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Tangled up in “ew.”

One entire week I’ve spent tweaking a long, detailed entry about how I really hated “Julie & Julia.” A WEEK. I finally realized that I wasn’t having trouble editing it because it was a terrible piece of writing; rather, it was because I just revived this puppy and do I really want to kick things off brutalizing something I disliked that most people seem to love? I do not. We’re not about the hate here, people.

(I will say THIS about THAT: Had I read the first two lines of Roger Ebert’s review before going out that day, I would have known immediately to spend my movie money elsewhere. Those lines were, more or less, “Have you ever wanted to spend a 3-day bus ride sitting next to Julia Child? Just asking.”)

So I’m going to talk about things I love. I love Project Runway! And it’s back, in a new expanded format. Last week’s All-Stars competition was fun to watch up until the judging, which was insane and wrong, but I’m over it now. Then there’s the series proper, which I’m optimistic about this season – so far I’m rooting for Louise Black, because she made this:

…and, well, I’m considering a Lotto habit that would, if successful, allow me to hire her as my personal stylist. I do recognize that the creation of clothes that I want to wear is not always a path to the top on PR (I still have flashbacks of the judges quizzing Chris March on who exactly would want to wear human hair as I tried to figure out what I had to do to get my hands on that dress [it was strips of hair extensions, it wasn't even gross, but I felt a little Cruella about it]). So I’m trying not to get too attached. But whatever happens, we’ll still have Tim Gunn to root for all season long.

If you also are seriously into PR but you haven’t visited Lifetime’s site for the show, you must go there – unlike its sad old broken Bravo counterpart, it has tons of extra content that’s really worth watching.

What else do I love? I love the new album by The Duckworth Lewis Method, a collaboration between The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon and Pugwash’s Thomas Walsh that is all about – well – cricket. I was frightened by that initially; my favorite sport is, after all, avoiding anything to do with sports. But then I heard the first single and was utterly powerless under its spell.

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If you can’t watch right now, I’ll say if you like early Kinks, the Zombies, XTC or cricket, this is the CD for you.

In local news, I am still obsessed with the lunch I had today at Mani’s Bakery. I got a sandwich called “The Regular” on rosemary bread and it might have been the pinnacle of the sandwich-based narrative of my life. And then there was the caramelized apple cake! We were alarmed by the $9/slice price, but then we saw a slab go past and realized it practically demanded to be shared; huge and overwhelming, yes, but quite delicate in flavor. Mani’s is a health-conscious bakery and cafe that tends toward the whole-grain and fruit-sweetened, so if you’re not that kind of eater it may not be up your alley. If you’re on the fence, this tip may help: When deciding between fruit-sweetened desserts, you’ll rarely go wrong picking one that’s supposed to taste like apples anyway.

I’m going to count this as a clearing-out-bad-karma entry. Back soon!

Guess where I’m calling from! C’mon, guess. From a PLANE.

(That was a metaphor. I am not really on a plane, and is that even impressive anymore?)

Often, when blogs go suddenly quiet, it indicates a crisis – illness, a death in the family, some sort of massive stress. That’s certainly been the case here in the past.

Which is why I’m doubly happy to reveal that since my last post, I have made massive progress on both the health and career fronts. And as of last night, for the first time in nine goddamn years, we live in Los Angeles proper again (the only place I’ve ever been interested in living).

“Proper,” in this case, means near our friends, near the restaurants we like, near the good shopping, near a whole lot of movie theaters, near the music venues we like – near enough to everything that we can make evening plans and actually be able to go home after work to change and get fed. Proper means that we can walk to almost everything we need or want; there are a dozen restaurants within a mile that this vegan-with-food-allergies can get a really good meal, that I know of.

Now that I’ll have a whole life to talk about again, I plan to post a lot more regularly. Oh, don’t worry – I’ll still provide notes from watching TV with my kid. I know that’s why you’re really here.

OK, one quick Wes story: This morning was unnecessarily confrontational. Finally, I convinced him to take a nap by lying down with him on my bed. He was still pretty rageful, but he finally settled.

“Mommy?” he said, turning to me. “I love you.”

“I love you too, sweetie.”

“And you’re not my enemy.”

“No, I’m not. You’re not my enemy either.”

“Yes I am!” [and... out like a light.]

More soon, promise!

I hate cigarette smoke as much as the next guy does.

And quite possibly more than most. Being honest here. HOWEVER.

I would like to state for the record that I had NOTHING – N-O-T-H-I-N-G – to do with the fact that, when we’re outside somewhere and my child spots a smoker, this is what he does.

[freezes, points]

AHHHHHHH! OH NO! OH NO! Somebody’s smoking! What can we do, Mommy? Where can we go to be safe? QUICK! RUN!

In real life, I’m trying to settle him down on that issue. In blog life, it’s kind of hilarious.

Why I don’t go out on New Year’s Eve.

A thing about me: I don’t drink. At all. Never have. Were you to meet certain people I knew who took the opposite path, you would understand: there have not been enough cool kids born in humanity’s entire reign to balance the scales enough that drinking would seem in any way appealing to me.

Generally, this doesn’t hamper my social life; I don’t mind so much what other people are doing. However, nights such as New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day, when thousands of people take to the streets seemingly convinced that it is their responsibility to get drunk to the point of injury or property damage – those aren’t my idea of a good time. Still, if there was a concert I wanted to see, I’d usually suck it up and go anyway.

The first time I swore I’d never go out on NYE again, I only remember faintly. It had to do with my roommates and I getting stuck at a club in the far end of Brooklyn and needing to get back to Manhattan at 4am. Brooklyn/Manhattan travel was always a little fraught back then, though (is it still?); surely the holiday just exacerbated a commonplace difficulty.


So some years later, when I no longer lived in NYC but was visiting a friend who did, and we came across a listing for Cheap Trick at Limelight on 12/31, we figured, really, what could go wrong? It’s right here in Manhattan. Sometimes they let us into that club for free. The weather’s kind of nice, all things considered. I have a super-cute new dress that needs a place to make its debut. And: Cheap Trick!

Cheap Trick were reliably wonderful. There’s that.

But the people – the people as a group had lost all of their motor skills. One guy staggered into me so many times that I finally shoved him away, prompting a little voice in my head to say, “Really? This is how it’s gonna go? You’re going to get into a slapfight with Rick from Accounting?” I can’t say for certain that he was to blame for the four cigarette holes later discovered in my cute new dress. Or the big melted patch of fake hair in my weave (SHUT. UP). But let’s call it his fault anyway.

So we survived that misery and headed out to find a cab. This is when we learned – and I have NO idea why we didn’t know this – that you can’t get a cab on NYE. Someone told us that the drivers are all allowed to turn off their meters and charge whatever they can get as a holiday bonus of sorts; I don’t know if this is true, as nobody was offering us even wildly overpriced transportation, but something was up.

We had 20-odd blocks to walk. It was about 37 degrees – snow melting, but definitely still winter. I hadn’t worn a coat (fashion!) and was sporting 3-inch heels, but that was back in the day when I could do things like walking in heels (well, most of the time) (<-foreshadowing!) so I wasn’t too fussed. So we set off for midtown, the two of us and a throng of rugged adventurers banded together by the single common interest of getting home. My being the only person in this crowd who had not imbibed, and one of the few who were not flat-out drunk, lends a special irony to what happened next, I think. Stepping off curbs in heels is always a little treacherous. Stepping off curbs and across big puddles of snowmelt is even more so. Stepping off curbs and trying and failing to step across what looks like your standard-issue big puddle but turns out to be masking a Huge Deep Hole: well, that’s what happened. I got my heel caught and went face down, landing a significant distance from both of my shoes. So hard a fall was it, several observers thought I was dead. (Cause of death: clumsy.) When I recovered, there were problems. I was soaked from head to toe. My stockings were shredded and forming interesting patterns with the blood rushing out of about a million new lacerations. My knees were stiffening up at an alarming rate. One of my heels was broken. And I still had nearly 20 blocks to walk in just-above-freezing weather. Perhaps you’re the sort of person who can go out on New Year’s Eve and not come home covered in blood with melted hair. If you are, have a great night! I hope you can understand why I won’t be joining you.

I have to tell you what’s going on down the street

For some weeks now, a couple has been picketing a local car dealer who, they say, “stole $7700 from our family.” I got one of their flyers once; it contained extensive documentation of the guy’s being a big jerk, but no details about the theft. So I can’t really take sides. I’ve bought enough cars not to put anything past a car dealer, but I’ve also worked in sales long enough to know customers are sometimes insane.

Anyway, they’ve been picketing, and occasionally drivers will honk at them to show support. So about a week ago, the dealer started putting people in cheap cartoon-character costumes out on the sidewalk. These characters carry signs with the dealer’s name, and the message “Please honk to say hello.”

The first time I drove by, I thought, hmm, that’s weird. The second time I got it. It’s a honk neutralizer! “Yes, people will honk,” says the evil car dealer, “But is it because they believe you? OR DO THEY JUST LOVE SCOOBY-DOO? You’ll never know!”

This has got to be the most impotent battle of wills I have ever seen. I’m generally conflict-avoidant, but I secretly kind of hopes it escalates. It has the potential to reach shocking new levels of lameness!

In retrospect, this was probably inevitable.

I’m afraid my toddler has gone Hollywood.

Over dinner at the Farmers’ Market this evening:

W: [makes horrible science-fiction monster noise] Mommy! I’m a SCARY puppet bear! AND, I’m a producer!*

Me: A producer? Really? What are you going to produce?

W: Actually, Mommy? I’m not going to produce anything.

I’m not sure whether we should start working on his BS skills or just be impressed that at his tender age he’s so much more realistic than many other producers I have met.

*Not to interrupt the flow of the conversation, but: a producer? The hell? Between this and his walking around with a straw hanging out of his mouth announcing that he’s “smoking” when he doesn’t even know anyone that smokes, I’m beginning to wonder if my toddler has a secret life.


Well, hello there! Thanks for stopping by. Things are fairly embryonic at the moment, but I’m working on it; big thanks are due to the lovely Jodi for helping me out with Movable Type.

It’s hard to believe I haven’t been doing this for ages, given my affinity for such things as bragging about my child, spending way too much time on the Internet, and writing in general; also, I generally hop on new tech-related trends well before the New York Times completely misunderstands them, and in the case of parenting blogs (some of my favorite people are “mommy bloggers,” but that doesn’t mean I’m required to use the term nonironically – does it?) I’m at least a year late. Hi. I had a baby. I may never be cutting-edge again. I’m OK with that.

Anyway, if you’re interested in learning what I’m planning to do here, the rest of this entry will explain.

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