all reason and then we retired to the living room for an obscene amount of beautiful gifts. I was so overcome with beautiful clothes THAT FIT that I …
WHAT DID I JUST SAY ABOUT NOT BEING READY?
Nothing much to blog about yet this morning, except that Joe mentioned that it may be time for me to go off my Depo Happy Shot and try for a baby. He said, "Think of it as a lottery and it'll be such fun trying…"

Say WA?

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THE HOOKERS NEXT DOOR
I may have told you that the young couple who lived next door moved out some months ago. At first we didn't think that the place had been re-rented… but then we heard noise in there while letting ourselves into our apartment a few weeks back. A week later I was doing errands and all day their door was ajar. I pushed the door open a bit and although there was no furniture in there, there was a baby stroller so I closed the door and went back home. Yes, I'm nosy. What of it?

Around Thanksgiving Joe tells me that he came up in the elevator with a young Korean woman and as they both approached our apartment door she pivoted to open the door next to ours. "Hi neighbor." Joe says. But he told me that her response was to be frightened and obviously unprepared for anyone to speak English directly to her.

Last week Joe meets a different Korean woman entering the apartment next door and again seeming very frightened when he greeted her.

We can see from out…
THE HUMILITY SMACK-DOWN
So, the project I've been doing with my client is winding down and I'm ramping up on a couple more products to keep me busy and off of unemployment as long as my new company'll have me. I've got two world-class trainers who we're creating programs around and it has been my profound honor to work out with them as we get underway.

I said 'honor' because it's really something to stand beside either of them on a quiet afternoon and have either of them take me through the paces of their workouts. However, for very different reasons, both experiences end up serving me a big ol wet washcloth in the kisser of you're-not-all-that-in-fact-you-kinda-look-like-a-pasty-version-of-the-Michelin-man!

First, for the past couple of weeks I've been standing quietly next to the one gal. Stunning, natural (no make up), figure to DIE for, intriguing European sensibilities, warmth, and serious focus on her workouts and proper form. I stand besid…
YOU DON'T WANT IVY AS A DAUGHTER
Yeah, big surprise huh? Well, last night I came home and tripped over mom's Christmas box. While swearing and rubbing my knee as the cats ran up to play with my head which was uncustomarily on the floor, Joe remarked, "That box was sitting outside our apartment door in the hall." I got to my knees and ripped into it figuring that the nice people at Good Will would get a little something for Christmas from mom & me…

I am a shitty person indeed. Not only were there no crappy rejects from a craft fair… but the box contained:
1) beautiful coffee table book of Chicago photos
1) 16" simple white china angel for decoration
1) set red hand towels + 1) set green hand towels
1) gold necklace set with 7 marquis cut sapphires and a diamond
1) pearl necklace [from my sister]

Sure, I know she got an amazing price on the necklace, after all my sister is a gem dealer and I know Barbara got an amazing price on the pearls… but the point is tha…
MOTHER SIDING WITH USPS & MORE HANNI HORRORS
Just after venting my feelings for the US Post Office, I get a call from my mom on Saturday:
"Hi Mom! What's up?"
"Oh, dear…"
"What?"
"Oh, well, you know how last year you had me send your presents to your Torrance office?"
"Yeah."
"And the year before you had me send them to The Tower office?"
"Yeah."
"Well…"
"I can give you the new business address do you have a pen?"
"No, um, I already addressed the box to your home address."
"Why would you do that? There's no one at home to sign for it, Joe and I are at work all day sometimes until late."
"You don't have to sign for it. I'm sending it USPS."
"No! Don't do that!"
"Well, that's what I'm doing."
"Can you get a label and change the address so the bastards at UPSP deliver it to my office and my receptionist can hang on…
DO FED EX & UPS LIKE GIFT WRAP NOW? CHIP NOT!
Joe has called to my attention that he's just seen a commercial that shows a woman UPSing a Christmas Gift with the wrapper on!!! I think they'd better have changed their policies or people will experience the Hell I experienced last year: see blogs 11/18/03 and 11/25/03!

Also, it's started! The Chip in and the Requests for Donations at the office! Noooo! See blog 10/16/03! Then see Mia's plan to combat them!


All Red Ivy compositions, posts and blog content Copyright protected.
WHAT ARE YOU EATING?
For crying out loud! Arrgghhh! There are several people who shall remain nameless in the office who make it a point each day to come to my office and ask the contents of my breakfast, lunch, snack, whatever I'm munching on… well, because I'm always munching. It's their way of saying, "Hey, how's it going? I'm stretching my legs and came to shoot the shit." But it's invasive and boring at this point. Even my office mate Monica has asked me, "Geeze! Everyone always asks you what you're eating doesn't it bug you? It bugs me listening to it. Is it because you eat at your desk and your desk is within view of the door?"

I'm sure I don't know, but just while typing this, I got a passerby who popped in, "What's that you're eating?" "A Baja wrap." "Where d'ya get it?" "Downstairs at the deli." "What's in it?" "Roast Beef." "What else …
POST OFFICE SCMOST OFFICE
Can anyone tell me why we need the United States Post Office? Oh, sure I understand that back in the day, we had no other infrastructure, but now we do - and the USPS is woefully obsolete. I say down with stamps! Down with 'postal' carriers!

C'mon, there are so many other shipping entities that run like actual businesses that I don't care if I ever set foot in a Post Office for the rest of my life. Not that I'd be able to set foot into a Post Office during peak times when at every single office nationwide the line is out the door. And do you know why the lines are out the door at the Post Office? Because theres never more than one postal employee. Sure, they have plenty of other windows, but only one is ever open. They're just useless spaces with little counter-tops that hold "See Next Teller" signs. Useless!

And let's not forget the time I had to deliver a CD-ROM to a client containing a program that my team had been work…
THE CHEWER AND WHAT'S THE NAME OF THAT CHURCH?
On Saturday I'm at Cost Plus with my pal MK, and I'm standing in a very long line at the cash register, and I'm glancing around to see what other people have purchased, what they're wearing, etc. and there's this guy who is standing in another line chomping on something. Really chomping. I can't say what it was he was chomping on, but it seemed hard (like tree bark or the world's hardest beef jerky?) and it went on and on. I'm certain it wasn't gum. His method of chewing didn't merely involve his mouth and jaw - no his whole entire head was involved: forehead moving, nose wrinkling, cheeks working, ears waggling, teeth flashing over and over and over again. I couldn't look away.

It's Chompsky's turn at the register and he enters into conversation with the cashier as he continues to work on his treat. Now that's just plain bad manners. I stare on as he grimaces and his throat gets …
OPERA! WE MADE IT!
When I worked in the Tower (before my little fishbowl) our office suite looked over the Disney Concert Hall while it was being built. At first I couldn't decide what I thought of Ghery's design, but one day I realized I love it. Joe, who worked down the street loved it too - so the first day that it was open for people to walk through and check it out - we were there. We tried to get tickets to various events there, but everything has been sold out. Last week Joe surprised me with tickets to Vagner's Tristan un Isolde conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. So yesterday we went and got to experience what we've been missing. Every seat was packed and the singers/musicians were astounding! We were seated up in a box that was somehow constructed to make me feel as if I was about to tip out of it and fall to the stage below. It was like when I was at the Guggenheim in New York and felt as if I was going to go spiraling off the edge of the main room. So I listene…
HALLWAY HORROR & YUMMY BUN WARMERS
Joe has invited some colleagues and their wives to a dinner party at our apartment tonight. Great! I love to cook, we love to talk, it's the holiday season. All good. So last night I leave work to grocery shop for my fresh ingredients and still all is going good. In my building's elevator last night I'm juggling my gym bag, purse, mail and 4 grocery bags. The door opens on my floor and holy shit! What the fuck happened to our hall? Someone has ripped up our carpeting, put patching on our walls, ripped up the baseboards, removed the peep holes out of our doors (covering the large hole with some bright blue masking tape) and taken the apartment numbers off our doors as well.

What timing! Our guests will arrive to what looks like RIOT IN CELL BLOCK 11! Was this remodeling posted somewhere and I missed it? Dang, I should start reading those newsletters they keep pushing under our doors.

Well, I'd better make such amazing food that Joe&…
THE ART OF CONVERSATION, ELEVATOR PRAYERS ANSWERED? AND MINK UPDATE
Here's something I've just got to say. IF YOU AREN'T A GOOD CONVERSATIONALIST, KEEP PHONE CONVERSATIONS SHORT. Really short. Give those of us on the other end of the phone a break. I have friends and family members (and we probably all do) who love to call me and while I love them and all, they just sit dead on the line... while, what? Waiting for me to entertain them?

Ring ring "Hello?"
"Hi Ivy! Dahlink!"
"Oh, hi Cher! Wassup girlfriend?"
"Uh, not much................."
"Oh, well, it's good to hear from you."
"Yeah."
"So, how's the job?"
"Good."
"Well things are good here, we got some cats."
"Oh!................"
So I end up rambling about cats and family and every damned thing I can think of until I can say, "Gotta go"

Do us all a favor. Think up a few conversational and interesting things…
LA STINKS, iPOD EAR MUFF & DANGEROUS NEW GARAGE GAME?
OK, there are many many times that I say to myself, "God Los Angeles stinks!" like after driving on the pristine roads of Maine (where they have seasonal snow removal with big blades, etc and still have smooth roads) and then coming back to play 'dodge the pothole' on every stinking road in LA… but this morning, it really smells bad. Kinda like a mixture of sewer/natural gas/fresh paint. I have no idea what it signifies, but it can't be healthy to breathe. There's nothing on the local news so apparently it isn't newsworthy… but still, I'd like to find out who is causing this pervasive low-level stench and make sure they get a big whopping fine. I mean, it's only fair. I am sure with absolute certainty that if I was oh, say mixing up a batch of noxious Limburger cheese blintzes and the odor wafted across the greater LA area (ha! I said the word greater right next to the letters LA…) that some…
IF I'M FOUND DEAD, QUESTION THE ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS
So this morning I step into one our frail elevators and have the misfortune of riding up 10 or so floors with not one but two animal rights activists who spot immediately that I'm wearing a mink coat. You can typically spot them because before they even say a word. Hectic blotches erupt across their complexions and their features contort into faces out of Hieronymus Bosh paintings and their hands start to clench into fists and claws alternately.

Yikes! Here it comes! It always starts with THE question: Is that FUR? They both turn on me and hurl their question at the same time. I've had it with these people who at this point don't even seem to have the best intentions of animals in mind - they seem to just like being confrontational and dragging their big axes and grinding them.

I calmly removed my sunglasses and placed them in their case. Then I faced them in turn and said, "Pardon me, did you say something t…
CHIHULY MADNESS
On Saturday Joe and I went with his parents to view a Chihuly Art Glass exhibit in a Venice Beach gallery. There were two amazing exhibits of what was to represent gardens I think. Fantastic flower arrangements and punctuated throughout were these soaring spires of glass that stood on impossibly delicate points. There was some invisible rod that must have been welded into the floor, which the spires were threaded onto because I couldn't see any wires suspending them.

Standing a foot or so away from that much delicate art made me start having crazy thoughts. Have you ever stood at a very great height, say the roof of a tall building and suddenly through, "What if I jump off… involuntarily? My body suddenly leaps of it's own accord while my mind screams 'What am I doing? Help!'" Like a Tourets sufferer…

I got a glimpse of myself rushing forward with my arms smashing glass on both sides of me crashing through and ruining the entire spectacular exh…
I'M NOT LAZY, IMPOSSIBLE YOUNG EGGS & KITTY PORN
So yesterday it rained all day. Perfect for staying in and mooching around the apartment in our robes and sipping cup after cup of coffee. Finally mid day it was time to emerge from our lethargy and perform a white tornado to rid the apartment of cat hair, dust & etc. We switched into sweats and much vacuuming, swiffering, scrubbing and bleaching ensued. Once that was complete, I threw on a coat and headed out for a walk to the bank to make a deposit at my ATM.

It was a quick four blocks and yes, I got wet, but I had a shower planned as soon as I got home, so no biggie about the wetness and all. So I get a call on my cell while I'm walking to the bank and my girlfriend is incredulous, "You're walking in the rain to the bank rather than drive? Why? Is the clown car in the shop or something?" That's when I had to explain that I hate hassles, which is what driving in LA is - a hassle. You can't change l…
THINK QUICK AND MY LITTLE JEWEL THEIF
This morning I encountered a young lady who is my candidate for a Darwin Award. I was in a line of 4 cars trying to get into our office parking lot. We were stuck behind the aforementioned young lady. She was waving a card at the gate sensor but nothing was happening. Not wanting to get rear-ended (my car was precariously hanging out into traffic) I put my gear in Park, hopped out of my car, jogged up to her open window where she was still waiving her card to no avail, and I hit the button that says Take A Ticket, snatch the ticket, toss it in her lap and as the gate swings up I forcefully motioned for her to proceed. She did.

Honestly. How does a woman like that make it to adulthood without the Decisive Gene? There's no way she was going to be able to back up, obviously there was something wrong with her card. Quick, go to Plan B. Get the gate open and get out of the way so the nice people behind you can get to work.

The Decisive Gene is what …
SIMPLE LAURA BUSH AND GROSS COMMERCIALS
Laura was being interviewed on The Today show about the White House Christmas Decorations and proved once again that she is a simple simple woman. Not simple in terms of uncomplicated (any woman who ruins guacamole with fresh lemon is clearly dangerously complicated in some departments - can you imagine? Sets my teeth on edge to think of the sweet lemonadey, oniony, cuminy, avocado sludge. Since the Incans it's been the perfect astringent of LIMES that makes guacamole sing… and I'll shut up now).

No, I mean simple as a nice way of saying stupid. The theme this year is "Christmas Music" and she was supposed to explain how that fascinating theme was communicated in the d├ęcor. Here's how she did that. "The decorations on the trees are musical instruments. We have tambourines, we have drums, we have guitars, we have trumpets, we have flutes, we have violins, we have pianos, we have harps…" On and on it went. Not very …
Oh, and what up with this Tom Brokaw Love? Are we done yet? Holy Cow! You'd think he died! Are the good people at NBC trying to turn him into Mr. America before any dirt is revealed in the upcoming report on what he did in that George W National Guard scandal or whatever the fuck it was? And when, where and why did Bob Hope sing the Tom Brokaw version of "Thanks for the memories"? Can we stop playing that too?

I love ya Tom, but ta-ta.

Also, I can't believe I forgot to celebrate the fact that last night we got Jeopardy back! We'd been unable to watch that smug Ken Jennings. So while I'm saying my goodbyes, let me say, "Thanks for getting your smarmy mug off my TV set Ken. Now you have my plea to vanish forever into obscurity!"

Ivy


All Red Ivy compositions, posts and blog content Copyright protected.
FOREPLAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS?
My God! Why do these questions have to be asked? I just read my favorite advice columnist's column today and was not really shocked to see that she was giving advice to this woman:

"I'm writing because my husband and I just hosted a lovely Thanksgiving celebration at our home last week and we're repeating the celebration for Christmas in a few weeks. Our family includes both hetero and homosexual couples of varying ages, and we saw quite a few levels of displays of affection to put it mildly. Can you give me some advice on what is appropriate nowadays?
--Trying Not To Be A Prude"

Christ! TNTBAP didn't go into detail so I'm wondering, why is this a question? Everyone knows that a peck on grandma's cheek is acceptable, hugs for greeting, a bigger hug for whoever cooked the meal, and tykes get to sit on someone's lap to read a story. That's it. Really. That's it.

Never has it been acceptable for your teenaged child…
RIGHT TURN HELL ON WILSHIRE & THAT'S NOT A RING
How long has it been since I've had a good driving rant? Well, the drought us over people! How dare I rant about driving when I no longer have a commute? Impossible you say? FIE! This morning I took Wilshire Blvd to mix things up. I mean, it has three whole lanes instead of the one lane on 6th that is my usual route. I cruised along my few measly blocks in the right lane and am approaching my right turn to the office parking lot. So far, no complaints except the clown car's CD changer doesn't like my Salsa CD and keeps generating breaks of silence punctuated by loud salsa interjections. Not very calming…

So I'm in the right hand lane about a block before I have to turn and the car ahead of me breaks hard. I break hard. The cars behind me break hard and begin to fling themselves into the middle lane to get around us. Much horn honking ensues. I look to see what's happening in the car ahead of me… the passenger d…
HOUSE HUNTING CAN’T KILL YOU… BUT ARE WE STRONGER?
We had an appointment to see a town home in Pasadena yesterday morning. Why would we look at purchasing anything so far from both our jobs? Well, our agent lives in Pasadena and she LOVES Pasadena and we can’t get her to look for listings in the areas where we DO want to live until we allow her to show us Pasadena. For months Joe has been asking her to look in Beverly Hills, West LA, Los Filez, SilverLake… and it’s always the same thing, “Before I show you anything in those areas, you really MUST see Pasadena!”

So we scrambled around yesterday morning doing chores and errands in order to meet Madge and pay our “So. Cal buyer” dues. You’d think that because we’re the ones ponying up all of our savings and signing on to pay for many many years without fail – come Hell or high-interest, that we’d be the ones to get the respect… but no.

It was cold and blustery yesterday. I didn’t mind it, I have plenty of huge warm sweaters to layer on. *…
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE O
Dr. Onoda that is! He's my fab chiropractor - absolutely the best! I'd slacked on my exercising while in Maine and took about a week after getting home to start up again. True to form, I did a little too much with my dumbbells and got my neck and shoulders a bit out of whack. After 3 days of no improvement, I went to see Dr. Onoda. How cool is it that when you go to a chiropractor, you get instantly better? They don't ask a bunch of dumb questions while sitting on the other side of a desk and then scribble something illegible on a scrap of paper and send you to stand in a long pharmacy line to start you on the road to relief - which could take days. No! He asks good questions like, "How did you hurt yourself?" and "When I turn your neck this far, is it uncomfortable?" Then his assistants put the electrode "buzz" patches on my sore muscles and warm compresses and then some massage thing gets used and then some big indust…
RIP OUT YOUR TAGS & IF YOU CAN'T BE SPECIFIC, DON'T ASK ME
After getting dressed this morning I found myself adjusting my waistband to alleviate the discomfort of an itchy tag. I'm going about my morning chores and no matter how I scootched my waistband - up, down, slightly twisted to the right - nothing worked. Great, these beautiful pants are only tolerable for 20 minutes and then I want to rip them off my body and burn them.

Well, I did rip them off my body (first having to rip my boots off my feet, nothing more frustrating in this lifetime than trying to remove pants OVER shoes) and I grabbed a seam ripper and went to town on the offending tag. Now they're quite comfortable no thanks to the person who selected the nasty tag and was instrumental in having it sewn into the waistband.

What kind of person grows up with a love of clothing and goes to design school and spends possibly years in the cutting room doing time for some other designer until they get the des…
DANGEROUS SALMON, DON'T DEPLOY GRAMMA & THE WALK
I've been craving fish like crazy lately. Salmon in particular. For the last few days I indulged myself an average of 4 meals a day non-stop-salmon. I know, whenever I enjoy that coral-colored fish, Jennifer Galloway flashes in my mind with her alarming mercury warnings. But not alarming enough to make me stop eating it. I had chicken for dinner last night, and a lunch of smoked oysters on Saturday, but otherwise it was all SALMON BABY!

So this morning I'm down in the lobby deli ordering salmon and eggs when a coworker approaches me and says, "Salmon eh? I was on Dr. Perricone's complexion diet (salmon diet) for a while and my doctor begged me to get my mercury levels tested. Finally I did and got a call from the FDA if you can imagine. They wanted to know what I'd been in contact with that gave me such high mercury levels. I'm so toxic with mercury that they were considering what kind of warning I should…
AND THE WINNER IS… IVY!
Today I'm obsessed with winning prizes. Not just a door prize at a Mary Kay home facial party. Not just a 5% OFF Next Pharmacy Purchase on my receipt tape at Ralphs. I'm talking real prizes. It started when a co-worker who is new to the company remarked, "I can't wait for our Christmas party. I've just come from [insert name of one of the largest global mega companies you can think of here] and at their Christmas parties they gave away great prizes. Usually cars or boats."

I almost dropped my coffee cup. Now those are prizes! (I pictured opening my little raffle envelope and car keys and a pink slip dropping out) I thought about the woman who owns the lodge we just stayed at in Castine. She loves her Nissan Pathfinder and said she won it. I asked how and she said she was with her daughter at a convention for snow sports equipment; snowmobiles, snowboards, etc. and filled out a card for prizes being rewarded by some new snow sports magaz…
PSSST! HEY BUDDY, WANNA BUY A MAN HOLE COVER?
I must get to the bottom of this mystery. This afternoon in the Chicago Tribune the top story is that there is a crazed manhole cover thief operating in the greater Chicago area who is wantonly snatching them off the streets. Make that out of the streets. It's being described as "a rash of thefts".

I started pondering what purpose could these hot covers be used for other than the ones that they were created for? Some big piece of art that is designed to be a big 'fuck you' to Chicago's Department of Water Management? Hard to say, but even harder to believe that the some guerrilla artist would be nuts enough to display it and therefore what good is art if it isn't exhibited? Does art really exist of it isn't displayed? Ooh, d'ya see what I just did there? I went to a kind of chicken-or-the-egg-tree-falling-in-the-forest place in my head. OK, now I'm back.

After describing these thefts as "a rash…
THE XRK JUNIOR FETLOCK 2000! AND DISGUSTING TOYS
Over the course of our relationship, Joe's hair has evolved from a soft style with a little curl here and there, through the "tight on the side, longer on the top" through the Caesar-do, through a military look and as of yesterday morning he's sporting what he calls "The XRK Junior Fetlock 2000!" Yes, it has an exclamation point. It's a remarkable, yet old school wonder of buzz trimming and fading that is appropriate for someone just inducted into the US Army - but with a cunning little bit left a scoch longer in the very front. He'd achieved something similar a few months back, but the front was left a tad bit longer and when he arrived home to ask my opinion I'd remarked, "Why do you have a fetlock on the front of your head?" Not being raised with horses, Joe doesn't know that a fetlock is the curl of hair that is always trimmed off from behind the horses hoof for show. I quickly at…
UNIVERSAL BACKLOT AND PROUDLY I SHOW CONTROL
Last weekend I had some guests from Canada who wanted to experience Universal Studios and how could I refuse? I think I delivered the full Universal experience. We had the extremely long lines and that was just to get into the parking area and find a space to park the little green clown car. We walked for miles and that was just getting from the parking structure to the Universal Studios City Walk. Then we walked some more. We walked past throngs of obnoxious tourists, around people who stood with cameras pointed in our paths but taking forever to focus, we walked through massive gluts of unwashed people. Finally we snapped a quick pic of them smack in front of the Universal Studios globe and got in line for a ticket to enter the park.

Hours later, we were walking down through the park to get on the rides and I was wishing I'd heeded Joe's warning to bring sunblock -it was quite warm and the sun was beating down on us. I rode Jurras…