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Showing posts from 2009
INTERROGATION LIGHTING

My company has been in our new offices in a newly constructed building for a few months now, and I've noticed why we're all doing odd things with our lighting. Case in point: My office mate, the dulcet-toned ever amazing Carrie has taped over the automatic sensor in the office we share because the lighting is ghastly. Others have disabled their light sensors and have installed desk lamps. You name it, we've all done it. When I have to read something on paper (as opposed to on a computer screen), I have to jump up and manually turn on the light just on my half of the office. Hey, it keeps me on my feet because every 10 minutes it shuts back off and I have to jump back up. Although sometimes I can do a big wave with my arms and the masked motion sensor will trigger my light. Don't ask what I look like. I mean without all of the jumping and waving, I am the gal who sits perched atop a padded filing cabinet. It's a wonder I garner any respect at …
MOVIES I DON'T GO SEE
Last night I went to bed haunted by the movie Changeling. That is not the movie I thought it would be. And don't try using logic on me. I have no idea how I thought I'd enjoy a movie about a single mother whose son disappears and she becomes the victim of a labyrinth of evilness and corruption. Ugh. I like movies that take me away to some place I'd like to be. I like movies that make me laugh. I like movies that don't make me cry.

Ha! Guess I'm batting 1,000 because I just returned Sunshine Cleaning to NetFlix which had me crying off and on for much of the movie.

And nothing against Clint Eastwood. I love him. I'm a huge fan, but he tends to gravitate toward bleak material I'd say. Wouldn't you? Tonight I'm planning on curling up with the cats and the Kindle for purring and entertainment that doesn't involve child serial murder and cruel institutionalization. But hey, Amy Ryan was awesome as the brave woman in the mental …
IT'S OFFICIAL I'M AFLAME
I was a slow reader when I was young. Then I fell in love with John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Then I couldn't find another book for quite a while that stirred the same feelings in me. Then I found Lawrence Sanders, Ian Flemming and Stephen King and before long, I always had a book with me. For years, at any given time I'll have 3 or 5 partially read books around the house. I don't have a lot of time to devote to reading, so it takes me a while to get through a book.

Now there is Kindle.

Ah. Kindle.

It's re-kindled my passion for reading. EVERYWHERE!

This year I received a Kindle for my birthday from my friends and it is a new world for me. I can download a book from anywhere. Poof! There it is. So far it hasn't even taken me a minute to download a book. The font is crisp and pleasing to the eye. It feels great in my hands and slips into my purse to save me when I need to fall into a book.

The other day I was stuck in a long line at…
I CAN NEVER GET HOME

So on Monday morning I wake up, brush and floss and head to the dentist for my regular cleaning. I hate them. Why? My teeth are clean. I'm not a plaque-builder, what can I say? When I finally got dental insurance years ago, I made an appointment for a check up and cleaning:

Dentist: Your teeth are great! Nice and clean. When was your last cleaning Ivy?

Me: um... like 10 years ago.

Dentist: Oh my goodness! How unusual! How bizarre. You're very lucky.

This year I've had massive dental work, all on my own dime after my insurance paid for my first crown. Add to that 1 provisional crown, 2 root canals and 6 more crowns and you have what I'd hoped to use for my adopted child's first year of college tuition. Poof!

Ah. You're puzzling, "Hey, Ivy, I'm tripping over your contradiction. If you've got great teeth, why all the work?"

Well, I'm a grinder. I've slept with men over the years who've never noticed that I grind, but my …
WAS THAT A SLAM?

Today I was working with a creative designer on a guidebook that I've written, and I think I got dissed. Not actually sure though. You be the judge.

Me: Wow! This is really great!

Cal: I know.

Me: Uh, yes. Of course you know your work is great. I didn't mean to sound surprised.

Cal: Oh. I know.

Me: That was just excitement. I feel like a proud mommy when my words get into print.

Cal: I'm sure. Yes.

Me: The only change I have is that the images are very small and the print is small too. Any way they can be enlarged a bit?

Cal: I don't agree.

Me: I see that you have lots of nice clean white space and big margins - it's just that the photos of exercises and food can be more effective if you can see them a bit better.

Cal: They're fine as they are.

Me: And now that I wear glasses, well, I've noticed that it's nice if print isn't quite that small.

Cal: The font is an 8 point font and it's perfect.

Me: Can you try my changes, and then we can get so…
OH GUAVA, WHY YA GOTTA BE LIKE THAT?

Recently Hudson and I discovered the new neighborhood farmer's market on the corner of Adams and Western. WOW! Awesome prices, delicious produce bursting with freshness and little 2 wheeled shopping carts to drag around. Even music so people can shake their thang while shopping. All good!

I found myself confronting a luscious pile of guava. Or is it guavas? What is the plural of guava? See? Perplexing little fruit! I grabbed a couple and upon returning home I asked our housekeeper how to prepare them

Gabrielle: Split like so, and lemon and salt.
Me: OK. Then what?
G: You eat.
Me: Gotcha. Right. Here I go with the preparation of the guava.

30 seconds later.

Me: You said split like "so"... I don't think I got the motion down.
G: (taking the guava from me) she placed it on the board and sliced it in 1/2
Me: Great! Thanks!

I ran to the front yard and pulled a lime off the tree - our lemons are all picked at the moment. Back in the kitchen I squ…
CAN YOU CATCH US UP?

OMG! I'm getting so sick of hearing this from newly hired co-workers. None of them are really contributing anything of value and there seems to be a culture of "lay back and the old guard will catch you". Well, that bullshit "trust game" technique caused me to have personal meltdown yesterday.

You've all heard of someone coming into a company at a high salary, and everyone has high hopes for their talent taking us to a whole new level of success. But they're the ones who stoop to using the "I did a workup on those numbers. I have a great presentation, but the copier is jammed so I'll get that to you soon" excuse. Well it's happening where I work.

I hate making small talk and I hate socializing over lunch in general - so these new employee lunches are killing me. I give them the FRUIT of my knowledge and they just keep chewing and asking specific questions (how were you able to make that program successful? who was you…
GROSSNESS
The day started off beautifully. Surrounded by beautiful males - most of them needed to be fed, scratched, cuddled and kissed, and then off to the 10 FWY.

May I just say that I was alarmed at the story on the news this morning that was being discussed on the radio. Joseph Stalin's grandson was bringing a libel lawsuit in Russia because a writer of an article recently called his grandfather out on "sending thousands of innocent people to their deaths". You've got to be kidding! If I was Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, I'd be less worried about getting Pappy's dignity exonerated, I'd be working on making a new chapter in the world and helping anyone I could. I'd think he'd be too busy in soup kitchens and shuttle elderly ladies across busy streets to bring a fucked up lawsuit like this up to the high court in Russia. I can just hear it now:

Court Czar: The court calls before the bench the case of... um, Stalin's Memory VS The Press.

Yevgeny DZZZZwha…
SMART? SURE WHY NOT?

I walked over to speak to a co-worker who was speaking to her boss. She was pleading the case that she wasn’t dumb even though people think she is. Her boss was cool with her argument and asserted that she did in fact believe Breana was not dumb. I plopped down on Breana’s desk and joined the conversation… because that’s what I do. I barge.

Me: I’ve never thought you were dumb. Why do people think that?

Breana: Oh, because I don’t know things.

Me: For instance?

Breana: Recently I was teased because I didn’t know that swine flu was named after pigs.

Me: Hmmm.

Breana: And my friends laughed because I thought a swine was a bird.

Me: You never heard anyone refer to a pig as a swine?

Breana: No. And all my life my parents have told me something and then the say really slowly “Do you understand? Do you get it?” like I’m dumb.

Wow. I may be flashing my true judgmental colors here but I blame her parents. Obviously they didn’t have big vocabularies or the girl would know what a sw…
The 4AM Life & Trolls

I haven't been able to figure out why I've been waking up at 3 and 4 AM lately. I chalked it up to excitement with life. My eyes flip open and even while I relax comfortably in bed - sleep won't come. So I've been getting up and curling up to watch TV. Goodness the crap that's on TV at that hour! Lots of diet programs and long commercials for products that can prepare your food faster and you don't even have to touch it. But there are some crime shows like The First 48 and Captured that kinda suck me in. It's nice being up when the neighborhood is quiet and the cats are calm and just want to be stroked. But those shows do end up making me race back to bed around 5AM knowing that there are rapist and killers out roaming the streets.

As for the troll I met yesterday -- I was at the VW dealership with my bug and stuck in the service department waiting area for a while. The elderly shuttle driver made a round in the room asking if anyone…
OMG

I'm not sure what to say about recent days but I'll give you the cliff notes.

Chicago - Beautiful. Rainy. Crisp. Got to see Jen, Rog & Lan! Shaken to my bones about what the fuck they've done to my Art Institute. WFT people! I've got to plan a trip and go top to bottom and figure out what they were thinking. Right now I'm stuck with "We needed another Getty?"

Bought a House - Do you think they plan to bleed you with paper cuts before they take all of your money? I swear that after the first 2,3578 documents I just signed wherever the realtor/banker/notary pointed. Holy shit! I'm an adult. Crazy!

Adoption - Before meeting with adoption peeps to find out if I'd be deemed fit to be a mom, I've been evaluating my MAJOR weaknesses. Self-involvement, judgementalness (I made that word up), bitchiness, and overall evilness, You know, my general nature. But after all of the crap ass jobs I've held in my life, and my childhood chore of bathroom …
LIFE'S NOT FAIR
Everyone who knows me knows that I basically watch nothing but The Food Network. What can I say? It may seem quite limited, but with my hectic life, I'd prefer to learn how to make some awesome food rather than get depressed with the shit thats all over the news.

So, on Saturday night I was curled up on the couch watching Diners Drive-Ins and Dives when host Guy Fieri enthusiastically embraces a tacoria and 5 girls who used to torment me in Jr High School. Dang! Way to harsh my mellow! I hadn't thought about Vickie Ochoa since I left Bill Reed! There she was, smug as ever and being referred to as "chef" no less. Ugh! I could still see her coming down the hall where my lockers were and saying something really nasty about me as she passed.

Guy was asking her about her family recipes and I remembered her walking up to the owner of a store called The Cat's Pajamas and loudly telling him that he should call he police because "I just saw that blo…
NICE OUTFIT AND MORE
I work with a woman who dresses up every day. We're a pretty casual office, so she stood out right away with her spiked heels and Mrs Wiggins tight skirts (if you've ever watched The Carol Burnett Show you'll recall the hobble skirt that she wore which caused her to pitch her butt way back in order to try to walk) and fancy blouses.

But as the months have worn on, it has become glaringly obvious that she has a dress up disorder. If that isn't in the PDR (Physician's Desk Reference) as an official disorder, then I think Cheryl is a new malady that has never appeared before. To be clear, I do mean "dress up" as in "Hey, let's raid mom's closet and play dress up! You be a rock star and I'll be a rich lady!"

She evolved from spiked heels and hobble skirts into wild dresses that at times only needed Carmen Miranda's banana basket hat to complete the ensemble. Yes, she already had the massive platform shoes and arms f…
LIKE A MINT?
That can be an awkward question. Every time I enjoy a piece of gum or a mint I think of my 2nd grade teacher Miss Poleman who used to ask us, "Do you have enough to share with the whole class?" I guess she was trying to inspire sharing and help us to avoid a greedy Veruca Salt sort of existence.

OK, so it is ingrained in my personal 2nd grade psyche that I shouldn't be opening my purse in a meeting and snatching some gum and unwrapping it and popping it in my mouth and chomping on it* without sharing.

Also it should be known that years ago I was in a social group of friends that included a very nice young lady named Kim. But the group called her "Halli". Until I met her I actually thought that was her name. When we met, she held out her hand to introduce herself and I said, "Hi Kim". A friend swooped in and giggled, "Halli, would you like an Altoid?" Kim sweetly declined.

I asked Kim why they called her Halli and as she moved in c…
USELESS SPIDERS!
OK, anyone who knows me knows about my show down with a very large arachnid that scarred me for life. So now, if I encounter one, I tend to... oh, how shall I term it?...um... 'freak out' is a good descriptor I'd say. Well, after recently making the back yard a lovely So Cal living space, I'd rather be outside lounging on the sofa under one of the umbrellas than being inside. Now, let's back up 4 weeks ago.

Me: (lounging while reading in back yard)

Hudson:(from behind the fence on the driveway) Ivy?

Me: Ummm Yes?

Hudson: What does a black widow look like?

Me: (clutching my paperback to my chest) What?!? Everyone knows what a black widow looks like!

Hudson: I can't be certain I've ever seen one.

Me: Well, the females are the deadly spiders and they're a really elegant looking body and legs and very black and on their underside they have a distinct red hourglass mark. You know, they look like they can kill you.

Hudson: How do you get them to turn…
DON'T SCREAM AT ME!
I've never liked screaming. I'm not sure who does, but then again I don't know why some bands have the popularity they do. And I've been quite disconcerted recently getting into the car to drive to or from work and just about any radio station I select will have a song on their play-list that is screaming.

People, let's be crystal clear here. No. Screaming does NOT show talent, vocal range, or even emotion. Do you hear me Avril Lavigne? You start all wistful like and sweet, and then you just start fucking screaming. Give me a break. For that matter, even Tori Amos does it. I'd site the male singers that do it, but I care so little about them I have no idea what their names are. Stop screaming OK*? Even the hard of hearing don't like to be screamed at while they're trying to groove to some music.

It's on par with the old 70s and 80s genre of advertising by hollering - a la Crazy Gidian and Crazy Larry. MY PRICES ARE LOWEST!!!! I&…
KETCHUP AND CATSUP

This is my 551st blog post. Not that it's anything to write home about (ha!) just tossing that out there. My I DO go on don't I?

Hmmm so what's new? Well, I haven't overheard any more possible body disposal kvetching. Which made me laugh a really dark little laugh, I just pictured Henny Youngman doing a bit up in the Catskills circa 1962

Henny: You think you've got it bad? You should see my wife!
Audience: (laughing)
Henny: And you may not like your job, but it can't be as bad as my day job!
Audience: (laughing)
Henny: I'm telling you that being in the body disposal business is no walk in the park! I had to replace the blade in my hack-saw 3 times and that was just last night!
Audience: (silence)
Henny: Is this thing on?

Sorry - I have no excuse for that really revolting lack of taste or even decorum. Let's just keep moving shall we?

This weekend I got to discover James K Hahn state park and of course it was against my will because I don't …
WHY DO I EVESDROP?

As you know, I love to evesdrop. It is a secret pleasure of mine to hear conversations around me. It isn't malicious, I'm not prying because I'm not using a surriptious listening device - I'm just being attentive to what they're saying out loud. I don't think it's rude to simply be aware. Do you?

I was on my way out of the new Trader Joe's yesterday when I was stuck in traffic in the parking structure (gee, parking frustration at a Trader Joe's - shocker I know! But it's true.) I couldn't turn onto the street yet and was sitting on the ramp with my windows down as two young men approached.

Deep in conversation, they were easily audible as they walked down the ramp.

Guy in Jeans: Then I came out of the bathroom and realized it was getting light out!

Guy in Khakis: Woah, it took that long?

GIJ: Yeah. I freaked because it was almost morning and I hadn't finished cutting up the body.

GIK: Shit.

GIJ: The whole back of the house w…
YOU DON'T NEED ADVICE BUDDY
While waiting for a meeting to begin I jumped onto The Chicago Tribune and perused Ask Amy's advice column. Every now and then she gets a real doozie. I still remember the woman who wrote in years ago asking how she should handle the fact that she was 8 months pregnant from a sexual encounter on a vacation and didn't know how to tell her husband it wasn't his. She and her hubby are white and the guy who gave her more than a massage in the resort spa was black. I wonder if she ever managed to figure out how to tell him or she just hollered "surprise!" in the delivery room.

Honestly! People never fail to make me shake my head. It's a wonder it doesn't fall off my neck.

So, this column has a hubby asking Amy to help him explain to his wife that it is not OK for her to be out all night. And he goes on to state that wifey has been out all night twice in the past month. The plot thickens as he states that he calls her repeatedly whi…
HERE YA GO!

That's what he said as I opened my car door in the parking lot at Ralph's. I shrunk back into my seat as his hand reached into the car and handed me a small piece of paper.

I was stunned into complete silence - but my brain was thinking "YEEGOW! WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING?!?!"
I recovered in a second and pushed the door into him to move him away from me.

Creepy Guy: Sorry. Here ya go. I'm a handyman and I'm not in a relationship so if I could take you out and do anything handy you need that would be really cool.
Me: What are you trying to give me?
CG: My phone number. It's kind of messy, but I saw you there on Olympic with your blinker on and I saw how beautiful you are and I figured you'd be coming to this parking lot so I rode over here on my bike to come talk to you.
Me: No thank you.

I slammed my door and triggered my alarm and moved toward the entrance. He dashed over to pick up his bike that he must have dropped in order to be able to scrawl…
WHAT'S THE HAPS?
Too damned busy to blog. That's the haps. But what has been keeping me busy? Too busy to write? Well, not exactly. At the price of my blog, I've been writing other things. GASP!! You say? OK, I've got to be up front. I've been writing food reviews for my local neighborhood paper. Not a bad gig. Here's how it happened. I was walking into my driveway when this woman approached me with a stack of newspapers:

Dianne: Hi! Are you active in the neighborhood?
Me: Um, well, I haven't lived here long, but Hudson is (I gestured feebly toward my home).
Dianne: Please read this paper so you can be more active.
Me: No thank you, I'm sure Hudson has a copy.
Dianne: Impossible!
Me: Oh, he's very active, I'm sure he's got a copy.
Dianne: I'm telling you that's impossible! Do you know why I'm telling you that it's impossible that he has a copy?
Me: (muttering) well, he's a cat for one...
Dianne: He can't POSSIBLY have a copy be…
JAGGED LITTLE LIFE

First off, I've finally purchased Alanis Morrisette's "Jagged Little Pill" from iTunes. Yes, I've owned it for years, but it was a cassette tape that a guy made for me in 1995. So, you can extrapolate that I've not listened to it since my Walkman stopped working around 1997. Shut up. Really. I'm apathetic to your derision of my outmoded listening to LPs on my turntable. Hey, talk to my dad, the big G-man about our trip to The Dells when he was cruisin' a blue station wagon with home-customized window tint.. hold on people... with a sweet 8-track tape deck.. yes that is how the cool peeps rolled... and we were about 60 miles outside Chicago when dad had hit his tolerance wall for the tape we couldn't get enough of. I'm ashamed to say that an 11 year old Ivy was stuck on Uriah Heep's Demons and Wizard. Daddy-o asked us several times if we could listen to the radio and Barb and I pulled the pre-teen drama crap that makes par…
MAKE THE FACE
We interrupt the Ivy self-absorbment hour for this brief message of explanation.

Back in the 80s my mom learned of a new invention called collagen injections. She had treatments of collagen injected into the lines in her forehead. She had frown lines that emanated from between her brows and up onto her forehead. She described them as “antennas” and, dang if they didn’t look a bit like fine antenna lines. Collagen wasn’t perfected yet, however. She would get little lumps of red bumps where the collagen beads were under her skin, and the when they faded, her lines would be back. The expensive treatments never gave her smooth skin even temporarily. I thought they were bullshit.

Now we rejoin the Ivy self-absorbment episode already in progress.

I remember the knitting of mom’s brows, and a couple of months ago I saw myself doing it too. Sure, I know that my work is stressful, but then life in 2009 is stressful for everyone. You could have a well-paying ultra-busy job like mine…
YOU COULD ACTUALLY GO TO CULVER CITY
Today I dashed out of the office begging Carrie to tell anyone looking for me that I'd be right back - and drove to Ralph's to raid their salad bar for lunch. What can I say, the Santa Monica location has a bitchen salad bar which also has fresh sushi and a decadent hot bar packed with meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, mac & cheese and green bean cassarole (nothing as good as Lloyd's cheesy bean tot extravaganza, but then what is?). On my way I thought to zip into Bed Bath and Beyond to grab a lemonade container. I'm in the throes of creating limoncello and need a receptacle to house the vodka as it marries with the lemon rind for 10 days.

Today was a busy day at work, but I figured I'd whip in, grab a glass container and head to Ralph's before anyone missed me. I zoomed into a parking space next to the escalator, bounded down the steps to the store and rushed up to a nice old lady with a BB&B badge.

Me: Hi! Do you hav…
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In a Dream

In March of 2008 I met Isaiah Zagar in his studio in the South Street area of Philadelphia. He was upstairs working tirelessly with an assistant that he kept correcting. Seemed she wasn’t very good at assisting. As we sat at a table talking and looking over a cool book of drawings that a friend had just given him, she would try to chime in or comment. Isaiah would shush her and tell her to focus on her work.

I asked how long she’d been working with him. He barked a laugh and slapped his knee, “She wandered here just around 10:00 this morning and I put her to work.” Turning toward the work area where she was breaking tiles, “What is your name again?”

“Voilet” was her response. She also mentioned that she was hungry. Isaiah nodded and told her that there was no time to eat yet, but that later she could have dinner with him and she could pay the check. I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean that last part, but he was having such fun being a character, I at least got the idea that they’d …