Sunday, March 26, 2006

Every day is a winding road...

Yes Rock, you're going to have to hear about my Bruins for another WHOLE WEEK. You poor thing, you.


But lest I lose you again with all the basketball talk, I decided to share a few things that also touch my heart.

Did you know it's Mother's Day in the UK today? So to the woman I must worship for the man her son became...

Happy Mum's Day M-I-L!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(May you get to spoil all your grandchildren and hand them off to their parents when they get cranky...what more could you want?)

Next, as I was reading other blogs today, purely by chance, I happened to look back and see when I first started this blog. And guess what? It was exactly six months ago this very day.

So I decided to share the things that have happened and affected me most in that time (in no particular order)...

1. Because I put myself out there to someone who I thought needed it, two people I've introduced are now in love. Lissa and know my heart is with both of you today.

2. I finally went back to work after almost six months on Disability from a big fat physical breakdown due to the stress of my previous job. Amazingly, and with everyone's help and caring, I'm doing all right. OK, I cried when I got home on Thursday night, but I blame that on my sore foot and PMS. I'm allowed.

3. I got pregnant in January, which is a good thing, but then I miscarried (AGAIN), which wasn't. All of your kind words and true thoughtfulness were a lifeline to me. I'm hoping you'll still be around when we figure out what to do next.

4. I made friends, which means the world to me. Even just today, of all crazy things, I received an email from Miranda, whom I found from her "Person of the Week" status at Melanhead's, and who turned out TO HAVE KNOWN MY DAD. How "it's a small world after all" is THAT?!

And Teebs and I are going to meet up when she's in San Diego on business next month! I'm so excited!

I love that this little project of mine to have something to do while I sat around on my butt all's turned into so much more. (And I have my ex-employees to thank for getting me started to begin with. You guys know me all too well.)

Here's to the excitement of the next six months...I can only imagine what awaits.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The screaming...oh, the screaming

Before I get to John's tag response (I feel so special to have been tagged by a Bloggie-nominated writer, no less!), I have to say...

YEAH BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, any Bruin worth her salt knows exactly what I'm talking about, but let me explain.

First, WE WON TONIGHT, meaning we advance to the Elite Eight.

That should sound exciting in itself, but (and I know I'm losing some of you here, but humor my enthusiasm at least), at one point this evening we were down by ALMOST 20 POINTS. Or something close to that. As a matter of fact, is was SOOO bad, that I started reading a magazine.

The words, "You know, there's something to be said for losing by so much. At least I'm not nervous about the outcome" ACTUALLY CAME FROM THESE TRUE BLUE LIPS.


For my gutty little Bruins came ALL THE WAY BACK AND WON IN THE LAST FEW SECONDS. (Shades of Tyus Edney's last second shot in '95 I tell ya'...DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT? No? Oh well...then watch this and tell me YOU wouldn't have been excited!)

My throat is raw from the screaming. My sore foot that I've been hobbling on all day from a crazy injury earlier in the week...I JUMPED UP AND DOWN ON IT.

It ain't called March Madness for nuthin'!

The price you pay for supporting your team.

(I must also now mention, in a highly jarring segue that there is various reproductive-type news on the horizon as well (don't get your hopes up there...we just saw the high risk guy is all) and when I'm ready to talk about it at length...and I do mean length...I'll devote a future blog to our decisions on that topic as well. Frankly, we haven't even made our final decisions, so that's the main reason for the hold up.)

Now back to your regularly scheduled meme...

Black and White or Color; how do you prefer your movies?

Depends on the movie. I mean really, can you imagine "Casablanca" in color?

And "Good Night and Good Luck" is an excellent example how a modern film can still employ the effects only black and white can produce.

Criminy, I sound like some kind of film school snob.

(A post script...I just went back and read John's comments and two other people mentioned the same examples...I SWEAR I didn't know that!)

What is the one single subject that bores you to near-death?

Anything dry, numbers-driven and monotonous. Like Accounting. Or Statistics.

Thus my perfect fit of a job in Banking.

MP3s, CDs, Tapes or Records: what is your favorite medium for prerecorded music?

I can't tell you how much I cherish my old LP's, but I have nothing to play them on. I love the feeling of holding a big honkin' album in my hand...studying the artwork, reading the lyrics. It reminds me so much of the hours spent as a kid...lying on the carpet next to the stereo console...singing along and getting lost in the music.

But for the grown up me...I guess CDs. They work in my car. (Can you tell what a sophisticated audiophile I am?)

You are handed one first class trip plane ticket to anywhere in the world and ten million dollars cash. All of this is yours provided that you leave and not tell anyone where you are going. Ever. This includes family, friends, everyone. Would you take the money and ticket and run?

Nope. If I can't take my husband, I'm not going anywhere.

But if they gave me TWO...that would be pretty tempting.

Seriously, what do you consider the world's most pressing issue now?

It's a toss up between poverty (and all that encompasses) and war. I think that given our resources, there's no excuse for either.

Oh crap. Then there's AIDS. And discrimination. And the imminent fight to keep Roe v. Wade legal.

I'm depressed now.

How would you rectify the world's most pressing issue?

I am quite honestly the least politically savvy person you'll meet, so I'm afraid of coming off like an idiot. But I know enough to vote. And to express my opinion about what really matters to me.

You are given the chance to go back and change one thing in your life; what would that be?

This is SO easy. I was just telling Mr. Blogger about this last night!

I would love nothing more than to go back to my 5'3 135lb self in 10th grade and say, YOU'RE FINE. DON'T START THAT FIRST DIET.

Because I thought I was such a monstrously fat, disgusting piece of crap, I ended up with a lifetime of eating disorders and a seriously fucked up metabolism. Had I just stayed the PERFECTLY CUTE person I was, I'd be in such a better place physically AND mentally.

I kick myself for it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

You are given the chance to go back and change one event in world history, what would that be?

Make Mrs. Hitler have an abortion.

A night at the opera or a night at the Grand Ole' Opry? Which do you choose?

Are you kidding me? I have a best friend who is a bona fide world-renowned opera star and I hate country music. No contest.

What is the one great unsolved crime of all time you'd like to solve?

Who killed Jon-Benet? It hurts me too much to think it was her parents. But if it talks like a duck and walks like a duck...

One famous author can come to dinner with you. Who would that be, and what would you serve for the meal?

I just saw a biography on F. Scott Fitzgerald and it made me want to be Zelda. Yeah, I know. Besides all the madness and infidelity and stuff. I still love him as a writer.

Plus, you'd only have to serve them alcohol. No food required.

You discover that John Lennon was right, that there is no hell below us, and above us there is only sky. What's the first immoral thing you might do to celebrate this fact?

Well I'm sure my husband would love me to say have sex in public.

Monday, March 20, 2006

So a dictator walks into a bar...

Not a soul at work knows of my blog, nor do I intend to share it. I like it that way and I think it makes sense to avoid Doocification. I'm fairly sure I'm safe when it comes to relaying a few things to you.

But worry not. I'm not stupid...there's only so much I can mention before the self-censor comes into play.

So considering I've only been there just short of two months, and there are quite a few employees in our branch, I'm still getting to know everyone. You see, my branch was once a "one branch bank" before it was bought out by the bank I currently work for, so it's a pretty huge area. Especially when you compare it to my former in-store branch that was so tiny, we quite literally bumped into each other.

The people on "the other side of the branch" tend to be older, and male. Most of us in Operations are younger and female. Guess who makes the most money?

But that's not my point today.

We recently hired a new temp teller since the previous one (an itty-bitty gal with a humongous fake rack that threatened to tip her over at every turn) had to leave. Imagine our surprise when the man who showed up to replace her was a good ten years older than the average age of the rest of my tellers, MALE and with a thick accent. He was also wearing a suit and throughout the day, as he observed the tellers, he was consistently mistaken for the manager, or better yet, an auditor.

It turned out that he is Iraqi. I noticed that a lot of people were initially ill-at-ease with him, but I think it was mostly due to his being a bit hard to understand. I inquired about his background, which turned out to be fascinating, and he has since learned to open up with the others.

He made small talk with the men about sports in the lunchroom (which I of course had to butt into since my Bruins are on a roll in the NCAA tourney...yeah baby!), he brought in homemade baklava that his newlywed wife had prepared, and he quickly learned to keep it VERY breezy with the resident Moody Girl. It amazes me to see how well he's done with the varied personalities in our group.

I think that's how he's managed his whole life though.

So today, I overheard him ask my assistant, "Do you want to hear a joke? It's about Saddam Hussein."

My ears immediately perked up to find out what he'd say.

My assistant, an sweet woman who also immigrated from another country, innocently asked, "You mean your president?"

I cringed. And I knew what he'd say.

"No", he calmly replied, "My president is George Bush."

He wasn't mad. Just matter of fact. And frankly, I never thought I'd hear someone say that with so much pride. But to hear what he's been through to finally reside in a country he now calls "his"...well, it's inspiring.

The joke wasn't that funny, and needless to say it made Hussein out to be an idiot. But I laughed because he got such a kick out of it; I don't think I've ever heard him laugh so hard!

Can you imagine the joy he gets...JUST FROM BEING ABLE TO TELL THE JOKE AT ALL?

I can. Because it was written all over his face.

Life is good my friends. Life is good.

Monday, March 13, 2006

I suck

Honestly, there was no better title of this post.

I am feeling really down on my blogging lately. It's all I can do to get through the day and find the effort to eat, crash and watch American Idol. Oh, and spend some time with my husband. The poor guy never sees me conscious.

Weren't we supposed to be making babies or something?

I had no idea that going back to work would suck the ever-living life out of me. (Ever-living "LIFE"? What the hell kind of mixed metaphor is that? See...I'm slipping.)

You guys all manage to do this, and do it WELL, on a regular basis. So what's my problem?

It's not as though I don't have things to share. I do. I can't tell you how often something happens and I think about how "in the old days I would have blogged about this".

Such as the fact the UCLA is ranked #2 in our bracket for March Madness. GO BRUINS! I am so excited, I can't stand it. (M-I-L: March Madness is the basketball season doesn't begin 'til the Fall, er, Autumn.)

Or I could have told you I managed to talk a good guy friend of mine out of marrying a woman from another country, purely for her to have a visa. I talked to the guy for HOURS on Sunday, and well, she may come to hate me, but I'm not letting a good man go that route.

See? Now had I elaborated, that could have been very interesting. (Don't worry...he doesn't read this. But she might. Eek.)

It drives me crazy that I can't tell you of all the quirky nonsense that happens at my job on a consistent basis. I don't think a day goes by that someone doesn't make me laugh. Intended or not.

Like the customer who...damn...I'm not supposed to talk about work, am I? You'd never guess that bank management was so amusing.

I do have to tell you about the tiny little boy who took one of the cookies we have available for customers, loudly exclaiming "These cookies are DELICIOUS!" (with all the aplomb of a true gourmand). All seventeen employees in the entire branch collapsed in giggles. Customers too.

OK, it's also the funniest sight in the world to me when grown men take a lollipop from jars on the teller line. Maybe it's a Kojak thing.

But I've noticed that it bothers me that I don't find the time to write about such things.

I've noticed how everyone else has such rapier wit and opinions of value and interest...on a daily basis.

I've noticed how Teebs is so ON THE MONEY with everything she says, every single day, and I am so envious of her talent and warmth to all. She is the blogger I wish to be. Well, maybe even the woman I want to be.

As are the rest of you, in all honesty. You make me laugh, cry, think and enjoy myself immensely. You're smart, well-written, generous, opinionated and astonishingly open about what concerns you.

See, I do read you. All the time.

I just never end up with a chance to write.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The good the bad and the gorgeous

By somewhat popular demand, I am going to go ahead and do a highly random recap of last night's festivities. I'm slightly depressed, so it may be colored by that. (And my resulting M&M's consumption.)

Yes my darlings, Brokeback lost. Well, not entirely, but it lost Best Picture, which was the big enchilada. It did win Best Screenplay and Director, so that was nice. Hmmmm...we liked the story and the way you filmed it, but weeeeeeeellllll...we gave Best Picture to Crash.


But I really shouldn't bag on Crash since I haven't seen it. Maybe because it takes place in L.A., I felt it would perhaps hit a little too close to home? I don't know. I'll get around to it when I come out of mourning.

So on with the show (I didn't take notes, so this is going purely on memory and thus not in order)!

1. Latinas rule!

My fellow Hispanic ladies were ROCKIN' the gowns last night. SERIOUSLY, could Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba and (ok, even though I don't like Ms. Lopez, I have to give her credit where credit is due) Jennifer Lopez have been any more beautiful? When I was growing up and wanted nothing more than to be tall, thin, blonde and blue eyed (basically I guess your standard Charlize Theron or Nicole Kidman), I never thought I'd see a night that it helped to be short, dark and voluptuous (like ME!).

(OK, in all honesty I also loved loved loved Keira Knightley as well, but I'm trying to make a point here...)

The hair was stunning, the colors were magnificent and for the love of God...they had FIGURES! little five foot nothin' ball o'curves...can I please be YOU now instead?

Mom's during-the-show phone call: "What's up with seating all the Latinos together? Did they think they'd all want to speak Spanish to each other or something?"

2. I happened to LIKE Jon Stewart

I've read some iffy reviews of his hosting abilities, but I thought he was perfect. You can't be too terribly snarky at this biggest awards show on the planet, but he did get in enough of his personality to keep it from being a complete snooze-fest. It wasn't his fault that all the awards were fairly predictable.

I thought the opening was freakin' hilarious. Especially seeing his joy over having George Clooney in his bed. Or Billy Crystal and Chris Rock in the tent. Hehehehe!

How about "And we never had those problems....AGAIN." And his "Next, the Oscars salute montages. We have literally run out of film clips!" comment was EXACTLY what I was thinking...what WAS up with all the montages? Was it a big year for film noir and no one told me? And movies...sometimes actors play REAL PEOPLE. Fascinating.

Mom's during-the-show phone call: "What was Lauren Bacall introducing? I was on the phone. Oh, film noir? I wondered why they were showing scenes from all my favorite movies!"

3. George is God

Speaking of Mr. Clooney, let's just go ahead and crown him King of the Prom. He was freakin' GORGEOUS, classy, articulate AND funny. What more could we ask for? His talent impresses me to no end. Who knew?

Mom's during-the-show phone call: "Well, I was very happy for him. I enjoyed his speech immensely. It's important to mention these things!"

4. It IS hard out here for a pimp

Perhaps even more than my audible gasp over Crash winning, my almost dropping the champagne glass of sparkling apple cider (doin' it up RIGHT here people!) when Three 6 Mafia won for best song...was the most unexpected moment of the evening. Don't get me wrong...I thought it was fantastic! Anyone that excited to win is A-OK by me. Sometimes we need a little shake-up.

Oh, and I've had the damn song stuck in my head all day.

Mom's during-the-show phone call: "Wasn't that nice for them!"

5. Don't mess with Meryl

I am now going to totally steal this entire section from MSN Entertainment's Kim Morgan because she is SO on the money:

Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep Rule
Look, there's a reason these people are actors: They like to perform. And though we don't expect Oscar-nominated actors and presenters to act like barking seals (it is, after all, their moment to be somewhat human), we love it when they get on stage and entertain us. This is exactly what Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep did when announcing Robert Altman's Lifetime Achievement Award. Discussing the legendary filmmaker's career in Altman-esque overlapping dialogue, they managed to not only explain just why Altman deserved this accolade but illustrated what makes him so unique. And it was hilarious. We know Tomlin is a comedienne, but who would've thought Meryl Streep could steal the show from Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell and Steve Carell in one fell swoop? Guess there really is a reason she's been nominated for 13 Academy Awards.

And didn't she look FAB as well?

(Mom forgot to call. I was shocked because she loves Altman. Maybe she was too busy actually watching.)

6. Yes Reese, you're cute as a button

I also didn't see Walk the Line, but from what I've seen, she deserved Best Actress. And she is a little firecracker who seems to have her priorities straight.

But didn't you KINDA want Felicity Huffman to win one for the old gals?

Mom's during-the-show phone call: "Well, I liked Felicity."


'Nuff said.

Mom is equally annoyed.

There's more to say about the genius of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ang Lee and the wonderfully haunting score from Brokeback Mountain...but I leave you with these sage words:

"Crash just didn't touch me like Brokeback did."

You got it Madre.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

All Oscars...all the time

The popcorn is prepared, The Man is going out to get candy...I AM READY!

It's Academy Awards day people! And that means it's my Super Bowl, Olympics and March Madness all rolled into one...and that's saying A LOT for me, 'cause I LOVE LOVE LOVE all of the above!

I considered live-blogging the event, but frankly, my typing skills aren't good enough. Well, that and I don't have a laptop. We do have a TV signal in our computer which, right this minute for instance, is allowing me to watch E!'s all-freakin'-day coverage in an itty bitty screen in my monitor's upper right corner. (Did you know that there is makeup with ACTUAL CRUSHED DIAMONDS in it? Sounds kind of painful to me.)

But you gotta watch the Big Night on the Big Screen! Our 50" HDTV that MB HAD TO HAVE was made for this.

And I can guarantee you that Mom will be calling me every time there is:

A. An upset ("Can you BELIEVE he/she won?!)

B. A fabulous and/or fabulously hideous outfit ("That color is STUNNING on her!" or conversely the ever-popular "What was she/he thinking!?" OH! And I forgot...the Spanish phrase often used by my grandmother "No mas se peiño y se fue!" doesn't exactly translate, and frankly I can neither speak nor spell Spanish very well, but you generally use it when you see someone who looks like they just ran out of the house without so much as a comb through their hair...the ultimate put-down from my well-coiffed beautician Gaa)

C. A touching moment ("I just got all TEARY!")

D. A Susan Sarandon sighting (I don't think she'll be there this year, but because Suze and I have the same birthday (not year though), and well, she's just so cool...Mom always calls me if there's news to be shared. For example, when Ms. S was one of the flag-bearers in the Olympics (who knew?), Mom was BEYOND thrilled. We're like sisters, me and La Sarandon...I tell ya'.)

I kid, because I love you's because of you that I'm so wrapped up in all this extravaganza! ;)

You see, when you grow up in L.A., you can't help but know someone who is an actor/producer/director/scene painter in the biz. And I think I honestly did date all of the above. Hollyweird is in your blood, whether you want it to be or not.

So since I'm a second generation L.A. chiquita, Mom and I have always had that connection. Did I ever tell you how John Stamos should have been my brother? It's a long story. Suffice to say that Mom got engaged a lot when she was younger.

(She is sooo going to kill me when she reads this blog.)

So we ALWAYS sat down to watch the Oscars together every year. We would jump up and down; we would cry; we would shout at our name it.

When I was in London and had to watch the show at the ungodly hour of 1:00AM in the morning, I STILL called my mom to share reactions. And now that she's in Tucson, I know she'll have the cordless right by her side while she relaxes on the couch.

I won't go over too many of my picks here (go see Rock...he's got the right idea). But I will be rooting for Brokeback, which I do think was a wonderful, emotionally-wrenching film, but more importantly, I never thought that in my lifetime a love story between two men would ever be so successful.

See how excited I am when the run-on sentences JUST WON'T STOP???