Friday, December 08, 2006

Long overdue.

I have little faith that people are still stopping by, waiting for me to update, but I do know that my beautiful girlfriend still awaits a new post, so I'm going for it.

I've been busy, busy, busy and worse, uninspired. Actually, inspiration is never the problem... it's just sitting down at the computer and devoting time to it.

I'm currently in Chicago for work, and I'm cold. To mark my arrival, the skies unleashed upon this city about 6 inches of snow. The snow was fresh and sparkling when I arrived last Sunday, and throughout this week of crazy cold temperatures, the snow has turned into a layer of crunchy, icy madness. It's slippery everywhere, and the cold is the kind that chaps your skin and freezes your blood. It's the kind of weather that chased me out of Ohio, and it's one of the biggest reasons I'm okay if I never live in the midwest ever again.

The good news about this weather is that it's put me in quite the Christmasy mood. I've been listening to Christmas music non- stop since I arrived, and on television, I've caught How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Every time I watch those cartoons, I go right back to being six years old and totally caught up in that magic that Christmas can bring. I remember the anticipation, the excitement. My memories of Christmases are my clearest memories of my childhood, and now the excitement every year comes when I think of all of the memories my future children will have of Christmases. It makes me all mushy inside, and while the cold weather in Chicago is bringing all of this on, the truth is, there's no place I'd rather be right now than home in Los Angeles, in 70 degree weather with no snow, in the treehouse, with my girlfriend and our Christmas tree.

Speaking of magic, how about that USC UCLA game?! It was truly a Christmas miracle!

Friday, November 17, 2006


...or "How I Love That It's Part of My Job to Take One of the Company's Canon Digital Rebels With Me Whenever I Travel For Work."

Chicago 1


Chicago 2

I was going to mess with these in Photoshop, but then I realized, I have no real knowledge of Photoshop. I figure I'd just let the Digital Rebel speak for itself in these shots. The pictures aren't perfect, but I still think they're pretty f*cking cool.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Who knew?

Two weeks ago, as I was traveling back to LA from Orlando on a work trip, I started to get a sore throat. The sore throat turned quickly into a bit of a cough. The sore throat then went away and the cough went full speed ahead.

This wasn't just any cough. This was a wheezy, persistent cough, one that got worse every time I laughed (and I laugh A LOT). I had no other symptoms of anything and could not figure out what the hell was happening with this cough. I thought for sure it was bronchitis. I kept hoping it would go away. My co-worker finally dubbed it "the homeless man cough." When I realized people at work were sort of staring at me as though I were infecting them with the plague, I decided to go to the doctor. I also realized that I'm traveling to Ohio next week and I don't want to be sick in the cold weather, and around a couple of new baby cousins that have been born in the past 2 weeks.

It had gotten to the point where Sunday afternoon, before a dinner with some new friends of ours, I said to gina, "I hope they don't say anything funny... I'll be coughing all night."

I called my doctor, and in classic HMO style, she of course can't see me for a week. So I go to urgent care, where I see a doctor I've seen way more than my own doctor, because this one is actually available. He asks me a few questions about the cough and diagnoses it as asthma. Asthma! I'm 28 years old, and I've been diagnosed with asthma all of a sudden. Color me surprised.

Two doses of prednisone, two doses of cough syrup with codeine, and several doses of an inhaler, I feel amazing. I no longer sound homeless, and I no longer feel like a Rotteweiler is sitting on my chest.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I am in a great mood today, a mood I refuse to let anything ruin. Why am I in such a good mood? Two reasons:

1. The Democrats finally took back control of the House, with Liberal Lady Nancy Pelosi as the speaker. This is good for a few reasons - I think this will bring back a more centrist way of making decisions. I am thrilled to see history being made with Nancy being the first woman speaker. And above all, I'm hoping this means no more ridiculous time spent on stuff like a gay marriage ban amendment to the United States Constitution.

2. I played poker last night and WON!! Usually I go out first or second and am forced to sit around while everyone else h as a good time. Last night I won! Guess all those Celebrity Poker Showdowns that Gina tivos helped.

Friday, October 20, 2006

These are the days...

A while ago, KTP tagged all of her readers to post their high school picture. Well, remember when I told you I got a scanner with my new computer?

Day 7 - Flashback to 1996
Class of 1996

I sure am rocking those huge glasses, huh?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's an update. Now with more portraiture.

I'm barely keeping my eyes open to write this, but I haven't posted a real post in a while, so I want to give you eager readers something.

Work has been keeping me very occupied. I received a promotion I've been waiting for for almost two years. In TV, you go from job to job, and it's hard to stay somewhere long enough to get promoted. Someone really has to take a chance on you. I've been at my company for a while now, working my ass off, and I've finally been promoted. I couldn't be more excited. I'll get to travel all over the country and the world for my job, meeting new people and seeing new places. Imagine the pictures you'll get then!!

Something that helped me get promoted is that I am pretty decent at writing scripts for reality TV, which really is story editing. So I've taken on a script for my show and THAT has really sucked up any amount of free time I may have had. The good news is, it's a way for me to not only further my education as a producer of such TV, but it's also a way to earn some extra cash. The check, which hasn't even been issued because I haven't even finished the script, has already been spent. Here's what it bought this past weekend:

Maybe it should have bought me a new desk - my work station, pictured here, is a round table my friend Kim bequeathed to me a few years back, and trust me, it is NOT conducive to any sort of work. It's a dining room table! But in our little treehouse, it's all I have in the way of a desk.

So anyway, yes, I bought a new iMac this past weekend. "Bought" is a relative term. Really, Bank of America bought it, and I just have to pay them back eventually. My iBook has been giving me trouble as of late, intermittently freezing. I think the problem is covered under some sort of warranty, but with my script due this week, I had no time to give my laptop to anyone. I didn't think this was a good enough reason to buy a new computer, and then I realized that the iBook has as much memory as a 30 gig iPod. Since I now own a digital camera, this is not a big enough hard drive for me, and I decided it was time to upgrade to a newer computer. Also, with the promotion, it will be nice to have a for-the-road computer, and a computer that I can keep here at the Treehouse for gina to be able to check email and such. And on Saturday, when I lost about two hours of work for about the third time, I would have paid a lot more for a lot less in the way of a computer.

Of course with the computer came a free printer, which scans!! I've been wanting a scanner for 10 years and I finally have one!! Oh, what fun I'll have...

In other news, I finally filed my taxes for 2005. Yep, that's right. I'm a champ at procrastination. Unbeatable, really.

I want to tell you about the week I got promoted, wherein I had somehow hurt my back and my doctor prescribed me muscle relaxers 3x a day, 800 mg of ibuprofen (that's FOUR advil for those of you who are pilliterate) every four hours, and vicodin three to four times a day as needed (this wasn't just any backache, people - I really thought I might die), and thereby the news of the promotion came as sort of a fuzzy cloud of information I couldn't quite process, but I feel like I can't fit it in anywhere, so I'll leave it for another time.

I went pro recently - with Amanda B. invited me to a group on Flickr, a group that challenges you to take one self-portrait a day for 365 Days. My post earlier today showed my portrait from yesterday. Here for you now is my portrait I submitted today, which not only shows you a very cool feature of my new computer, but which also exemplifies an attribute I have worked, fought, cried, and clawed for my whole life and I am now to the point where I experience it at least four times a week. I think that's pretty damn spiffy.

"Self Love" taken with my iMac Photo Booth.

I'm alive...

...and I need a haircut.

Day 3 - Long

Monday, October 02, 2006

More pesticides, please.

Gina and I go to the Farmer's Market every Sunday to buy a week's worth of fruit. We usually buy peaches and/or nectarines, grapes, mangos, a watermelon and sometimes a pineapple. If murcots are in season, we stock up on those. Lately, we've been buying ju ju bees, which look like little brown apples and taste much better than any apple I've had in the past year.

We came back with all of this delicious looking this past Sunday, and after all the groceries were put away, Gina decided to enjoy an organic white nectarine. She ate about half of it and offered me a bite. It's the kind of nectarine that pulls right away cleanly from the pit - YUM. I took a bite, and noticed something weird on the pit.





A real live bug. Dangerously close to ingestion by ME. I hate bugs. Hate them. I jumped up and winced, ran over to the trash and spit out my bite.

"There's a bug!" I yelled. It was a little slimy red thing, moving around on the pit.

I might be officially against organic fruit. The more pesticides, the better, thank you very much. Better yet, cut out the fruit completely. Let's just eat Cheetos.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A new love

I have always loved football, but this season, I am, in a word, obsessed. College football has been like a drug to me the past few weeks, a drug I've admittedly not needed, but one that I've enjoyed immensely. Gina has been so patient with me about it, even trying to get into it, and sometimes pretending that she's as excited about it as I am. But the best thing is, she lets me love it. She lets me watch it on TV and she patiently waits until the game is over, and she'll watch the replays if I ask her to. If I were single, I'd be watching every single game on Saturday... it's probably better for me that that's not an option.

One thing Gina will rarely turn down when it comes to sports is actually playing them. She might not love watching them on TV, she might not understand them completely, but man, if you suggest that we try to actually play it, she loves it. As do I.

Monday, we went to Target to get a few necessary household items (water, dish soap, decorative jack-o-lantern), and we decided to buy a football. After much decision, we chose the Pee Wee Football, designed for little boys ages 6 to 9. There was one smaller size - the mini football - but I felt like that was too small. This one seems just right - and I can't believe a six year old would be expected to hold this football.

Pee Wee football

The past two nights, we've gone to a park near our apartment to play catch with the football. I had never thrown a football before Monday night, and I picked up the spiral pretty easily. It was FUN. The latent purpose of this is to of course exercise without realizing you're exercising - my favorite kind of workout. Let's play basketball or football or softball or go hiking... anything but the g.d. GYM. Seriously.

I'm here to tell you something - football hurts. The first night, it was all smiles and sunshine. Yesterday, I was a little sore - my arms and shoulders mainly. Last night when we played, it hurt a little but then felt good. But this morning...


Everything hurts. It hurts to grip a pen. It hurts to type. It hurts to sit and it hurts to stand.

And yet... there's still something in me that wants to go back out tonight and play more. This weekend, we're getting together with a few girls to "play football." Not really sure what that will entail, but you better believe you'll be getting some pictures of it.


Just wanted to let you guys know, I'm moving most of my old entries from my old blog onto this space and backdating them as to when I wrote them. So basically, there will be more archives on this site every day, if you're interested in checking them.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


After years of thinking that my psychology classes in college have forever barred me from ever getting anything tangible out of going to a therapist, I finally decided about a month ago to seriously start looking for a head shrinker, if for no other reason than to just give me some more perspective.

Firstly, allow me to say that the process of finding a therapist is not something anyone under any psychological duress should ever have to endure. It's looking up people online, and then looking them up to see if they're covered on your insurance. OR, it's seeing that they ARE covered, and then being unable to find out anything about them from a google search.

Finally, I found someone perfect for me. Covered under my insurance, less than a mile from my house, a woman, specializing in what seemed to be a laundry list of my self-diagnosed problems. Three days before my last period (read: In a crazy hormonal state), I called this woman to make an appointment. She called me back to ask what I was interested in, and my head was swimming with an ideal notion that she was going to be perfect for me. She called me back! Right away! She sounds really nice! I explained to her that I had a hard time finding her and I was so grateful she was covered under my insurance.

"What insurance do you have?" she asked.


"HMO or PPO?"


"I just stopped accepting HMO insurance. Are you sure you're not PPO?"

Three days before my period, tears welled in my eyes and a lump forced its way to the back of my throat. "Yeah, I'm sure. How much are you per session?"


"That's fine, I don't think I'll need to see you once a week, so I can afford 2x a month."

"I don't mean to discourage you from working with me, because I'd love to meet you and I think I can help you, but I always suggest that new patients meet with me once a week so that we can identify any patterns in your life."

I'm not really much for patterns. "Fine. When's my appointment?"

September 5th, 9am, I arrive to her office. I take the stuffy ride up in the elevator to the fourth floor. The whole building is eerily quiet. I find her suite and walk in to an empty room with two chairs, and two buttons on the wall. "Seen by appointment only. Please buzz your therapist when you arrive." I pressed the button by her name and sat down.

Moments later, a woman looking not entirely unlike Sandra Oh, opened the door and smiled at me. I supposed that was my cue to get up and follow her, so I did. She said hello, how are you, the usual small talk, and led me to a back room and sat me down on the couch. She sat right in front of me and just looked at me, smiling carefully, as though I were a victim of some terrible... something.

In my head, I had pictured her introducing herself, and asking me questions. Instead, she just stared at me cautiously, as though I were a 9/11 widow or my sister had registered as a Republican.

I said, "Um, are you Michele?"

She smiled and nodded.

I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do. So I just started talking. She rarely had anything to say, and when she did, it was spoken in a Funeral Voice. She pretty much just listened to me, asked a few detail questions: "What's your girlfriend's name?" "When did your dad start drinking again?" and my favorite, "What about depression?"

When I ran out of things to say, she said, "We're just about out of time, is there anything else you want to say?"

I had just spent 45 minutes with a total stranger, spilling my guts, and now she's asking if I have anything else.

"No," I said, "do you have any questions for me?"

Of course she didn't, so she reminded me the payment is $90, and we set up another appointment. As I was leaving, the only thing I could think of, next to my disappointment, was, "Shit, I have friends who will listen to me bitch for 45 minutes for FREE... why did I come here again?" Beyond that, she's a LCSW... the least I could have done was pick someone with the ability to give me some drugs. This woman just has pricey listening skills.

I let my second appointment stand until 2 days before its scheduled time before canceling it. I'd rather spend my $90 on something that is actually guaranteed to make me feel good... like a full tank of gas and a fridge full of groceries.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Already September, and this was only my first wedding.

Gina and I flew to Colorado this past weekend for a wedding. On the shuttle on the way to the actual ceremony, someone asked, "So how many weddings has everyone been to this year?"

A young guy in front of us whose girlfriend was in the wedding confessed that this was his fourth.

A long haired theater kid said this was only his third, but that he was going to two more before the year would be over.

Behind us, a married friend of ours marveled that this was only their second of the year.

I looked and Gina and said, "Yeah, this is our first of the year."

A fashionable (gay) guy sitting next to us said, "My friends aren't really the marrying type."

Gina laughed and said, "Ours either." I added, "The two friends we have that ARE the marrying type have found each other, luckily."

The two friends are Lisa and Allyson. Our first gay wedding ever. I met Lisa about two years ago, and subsequently her girlfriend Allyson, and there never were two people more suited for each other. As a gay girl myself, I go back and forth about gay weddings. I feel like it would be hard for me to take it seriously if it were my own. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - gay marriage is weird. Not bad. Not destructive. Just different. Wonderful, amazing, beautiful, and a little weird. But this wedding was so perfect... And Colorado might be my new favorite place:

Allyson and mom:

Allyson and mom

Lisa and parents:

Lisa and parents 2


Life partners

Freezing out here...

How gina plays poker...

Unity bouquet:

Unity bouquet

First dance:

First dance

Fun around Colorado:

We love Colorado!

The Fox Theater in Boulder

The Hill - Univ of Colorado

Colorado sky 2

The Rockies:

First snowstorm hits Rockies.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Saturday was my 28th birthday. This is me after a dirty martini, a shot of tequila with Tonya from Real World: Chicago, and four Jack & Diet Cokes (with lots of cherries):

Thursday, August 31, 2006


"Everything is changing here. Every time I come back something is gone that made it not just every other place in the country."

-The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold

Thursday, August 24, 2006

File this under "I'm somehow not surprised."

I have this friend who I have been friends with for just about 10 years. I met her in college, and we've remained close. She moved to LA in 1998 - I moved here in 2000. I lived with her for a few weeks when I moved here, until I got on my feet. I think of her as one of my closest friends, certainly one of my closest friends in LA.

The thing about both of us living here is we never really see each other. She lived an hour north of LA for a while, and then she moved an hour and a half south of LA, so while she was still "close," it wasn't close enough for us to regularly see each other. Then some time last year, she moved to Hollywood, five minutes from where I was living. Still, we never found time for one another. We constantly played phone tag, constantly wanting to meet up, constantly finding other things to do.

Now, I love this girl to death, but she is flaky. I mean, I've become flaky in my old age, but she has always been flaky. It's become a lovable quirk about her, and she never means to be disrespectful or hurtful - she's just forgetful. In the 10 years I've known her, she will, without fail, call me the day after my birthday to wish me a Happy Birthday. She is convinced my birthday is on September 10th, not September 9th. However, throughout the past six years, no matter how flaky both of us have become, our friendship has continued to grow stronger, and I'm grateful for her.

In the same breath, I have to say I was not prepared to hear of her latest adventure. I got a phone call from a mutual friend last week, saying he ran into her at home (in Ohio). Turns out, she moved home. MOVED HOME. TO OHIO. And she never called me before she left. I last saw her in February, and I think I last spoke to her in May. I tried to call her several times between May and July and she never returned my call. Apparently, she packed her shit in a U-Haul, and took a six day trip across the country. She's now living with her parents and looking for a job. And she still. hasn't. called. me.

There's a very, very small part of me, I've realized, that's jealous of this. But it's the same part of me that wishes I were back in college, with all of my college friends - a wish that's normal, but that can never be realized. Just like for me, moving back to Ohio to live with my parents, that's me wishing for something that doesn't even exist anymore.

I'm going home this weekend, just for the weekend!, and I'm hoping to see her. But again... I technically still don't know that she's gone... and I know she doesn't read this... so.... well, that's my story.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Alright already.

I'm still alive. I am. See me waving to you?

In traditional Los Angeles Summer style, I've been busy, and that is really my only reason for abandoning this space for nearly three weeks.

I've been traveling for work, which is a huge deal to those who know where I'm at in my career. It's been a great opportunity, I'm loving every minute of it... but I'm essentially doing two jobs at once, and it's left me little to no brainpower at the end of each day to think about writing. Not complaining.

I have several stories to share, but I wanted to first just let you all know I'm here! Expect more soon.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Less sad!

For the first time, I've been tagged to do a "meme." By TWO WHOLE PEOPLE! Here goes.

5 Things in my fridge/freezer:
1. Rice Milk
2. Fake bacon
3. Turkey burgers
4. Trader Joe's Hefe Weizen
5. Rice pudding

5 Things in my closet:
1. A brand new shoe rack, which I will surely post pics of soon.
2. A trash bag full of mine and Gina's clothes that we don't wear.
3. Our laundry.
4. 2 pairs of matching birkenstocks
5. 2 pairs of almost matching Doc Marten Mary Janes

5 Things in my purse/bag:
1. Calendar
3. Wallet.
4. Mother Jones
5. Gum.

5 Things in my car:
1. About 7 empty water bottles.
2. Trash bag.
3. Armor All for windows and dashboard.
4. Tax files from last year (I know - terrible.)
5. A ton of freebees from Gay Pride this year. That was two months ago. Still haven't removed them from my trunk. NICE.

I'm not tagging anyone just yet...


Monday night, my sister Jessie called. Usually, I'm expecting a call from her, or I haven't heard from her in a week, so I know why she's calling. I had just talked to her on Sunday, so I was surprised she was calling.

"Hey!" I said.


"What's wrong?"

She sobbed. "The dog's in the emergency room."

Our dog, our sweet, sweet boy, Meeko, a ten and a half year old toy poodle. After two years of Jackie pretending she's a dog, or pretending the suitcase on the leash was a dog, my mom finally broke down and bought us a three pound, eight week old toy poodle puppy. This was in 1995, the Christmas of my senior year in high school. His first week home, he whimpered every night, and slept in between the stove and the wall on a pillow, because that was the warmest spot in the house. He loved going outside in the snow, he loved prancing around, he loved sleeping, he loved playing. We fell in love with him immediately.

I left home just four and a half years after he came into our lives, but I always called him My Dog. Of course I have a dog, he just lives in Ohio.

My mom told me last week that he wasn't doing well. He wasn't eating as much as he usually does, he was losing weight (he was only 13 pounds at his heaviest), and he was limping a lot. He also had little tumors all over his body. He wouldn't come up the stairs after going outside - he needed someone to carry him. He's been going in and out of being all shaky and limpy for the past few months, but he usually recovers and then he's his old self, barking at anything that moves, always wanting to play. While we were on the phone, I heard him bark.

"He's barking, he's fine!" I said.

"That's the first time he's barked really in two weeks," my mom said.

My mom and dad came home from dinner Monday night, and they found Meeko between the recliner and the wall (his favorite hiding spot), with blood all over his little snout. An abscess on his leg had busted open, and he was nursing his wound. After a lot of careful coaxing (he'll snap at you if you try to pick him up when he doesn't want to be picked up), they got him onto a sheet and into a basket and drove him to the emergency room. He cried the whole way there.

My mom called me. "He's dying, Katie. He lost a lot of blood, and they think he has cancer all throughout his body."

I couldn't really process it. I felt more grief for my sisters than for myself, especially Jessie, who he slept with every night. I couldn't really wrap my head around it. I gave my whole speech to Jessie - when they stop eating and playing, they're not dogs anymore, and if they're ready to go, we can't just keep him around because we'll miss him. If he's miserable, we have to let him go. That seemed to calm her down a little bit. She agreed she didn't want him to hurt anymore, and she told my mom to do whatever's best.

The decision didn't need to be made. He died on his own, an hour and a half after they got him to the emergency room. My dad was with him when he went - my mom couldn't bear to be there.

From 2400 miles away, it's hard to understand how to grieve this. I'm not there to come home to him not being there, dancing around, ready to go outside. But something in my heart is missing. When I have woken up the past two days, he's the first thought in my mind, and I get sick to my stomach. I asked Gina this morning, "When am I going to stop waking up and missing my dog?" She said, "That'll never go away."

He was a good dog. He wasn't well trained, but he was so sweet. He'd bolt if you opened the door, and he'd be a little bitch about coming back home, but he sure knew how to cuddle when you needed it. He was really good at Hide-and-Go-Seek - he totally understood the game. I mean, he never would hide, but he understood that he had to run away to let YOU hide, and then he'd have to find you. He could leap like a little deer. He barked at EVERYTHING, and he snapped at little kids, but he was super-protective of all of us. My mom and I would fake-fight with each other, with her tickling me and poking me, and me basically trying to fend her off, and Meeko would start barking, trying to protect me. When Jessie and Jackie were littler, he could hear their school bus coming to drop them off well before anyone else could hear it. And if you said to him, "Where's the bus? Where are the kids?", he'd go NUTS. He hated the rain, loved the snow, hated Milkbones, hated brand new toys (he would bark at them as though they were enemies, and then he would rip out the squeaker and claim victory over them), he loved peanut butter, he loved spaghetti, hated car rides, loved licking people. I miss him, but I'm so grateful for the time he spent with us.

This is the only photo I have of him with me... I'll post more this weekend.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Weekend Words Challenge

Okay, so I'm a little late, and I'm cheating because I only have one half of the assignment complete.

Lately, Los Angeles has been experiencing suffocating weather. It's been hot and humid for over a week, and we're ready for it to be over. We're used to a dry 75 degrees, maybe 80, every day. It's been in the 90s and 100s, with 70 to 90 percent humidity. However, with this weird heat wave is a low pressure system, which has been giving us clouds. We rarely have clouds in LA. It's nice to see them. So, the low pressure system is the Giver, but I don't have a picture of it. Here are the gifts:

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Stuff Portrait Fridays! as encouraged by Kristine Stone:

1. Stuff Unnoticed

As hard as it might be to believe, some people don't notice that I have my tongue pierced.

(Composition is hard when you're doing a self-portrait!!)

2. Your Wish

Is there anything else to say?

3. Stuff Under Your Sink

The magical place beneath our kitchen sink isn't really that exciting, but here it is:

What is pretty exciting is our Shoe Pit, which is all of our shoes in the only place they'll fit: the floor of our closet. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what Gina and I have to dig through every single day to find the shoes we want to wear. Good (or bad) for us, we each alternate between only 2 pairs of shoes.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Weekend Words Challenge


7/18/06: This is taken from an airplane over Los Angeles ("city of dreams") at sunrise.


7/18/06: This is my friend Lindsay, who is a trainer and dabbles in just about every sport imaginable. She was kind enough to pose for this pic for me.

Monday, July 10, 2006

San Diego

Gina and I had a fantastic weekend in San Diego. We saw the Indigo Girls here...


...and saw sunsets like this:

Sunset over the marina.

This is where we spent most of our day on Saturday, having drinks and food brought directly to us...

Humphreys pool.

...and THIS is what happens to my face when I'm in the sun for a whole weekend:


And for the first time in a long time, we got to just be with each other, without anyone else:


It was a good thing.

Weekend Words Challenge

I found another game. It's called the Weekend Words Challenge. It's at The Odd Mix. Every week he gives two words, and he wants you to post pictures illustrating those words. This week's words were Entice and Fulfill.



Happy Monday.

Friday, July 07, 2006


I recently found out about Kristine Stone's website where, every week, she gives you three prompts and encourages you to take/post pictures inspired by the three prompts. This seemed nothing short of amazing to me, so I'm doing it! Hopefully every week. The game is called Stuff Portrait Friday. And guess what? It's Friday! And I have pictures of stuff!

She's getting married this weekend, so there's a bit of a wedding theme...

"Your Love"

Most of you know, that's Gina. Most of you also know that we don't have a kid (yet), and that sunshine you see pouring out of her face is there because she's holding her very first nephew, Giovanni. Imagine what her face will look like when she's holding her first child.

"Honeymoon" (Take us somewhere with your photo.)

This was taken way back in Katie-is-crazy-and-doesn't-own-a-digital-camera! phase of my life. This is in Hawaii, on Maui, near the Sheraton Maui. I was there NOT on vacation but for work. I only spent three days there, and two of those days were travel days, and it rained the last day, but Hawaii is still the best place I've ever visited.

"Something Blue"

I kinda like this picture. Can you guess what it is?

And that's it! The very first Stuff Portrait Friday on It's Katie, everybody!

Have a great weekend. We're off to see the Indigo Girls in San Diego tonight.

Friday, June 30, 2006

All night in Vegas, Recovery, small town Los Angeles, life as an older sister, and independence.

What a week it's been. I debated in providing several entries for you to peruse, but instead I'm lumping everything into what promises to be a huge entry. I'll try to break everything up for easy reading.

All night in Vegas
I go to Vegas about twice a year. Every time I go, I tend to have more fun than the time prior. This past weekend in Vegas was no different.

We stayed at the Imperial Palace, which is sort of a pit, but it's our favorite casino. Well, it WAS our favorite casino, until they went all Disney Vegas on us and started offering only $15 Black Jack tables on Friday and Saturday nights. Still, the Dealertainer pit is nothing to shake a stick at, and we were grateful for the few times we were to sit and bask in the knowledge of Dolly Parton, and also receive terrible cards from one of the stupid Blues Brothers. However, most of our time was spent DOWNTOWN.

Downtown Vegas is old school Vegas. It's the Vegas you see in movies. It's incredibly tacky and fun and outta control. We hung out at Binion's Horseshoe, where we played $5 Black Jack all night long, and where I won $70 and drank and drank and drank. We hit Fitzgerald's, where I lost $40 of that $70 (BOO!), and then we decided it was time to go home. We left the casino and something seemed really weird. I looked around, totally buzzed, wondering what it was. And then I realized...

The sun was up.

It wasn't sunrise. The sun was full on UP. It was day. It was 6:15 in the morning, and it was day. And we hadn't slept.

The rest of the weekend pretty much followed suit, no pun intended. There was heavy drinking (mainly Miller Lite and Bloody Marys, with a few dirty martinis here and there) and lots of card playing. I ended up losing, but everyone that I rode with on the way there and back won. That was fun for me. However, after my requisite 30 minutes of mourning the loss of my money, I remembered how much fun I had and all was well. (I think it's totally fair to have 30 minutes of a hint of crabbiness after you just lost money and everyone you're with won money. Crabbiness for me = not talking.)

I laughed last weekend more than I've laughed in a long time, and it was awesome. I am so grateful for my beautiful girlfriend and my amazing group of friends.

This section is labeled recovery for two reasons. One, my laptop is back and better than ever, whooo! I cleaned her up when I got her back on Monday, deleting about 1000 pics and freeing up tons of hard drive. So now she runs more quickly and hasn't given me any trouble. Yay!

Two, we needed some recovery from Vegas and haven't had it. Monday we went to play Poker (goodbye another fifteen dollars!!). Tuesday we went to see Sara Bareilles at the Hotel Cafe. Wednesday I went to Happy Hour. Last night, I got a pedicure, Gina went to Target, and I packed for this upcoming weekend (will discuss in a bit), and we watched Six Feet Under and crashed. This morning: more packing, making sure everything is thrown away, everything's turned off, etc. Exhausted. Can't wait to leave.

Small town Los Angeles
After picking up my laptop on Monday afternoon, I went to Target to buy a case for her as I promised myself I would. I was shopping around, as I can never NOT look at every section in Target. It was hot and muggy here on Monday, and Angelinos deal with mugginess as well as they deal with rain. People are crabby and confused. What is this "moisture" in the air? I finally decided to leave Target and who do I run into, but Gina, in line, her arms full of stuff. Immediately, I realize it's stuff I'm not supposed to see.

I say in my sarcastic manner, "Well, well, well..."

Turns out, she was doing some EARLY birthday shopping for me. Since she works in Pasadena and I work in North Hollywood, why on earth would we run into each other at the Target in West Hollywood?? Well, we did, and so a big birthday surprise has been ruined. But, to keep the surprise from being totally out there, I'm not telling you what it is she bought me... you'll have to wait until my birthday. SUCKAS!

Life as an Older Sister
I've talked on here before about my little sisters and how much they mean to me, and how I feel like they're my own kids as opposed to my sisters, because they're so much younger than me and I spent so much time as a kid babysitting them. Because I think of them as my own, I worry about them. All. The. Time. I think about those two girls more than I think about anything else. I miss them, I'm scared for them, and I WORRY. Are they safe? Are they being looked after (even though they're 17 and almost 20 - Happy Birthday on Sunday, Jess!)? Are they making the right decisions?

Jackie, the 17 year old, called me this morning and I could tell something was wrong. She was sniffly and deep-voiced, as though she just woke up or she was sick or she was crying. Unfortunately, she was crying, and after three times of telling her to slow down and explain what was wrong, she told me she was on her way to calling hours for a friend that OD'd. Eighteen years old, and this girl OD'd on heroin, coke, and Xanax. EIGHTEEN. I'm speechless. I'm freaked out. And I hate that my baby sister has to go to a funeral of a friend, not to mention the fact that Jackie is even friends with someone who would OD...

On to something happier...

Happy Independence day everybody! I'm going to Catalina this weekend until Tuesday. Have a safe, happy 4th of July, and among the beer and fireworks, take a minute to remember that despite its shortcomings, this IS a great country, and we are lucky to be here.

Much love to everyone.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Things I have learned in the past week that I should have already known, like, six years ago.

1. CD-RWs do not play in every CD player. As a matter of fact, they seem to refuse to play in ANY CD player. Buy CD-Rs for burning music, and use CD-RWs for saving documents.

2. Saving documents - since the floppy was rendered virtually obsolete, especially for us Mac kids, little do I think of actually "backing up" things. From now on, back up at LEAST once a month, if not twice, or every time I make any changes anywhere. Buy that circle CD case you've been wanting for the past two years and use it for all of your computer files and pictures.

3. Organization - don't worry if you don't have the most practical system of organizing your photos. Don't wait until inspiration strikes you with the most perfect organization system ever. BACK YOUR SH*T UP.

4. Print - Print more photos. Buy a scanner, and scan in old photos like you've been meaning to, and BACK THEM UP.

5. RAM - RAM is like short term memory. The more you have of it, the less you need to rely on long term memory to do different things at once. Buy more RAM.

6. Invincibility - Just because someone ran over their powerbook and it still didn't break, that doesn't mean that the computer is totally invincible. Buy a laptop carrying case, and quit carting her around in the back seat of your car.

And finally, something that hasn't changed: Macs rule. People have asked me several times if this incident with my laptop is the end of my love affair with Apple. "You've only had that thing two years and it's broken? Why not switch to a PC?" This is the first time I've ever heard of a Mac busting up this early. And to be clear, I've had her for over 2.5 years, and she's not given me one iota of trouble until now. My mom has had to purchase a new PC desktop every 3 years, and when she does try to get them repaired, the repairs last maybe 3 months before they start SUCKING ASS again. Furthermore, why buy a PC when the newest Macs run Windows as well as OS X point whatever, AND they can run both simultaneously?!

If anything, this experience has made me love my Mac even more. I checked my status online today - the computer is already on its way back to the Apple Store at the Grove. How's THAT for customer service?

I can't wait till she's home.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Today's edition of Laptop in a Coma (I know, I know, it's serious...)

What was really cool about yesterday was that gina and I got $400 for our housesitting gig last week. What was not really cool was what followed the receipt of the $400 check.

We dashed to the the Apple store at The Grove to make my 6:45 Genius Bar appointment. Somewhere, in the deepest part of my heart, I hoped beyond hope that they would have some magic wand to wave over my little laptop to fix it, or that there was some magic key combo that they could push to bring my iBook back to life.

Needless to say, no such luck.

They took it from me and prepped me to pay nearly $400 for repair and data retrieval. (Da da da dun da daaaa, CHARGE!!) Of course, he asked, "Did you back up?" And of course I said, "Uh... no..." I just backed up some pictures this past weekend through mid 2005, so I basically have a year's worth of pictures on the computer that may or may not be lost. He made sure to tell me that there's no guarantee they'll even be able to retrieve all of my files. So pictures, music, and all of my writing... which granted, isn't a lot, but it's enough to feel sick in the stomach to say goodbye to it.

So there's that...

And then this morning, gina and I went running, which was great. We came home, she showered and left, and then I showered and got ready to leave. And I could NOT FIND MY ATM CARD ANYWHERE. Our apartment is so small... and I couldn't find it anywhere. I finally gave up at 9am so that I could get to my car before I was slapped with another $30 parking ticket (it's one hour parking starting at 8am). I forgot where I parked my car and finally remembered, only to stumble upon it and find... A PARKING TICKET ON MY CAR. But not for $30... for $45! Street cleaning! I am so incredibly careful about parking tickets, and I treat them as though they affect my insurance - getting one is like getting a speeding ticket to me. I treat them like that so that I never get them. Well, last night, neither gina or I thought to check the signs in our neighborhood, which was obviously a mistake.

So of course, I started crying. For no reason other than frustration. I texted gina about my ATM card (do you remember where I set it down?). I got on the freeway and guess what? Traffic. Stopped.

Gina texted a few minutes later - SHIT! I have your ATM card. I'm so sorry! I accidentally picked it up.

Good thing I have $2.00 for Coffee Time!!

Traffic was stopped because of a horrible accident where the car was totally flipped on its side. And then of course, I had an annoyingly humble moment where I realized I didn't have it that bad.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


My laptop is in a coma right now. Seriously. Won't turn on.

I'm sad.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What's a meme?

And how the hell do I tag someone else?

I know – I'm lucky.
I believe – perspective is the key to happiness.
I fought – with my sisters a lot growing up.
I am angered – by ignorance and mean people.
I love – my girlfriend, my friends, and my family.
I need – my confidence to continue to grow.
I take – figurative things literally sometimes. It's a bad habit.
I hear – women reach their sexual peak at 32.
I drink – water, coffee, beer, dirty martinis.
I hate – mustard, and the word "hate" when referencing people.
I use – baby lotion on my hands and feet before I go to bed.
I want – children.
I decided – to try to put nothing into the world but love and see what happens.
I like – laying in a comfortable bed, watching Six Feet Under on a flat screen TV with my beautiful girlfriend.
I feel - caffeinated.
I wear – flip flops from March to November.
I left – my mom in charge of my sisters.
I do – everything in my power to avoid confrontation or conflict.
I hope – some day I make enough money to buy a house.
I dream – of gina and I having kids, a dog, and a back yard.
I drive – 12 miles to work every day.
I listen – to KCRW and KROQ in the morning, and Jack FM in the afternoon.
I type – so quickly people think I'm faking it.
I think – way too much about things that aren't important.
I need – to listen more.
I wish – gina and I lived in a bigger apartment.
I am – grateful. Every day.
I compensate – my savings account when I take money from it to do something fun. Well, I try to compensate it.
I regret – nothing.
I care – about bettering myself.
I should – exercise more and write more.
I am not always – in a good mood.
I wonder – if I'll ever accomplish half of what I wish for.
I changed – a lot from ages 22 to 26.
I cry – when I get angry.
I am not – organized.
I leave – my cell phone in my apartment a lot, and then I have to climb back up two flights of stairs to retrieve it before going to work.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


We went to Gay Pride this weekend. I have yet to go through the pictures, but I have to tell you about the most exciting thing that happened on Saturday.

When we got there, we were, as usual, welcomed with open arms full of free stuff. Bags, frisbees, stickers, temporary tattoos, free samples, flyers, CDs, contest entry forms. I grabbed a Pride Guide and looked to see who was performing on the stage. They usually have one big name act and a lot of smaller ones. I let out a loud gasp when I saw who was headlining that night.

The Bangles.

The Bangles weren't going on until 10, and we arrived at 2pm. We knew it was going to take an extreme amount of endurance to drink all day and still manage to be awake enough to see the show. We paced ourselves, and despite every instinct to go home, we stayed for the show.

Best. Choice. Ever.

I hadn't really given the Bangles a thought in a few years. More specifically, I hadn't thought about them much since I came out. But as soon as they started singing, the image of Susanna Hoffs from the Walk Like An Egyptian video came to my mind and didn't leave. And I realized, even though I was by no means an MTV kid (MTV was not permitted in my house), and I probably only saw the Walk Like An Egyptian video a handful of times, that image has remained burned in my memory for twenty years.

My cousin Mark was very vocal about the crush he had on Susanna Hoffs, and I remember being very jealous that he was allowed to have a crush on her and I wasn't. And every time I heard that song as a kid, as well as Eternal Flame, I thought of Susanna in that video, just that one part, after she sings her verse, and the camera is on a medium close up of her face, and she's quietly singing, and her eyes are shifting from left to right.

Sigh. I tried to find a screencap of it, but could only find a thumbnail, which didn't seem to that shot justice. Instead, I'll leave you with this shot:

Monday, June 12, 2006

Cut the shit, Britney! and other Ack! files

Britney Spears will be appearing on the Today show on Thursday. Seems Brit forgot that she's fired any stylist that ever worked for her, because she looks terrible. I know she's pregnant... but I think pregnant women are HOT. Britney? Not hot right now. She needs to tone down the bad makeup and put some more clothes on. It makes me sad. Britney, come back to us! Dump the loser and come back!

In other news, and this is my only note from the Ack! files, I read on my favorite news source, Huffington Post that Tom Cruise wants to convert Angelina to Scientology. Have you ever heard me say that Angelina can do no wrong? Well, I lied. Scientology would make me lose all respect for her. It's a fool's religion, created by some science fiction writer to make MONEY. He knew that was the best way to make MONEY - create a religion. This would be okay by me if the religion made any sense at all. Perhaps I need to be some high level operating thetan to understand why I should believe some guy who, 40 years ago, proclaimed that we're all descended from alien pods or some similar bullshit. Perhaps I need to pay hundreds of dollars to be audited to different levels so I can understand why Scientology thinks homosexuality can be, or more importantly NEEDS to be, cured. Also, maybe Jenna Elfman can teach me, for a discounted fee, why she thinks AIDS is a STATE OF MIND and not a disease that deserves funding, and then how she can, in good conscience, seven years later, attend an AIDS benefit hosted by Elton John. And finally, how do you make me believe that psychiatry is not a science? Who are you to tell me that? Who are you to tell the whole world that? It's poisonous, and it's not helping anyone. The Scientologists are minimizing many people's problems, including people that are very close to me. Who knows? Maybe we are over-medicated as a country. But there are some people that need medication that science has to offer, and they should not be made to feel like their suffering is invalid, or can be cured by clearing their mind (and their wallets).

I'm a fairly accepting person when it comes to religion, as I think that every religion requires a leap of faith, and I respect that and appreciate that. But this... this religion is ridiculous and foolish. I'm sure there are good things about it, but it seems like those good things are only yours if you promise to keep paying the church and keep learning, and some of the teachings do, in fact, include something about aliens and 75 million years ago, and Xenu and pods and a volcano.

So Angie, please... no Scientology.

(The comfort: HuffPo's link about this story was to the National Enquirer, and it's one of her tongue-in-cheek blurbs that she often throws on her website - stories that are sort of non-news but make you shake your head and roll your eyes.)

Friday, June 09, 2006

On Angelina...

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt gave birth recently to a little girl named Shiloh. Yeah, I think a couple of small papers picked up this story.

I have a special place in my heart for Angelina Jolie. No, it’s not because she’s hot and I like women… although, that helped at first. Rather, she’s always been crazy and honest and never uninteresting, which you can’t say for many other celebrities. To boot, she’s a good actress. Sure she makes some bad decisions about which roles to play, but she’s a kick-ass actress.

I’ve been a fan of her since ’99, and she’s never disappointed me. People can say anything they want to about her: “Ew! She wore blood in a vial!” or “Ew! She made out with her brother!” or “Ew! She married Billy Bob Thornton!” or “Ew! She broke up Brad and Jen’s marriage!” Of course, people overreact to these things. So, she wore blood in a vial? Who cares? People walk around wearing their own NAME on RICE in a vial around their neck and no one says anything! And folks, she did not “make out” with her brother. Making out means there is tongue, physical groping, and sexy love. There was none of that. Get over it. And Billy Bob? Who cares! They loved each other. He turned out to be a dick anyway. And Brad and Jen? Don’t even get me started. Jen Aniston’s doing fine on her own. She can take a bath in her money if she’s upset (I’m a huge fan of Jennifer and prefer not to victimize her at all – I love her). Divorce SUCKS for everyone, but it’s a popular fact of life.

Anyway, now that Angelina is on every magazine cover imaginable, I feel like I should write something about her. Let’s face it, kids. This woman is an incredible woman. She adopted two children from different countries, which is more than a lot of upper class American folks are willing to do. She has given birth to her own baby now, who has Angie’s lips and Brad’s eyes (cutie!). She’s the goodwill ambassador for the UN. She cares about people less fortunate than herself and shows the world that, not by going to some charity event in Los Angeles, but by actually getting in the trenches with these people and trying to help.

As my friend Christian says, saying you like Angelina Jolie is like saying you like money. This statement was born out of frustration with the lesbian world’s obsession with her. But what better actress for young women to obsess over?

Regarding the hullabaloo about the birth of lil’ Shiloh, my friend Kim said, “It’s like no one has ever had a baby before!” It’s true, people are going ballistic over this kid. But I have to say, the fact is that we see Brad Pitt and Angelina all over the newspapers, magazines, websites, etc. And when my friends give birth to babies, I am all about it. I bring my camera every time I visit and take tons of pictures. I show off the pictures like they’re the most important kid pictures in the land. To my friends that are moms, the birth of their children is more important than any other birth, and the people in their family make them feel that way (ideally). Because Brad and Angie are so visible, people want to see pictures of their baby, because babies are a big deal! It’s just magnified because instead of 30 relatives wanting a peek of a baby, Brad and Angelina have a whole world wanting a peek of theirs. And to my friends that are moms, don’t you think your own beautiful children deserve to be seen by the whole world, even if they never get the chance?

More on Kim… I was there for the birth of her first (and only, to date) child, and let me tell you, on that day, it WAS like no one had ever given birth before. Nothing else mattered but the fact that I just witnessed my friend bring forth a life. I talked about it as though tens of thousands of other mothers didn’t go through the same thing that very day. I’ve told Kim before and I’ll say it again, that day was the most exhilarating, amazing day of my life, and I imagine the only thing that will top it will be the birth of my own child.

I say, way to go, Angie and Brad, for bringing eight more pounds of cute goodness into the world! Because your baby is the most anticipated birth since Jesus, several charities in Africa will split an untold sum that has been rumored to be as much as seven million dollars. Killer! Sure, Angelina hasn’t saved the world, but I’m glad she’s making an effort.

Now, if we could only get as many people to pay this much attention to the Bush administration’s endless mistakes…

Monday, June 05, 2006

Ladies and gentlemen... SUMMER!

While I was comfortably sitting at my desk last week at work in the cool 68 degree office, summer barreled through Los Angeles with no warning, leaving people stunned in its wake.

Sure, it felt about 80 degrees at 10am when we would walk to get coffee. Sure, the apartment seemed a little warm when I would get home at night. But I'm here to tell you I had no idea how serious summer was being this time around. Summer was not kidding around this weekend.

I've been pleading for summer to join us. I'm ready for everything that comes with summer - barbecues with friends, beach volleyball, drinking beer in the afternoon on weekends, swimming in the freezing Pacific Ocean, 4th of July weekend in Catalina. Usually, summer in LA is full of 80 degree days, cloudless skies, a cool breeze, and a sort of disgusting haze (smog) hanging over the skyline. Obviously, you have to take the good with the bad.

This weekend was different. Yes, there were the cloudless skies. But my God, was it HOT. The forecast called for 87 degrees both Saturday and Sunday. When the forecast calls for 87, it's saying it will be 87 in downtown Los Angeles. See this map of LA:

See where it says "LOS ANGELES"? That's right around where we live. Do you see where it says "NORTH HOLLYWOOD"? That's where I work. That's in The Valley, also known as The San Fernando Valley, also known as The Fuckin' Valley, and its gang name, The SFV.

Why am I illustrating the geography of LA? Well, when the forecast calls for 87 degrees in downtown LA, you can bet your sweet bippy it'll be near 100 degrees in The Valley. And the deeper you go into The Valley, the hotter it gets. This is why I don't want to move to The Valley.

Conversely, when the forecast calls for 87 degrees in downtown LA, it'll be no hotter than 80 at the beach (usually closer to 78), in places like Santa Monica, Venice, and the like. And there is always a nice ocean breeze the closer you get to the water. This is why I want to move closer to the beach.

Because as middle of the road downtown LA is temperature-wise, nothing provided relief this weekend.

We spent Saturday morning in Santa Monica with Elizabeth, making buckeyes, which are an Ohio cookie of chocolate and peanut butter. Santa Moinca was beautiful, breezy and warm. And in a moment of sheer beauty, Gina uttered words I will never let her live down. As she could smell the ocean, feel the cool air, and walk on the streets without stepping over trash, she said, "I... I'd kind of like to live down here." (Up until that point, she'd expressed no interest in moving out of Hollywood. And while I love Hollywood, I'm ready to go west, young man.)

All was fine and dandy, we were welcoming summer with open arms. Then... we got home. Our apartment, normally a perfect mix of bright and breezy, had turned into a 350 square foot high pressure system, making it feel quite like the feeling you get when you open an oven to check on a casserole.

Now, I grew up in a house with central air, where during the summer, it was not uncommon to come visit my house and see my whole family in sweatshirts and three pairs of socks. Everyone except my mother, of course, who insisted on keeping the house at near-freezing. Despite my complaints about how cold it was inside, I became very spoiled, and enjoyed the sticky Ohio summers only because I knew I could easily get out of the heat. When I have no escape from the heat, I become cranky.

We had two fans running, including a ceiling fan, and opened all the windows. The usual breeze that inhabits our apartment had gone elsewhere, and left us gasping for air. After about an hour and a half of bitching, I decided on a whim to turn on the wall unit air conditioner. The heating function of this never worked well in the winter, so I imagined the cool air function wouldn't work well either... not well enough to keep it on while it emits harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. I was right... it cooled only the spot directly in front of the unit.

We decided we needed to get out of the house for a while, so we went and ran some errands. Despite my instinct to turn everything off before leaving... despite my instinct to run the air conditioner as little as possible... we left the wall unit on while we were away, hoping beyond hope it might help. And sure enough, when we got back, the apartment was like heaven again. I attributed it mostly to the sun going down, but the next day, before we left for the farmer's market, I turned on the AC. We were gone for about three hours, and when we got back, it was downright cold in our apartment.

Of course, it was only cold in the living area... the kitchen was hot as hell. And wouldn't you know it, I decided to bake cupcakes in celebration of Gina's 30th birthday! today!! So... that didn't help. But Gina got to eat her share of cake batter, got to take cupcakes to work today, and we found out the trick to enjoying our summer.

All is well.

Saturday, May 27, 2006