Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I can finally watch Love Actually without crying because I'm sad, but rather because I'm happy.

Shake Shack

I'm a-scared to go home Thursday.

Los Angeles just had a 5.4 earthquake and I HATE earthquakes. I was in the Northridge Earthquake in 1994 and was traumatized for months afterward. You know when someone freaks out and all you want to do is slap them and scream, "Get a hold of yourself"? I was the one who needed the beating and my mother was the punisher. I wanted to sleep in the living room with my whole family afterwards, my leg would twitch outside of my control and eventually we ended up moving away from Southern California (only to return two years later).

The strange thing was, the night before the quake I had one of the greatest nights of my then 11-year-old life. It was a three-day weekend so I was sleeping over at my neighbor and closest friend's house. We stayed up really late choreographing and filming a dance to Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams and Sting's "All for Love" from the "Three Musketeers" and then we watched movies (most likely our favorites, The Burbs and Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and ate junk food. I performed Rod Stewart's part, by the way.

At 4:31 a.m. I was woken up by the sound of a loud bang, the ground shaking violently and the windows rattling. Shortly thereafter, my friend and I were being pelted by books flying off the shelves in their living room. After it was over, I remember screaming my friend's mother's name over and over again in total agony. Thankfully, my house was just down the street and my family came to get me (and slap me). We slept in our Aerostart that night, right after I peed all over myself that is. For a few days we survived on a strict diet of Pop Tarts and Sunny Delight while sitting outside and riding the aftershocks.

The last time I felt an earthquake was in 2003 when I was home for Christmas, and that was enough to stop my heart. I just really hope when I'm home (planning on having a few more 'greatest nights ever' hopefully involving Rod Stewart) there will be no earthquakes to speak of.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Orange you glad?

Say you have this friend. You've known her for eight years. You've just spent a delightful day tubing down the Delaware River and it's just about time for a mid-afternoon snack, when she says: "Do you want an Oreo?"

Of course you do.

You're so busy driving you don't inspect said Oreo and just go for the first crunch, when all of a sudden: what IS that? Do you taste banana?

Your "friend" has betrayed you by giving you a BANANA SPLIT-FLAVORED OREO. It's so filthy that all you can think to do is open your car door while you're driving and spit the oreo all over the asphalt.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Judgment Day

Terminator 2 is one of my favorite movies. So you can imagine my excitement for Terminator 4: Salvation, starring my favorite actor Christian Bale. I just saw the teaser trailer the other day. And, I was so sad to read that today he turned himself into police for domestic disturbance. I, like many abused women, started to make excuses for him: he's probably stressed, everyone has a crazy family, maybe he's on steroids for Batman and the Terminator, he's a method actor leave him alone, he played one of the greatest characters ever, Patrick Bateman - that's hard to shake! Maybe a German Shepherd started barking at his mother and he thought she's the T-1,000.

I don't know.

But, I do know that the idea of machines coming to life and killing the human race is frightening to me, but feels very real. In fact, pets are very sensitive to technology; dogs are the ones to recognize the first terminator. This weekend at home my family cat, Jelly Bean aka "Catty", ran from her electronic litter box that my mom gave my dad for Christmas this year (?):

I have my own version of an electronic litterbox that I hate and run from. It's the grossest invention out there. I doubt boys even know of their existence, and I doubt even higher that this is FRESH plastic being circulated on the seat. Here it is at the Chicago O'Hare airport:

We've already survived August 29, 1997. I just hope Bale survives July 22, 2008.

Monday, July 21, 2008


My mother is doing much better physically. She has a walker, and can - for the most part - move around on her own. She had a really bad tumble last week where she broke her nose and got two black eyes, but that hasn't stopped her.

She's on so much medication, however; she really isn't the same mom in the mental sense. One part that hasn't been affected: her impecable taste in cinema. I was home for a few days and went to pick up her Oxycontin (after I walked RIGHT into a glass door at the hospital from being so tired/hopped up on "OX") said, "Hiya Mom!" No answer. "Mama Bear?" She was staring SO intently at the screen, I said, "Mom! What are you watching?"

"I just LOVE Mark Wahlberg, don't you?"

"Not really, ma. What IS this?"

She was watching Fear. And LOVING it.

I marched right to our computer and said I was signing her up for Netflix because this behavior has to stop. The only two things she wants on her queue? The Bucket List and Semi-Pro.

No amount of rehab or physical therapy will change the woman whose first VHS to DVD conversions were Robo Cop and the Santa Clause II.

Monday, July 14, 2008


ManBabies.com - Dad?

The 404

"I just got back from Atlanta ... that town is WHACKED." - Todd Packer

I'm a third of the way through my marathon of traveling. This past weekend I was in Atlanta working at the America's Mart during the busiest gift show of the year. It was a really tiring experience full of old ladies buying tons of crap for their stores, speaking in very thick Southern accents and wearing Tammy Faye Baker-esque amounts of mascara.

Before I traveled I had asked a few Southerners I know where I should go or what I should do after work wrapped up every day around 6:30 pm. Thursday I was so exhausted, this is what I did:

I was staying at the Ritz-Carlton, which was a really strange experience. The only other time I had been in that hotel was when I was younger and had to pee really bad. I still remember how weird I thought it was that they had cloth towels in the bathroom instead of paper. While I was checking in with the concierge they asked me if I needed help with my bag up to my room, I said "no thank you." As I went to grab for my bag, a man had already come over to grab it. I said, "oh, thank you, sir, but I've got it." He said, "Miss, I'm just turning it around for you." I'm not cut out for this, despite being fancy with my penthouse parties.

Friday, I made it out to the Georgia Aquarium, which was really impressive. It only took about an hour to walk through, and they had a jazz band playing there, too. I touched a shark and a sting ray, and the tanks were full of all sorts of fish, and even followed along the ceiling:

Saturday I got supper at Ted Turner's restaurant with someone from another publishing house, and I tried bison for the first time. We sat right next to the kitchen and a hot onion ring fell on my thigh; the waitstaff quickly apologized and then put the onion ring right back into the serving tray for someone to enjoy. Later on Saturday night, I did something I'd never done before: went to a bar by myself. Now that I'm a "business executive" I wanted to try it out, and it was pretty boring. I did watch an elderly couple cut a rug on the dance floor and the very flamboyant bartender gave me some "cheese nubblies - they're good for you!"

After working a few hours on Sunday, I went to the airport to get an earlier flight. I got one, thank goodness, but then the heaven's opened up and a big thunderstorm hit. My flight got delayed to the original time I had booked. Charlie Brown. Today I'm so tired and I look it. I went into work late and my boss said, "WOW, you look exhausted." I worked a total of an hour and then went out to sushi with a buddy of mine.

Overall it was a good trip. I met some fun people, slept in an amazing bed, stole tons of toiletries and even met a cab driver whose family lives on a street very close to my childhood home outside Los Angeles.

Tomorrow it's off to Chicago for a day, and then to Los Angeles for the rest of the week and weekend. Los Angeles should be interesting given the state of the family right now.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008



Being at work after a one-day trip to Atlanta that began at 4 a.m. and ended at 11 p.m. is not the best thing that could happen to me. However, going home tonight to my first three discs with Netflix is the best thing that could happen to me. I got There Will Be Blood, Persepolis and I'm being reunited with The Wire.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I'm fancy

I attended a Fourth of July party at a penthouse overlooking Madison Square Park and next weekend I will be lodging at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead, GA - an upscale neighborhood outside Atlanta.

Before any jealousy sets in; I'll need to recap what happened at this party. I was invited because a good friend of mine from work is dating one of the tenants of said penthouse. I've met him before and they couldn't be a cuter couple. The apartment is at 22nd and Broadway and overlooks my favorite: Madison Square Park. From the terrace you can see the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building.

I brought my friends STEVIE and Gabriel with me so they could experience such a fancy night, and so I would have witnesses to back up my bragging. When I walked into the apartment, I expected to be greeted by Mr. Belvedere and large quantities of imported beers and brie cheese. Instead, there were half a dozen cases of Miller Light, tons of "bros" and a very nice dining room table covered with lawn trash bags and a beer pong set-up. Everyone at the party was extremely nice, but so not what I expected.

Time passed and Gabriel showed up with a lovely bottle of white wine. I was walking him into the kitchen to get it chilled in the custom Sub Zero refridgerator when one of the bros stopped us. "DUDE, let's get that crack-a-lackin' right away; set up on the table!" ... meaning in the cups for "chardonnay pong".

We gathered out on the terrace soaking in the view, huddled under an umbrella and waited for the fireworks to start. From up there we could see both the Hudson and East Rivers so we were primed for a great view. Unfortunately, a new building was being constructed to the right of our view towards the East River, so we only saw about a third of the show. But, the sky lit up in some VERY patriotic colors.

After some time outside, the three of us went in to sit on the couch and drink the chilled white and people watch. This one guy in the kitchen totally reminded me of that dude from Napoleon Dynamite and I said, "That guy is a D bag." and Stevie, being the hilarious girl that she is, said "Which ONE?" Good summation, buddy.

I'd have to say the only low-light of the evening was when after we left; I went back up the 30 some-odd floors to get my umbrella I had forgotten to discover that someone stole it. Umbrellas are replaceable, but it was my souvenir Life Magazine umbrella from when I used to work for them. When it opens up it says, "Is it Friday yet?" I learned two things: crime is everywhere and I'll never have an umbrella with as good a sense of humor as that one again.

Either way, I don't think I'll have another opportunity to have that view and touch what it's like to live like that ... until I'm ordering around people at the Ritz next week. And, just so you know, I'm still keeping it "real". Here is what my Saturday night consisted of: Wearing socks I bought at Kmart, pants I bought at Wal-Mart, drinking some Cherry Coke Zero and watching Sigur Ros' "Heima."

Glamour needs the night off sometimes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cold Case Files: Ladies Room

Today I had one of the most disturbing experiences of my life at work. It wasn't wasn't with my job performance, it wasn't with technology, but it was with a co-worker. Well, indirectly.

Usually while I'm working I try to drink as much water as humanly possible as a reason to keep getting up from my desk: 1) to get more water 2) to make pee. Today after many glasses of water I walked into the bathroom and saw it.

The stall all the way over the right, MY STALL, looked like a crime scene. Someone had taken off their womanly NEEDS and left it on the floor of the stall - MY STALL - and somehow on part of the wall. I was so grossed out and now I can't return to that stall ever again. Maybe not even that bathroom.