Rose Parade

Rose Parade has moved: see link in post below

Friday, September 30, 2005

Insomnia

I can't sleep. In a couple hours, when I'm supposed to get up and get ready for work I'll be crashing. But right now I'm wide awake. God this sucks. The southland continues to burn. Here in the city, the Santa Anas have actually provided some startlingly pretty, very clear blue skies this week, but by late afternoon, from the 11th floor, you could see the thick layer of smoke off to the north-west, and smoke was also peeking over Mt. Lee (where the Hollywood sign is) coming over from the SF Valley. And then it happened. After work I hiked down to the grocery store on Sunset and on the way home, at the Hollywood and Fuller signal it hit me - the smell of smoke, acrid and woodsy and definitely not someone's yummy bar-b-que. I can only wonder what the skies are going to look like today when the sun comes up.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Hotness

I know every other blogger in L.A. has already mentioned this, but the temperature is soaring, the Santa Anas are blowing and people we're on fire! L.A. Blogs points to some good local coverage. L.A. Weekly suddenly became useful for the first time since I can remember, and not just once but twice: L.A. Conservancy walking tours and The Gold Line brakes for lost souls. Funny thing about the Gold Line story is that this is the first I've heard of it, haven't seen any other reports. I'm a sucker for anything that has to do with historic L.A.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Ding, ding ding!

We in televisionland have a winner! Not the contest you want to win, but someone has to be first on the chopping block. With that in mind, FOX proudly presents the first casualty of the new season: Head Cases! Two broadcasts and buh-bye! Now that's a surprise. Because my vote for first cancellation would have gone to Night Stalker. Poor update/adaptation. A pilot in which the best part was something about a hat on a hatstand (according to a guy I talked to a few weeks ago who had seen the pilot). A charisma-free lead according to a review in one of the trades. Oh, and also scheduled Thursday nights at 9pm, territory patrolled by "CSI: Vegas, Baby, Vegas" and some inexplicably high rated piece-o-crap starring de Trumpster, he of the frightening rug. But swami says that soon, very soon, "Night Stalker" will join the cancellation hit parade. Like, really soon. In island news, Young Lust 2005 apparently continues unabated and Lisa's emails are rapidly becoming incoherent. Something about hickies and Lisa wanting to puke. Stuff like that. On the other hand, mom returns tomorrow night, followed by dad in a couple weeks and why do I have the horrible feeling that soon, very soon, Lisa will have her revenge on my "better you than me" heartlessness...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Lunch Lady

I just added a link for this. You must dial the number. It's Berkeley, in case you're wondering, so long distance accordingly. Was turned onto this earlier today by a couple of co-workers. We were especially struck by how she rushes through the actual menu so she can get to her song. Also, peruse the menu and notice how every single freaking lunch includes "mashed potatas and gravy". Look, I'm a meat and potatoes girl myself, but some things don't actual go with spuds in any of their many delicious incarnations. Fish, teriyaki pork, lasagna? Just no. If the residents of the Bancroft Convalescent Hospital rise up en masse and throttle whoever is responsible for the relentless presence of you know what on their lunch menu, I like to think there isn't a jury in the land that will convict them. Because there's only so much you can expect a person to take. But dial the number. You know you want to... In this era of brave new internet stars, the lunch lady loves ya, you know she does.

Unfriendly Skies

Yikes. This kind of thing is my worst nightmare. I am terrified of flying. And according to the newscast we have on in the breakroom, this model of plane can't dump fuel. And they're gassed up for a cross country trip. That's a lot of long hours circling between LAX and Long Beach. Also, we can see the plane making its rounds from the lofty 11th story office in Hollywood. Very spooky. On edit: Picture perfect landing, if you can believe it. Jet Blue actually comes out of this situation smelling like a rose. A dire situation with the landing gear and the landing itself couldn't have been prettier. I would totally fly Jet Blue out of Burbank. If I was flying, that is.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Stormwatch 2005!

It rained like an unseasonable mother last night and most of today. I woke up early in the am, while it was still dark. I could hear the rain hitting my air conditioner. It's a wall unit and hangs out far enough away from the building that I can hear the raindrops hitting it. That's how I always know when it's raining. I've lived in this little, crappy apartment for eight years and that's how I know when it's really raining in Southern California. And in unrelated news, I want my cat back. Damn. So I got up and opened up the sliding glass door and not only was it raining and not only is the cat still dead, but lightning lit up the sky and there was an uncommon amount of thunder well into the morning. Probably more than I've heard in combined storms for several years. I mean we just don't get storms like that here in L.A., even if we get the torrents we don't get the drama. It was kind of fun. I broke out the scarf, jacket, hat and desperately needing to be replaced umbrella that had planted itself in the corner of my front door for lo these many months, so that I would know where it was when I needed it. The only thing I forgot was gloves. From the lofty 11th floor we could see downtown, which seemed to be buried in a low lying smog fog, then was clear, then was obscured by cleaner fog...then, this repeated itself several times until late in the afternoon, when it all cleared out. I didn't even wear my jacket home, it was actually kind of warm around 6pm. Talked to the infatuated teenaged parents last night, nothing has changed. I should really be more sympathetic to Lisa. Except that Mom is coming home Sunday and Dad is following in a couple weeks. That's right. To visit my sick uncles (his bros) he says. And not to moon over my Mom. At least when I ordered his birthday present (something I actually think he doesn't already have) off of Amazon today, I can just have it sent to me and don't have to worry about shipping it to him. I am so getting dinner at Northwoods Inn in Arcadia out of this. In less important news, here is where I simutaneously revel in my city while agonizing over the longest three freaking months of my life: proving myself a worthwhile and devoted City of Angels blogger worthy of inclusion. Come Halloween I am all over this guy. In the meantime, Liz has managed to finally get him to update to her new URL, so you can follow her progress at least. And with that, goodnight!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Oh, I BELIEVE YOU...

Heh. Our parents are still making nice-nice and Lisa is starting to crack via email: Help! I am being held hostage by two crazy middle aged people who never liked each other making nice-nice. It's about as creepy as it sounds. Believe me. No, i mean BELIEVE ME!!! All this sweetness and light is enough to make any sane person want to charge into her local post office, say, and go all.....well, all postal and stuff. You know what I mean? Signed, Grossed out in Paradise. My swift reply, caring type that I am: You have my sympathy. An offer to take your place on the other hand? Not really. Leave the people in the post office alone. It's not their fault. I've attached a little rant for when you need to vent. (attached rant emoticon that blogger wouldn't load) If she's not coming back (she being our mom) tell her I want her car and a bunch of stuff from the kitchen. Signed, 2500 miles away and loving it. It's called looking out for numero uno. Because my sanity is important too, you know.

Friday, September 16, 2005

TV on DVD: "Due South", Season 1

Mine. Talk about a man in a uniform. Mountie uniforms are like tuxedos, pretty much any guy is going to look hot enough to fry eggs on in one. I have no regrets about the 90 minutes of my life I wasted on "Dudley Do-Right" (a truly terrible movie) for the simple reason that it had the lovely Brendan Fraser, however briefly, in a Mountie uniform. Actually, these two guys (Brendan and series star Paul Gross) in Mountie uniforms chained to my bed = a happy Melinda who never needs to leave the house again. Ever. This show was on when I lived in San Dimas. Week in, week out, my mom and I frothed at the mouth over it. I think you pretty much know how I'm going to be spending this weekend.

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Great Los Angeles Power Failure of 2005

Yes, yes, I survived it. Actually, the power was only out in Hollywood a couple minutes. Liz and I were eating lunch at Baja Fresh when it happened, but we had our food so we figured we were set. Unfortunately, when we got back to the office security was discouraging everyone from taking the elevators even though they appeared to be working. You have to understand that our elevators do not inspire confidence on a good day, it's actually not unusual for people to get stuck on them. So Liz and I took the stairs up to the 11th floor. Great view, not such a hot location when the elevators aren't available. Never again. Those stairs kicked my ass. You've really got to feel for the poor saps who cut the wrong cables and knocked a huge chunk of L.A. out of commission. It's not like I've never made a mistake at work, but when I do it doesn't adversely affect an entire major metropolitan area.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Movies on DVD: "Sideways"

What is the problem this weekend? Make it two movies I thought I'd love that left me cold. I know it's criminal that I haven't seen "Sideways" until now and what's more surprising is that it did nothing for me. I mean, great acting, gorgeous scenery and mucho vino, but I just didn't get it. Just didn't feel the attraction and the only character I connected with and cared about was Sandra Oh's Stephanie, who got royally fucked over, discarded with no payoff at the end. And I love Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor's work, "Election" is a perfect movie and even "About Schmidt" was worthwhile, although I'm not going to watch that one over and over I still thought it was good, when it was over I wasn't musing about the 90 minutes of my life I'd never get back. But sadly, "Sideways" just didn't do anything for me. So I find myself wondering why the most compelling viewing I've experienced this weekend was the pilots for Ghost Whisperer and Threshold projected on the side of a mausoleum Friday night at Hollywood Forever Cemetary with Liz. It wasn't just the free blanket and tequila, either. That cannot be a good sign. On the other hand, I got to briefly see Carla Gugino, Brent Spiner, Peter Dinklage and Aisha Tyler (somebody give this girl her own series!) in person. And Liz got to see her beloved Jennifer Love Hewitt, who has never really done anything for me, but who was actually pretty decent in the "Medium" knockoff. Next up: "Finding Neverland". I really want to love this one...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Movies on DVD: "The Ring Two"

God, what an incredible disappointment. I mean, this movie sucked. And I loved the first one. What a letdown. The only positive things I can think to say about it is that I did love the line "I'm not your fucking mommy!" and the fact that I didn't pay to see it in a theater.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Wednesday Hump Day Report A.W. (After Wilma)

The good: Mom and Dad called, they are in Kauai. Not Kona, where Dad lives, but island hopping. Mom is eating many, many tasty things that I cannot have on Weight Watchers, but which she needs to enjoy after spending too long living on soup due to dental issues. They are still having a blast. In related news, we're all gonna go play ice hockey in Hades! Grab your blades and sticks and gloves and let's go! The bad: I gave them the sad news about Wilma and they were both stunned and saddened. Tell me about it. Losing her sucks like few things have ever sucked before. I just wish I'd had that appreciation while she was still alive and kicking. I'm still not used to the idea of her being truly and completely gone. Mom was sick for a bit and therefore out of commission a few days, and as a result is trying to work with the airlines to extend her visit. She says. I really have no idea if or when she's coming back to the mainland. And I really don't care, it's up to them at this point. It's their life. I simply cannot imagine begruding anyone personal happiness, no matter how bizarre it may seem to me. I can roll with it. I just wish I was rolling with it with my cat.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

RIP Wilma

I haven't felt like posting this, but might as well get it out of the way: she died about 24 hours ago, around 8:30pm on Monday. This afternoon around 1:30 a very nice man from the Bureau of Sanitation came and took her away and it hit me that she is really, completely gone forever. I am so depressed.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

WilmaWatch 2005: Saturday Night Edition

The downward march continues. She's curled up in my lap right now. She hasn't eaten in over 24 hours, although she has been drinking water. There were a couple moments today that I thought it was over, but no matter how dire her situation gets her heart just won't give in, even though I've told her it's okay to go. I mean it's not, but it would be selfish of me to lay that on her now. I learned something new today: The Los Angeles City Bureau of Sanitation is responsible for the removal and disposal of dead animals. You call and they send a driver for pickup. I did not know that. I thought you took them to the vet or an animal shelter. I've been thinking about things that I will not be doing once she's gone. This Christmas I won't be sending her a card. I always mail her one, show it to her and make a big deal about it when it arrives, then put it up with my cards. I won't be cleaning up tufts of shed hair or cat barf or hairballs. I won't be putting things like "litter", "dry food" and "canned food" on my shopping list. I will not be automatically sharing any meal that includes chicken or tuna. When I'm sitting on my bed writing on my laptop, I won't be reaching over her to type because she insists on wedging herself right in front of me, nor will I be getting that injured/put out look when I finally move her because she's in the way. I won't have to make sure she's not in the doorway before I close the front door, which is heavy and would crush her if it even closed gently on her. I also will never pet her or hear the many variety of purrs she has. And I will never again assume that she's always going to be around just because she always has been.

Words of wisdom

Great post on Nickerblog that I wholeheartedly agree with. The sentiment ties into the St. Thomas Aquinas quote I posted the other day, the need to believe that no matter how terrible things may seem or how rotten people can be, somehow some good will come out of it.

I think the actions we're seeing on the news from New Orleans stem from two very different types: people who are driven to normally unacceptable, extreme actions because of the dire situation they are in and those who are taking advantage of the situation to indulge their ugliest tendencies simply because they can get away with it. The first group has my immense sympathy and cash donation, the latter group...I'm not even going to say it. Not gonna go there.

I know it's only extending the inevitable, but...

Wilma is up and around. She ate (or maybe she just licked the food) and drank a little, but she's still upright, although barely. I really thought I was going to wake up to a dead cat this morning. Her tail is the only thing that hasn't wasted away and it makes her look like one of those monkeys that uses its tail as a rudder as it flies through the air between trees. Its as big as the rest of her. She's on my lap as I type this and she's actually purring, or trying to. It doesn't sound like her normal purr, it's much scratchier. But I can tell she's purring.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Gas prices, OMG!!!

Liz forwarded this image and it gave me a much needed laugh, especially since gassing up the car is at the top of my to-do list this weekend. It's only a little Corolla and I don't drive much, but I decided things being what they are I'd better fill it now before things get even worse. It used to be $10 would fill it. I'm expecting it to cost me as much as $25-$30 to fill it up now. Wilma was holding steady until early this evening when her physical condition took a nosedive. She's now pretty much bedridden. She doesn't seem to be in any pain or distress, she's just lying there, curled up, but not sleeping. I briefly considered taking her to the vet tonight to be put to sleep, but that was countered by my desire that her final moments be in the comfort of her own home and not in some strange place surrounded by the sounds of other sick, frightened animals while strangers poked and prodded her. That stuff would just add to her misery. Knowing her, it's just better this way.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The storm before the calm

She went into convulsions this morning, 11:30 am PDT. Lasted a minute or so. Sad and frightening and so very, very unfair. I thought she was going to die on the spot. I wonder if this has happened to her before when I wasn't home. After it passed and I unwrapped the towel, she actually stood up on her own. Shakey and hunched over, but that's the way it is now. I wasn't expecting her to get up at all. I took her to bed and petted her for a while and thought about her a lot and cried about her a bit. She actually seemed comforted by the attention. For me, it feels like too little too late. I wish I'd spoiled her like this every day. I didn't go to work and the rest of the day was a lot of her sleeping, except for the part where I decided to make a tuna sandwich and didn't even try to get her to eat. Right before the convulsions started I had tried to get her to eat chicken and she just wasn't interested. Imagine my surprise when she showed up in the kitchen looking for tuna. Not sure how she got off the bed, it couldn't have been pretty. I gave her some tuna and she ate quite a bit, followed by lots of water. I have no illusions that this means she's going to bounce back, but it made me feel better that she can still eat, even if it means watching her wobble feebly around the small apartment. It is a seriously pathetic sight. But maybe eating gives us another day or two and I'll take it. She has seriously wasted away, the gorgeous long coat is a thing of the past, she is so ratty and wasted now it hurts to see. Even worse - I cling to it. If I could buy her a few more years, even in this sorry condition, I would do it, because it would mean she wouldn't be going away forever. But I realize we're not talking years here. We're talking days. She is a furry bag of bones now, all sharp angles, especially those hips. I never knew she had them. The softness is long gone. I think her eyes are sunken because her face looks different, like her cheeks have taken over her face, but she's a cat and that's not how their faces work. Everything has changed. Honestly, I guess I never realized that this day would really come. I'm so not prepared for it.