Wednesday, December 2, 2009

SQUIRREL!!! The Perils of ADD

Liberty Park, originally uploaded by Mistiec_Flores.

I went to my doctor yesterday, for a routine visit to discuss my Adderall prescription. He caught me sitting in the office in the dark, because I had been sitting in my chair for about ten minutes, enough to trick the motion sensors into believing there was no one in the room. I hadn't bothered to turn them on again, however, because I was playing quite happily on my Nintendo DS.

Yes, Adderall, that ADHD drug that actually really does help with focus but is badly abused as a weight loss suppressant and candy of the Hollywood Elite.

I tend to avoid taking it unless I absolutely have to, which means once or twice at work and almost never on weekends, unless there is a musical or play or something that will be particularly brutal to sit through (Dinners are generally harder than most, because my utter twitchiness will have me reaching for the salt or a straw or anything to 'play' with, which results more often than not in people snatching things out of my hand and ordering me not to play with my food).

I didn't take it all weekend (which resulted in monumental withdrawal headaches), and was commended on it by Laura.

"Honestly," I told her. "I just forgot."

She grinned. "SQUIRREL!"

Yes, Squirrel.

I think I must have done too good of a job at rationing myself, however. My doctor took a look at the last time he wrote a prescription and found himself perplexed that it had been that long.

"Hmm," he said, scribbling away at his pad, and then glanced up suspiciously. "Are you getting this prescription from anyone else?"

"No!" I answered, but he remained suspicious, wary that I had been cheating on him with another prescription writer. I shuffled in my seat, and finally slumped my shoulders. "Sometimes I just forget to take them," I mumbled.

He absorbed that. "Ah. That makes sense." And back to writing he went, satisfied.

'Squirrel!' I thought to myself, and sighed, thinking I should be wearing a metaphorical 'cone of shame'.

Don't you hate when you can most identify with an animated dog who is routinely distracted by a furry animal?

Don't know what I'm talking about? Watch this clip from UP:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Countdown

First it was Halloween that whizzed by me so darn fast it left me in a tailspin and with literal dried fake blood drying on my chin (from the costume. You know.). Then it was Thanksgiving, which was a blur of raw turkey and vegetable stock and simmering cranberries, mixed together with a helping of bittersweet family drama and a climatic coloring contest. ("I'm gonna win!" My mother would sing-song. "Stop it, Tia!" exclaimed one of my young cousins. "You're making me nervous!")

And now we move on to Christmas, and I feel like I've barely taken a breath! But Christmas remains my favorite time of the year, and this time, I'm determined to actually put some thought into my Christmas mix and not let it pass me by like I did the Halloween mix.

I've discovered that life just has no 'hold' or 'pause' button and while it's exhilarating, it's also a little exhausting!

Notable Things of the Last Few Week:

1. "The Grinch" at the Pantages Theater - Eh. It was cute, but honestly as far as Grinch stories go, I preferred both the movie and the cartoon. The Grinch himself was hilarious, but he was clearly doing a Jim Carrey impersonation, and honestly, for 80 bucks a ticket, I would have rather had something a little stronger than what I saw. The music was forgettable (except for the two you already know), the jokes were silly, and the dog, usually my favorite part of the movie and the cartoon, rapidly began to annoy the crap out of me. So there you go.

2. Movies, Movies, Movies - Two really great ones, and one that had me just plain perplexed.
a: Everybody's Fine - youtube trailer
With Kate Beckinsale (PRETTY!), Drew Barrymore (PRETTY!), Sam Rockwell (...COOL!) and Robert Deniro. It was actually a very sweet movie about a widowed father who, when his grown children all cancel on him for a visit, decides to hop on trains and buses to surprise them one by one. Along the way, he discovers that his children are not as 'fine' as he thought they were, and that thanks to his demanding nature, have grown to lie to him about how things are in order not to worry him.

Enjoyable movie, if sad and bittersweet.

b: Precious - youtube trailer
What's sad is I grew up in the inner city in LA, and I knew plenty of kids like Precious. There are too many true life stories of kids with abusive families and no hope, and this movie really got to me in that sense. Definitely worth watching, even if sitting through it can be an uncomfortable experience.

c: Twilight -
Er... what? Yeah, I rented it. I finally got curious. And I just don't get it guys. I tried, I did. But OMG it made my brain hurt. This movie is like a sugared-up Harlequin romance for a preteen so I get why they would love it so but... yeah. I was bored silly. And honestly, nothing drives me more crazy than 'telling' and not 'showing' and so I really wanted to scratch my eyes out because I couldn't figure out WHY Edward and Bella loved each other so much. There was NOTHING there but 'she smells good' and he 'couldn't read her thoughts'. I need MORE. Plausibility! Please! Find a nugget of it and I'll latch on! It's all I need!

Coming up? A Christmas Masquerade at the Disneyland Hotel, and 'the Wedding Singer' in Irvine. Yes, the musical. Am I excited? Oh you have no idea.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's Never Too Late to Send the Invitations to the Last Night Of Your Life...

I'm in a P!nk state of mind. I've always been a P!nk fan, but after getting the chance to see her live in concert, my appreciation and obsession increased tenfold. She gets me psyched.

And I have a great reason to get psyched, because I'm finally, FINALLY going to visit New York.

This is a huge deal for me. I've camped out in the swamps of the Everglades, walked cobblestone streets in London fog, threw rocks at a rooster in the Philippines jungle, and even gotten reprimanded by hotel clerks in Hong Kong, but I've never ever been to New York.

What's even more silly is that I feel like I've already been there. Years as an executive assistant have lent to learning every twist and curve of 5th Avenue, the Financial District, and finagling cranky hostesses at hotspots trying to get a 7PM reservation at BOA or Norma's at Le Parker Meridian. My broadway obsession has sent me to see Idina Menzel open Wicked in London, Rent in Las Vegas, and season tickets at the Ahmanson Theatre & the Pantages, but Broadway, has eluded me. I salivate over the cuisine at Top Chef Harold's Perilla and ache for a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity3.

If New York and I were a romantic comedy, we'd be Sleepless in Seattle. Except it would be called 'Hungry in Los Angeles', and it would star me and my neverending quest to get to New York to eat a friggin slice of pizza and sit in Central Park.

And New York would be a cold and elusive lover - so ornery and yet so lovable because of it's indifference. Smooth and suave and cold and calculating and indifferent - in other words, New York would be Mr. Darcy.

Except instead of just insulting me it would also hurl cabs at me and stink like garbage.

What? Even Mr. Darcy can't be perfect.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In which Melly gets Jury Duty...

And it's nothing like Law & Order.

Not that I didn't already know that, because there's a reason why the majority of our population groans like they've been gutted when they see that summons in the mail. Because it's a pain in the butt.

Don't get me wrong, I get that it's important. This weekend I sat through four screenings of genocide featured documentaries and films: The Killing Fields, The Long Way Home, Darfur Now, and Hotel Rwanda.

It's sobering to watch them all at once, because you're reminded just how LUCKY you are to live in a country where your biggest gripe is that you have to sit through jury duty once a year, and not in one where you've being killed simply based on your skin color or heritage or no reason at all.

And to be honest, jury duty did have it's amusements. There was the 'actor' in the box who insisted on being referred as the 'award' winning actor and also vehemently added that as an actor he was more in tune with the human mind and therefore qualified as the psychologist expert. When he was summarily dismissed, he got up in a huff and stated to the rest of us that 'justice would not be served'.

There was hour and a half lunches, where eclectic members of the jury would do everything they could to not talk about the case and instead wandered through downtown, to Placita Olvera, and marveling at the long trek to the parking assigned at the majestic Disney Concert Hall.

There was the bored looking judge, who would comment wryly and do his job, and nod off in his chair, blinking away to check the court record to catch up.

There was the note pad we were given, which was used for notes, and for ADD afflicted me, became a savior in the form of the sketch pad, in which my notes turned into snapshots of the courtroom - witnesses, respondent, lawyers and bailiff.

But the case itself was sobering, and I learned way more about child molestation than I ever wanted to know. In the end, we opted to send the respondent back to the state hospital, and I understand now the importance of jury duty. The importance of being fair.

Even so, I'm very very glad I don't have to go again for another year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Confession #201: I'm a Gaming Addict

"You're a gaming addict," I was told somberly today.

"I'm not!" I protested mightily even though I had just spent over ten minutes gushing excitedly over the arrival of my newest shiny object, the new Batman: Arkham Asylum game.

Truthfully, I don't have time to be playing video games. I'm close to moving, and what little time I have at home should be spent putting stuff in boxes, not in front of my 360. But I couldn't help it. I had been waiting for this game forever, and thus far, Batman does not disappoint.

Outstanding graphics, a solid storyline (the lunatics have taken over the asylum) and hidden treasures throughout the maze of crazy give this game that kind of addiction that just does NOT allow you to stop playing. Plus, it's just FUN. You get to punch and kick guys, and you get to hang out on gargoyles and swing and crawl through grates, and protect your car when the bad guys are pounding on it.

It's like your inner 13 year old boys best fantasy come to life! ...

Okay if your fantasy was to crawl through grates in a maze full of psychotic lunatics and stuff.

But really, there are some games that are just so engaging in story and dialogue and pure interaction, it's better put together than three quarters of the movies you see out there.

And if loving that is silly, let it be so. I haven't been so in love with a game since the original Max Payne.

I still maintain that I'm not a true gaming addict. I didn't stay up all night playing, though the reason why I stopped wasn't because I felt like I should.

Honestly, I just got scared. Scarecrow boss fight. Dead parents. Late at night. In a morgue.

And Batman had just been drugged with the fear potion thingy.

No thank you, I'd rather sleep.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This is what you call a Support System!?

My bra broke.

Seriously. It burst open while I was at work. And it happened just as I was settling down to work. And I'm wearing a low-cut dress today that can just skirt by as appropriate office attire if I safety pin the top closer together. If I don't I look like I'm going to a strip club for a wet t-shirt contest.

But now my safety pin has been upgraded to bra-fixer, which means i have had to go all MacGuyver and use a binder clip to try to keep the girls from spilling out.

In my distress I emailed the story to a few friends. One yelled at me because apparently the subject line : OMG MY BOOBS BURST OUT OF MY BRA isn't exactly appropriate to send to a work email from a conservative Christian organization, and my other friend apparently was in the middle of a conference call when her laptop (Projected on the screen with 25 doctors in the room) screen also showed up with that as that newest subject line.

Okay that was funny. But still. My boobs and I are officially at war.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Welcome to the '30s!

It's not all that different from the '20s. Then again, I've only been 30 for about four days, so I don't have that much basis for comparison.

There are always goals, but this is the first time that I feel infinitely closer to actually accomplishing. The maturity is hitting me, albeit slowly, but really, how can you really ever truly mature when you get such a gleeful delight over things like a 'ROCKBAND' cake?

Rockband Cake!

I sincerely take that as license to occassionately embrace the Peter Pan in me.

Monday, July 20, 2009


My house has been taken over my ants. It's straight out of a horror movie. The tag line would read 'don't leave the food out – or they'll EAT IT. AND YOU'. They're all over the place. No improperly closed food item is safe from them. They will find it and they will RUIN it, and waste your food AND your money!

And nothing gets me more homicidal than a twenty dollar back of chicken jerky treats for the puppies getting eaten alive by little black crawly things.

Lucy, my mother's poodle, has taken to using my bed as her happy place, and that means once in a while coming back to finding bones (ew) and other things(ew) on the bed. I can't exactly lock the door because Thalia's cage is in there, but still, usually I can tolerate it, until I got home last night, exhausted from the Orange County Fair, and lay on my bed to feel oddly prickly.

At first I thought it was all in my head – the sensation that I kept getting bitten. Until an hour later, I looked down and I realized my bed spread was CRAWLING with ants. Why? Because Lucy had brought a BONE up there, and they had FOUND it.


They had been crawling on me. On my bed! I'm all twitchy and slappy.

Needless to say I didn't sleep much last night.

I immediately devolved into Sigourney Weaver from Aliens, screeching and wielding the ant killer like a maniac. Me and my cousin crawled underneath the bed and found their entrance, and sprayed and sprayed and KILLED.

I don't even feel bad about it.


On the upside side, I got to see the second episode of Glee at the outfest 'A Lil' Bit of Glee' panel, along with hearing most of the cast and producers talk about it. That show is awesome. I love it. It will be forever the best show ever.

Because it's Popular 2.0, but with singing and a less annoying Sam (no offense to Carly Pope).

And as previously mentioned, I also got to hit the Orange County Fair. It was very hot, and everything there is too expensive, but can you really put a price on a good funnel cake and riding an elephant?

No, you really can't.

Monday, July 6, 2009

If I Can't See It, It Doesn't Exist

Ah, the three day weekend. Short enough to not really feel like a real vacation, but long enough to throw you so out of wack on Monday that you're sleeping in, stumbling out of bed, and chugging coffee (or in my case, coke zero). Still, would you give up a three day weekend so you wouldn't have to worry about getting in your groove the beginning of next week? I thought not.

Thalia in particular had an interesting weekend, heading out for a day of sun and fun at the Softball Tournament playing in Fountain Valley on Saturday, and then freaking the hell out when she was taken to the free fireworks display at the coliseum in Los Angeles. It couldn't be helped. The 4th of July by my house is a barrage of insanity thanks to the tons of little ruffians who light off illegal sparks all up and down the street. It was take her with me or leave her alone to deal with THAT mess.

Unfortunately, the little puppy doesn't even like airplines (and barks her very hardest when they pass by), you can imagine her reaction when the sky started lighting up. Her solution? Bury her head underneath my shirt and pretend none of it was really happening.

Don't you wish that coping mechanism worked in real life?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happiness is a Marilyn Made of Jelly Beans

This weekend, on a birthday excursion for the parents, I got a good look at the new store in the Universal Citywalk that has recently taken over the Nascar Racing store. Actually, I was less looking and more or less gobsmacked, when on our way to the movie theater, we caught a glimpse of a lifesize Marilyn Monroe.

Made of jellybeans.

If you fail to understand how awesome this really is, then you are... not awesome.

That is all.

This place turned me, my sister and my mother into giddy children, running inside to find sweet confections of every shape and variation. The store is called It'sSugar, and it's MARVELOUS.

There are candies of every flavor, naughty edible bras made of gummy, 'Get Your Own Sugar Daddy' T-shirts, chocolate covered cupcakes, and m&ms of every shape and color (it was no surprise that the Lakers themed m&ms were completely out).

For a junkie searching for a fix, this was the worst and best possible discovery on the planet. You know how the kids look in 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory' when they get their first good look at the room with the chocolate river?

Yeah... it was like that.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a half pound bag of cherry sours, gummy bears, chocolate raisins, sour worms, and sour skittles to get through.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I've Got the Shakes

This morning, at exactly two minutes to five AM, I woke to the entire room shaking.

An earthquake! I thought to myself, and grabbed hold of my frightened chihuahua and watched as the room shook around me. Things crashed, fell, and then after about five mortifying seconds, it all stopped.

Quickly, I jumped off the bed and pulled off my flimsy nightgown, exchanging it for a pair of work out shorts, a sports bra, and a t-shirt. I tiptoed around my broken lamp and headed for my mom's room, poking my head in.

Two snoring lumps greeted me.

"Mom!" I whispered. "Did you feel that?"
"What?" came the sleepy voice.
"The earthquake!"
"... what earthquake?"

I blinked. There was no way they could NOT feel that. Dazed and half asleep, I insisted there had been an earthquake, but both mom and dad insisted they didn't feel anything. Shaking my head I took the puppy out for her morning pee break, and when I came back, my mother was standing at my doorway.

"Are you sure you didn't just dream it?" she told me.
"Mom, look at the lamp," I said.

Sure enough, my lamp (and a few other things), was lying limpy on the floor, broken in two pieces from the force of the shake.

Too tired to contemplate what it could mean, I went back to sleep. In the morning, I dragged myself out of bed and began searching for online articles. No earthquakes. Nothing.

My grandmother, a light sleeper, also felt nothing.

Mother suggested maybe something had fallen, but it was a sustained, repeated shake of everything in my room.

So what could it have been? What could have shaken everything in my room, broken a lamp, and yet been felt by no one else in the house?

Aw, man. I'm really not in the mood to be haunted right now.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's the little things in life...

A lazy Saturday nap was interrupted by the excitement of my mother, who yelled into my room, "Come see! The police are here! They're arresting the neighbor boy!"

Now, considering the fact that we live in what is technically defined as South Central Los Angeles, you'd think this would be a regular occurence (at least judging by the way some of my friends act when they come visit). It's not. Thanks to the last time I called the cops (for the very boring reason to tow a car that was blocking our driveway), I have learned that our neighborhood is relatively boring. No real gang affiliation. No gang activity. We're just a little street filled with families and large Victorian houses left behind when the rich people of Downtown fled for the safety of suburbia. So the fact that five cop cars came to arrest one little kid? A big deal. It's completely clear when I stepped out onto our porch and discovered people spilling out of house after house, goggle-eyed and fascinated at the spectacle before them. Four cop cars, flashing lights, and a young man in hand cuffs, looking terrified as he stood next to the cars.

The silliness of this is monumental when you realize what ACTUALLY happened. You see, our little quiet neighborhood does have a couple of hiccups. One of them is the boys across the street. Young men in their late teens and early twenties who literally have nothing to do but hang out around their house in the street and generally annoy the rest of the neighborhood by popping fireworks anytime they have any semblance of a reason (ILLEGAL) or zooming up and down the street in a very noisy, very annoying mini-motorcyle (also ILLEGAL), or working with their 'band' and drumming at all hours.

Guess which one attracted the attention of the police? One of the men/boys/peterpanguys was taking a noisy little joyride up and down the street, when the blare of sirens was suddenly heard.

"STOP RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE!" came the demand.

What could have been a fine instead turned into hysteria when the boy zoomed back down the block and ran into the house.

Because that would stop the police. Because they LOVE when you run from them.

Fastforward to twenty minutes later, and witness four police cars and a tow truck (to confiscate the MINI BIKE) standing around discussing the situation with the massive crowd that spilled from the house, and you have quite a tame circus. The finale? The police letting the kid go an hour later.

I blinked, and went back to bed, thankful that at least I could take my nap without the buzz of that damn minibike.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

In the Future, There Willl be Assholes- I mean Robots-

For your daily dose of snark and wit, imagine if Kyle Reese wasn't a freedom fighter at all, but just some loser with an affordable time machine bent on scoring with some gullible chick from the past named Sarah Connor...

Be careful, Sarah Connor. And watch out for the global warming thing too - I also heard that's a myth...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Don't Take Her Bone

This morning I woke up to the weight of a fluffy black poodle on my hip, chewing happily on a bone. The serenity was just as quickly disturbed when the bed bobbed with the landing of an eight pound, stubby footed chihuahua, who glared at the scene with as much indignity as a little chihuahua can have.
Coffee Run
Uttering something that sounded like a mix between a bleat and a growl, suddenly the little thing comes CHARGING at me, and literally BUTTS Lucy. Lucy, quick as a cat and with legs twice as long, shifted and jerked and resettled. Another indignant squeal, and then Thalia came again. This time Lucy jerked off me, and jumped off the bed. Undetterred, Thalia scampered (carefully) down her doggie stairs and tore after her.

A minute later, Thalia made her way up the stairs, with her prize in her mouth. Apparently, Lucy had stolen her bone, and that was just NOT cool.

My dog may be little, but she be fierce, yo.

Monday, May 18, 2009

In Which I Want To Go To There (But I'd Like To Not Die)

Thanks to Jeremy Wade (extreme angler and Biologist) and Animal Planet's show 'River Monsters', I've gained a new appreciation for freshwater fishies of the deep. I've always had a fascination with fishing, even as a child, when my understanding of it was to stand over a pier, throw a line into the brackwish water and then peer over the end of it, wondering why nothing ever came up.

Since then, my odd obsession with fishing and animals that swim hasn't waned, even if I've never quite caught up in experience. My snorkeling experience has been limited to the muddy waters of Cabo San Lucas, and as for fishing? I wouldn't know where to start. But I've come a long way to appreciating these creatures, and it manifests itself the most when I work with my fish tank. It's just a twenty gallon bitty little thing, fresh water and easy to maintain, with some tetras, some guppies, three frogs and two underwater catfish that grow bigger every day, but even within this little community, there has been massacres and adventures. I've mourned the loss of Tubby, the injured little Molly who fought his way back to health after an attack of another male molly, losing a fin and disorienting himself so much he swam upside down and in circles. I nearly cried when I lost my first frogs Max & Mona, bitty little aquatic dwarfs who died of old age after nearly three years of sitting on their lily pads and poking through gravel for their morsels of food. I marveled when a half inch ghost shrimp grew into a nearly three inch large monster with claws, who took over the tank and nearly singlehandedly annihalted a school of neon tetras (yeah, mister fish expert at the fish store, apparently shrimp ARE aggressive in high temperatures. FYI).

The new show 'River Monsters' on Animal Planet has done little to wane my curiosity with the animals of the aquatic. And it's also made me completely terrified and fascinated with the Amazon. I've learned so many different things from this show, but none more than the absolute fact that anyone who wants to swim in the Amazon river is crazy. Did you know that there are fishes there that can bore bullet size holes in you and eat you from the inside out? Or that some catfish can grow up to ten feet and have been known to attack and kill humans? Or that piranha's have consumed children in seconds? Or that bullsharks can adapt to freshwater and are now popping up in rivers all over the world?

Or how about this fun fact? There's apparently a case in the Amazon where a fish has actually been attracted by a urine streem and swam UP the uretha of a peeing man and BURIED itself in his penis. Oh yeah. Don't pee in the lake, boys.

Who in their right mind wants to know this? And still wants to go fish these things? Let's face it, host Jeremy Wade is CRAZY. But he's the fascinating kind of crazy - the kind of biologist who will venture to the ends of the earth to do battle with a 200 pound fish with only a fishing line between them, to emerge the exhausted winner, who does not kill his prize, but instead admires it, notes it, and with a display of sportmanship to his beastly shrewd battle losers, allows them to rest before setting them back free. It's this moment that I admire the most. It's for this reason that this latest article about the controversy involving a fisherman who caught and killed a record size Hammerhead Shark (pregnant with about 50 babies) saddens me. To want to battle against this magnificant animals and emerge the winner is within our competitive spirit. But to become so overwhelmed with excitement over the prize to bring such a specimen and kill it for pure sport? What's the point in that?

It reminds me of the moment not long ago where I came face to face with a falcon in my yard. My emotions were fueled by excitement and reverance.

I did not immediately think, "Oh my goodness. What a beautiful creature! Let me kill it!"

I'm just saying.

Monday, April 27, 2009

In Which I Get My Life Back

This weekend, after nearly a year of planning, my lovely older sister officially became a married woman when she committed to a life with a sweet boy from Michigan, in a country club in front of 200 or so of her closest friends and family.

The Day After Grill Party

On the sidelines, her sisters, her co-maid of honors, couldn't stop bawling.

It's the culmination of a long, long road for my sister, and the start of a brand new journey, in which she is now her own family, with her own husband and in-laws, and it's no longer the three of us against the world.

I'm so, so happy for her. I'm happy the wedding went off without a hitch or major drama. I'm happy that the man she's marrying is a genuinely good man who loves her unconditionally and comes from a great family who is equally fantastic. I'm happy everyone fit into their dresses, and there were no last minute hijinks with missing rings or any resulting drama with a random ex.

I'm also very happy that it's over.

Because now that my sister had her perfect (not exactly perfect but we're going to remember it that way, dammit. Try to tell me otherwise) wedding weekend, I'm going to go back to saving my money and working on my single life.

Which means actual time to blog.

But I'm going to sleep for about a week first.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wonder Woman - Let's See How Far We've Come

There is no time for a proper post. My sister's wedding is in 5 days and the result is chaos.

But this I had to share. I picked this up off of Topless Robot. The original wonder woman pilot made in 1967 by the same people who made Batman.

OMG you guys. Can this get any worse? Linda Carter, you are a godsend.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Alejandara Guzman: Mexican Rock Star

One lazy day when I was a preteen, I remember sitting around with my family watching, of all things, a marathon of 'The Munsters' on basic In between commercial breaks, there were 'man on the street' interviews taken with people shopping on Rodeo Drive. As my family chattered about, I found myself distracted when on the screen appeared a familiar face.

"Isn't that Alejandra Guzman?" I asked, confused as all hell, because what the hell was a Mexican Rock Star doing being interviewed as a man on the street segment for the Munsters?

No one paid attention to me, so I scooted closer to the television and squinted my eyes. At closer inspection, it appeared Ms. Guzman was just as confused. She smiled brightly at the camera, speaking in heavily accented English, explaining she was here from Mexico for a shopping excursion, with a questioning look behind her designer glasses. It became clear that she thought she had been recognized.

It also became clear that they did not know who the hell she was.

Finally, she couldn't take the obscurity, and before they cut, yelled out into the microphone, "I am Mexican Rock Star!"

"Sure you are," the guy with the microphone said.

My jaw dropped. That WAS Alejandra Guzman!

To understand the travesty of this little gem of a moment, you have to understand. Ms. Guzman is to Mexicans what Madonna is to Americans, but less insane, more crazy, and less prone to British Accents.

She's a rockstar I've grown up with. I've seen her in concert, I own her albums, and to see her in between The Munsters episodes, shouting in her heavily accented English, "I am Mexican Rock Star!" has been a moment that has stuck in my head for years.

She has now been in the business for twenty years, and is still awesome. And got a lifetime award for it from the Mexican equivalent to the Grammys.

To prove how awesome she is, watch the attached youtube clip. And maybe the next time an expensively dressed gorgeous woman in sunglasses shopping on Rodeo Drive shouts, "I am Mexican Rock Star!", you'll believe her.

Stupid Munsters People.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

For all my bravery-

This is what I look like when I see a cockroach:

Seriously. They freak me out. I don't know why. Mice? I think are cute. Same with snakes. And lizards. And spiders. Spiders are awesome. But roaches? Ick. Maybe it's because they wear their skeleton ON THE OUTSIDE.


Roaches are evil like Skeletor!

And I'm not just saying this because I'm ashamed of the fact that I screamed like a little girl when I found some sort of Junebug on my stove the other night and forced my mom and my friends to take care of it while I hid in the bathroom.

I base this on scientific observation. Cause.... Skeletor.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Anne Hathaway, 'Triple Threat' Garland?

Opened up the Variety this morning to this headline: Anne Hathaway gets 'Happy'. The actress, who nabbed an Oscar nomination this past year for her role in 'Rachel Getting Married', has been quietly gaining buzz for her voice, culminating in a live Oscar performance with Hugh Jackmen. Her name has been bandied about as a possible Elphaba in the musical version of Wicked (well okay, mostly by me), and she's set for her stage debut this coming June in 'Twelfth Night' in New York.

Even so, the news that she has tapped such a high profile role in both the stage and movie adaptation of Judy Garland's most acclaimed biography is a bit of a happy shock for me. I'm a fan of Anne, I'll admit it, but the fact that the producers have taken such a chance on Anne and her largely unproven voice (at least in film/theater - she's a gifted soprano) to helm such a challenging role of such an icon not just in the movie adaptation, but the theater run as well is a testament to how Anne's star is rising.

But it's going to be a challenge. Judy Garland is one of those Hollywood icons that defy representation. Her tragic story is told well in 'Get Happy'. I'm a loyal Judy fan and I own the biography, and man it's a downer. Most film lovers remember Judy as the young precocious Dorothy in 'The Wizard of Oz' or the gifted struggling musician of 'A Star is Born', but the MGM cultivated actress led a life that was both fascinating, tragic and uneven.

A vaudeville baby, Judy was signed by MGM at a young age. Judy had a very big voice for a very small child, but was often given 'Ugly Duckling' roles, until her big break came in both her pairing with Mickey Rooney and MGM's inability to acquire Shirley Temple for 'The Wizard of Oz'. From then on she became one of MGM's biggest draws, genius at what she did, but their habit of working their child actors to the bone, giving them uppers to keep them up and downers to put them to sleep, the constant issues with Judy's weight and her own insecurities of never being a bombshell like fellow starlets Lana Turner and Hedy Lamarr took their toll. She became a problem for directors and the studio alike, and after a few too many missed days work on 'Annie Get Your Gun', she was replaced and fired from the studio. The rest of her too short life was one attempt after another to break herself from her addictions and her insecurities.

But when she was in her element, Judy Garland was incomparable. Anne Hathaway has her work cut out for her to truly embody the complicated wonder that is Judy Garland, but I'm definately excited to see what she could do.

To show you what I mean, here's a youtube link to one of Judy's more memorable numbers - from her last MGM film 'Summerstock', here's Get Happy:

Friday, March 20, 2009

In Which I think Root Canals Suck.

Root canals suck.

There. I said it. And I don't mean that they suck in a painful way, because getting two impacted wisdom teeth removed with only local anesthesia? That REALLY sucked in a painful way. Root canals suck in a different way. They suck in a way that makes you feel like a fool because you could have PREVENTED THIS. Instead, you voluntarily pay whatever your insurance doesn't cover to lie on a chair with your jaw pried open, drooling all over yourself.

And it sucks. Particularly when your eyes are open and you're staring into the focused face of your dentist, your mouth hanging open and a sucking mechanism stuck to your tongue. He nearly straddles you in his focus, and pushes needles into your dead tooth with such force you see him grimace and feel like you're being smothered. The back of your head pushes hard into the cushion of the chair you're strapped in, and you wonder, briefly, how much it would skeeve him out if you just stared at him while he worked on you.

But you'd rather not keep watching all the blood soaked utensils that keep moving in and out of your mouth. So you close your eyes, and helpless, you lie there, and you think, "I did it to myself."

Because if you had resisted that sweet. If you had remembered to floss. If you were like that woman from finance who spent ten minutes each day after lunch hunched over the bathroom sink in the ladies' room, with her toothbrush and toothpaste, this would not be happening. Because preventive care is the best care, and had you just LISTENED in health education, you wouldn't be here.

You're stuck in that chair, and unlike any other sort of surgery where you can lie there and pretend it's not happening or get knocked out and sleep through the whole thing, all you can do is lie there, glaring at the man who is picking through his collection of sharp things to find another little sharp thing to dig into your open tooth.

Then you hear the grimace, the grunt of your dentist, and your eyes scrunch at the pressure of points digging into your teethy crevices, and all objectivity fades as you realize that root canals really suck. I know I've said they're not as bad as people say they are, but I only meant in regards to pain. Because I can handle pain. But root canals, and heavy dentists nearly giving me a bloody lip trying to dig decay out a teeny weeny tooth? They SUCK.

This could be the overkill of having three dentists appointments that involved either root canals or fillings and cleanings taking place in less than a week talking, but I'd like to think I'm entirely rational about this.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mid Season Perk - Better Off Ted

I started watching the new ABC comedy 'Better Off Ted' quite by accident. My kitchen television is one of those sad souls that will need a digital tuner come June. Until then, I battle static and noise to get what few primetime channels I can.

As I sat down to my oh-so-gourmet dinner of Egg Beaters with cheese, I stumbled across the opening lines of 'Better of Ted', saw Portia De Rossi's swing into an office and chirp, "We want to make a metal that's as hard as steel but can bounce like rubber. And is edible."

I put down the remote.

In a tv season inundated with killer who-dun-its and reality shows, Better off Ted is just a fun jaunt into the corporate grays of the work force. Anyone who's worked for a big company can identify with being either the overworked nerd, the underpaid cubicle underling who steals creamer as a statement, or the straddling-the-line manager who deals with a boss who has lost his or her sense of reality along her way to success.

The show is simple. It's witty. It's stellar, and more than that, the characters and the actors behind them shine.

Definitely worth fastforwarding through yet another filler recap episode of American Idol or Dancing with the Stars for a half hour of Better Off Ted.

Part One:

Part Two | Part Three

It's more than a little scary that I find myself identifying with the perils of research and development employees at an immoral corporate company as much as I do, but at the very least I can laugh about it.

Even if I'm a little bitter that my boss never looked liked Portia De Rossi.

Veronica's Pearls of Wisdom

Ted: You need to lighten up.
Veronica: Maybe I'm too funny. Maybe I was joking about not getting your joke.

Veronica: We want to freeze Phil.

Veronica: I think you and I should have sex. If you want. Look at me. I'm so nervous I'm ... shaking like a leaf.
Ted: No ... no you're not.
Veronica: No. Is that a problem? I don't get nervous. I try, it just doesn't come out.

Veronica: Pretty girl. Although she makes a lot of non-work related calls. Which I think makes her less attractive.

Veronica: Did I surprise you? I didn't mean to surprise you. I'm just a friendly person.
Linda: I didn't think you knew my name.
Veronica: Of course I knew your name. I know a lot about you. Linda... Katherine... Zward... ning... ling.
Linda: It's Zwardling.
Veronica: Fine. You know your name better than I do. Yay.

Veronica: Ted. I can't have you sleeping with Linda.
Ted: What?
Veronica: It could embarrass me. Plus I may not be done with you yet.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nature is a City Dweller

Usually bogged down in traffic, the 10 West Freeway from Santa Monica to Downtown usually only offers a view of smog, the bright lights of downtown, and the blinking crimson glow of brake lights.

Daylight savings times has brought with it a new wonder. Three days ago, I glanced up at a street light that overlooks the freeway, and nearly did a double take when I discovered what looked like the outline of a falcon perched atop it. Naturally, at the time there wasn't much of a chance to confirm or deny this, but considering I've been finding birds of prey in all sorts of unusual places lately (namely my own backyard), I figured I couldn't discount this incident. The next day, around the same exit, I glanced up again. Yet again, there was the bird. Unmistakably, a falcon. Yesterday, there it was again.

Things like this shouldn't astound as much as they do, but as much as I am a city girl at heart, I have a thing for the wild. It's for this reason that I drag my poor little pup to the canyons (or what passes for wilderness in Los Angeles) for a weekly hike. Thalia has every reason in the world to hate these hikes. She's a spoiled princess who much prefers nestling into her plush sleeping bag on the bed than a good walk. But she's also a chunky princess who needs to shed some pounds, and needs to learn how to be a dog. So, however against her will, she is dragged up to the canyon every week. Every week, the experience proves nearly traumatizing for the 7 pound pup, who freezes up in fright at even the sight of the bigger dogs that haunt the off-leash playground.

Because of her short stubby legs, she can't make it up the steepest part of the climb, so I end up taking with me a backpack with a soft dog purse stuffed into it. She ends up stuffed into it for the hardest part of the climb, and then once we're at the top, one more time she's back on her feet, on her leash, tugging and freezing at other pups on sight.

This past Sunday, I decided to do something different. At the end of the steepest part of the hill, I decided, with the help of my friends, to pull her out and try something different. She was let out of the bag, and immediately, began the old routine of freezing up and staying put. I picked her up, carried her a few feet, and set her down again. She took her time, but after a good ten minutes and a couple false starts, her ears started pricking up, her tail began to slowly levitate, and soon the little chihuahua was acting like a dog. When the time came to put her in the bag, she resisted. Instead, she headed proudly down the mountain, for the first time in a while, actually enjoying this hike like a regular (pint-sized) pooch.

I guess like dog, like owner. Even a city dog can develop an appreciation for a taste of the wilderness.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Well... that's never happened to me before.

I don't think I've ever walked into my building after lunch with a bag full of frozen meat. Yes, frozen meat.

I went out for lunch, and I came back with a bag stuffed with quality frozen meat, quietly wondering to myself how on earth I was going to fit this much meat into the already crowded community freezer at work. It was a very interesting 'I Love Lucy' moment. Well, almost. There was no walk in freezer to get locked into, thank Goodness. If there were, chances are i would have already gotten locked in. I have luck like that.

Now, I don't want you to think I go around every day just purchasing frozen meat for the heck of it. but I love Omaha Steaks. It's amazing, amazing food, and if they advertise to me that I can get an assortment of some of their best meat that usually goes for around $150 for 49.99? I'm gonna get it.

Freezer hijnks or not.

Still. I had no idea it would be THAT much meat. I showed up at the store with my little coupon and my eyes grew progressively bigger when the sales rep just kept piling on boxes and boxes of... meat.

Walking back into work with a bag full of frozen expensive meat? Surreal.

The looks from the security guards, however? Priceless.

Monday, March 9, 2009

You Want Action? We'll Give You Action: Zoe Bell in Angel of Death

Any female action junkie knows the name of Zoe Bell, stuntwoman extraordinaire.

Most of the time her work is behind the scenes, sitting in for dangerous stunts for actresses like Lucy Lawless on Xena, Uma Thurman on Kill Bill, and Amy Acker on Alias. Lately, however, she's stepped up her game and been getting more face time for her trouble, in films such as Grindhouse:Deathproof and the upcoming Bitch Slap.

Now she's got a webseries in which she can be bad ass and awesome, and kick some more ass, all with a knife stuck in her head.

It's bloody and gory and awesome. And there's a new episode every day. If you liked Kill Bill, go check out Angel of Death on Crackle.

The stunts are AMAZING, the fight scenes tight and well cheoragraphed, and Zoe Bell is ... Zoe Bell. And that's a good thing. That's a very good thing.

Friday, March 6, 2009

My Diamond Shoes Are Too Tight...

The problem with suddenly getting a life (and by a life I mean people randomly dragging you out at all hours of the night, working in your own interest), is that it completely disrupts your inner geek.

How are you supposed to spend all hours of the night hunting down zombies on Left 4 Dead or tending to your inner rock star on Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero if you're dead tired from stumbling in at 2 in the morning?

How are you supposed to look your poor puppy in the eyes when she gives you that soulful glare that lets you know she's fully aware that you missed your morning walk with her because you were too busy sleeping through your alarm?

How do you battle the curse of being a morning person when your eyes open at 5AM, determined to work out but you're too dead tired to do anything but lay pitifully in your bed?

You aren't really. Geeks and Party Girls exist in different universes, and attempting to mend the two requires more than a social experience like Beauty and the Geek and a good pair of shoes.

While I put concealer over the bags under my eyes and rub my poor aching feet and consider a solution in which I really CAN have it all, I ponder the Hawaii Chair. I wants it. To watch TV with. Then my aching feet will get a rest from weight lifting and running, and yet my core will still be astounding. No seriously. I won't look silly at all.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I really need to be rich.

I realize that money won't solve everyone's problems, but I resigned myself to the fact that I have expensive tastes. I can be happy with a Cup O' Noodles, but I get damn near orgasmic over a good lobster or an American Kobe steak. I love limos. And VIP lists. And hotel suites.
And I wouldn't say I'm above marrying for money, but I'm not nearly skinny enough to have my pick (and I love food a little too much to go down THAT road again, though I do aim for a size 10 in the next couple months) of millionaires, which means that I need to do something incredibly fantastic or I need to be a limo driver (apparently they make 3 grand a night) or a stripper (and you can own a BMW and a house and send your kid to college) and I can have it made.

Fault my logic? It's true. I learned this in Las Vegas this weekend, when me and my little sister finally brought together my engaged sister and eight of her nearest and dearest for one weekend of (tasteful) debauchery and (innocent)lewd, expensive entertainment.

I didn't sleep at all.

I was also possibly the only female under thirty at the Rio Hotel who went running on Saturday morning after a night partying at Voodoo Lounge. But that's because I was a wimp and left early, only to be woken up at 4AM by two returning party animals. I really am bitter I was not born with the party girl gene.

I also discovered that it's impossible to keep to a schedule when there is alcohol, feather boas, and women involved. Hangovers and lack of sleep will always interfere with even the best-laid plans, and becoming best buds with Eddie the limo driver is the best way to avoid getting stranded anywhere.

Also? Next time I will invest in ear plugs, because if I thought I was deaf before...

But the good news? The bachelorette had a good time. The guests had a good time, and although my arms are sore from pole dancing, I'm dehydrated from alcohol, and my feet ACHE from unforgiving heels, there is something to be said for the lure of the glamour of Las Vegas.

Oh, sin city. I heart you so.

I just wish I was rich.

Because you drain me dry.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Time Zone Dyslexia - A Foreign Affair


I have genuine faith in God.

I believe he ever so subtly inserts little mishaps in my life to keep me from getting too cocky about... well anything.

Because it does seem that every time I get over confident and ... comfortable in some aspect of my life, I tend to trip over my feet, dunk headfirst into a murky pond of my own clumsiness, and come up sputtering, humbled and let's be honest, a little amused.

Because after a lifetime of clumsiness and near-miss catastrophes, there really is only one thing you can do after the initial paranoia has faded and the nausea has receded, and that's laugh.

Take for example, my Monday. Things were going fairly well for me. Well, except for Sunday night when I, in a fit of good will and craving, finished frying up some tostadas for some shrimp ceviche I had made and was ready to dish out to my family. The chef's jacket I faithfully wear (even though I have by no means earned it) had been stripped a few minutes before, and so my arms were bare.

Naturally this was about the time my tongs slipped in the sizzling hot oil and I splattered burning drops all over my arm and on my chin, panicking my mother and making me look like a plastic surgery with the bandage over my chin and arms.

So Monday comes around and I'm in pain and my arm is throbbing (with what I will later learn are first and second degree burns) and I'm at work and I develop what I've come to term 'Time Zone Dyslexia'. Meaning, I switched time zones in my head for an extremely important meeting that it was my job to set up. Which I thought I had done admirably and in record time.

I had no idea I had actually switched time zones and instead of a meeting happening three hours behind us, it was actually three hours AHEAD.

Luckily, this was caught a week before the actual meeting, by the other assistant.

But MAN - what kind of moron switches timezones for New York and Los Angeles?

Me, apparently.

I understand London and LA, maybe, but to massively eff up a video conference from LA-NY?!

I blame Time Zone Dyslexia.

And God and his sense of humor.

You know he thought this was friggin' hilarious.

Well, maybe not the burns. Maybe he just thought I needed more character.

Like a burn mark in the form of a perfect circle right in the center of my chin.

Why not, right?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Well if you're gonna complain... make it snappy

And this guy did.

Best complaint letter ever.

But remind me when I fly Virgin to bring my own lunch, mmkay?

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Phantom of the Opera @ The Pantages Theatre

I confess - sometime I'm just a slave to the pretty. I can be a shallow fool, and I admit it readily. But sometimes, things are just too too pretty not to just sit and stare in awe!

Like Gorgeous Spanish Model Laura Sanchez.

Or pretty pretty Jon Kortajarena.

I'm on a Spanish Model kick. Sue me.

Anyway - like I said, I'm a slave to the pretty. When that happens on a tv show or in a musical, I tend to forgive a whole heck of a lot in terms of story/plot/direction, mostly because I'm so easily enthralled. It's not often that I get to watch something that is both pretty and well done.

I was so so happy that The Phantom of the Opera turned out out to be both. I have to admit, I never had much interest in seeing the musical until the movie. I knew a lot about it, I knew the general story, and I enjoyed the music, but there were other musicals I wanted to see before Phantom. Boy, i was missing out! I heard the production was lavish, but I've never been as boggled by set design and costumes as I was this time around. It was just so... pretty!

The decadance of the costumes, and their lavish detail was astounding. There's no less than three 'mini' operas in the musical, and for each there is a menagerie of costumes and sets that work as if they were for an entirely new production. I didn't want the 'Masquerade' number to end because I couldn't get enough of eying each and every distinct costume created for the number. The smoking mist and pyrotechnics and constantly moving sets prove consistently that there is no 'box' when it comes to theatre. There is simply imagination. And the music - haunting and wicked, rife with lust and sadness and pathos, takes over the theatre, and leaves you enthralled. One of my favorite ballads 'All I Ask of You' comes from the Phantom of the Opera, and it was beautiful to hear live.

A gorgeous, GORGEOUS experience. And a definate must-see. Especially if you saw the movie, because Christine in the musical? Actually HAS a brain. And uses it! I know! She's not just a passive reactionary character!

... so maybe the pretty doesn't blind me as much as I think it does.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wake Up Calls Aren't What They Used To Be

So my effort to better myself has been going fairly well. At least in the physical sense. Getting up at 5AM to workout is not nearly as painful as it once was, but I have noticed that the weekends throw me off quite a bit.

I end up pressing the snooze at 6:30AM (a later indulgance than the usual rooster-braying 5AM weekday hour), and if that happens I end up sleeping in until 10AM, which annoys me to no end. Fallacy of being a morning person - the hours between 8-10AM on a weekday are invaluable. They can be used for doing any sorts of nasty chores or working out or things that just need to be gotten out of the way before the fun begins. If you sleep through it? It's... a pain.

Of course when THAT happens, it becomes a bit of a chore to get up at 5AM. My weekend habit of pressing the snooze and crawling back into bed manifests itself and I'm up at 7AM, stumbling into the shower, and scurrying out the door - neglecting not only my morning workout, but my dog's morning walk (though the poor dear DOES get let out to go pee eventually), hungry and grumpy on top of all that, because I've also managed to upset my evening. Mostly because now that a work out was not taken care of in the morning, it will have to happen in the evening, and that's completely distasteful when there are twenty other things I'd rather be doing.

Apparently, my puppy agrees that becoming too friendly with the snooze is a bad habit, because this morning she decided to leave right under my alarm clark a present of the dark and stinky kind. One I did not discover until I was stumbling around the bed barefoot, ready to shut off the buzzing, and found my feet sinking into something soft, squishy and wet.

Immediately, I knew what it was, and my glare jerked toward my dog. Thalia, nose poked out from beneath her very own sleeping bag, seemed unrepentant.

Her large ears quirked, her muzzle quivered, and then her chin came down again.

Feeling highly undignified, I hobbled as best I could to clean myself up, and then returned to my room to assess the damage.

Again, my little chihuahua, not more than 7 and a half pounds (and she is on the fat side), merely stared at me from her place on my bed, as if daring me to comment on her little surprise for me.

I glowered. I simpered. I knelt down on the floor and scrubbed her mess out of the carpet, and in my head I thought what a fool I could be for a little animal who I love so dearly.

Actions are not without consequences - this is not the best habit of hers, and tonight will be spent in her crate, so as to avoid another... surprise, but I have to admit - the puppy gave me an entirely new menace this morning that swept the sleep from my eyes.

I'd rather she not make it a habit though. This by far has been the grossest thing that has happened to me, since the morning my old cat Cleo put a dead mouse in my bed and I slept on it all night.

... and I just revisited that moment.

I think I'll need about three more showers today.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Laughlin Retirement Center

A while back a friend scored a couple free rooms in Laughlin and invited us to go with her. Somehow or another, it ended up just being my friend Sam and I, and we’re not big gamblers. Well, Sam isn’t a big gambler, I have impulse control issues, and tend to get irrationally upset at slot machines, so I tend to avoid them altogether.

But still, a chance to get away is a chance to get away, and we figured that there had to be SOMETHING to do in Laughlin that didn’t involve the freezing cold river or gambling or an incredible expense. What we ended up doing was basically a vacation for geeks.

A planned trip included horseback riding and a trip to Oatman, Arizona, a defunct mining ghost town about an hour south of Laughlin, famous for its tame wild burros that now come into town and roam the streets, searching for a carrot or two from the tourists that come and feed them (yes, people will drive an hour south of Laughlin just to feed carrots to a donkey. Go with it).

The day after, we decided to hit up another ghost town, this one in california, called Calico.
Yes, we’re geeks. Okay, I’m the geek because I came up with all the suggestions, but you know what? I’m glad I did, because what we very quickly discovered when we landed in Laughlin was a sea of gray hair and the glint of bifocals.

We were the only people there under forty-five. I kid you not. It was frightening.
So off to Oatman we went, where we met up with Jessica of the Oatman Stables, who had two horses ready for us, and an hour trail ride where we got to see the real remains of the town: piles of antique trash, the old foundations of the hospital and the brothels, and old mine shafts. The view was gorgeous.

Then it back to Laughlin – to revel in our youth, before we headed on Sunday to Calico, another abandoned mining town that was… semi-abandoned actually. We got to actually tour one of the mines this time, and it was… well… when someone shoves you in a dark cave, closes the door behind you and leaves you in total darkness, it’s creepy.

But historically fascinating, as well.

Still beautiful though.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The World is my Television Set

I love the internet.

With each passing foreign show I come across, I become more and more convinced that I need to move to Europe - if only for the TV.

Okay, not only for the TV. I also like the trains.

And the accents.

But seriously, this fascination for European television is SO bad for my health. Los Hombres De Paco premiere's its seventh season on Tuesday, and the network that airs the show has decided to become AWESOME and post the complete episodes as they air on the website . That mean you can watch the premiere of this season, wherever you are in the world at this link. The problem with this is that they have also provided all their other shows as well, and they give you little blurbs, and I find myself wanting to suddenly watch THOSE shows too. What's wrong with me?

Stupid show. Best show ever. Below is a teaser for next week's episode:

And if that wasn't bad enough, the UK feeds my inner geek SO well. First they gave me cop soap Bad Girls, Coupling and sweet, sweet Monarch of the Glen, and then they gave me the chilling and well acted Wire In the Blood and soapy goodness in the form of Mistresses. Then came cracktastic Lost In Austen, about an ordinary girl stuck in Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice and basically screwing it all up, and Robin Hood, and now they've given me Merlin.

Merlin is a series in the vein of 'Young Hercules', 'Young Indiana Jones' or Smallville, in that it takes the legendary characters and introduces them as young adults, still in the process of becoming the legendary characters they're destined to grow up to be.

Merlin, a teenager, comes to live in Camelot under the guidance of the court physican. Camelot, under the rule of battle-scarred King Uther, has banned magic, and the price for practicing it is death. Bad news for Merlin, who has never studied magic but is still blessed with so much raw talent he can move things instinctively with only his thoughts. At the castle is also the gorgeous Morgana, a reluctant ward of King Uther who is fast friends with her maidservant, Guinevere. Gwen (for short), is a humble, subtly pretty (but not beautiful) young woman who is aware and happy with her station, and seems to be developing a crush on Merlin.

When Merlin unwittingly becomes the personal servant to the arrogant and strapping Prince Arthur, the show begins it's magic, never letting us forget that destiny is unavoidable, and still, what you make it.

The show is cheesy, and it's fun. Very much in the vein of Hercules and Xena in their best years, and quickly addicting for the likable cast, and easy storytelling.

Dammit... I didn't need anymore shows.

But if you're interested, feel free to watch at

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Balance Board - My Nemesis of old.

I'll say it. I hate my Wii Balance Board. It may be the most transparent personification ever, but I think she's a cocky sonofabitch.

Why? Because the bitch made me fat! Well, okay, I was already chubby - but my poor little Mii character wasn't. She was just happily oblivious, moving along in her own little Mii world, playing with the other Miis, when I went and bought the Balance board and did my 'body test'.

Little did she know that as soon as my board decided I was overweight, it would grab hold of her and balloon up her weight to make her look like she had a basketball stuffed under her generic red shirt! The look on her poor face!

I was horrified. I was scarred. How Rude! And I decided that I hated my balance board, and I swore to my poor little Mii that I would free it from the tubs of lard it had inherited for having the bad fortune to be MY Mii.

Since then, my Balance Board and I have engaged in a battle of wills. It scolds me, I flick it off. It tells me I need to train every day, I glare. It offers a healthy 'tip' and I explain to that bastard that I can read a book for that.

And I ignore the running game completely. But that's more because no matter how 'interactive' that thing wants to be, I'm still running in place.

But at least some of my hard work has paid off - my little Mii is less round than she used to be.

Still, I doubt that immediately inciting horrified gasps by mutating your poor little Mii is quite the approach the WiiFit should take to get results from its buyers.

Then again, this is the game that shoots shoes at your head.

It's such a sadistic little bastard, isn't it?

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Return of 'Los Hombres De Paco'

One of my favorite television shows is coming back for it's seventh season, and it doesn't even air in the states. Thank God for the internet, because how on earth did I live before Los Hombres De Paco?

image thanks to the Pepa & Silvia message board.
The show, which airs in Spain, translates literally into 'Paco's Men', and it revolves around Paco, a bumbling inspector, his family (most of whom are cops as well) and his band of merry men. The show is dark, hilarious, tragic, dramatic and incredibly well written, and I've been in love from the moment I came across a compliation video. Even if it can get confusing as hell sometimes. The family dynamics of this show are MIND BOGGLING. The main love story has to do with a man in his thirties who was raised like a son to Paco, and his forbidden love with Paco's 18 year old daughter. This romance started when she was 15. And Lucas, the older man, has also been married to Sara, the daughter's aunt, Silvia. The crazy thing is that the chemistry of Sara & Lucas actually works - despite the insane age difference, and the fact that Lucas is like a son to Sara's dad and the fact that Lucas is Sara's ex-uncle. But that's how the show is. It makes the implausible seem destined.

One of my favorite storylines has been the development of the romance of Pepa, Paco's rascal of a sister, & Silvia, Paco's sweet sister-in-law, who grew up together, shared an illicit smooch when they were eighteen and then were torn apart to reunite 8 years later when Pepa transferred to the San Antonio station to be closer to her brother. What follows is a terrifically told story of confusion, lost love, first passion, and overcoming doubts.

In the midst of the heavy stories is the silliness, and what's amazing about this show is that the cast can play both sides of the fence so easily. This season, the cast has had its change ups. Lucas, played by leading man Hugo Silvia, is leaving the show, and also leaving is Lola, played by Adriana Torres, who served as the show's matriarch. The result is a sort of reboot of the series, which lays to waste the OTP's that the show has relied on so faithfully (the forbidden love of Lucas/Sara, the adorable romance of Povedilla/Rita, the mainstay couple of Lola/Paco), and leaves intact only one: Pepa and Silvia. All bets are off - and it should be interesting to see where this show goes.

This show isn't shown subtitled - but fans of the Pepa/Silvia couple can read watch youtube videos with subtitles here, and read detailed recaps and a character guide here.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday....

Tomorrow will be the first day I go to work for two weeks - is it weird that it's a relief? I like to pretend I'm a free spirit but the truth is, I need a little routine. And I can't really depend on myself for discipline.

The thing that gets me up in the morning isn't the drive to start a new day, but the knowledge that if I don't, my poor chihuahua will pee on the floor.

Which I really think she does just to piss me off.

This year, however, I've decided that I need to actually be an adult, whatever that means. I mean I have no idea what the actual definition of that is, but I imagine there are steps that need to be taken. I won't bore you with those specific goals, because there's goals everyone has: Fitness, security, debt control.

You know what? Forget that. My goal? Not to have these SAME fricken' goals next year. Because there's nothing lamer than to look back a year and realize you had the exact same goals and are exactly where you started.

So apparently my driving force is fear.

I can handle that.

Anything is better than sleeping in an extra twenty minutes and stepping into a wet spot on your carpet.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

it's funny, you would never suspect that everyone at this school is a professional dancer

I may not watch as much television as I used to (and what I do, tends to air outside of the country, like Wire In the Blood, Los Hombres De Paco and now, Merlin), but even so, primetime network tv seems out to screw me.

It was bad enough when they put How I Met Your Mother, Chuck and The Sarah Connor Chronicles all on Monday night - and I was forced to scrounge the internet in an effort to catch up with Miss Sarah Connor, since my TiFaux only records two shows at a time, but now, they have added to the line up House?

Why? Why? When they moved Sarah Connor to Friday nights I thought I was clear! This is not to be, however - how am I to decide between the joys of Robin Sparkles, BuyMoria, and ... the weirdly nonsensicle reason I watch House?!

I shall console myself with a reviewing of one of my favorite guilty pleasures: Not Another Teen Movie.

And look! It's Ted Mosby!

DINELA - Fancy A Bite To Eat?

DINELA is back with a vengeance this year, and it's your chance, if you're not on a diet like me, to try some of Los Angeles' many restaurants for a fraction of the price you usually pay for eating out.

We're talking three course meals. With dessert. For cheap. At fabulous restaurants.

I must wrestle with my inner self as to whether or not this can compete with my yearly New Years diet resolution.

On the home front -

-Klaus has gone to his forever home, and I am now down one reckless little kitty. It's both a relief and a loss. I'll miss that little purring monster, but I'm really happy that she's now going to be somewhere warm and happy and loved. Quite a change from the starving little fuzzball I found shivering and blinded beside my dad's grill a month ago.

-I have now seen Slumdog Millionaire three times in the theatres. It's no less gripping.

- I've become addicted to XBOX Live and Left 4 Dead. Who knew killing zombies could be so thrilling and frustrating?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I haven't had a kitten for quite some time. I'm recently discovering why they're so much work - it seems they go out of their way to cause enough of a ruckus to be the center of attention ... all the time.

It's okay though, Klaus is going to a nice happy home, and my Christmas deed has been done, fallen into my lap (or my backyard) in the form of a shivering, half starved kitty with infected eyes, who is now a fluffy, prancing little mischief maker who enamours everyone she meets.

Meanwhile, the frazzled foster mother has just been trying to survive the holidays. Loads of family time is amazing and appreciated, but family and friends can be exhausting for a brooding writer who likes to be independant.

But great fun was had - including a trip to Disneyland (in which I finally saw a Disneyland Parade and went 'eh'), an ice skating trip in Downtown Los Angeles (in which I discovered that I absolutely SUCK at ice skating, and didn't move an inch for fear I would bowl over some kid and kill them), the yearly Christmas tamales (in which me and my grandmother handmade over a 100 tamales and nearly killed our backs for it, but man they came out yummy), and hours wasted away banging on plastic drums thanks to a brand new Rock Band 2 for my XBOX 360. And Left 4 Dead.

I've discovered I have a thing for killing zombies.

Still, I decree this the year I grow up - and finally finish that damn novel.

Happy New Year!