Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dear Body

Dear Body,

You and I have been at odds for a very long time, but I did feel as though we had reached an agreement in principal, if not in documentation: you don't mess with me, I won't mess with you. Might I remind you that a verbal agreement is binding in the State of California? And yes, talking to yourself does so count. Nevertheless, I overlooked the ways you violated this agreement throughout the years.

I don't like people, so the "no dinner" rule seemed like a good way to avoid social interaction, as well as food. I understand you don't handle stress very well (no one does), so I didn't let the doctors poke and prod you much when you waged a battle against my life. In retrospect, the thought of spending the weekend with The EX should have been a vomit inducing prospect, so I respected your choice in the matter. Also, who hasn't slipped into a semi-catatonic state when confronted with someone they admire—technically a violation, but probably some defense mechanism that kept me from doing something stupid like… speaking.

But now you've gone too far. This rubber, blubbery, middle thing you've got going on is unacceptable. It is true that I don't like belts, but there is no need for you to try to keep my pants up by having bits of you hang so far over the waistband that it looks like you are gripping the pants for dear life. I realize I'm slightly north of 25, but there is no reason for my thighs to take on the look of aged burrata – if the aging process involved leaving it out in the sun for several days. I'm dangerously close to resorting to flipping the breasts over your shoulder in order to put on my shoes in the morning. And that ass thing you've got going on? I really don't think it's supposed to do that.

Please consider this fair warning. If you don't shape up on your own, I will be forced to take drastic measures. Don't think I'm serious? Let's just say Freddy Krueger would be the one having nightmares at what I'm contemplating for you. That's right—it might involve a sit-up… possibly a piece of lettuce. I know you don't want that. I don't want to cut you off from the nacho cheesey goodness, the margaritas or what we are euphemistically referring to as "wine research". But I will do it. And you know when I'm determined, I will do whatever it takes… for like a good 40 minutes—possibly an hour.

You have been warned.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Random Friday Thoughts

Random Thought #1

Have you ever nearly taken out office-mates in a mad dash to see who could get the last ½ of a bagel that has been sitting in a box for 4 hours? There is something about free food, even leftovers, that makes individuals act like they've been stranded on an abandoned island without the luxury of doughy goodness. It's not like we can't all go downstairs and purchase food if we were really starving. But we don't—not that I'm saying I was one of these people today (but I might have been). And I might have won because being short means you are actually able to be stealth in ways that people who aren't invisible cannot imagine. [Please read that sentence over again with the Mission Impossible theme song running through your minds].


Random Thought #2

Ever spend the day listing to conversations which you then immediately insert into your nearly-google-like translator to get the subtext? If you haven't, you should try it.

Text: "I was confused at first because very few people have my cell phone number."

Subtext: "I had forgotten that I had given you my cell phone number that weekend. My wife was surprised, too."

Yes, it is loads of fun for the whole family.


Random Thought #3

Change comes slowly. Awareness of change comes with the force of a sledgehammer.


Random Thought #4

It has taken over a week to finish that blog on procrastination—and for entirely obvious reasons, this amuses me.


Random Thought #5

Why is it that every time and opportunity presents itself to me, the following conversation (with only slight variation) occurs?

  1. Oh, that sounds like a lot of fun!
  2. I didn't realize that it was at night.
  3. All the way out there?
  4. How long will it last?
  5. If I can't go at the last minute, will you be able to get someone else to take the ticket?
  6. What if I have to leave?
  7. It's not like I won't get another chance to do it.
  8. Maybe next time.

I can't decide if I'm talking myself out of risk, or if deep down I really don't want to do these things anyway. After all, most activities involve other people—and I don't like people.


Random Thought #6

Pen and Chloe added another piece of evidence to support their theory that I have a sign on my forehead that reads, "F**k off" and that only men can see it. On Sunday, to celebrate the illustrious birthday of Pen, therapist to the stars (if you count me as a star, of course), we attended a wine festival (not really a formal festival, but there was a tent, many winemakers and a lot of wine). In the process of taking in the sights, sounds and libations, we were greeted by an enthusiastic winemaker—who was very lovely, but a "kisser". He was a very exuberant man, and insisted on kissing all the ladies on the cheek upon arrival at his station. His wine was wonderful. He was delightful. He had a European flair. He also had the good sense to leave me alone. Seriously, he went from DM to Chloe to Pen, but took one look at me, and clearly thought, "I don't want to die here today". His girlfriend kissed us all—yep, only men can read the sign.





Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bonding: Day 3 (Escape from New York)

My birthday is tomorrow. I will be "old as ass". So, on this night before I turn "old as ass", I've curled up in the darkness to reflect upon my life with the ferocity usually reserved for New Year's Eve. Naturally, my immediate thoughts return to my recent trip to New York—specifically, the final day.

It should have been a great day. I was leaving—what isn't great about that? It's not that I hate New York. It's that I hate being in New York. Perhaps "hate" is a little strong, but I'm feeling self-indulgent, so go with it. It's not that I can't appreciate that there are fine things available in the City, but I spent enough years there as an adult to fully appreciate "elsewhere". Also, I'm fairly certain the City was trying to kill me.

It started innocently enough. I was due to meet my friend E for breakfast. Because of the craziness of my "bonding" schedule, I didn't have time to meet up with her for a casual, no doubt wine related, evening of catching up, bitching and moaning about life. Instead, we had to settle for breakfast. Never fear though, we did manage to fit the bitching and moaning into the schedule. We're not heathens for goodness sake.

The hotel is actually a combination hotel and condo/residence building. When I came downstairs, I noticed E waiting for me in the lobby of the adjacent residence side. I ran over to the glass door to grab her so we could hit the hotel restaurant. This, of course, would have worked more effectively had it actually turned out to be a door. Instead, it turned out to be a solid wall of glass—a solid wall of glass that my entire body hit because my brain didn't register the lack of "give" in time to stop my momentum. My entire body hit it, but not at the same time of course. No, actually, my foot and hands hit the wall first, and the impact snapped my head forward so that my forehead and nose could solidly contact the wall. This was not a quiet little miscalculation. The collision was loud enough to not only alert E on the other side of the wall, but also the entire lobby on the hotel side. I played it off well—the red bruising around my nose was hardly noticeable with my hand covering it, and I kept moving as quickly as possible out the actual door. On the upside, my nose didn't bleed, and it wasn't broken. On the downside, I think I still have a headache.

I moved on to my last set of meetings confident that once I got to the airport I could upgrade my ticket back from NY to LA. Also, I was assured that mid-day, there would be very little traffic, and that I would soon be on my way. And I'm sure that would have been true had I been anyone else in any other city. Instead, as my driver so delightfully put it, "Every fuckin' Friday they close down a lane so they can stand around and get cash for scratchin' their asses". While I did not witness said "ass scratchin'", I did notice that we weren't going anywhere quickly. An hour and a half later, I was almost happy to see JFK airport.

I really should have known better.

I was pretty excited to see that my security line was really short despite my airline only having two available bays—just a couple of people in front of me. I was already stripping, all modesty thrown by the wayside, in order to get through the detectors. I'm not sure what prompted them to shut down the line I was in, but shut it down they did. Momentarily flummoxed, I looked around to see if anyone else noticed the absurdity of the sudden appearance of the "closed" sign. Nope, the travelers all had that permanently beaten down look people get when the winter has been too long and the City has been too ridiculous. Hey, but the good news is, there was absolutely no room for my line to join the other line, so that wasn't a problem at all.

I feel like George Clooney lied to me in Up in the Air. Business travel, provided a few minor precautions, seemed far more civilized in that film.

I soldiered on. My headache was now pounding, but I had my gate, and it couldn't possibly be that far away, in a make-shift terminal with temporary walls, no amenities and an absent gate attendant (or two). That couldn't possibly be true.

Yeah, all of that was true. But that was perfectly acceptable because when an airline employee did arrive, she promptly ignored the growing line long enough for us to understand who was boss. I'll give you one guess as to whether or not it was anyone in line.

Luckily, I was about to get my ticket upgraded for a marginal fee. And that totally would have happened had work not bought a non-upgradeable ticket. Naturally, I did what any desperate to be comfortable traveler would do—I got out my credit card and offered to buy a business class ticket and toss the existing ticket. And that would have totally worked had the entire flight not been sold out. Every seat. Also, since work had purchased the cheapest ticket possible, I wasn't able to specify the seat assignment prior to arrival at the airport. I understand I should be grateful that I was in a window seat rather than a middle seat in coach for six hours. Perhaps if I didn't hate flying, hate feeling trapped and panic when I can't get to a bathroom, I would have embraced that piece of luck. Instead, my head just started pounding more.

I took some deep breaths, and got in line to board the plane. Luckily, I had a lot of time to breathe deeply because I was in the last section called for boarding. I quickly stowed my bag under the seat in front of me (well, actually it was more like grunted and shoved it under the seat in front of me because the space was so tight, I couldn't really bend over to fit it properly), and took solace in the fact that the plane had WiFi even in the cheap seats. Whew.

And that would have been real consolation had the WiFi been functioning that day. Sadly, it was not.

Still, the flight was underway after a mere 45 minute delay due to a closed runway (which the pilot mentioned was very short, as they had built in the standard 1 hour and 30 minutes delay into the projected arrival time), the man next to me was lovely and not overly arm-rest hogging, and I thought I could amuse myself with my book or iPod until I calmed down.

And that would have been great, had I not been trying to pretzel myself so I could reach my bag at the exact moment the man in the seat in front of me had chosen to recline his seat… hitting me on the forehead…the forehead already swelling from losing the fight with the wall earlier in the day. And that was that. I think the swearing probably got my neighbor's attention before the tears did. Bless him, he did try to distract me with small talk—though that might have been to assure him that I was just pissed and not crazy.

The wave of "why can't anything just be easy for once" emotion passed and I lost myself in some Doctor Who. Oh, and I counted down the seconds before I was once again able to close the door of my apartment behind me and say that I had finally escaped from NY.


P.S. Anyone else think that "I just give up" should be an actual age? As in, "How old are you?" "I've just given up."


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Bonding: Day 1 Part B

Lest you believe that all I ever do is complain, I will now create an upside/downside list of my experiences thus far to bring some balance to the equation:

Upside: TCA officer named Casey checked my boarding pass today. I should mention that Casey was very, very attractive. So if you are reading this Casey at LAX, you were the best thing about being at an airport at 5:30am.

Downside: Immediately after leaving Casey, they pulled my bag for searching because of a suspicious curling iron. I'd like to point out that it is an incident like this that solidifies my "grooming is over-rated" attitude.

Upside: Upgrading to business class from the company's economy ticket was very easy. If you are frequent flyer, it's only $50 and there were seats available.

Downside: Of course, upgrading only works if all of your frequent flyer miles hadn't expired at some point. grrrrrr

Upside: After biting the bullet and upgrading anyway, I was pretty psyched to be handed my very own video monitor.

Downside: Didn't have adapter to plug in the personal video monitor, so proved to be a bit of a tease more than anything else.

Upside: Plane landed 20 minutes early.

Downside: Those 20 minutes, plus about another 60 were spent on some freeway trying to get from JFK to downtown.

Upside: I made it to the first round of meetings on time.

Downside: May have gotten the up and down look with raised eyebrow from new boss because I failed to change out of my jeans to attend first round of meetings.

Upside: Finally came up with a fun fact to share with the group.

Downside: The fun fact didn't really spark any conversation because I think people just think I'm either odd, or that it's common to meet David Tennant in Los Angeles.

Upside: I have a nifty nametag.

Downside: My name is spelled incorrectly on the nametag. My first name. Sweet.

Upside: I'm staying at the Andaz hotel, and I'm loving it. I was upgraded by the nice Australian (I believe) boy who checked me in (very cute)-- possibly because I looked cranky. Decor is great. Work station is well integrated. Shower is an entire room, and I could swim in the bath.

Downside: I was cranky. Cranky and cold (35 fabulous degrees).

Upside: It's not snowing.

Downside: Sleet is not really better.

Upside: One more day of bonding.

Downside: It's an 8 hour day of bonding.

Did I mention I really love the hotel?


Bonding: Day 1

I am sitting in the departure lounge thinking profound thoughts like:

How often is the freeway closed at 4:30 in the morning?

Wondering why I brought along a curling iron, and why it seemed lethal this morning?

Upgrading my ticket might have been easier had all my ff miles not expired (probably yesterday).

Is wondering why I not only recognize all the Muzak versions of very old musicals, but also know all the words.

Yep. These are the things that roam through my brain at 5:46am while waiting for a plane. Stay tuned!


Monday, March 01, 2010

Bets Can be Costly

I lost a bet. No, not the one with God that has resulted in the life I'm currently leading. It started when I recklessly tried to employ irony, and ended when I foolishly agreed to go clubbing with LD.

No, I'm not kidding. I'm now contractually obligated to go clubbing. And no, "clubbing" is not a new euphemism for advanced book reading, followed by a bubble bath and the emergence of my fuzzy bunny slippers (though, I am trying to figure out a way to work that into the scenario).

I'll just give you a moment to let the laughter settle down.

Obviously, I'm still me. I made sure to place some minor, entirely reasonable restrictions on this enterprise. The current contract reads:

I, Kate Dating, hereby agree to go "clubbing" on a Thursday night, in Hollywood, from 9:00pm to 9:30pm with LD pending certain contractual obligations are met by LD prior to the event. "Clubbing" is herein defined as showing up to club, entering venue, observing wildlife in their natural habitat and swiftly exiting the building.

I think you can appreciate that while I did indicate "Thursday", I did not indicate in which year that Thursday would occur, giving me plenty of wiggle room. Vexingly, LD has ingeniously recruited other people who will not only witness this event, but also make my escape less likely. I need to start saving just in case they can be bought. Still, I am confident that I will prevail once my motion to include the wait in line outside the club as part of the half hour is passed.

Something I didn't cover? Myself. As in, how will I cover my actual person. Pen and LD came over to my apartment to go through my closet. Shockingly (gasp), it turns out there is nothing appropriate for the Los Angeles scene in there. Though, comfortingly, I will be the best dressed nun at the convent. So, I do have that going for me. Very delicate negotiations are now underway with regards to exactly what needs to be shown versus what should never ever be shown. For instance, thus far I've held strong that everything from my neck to my ankles should be covered in something woolen and forbidding. LD has started sending me links to dresses that Lady GaGa might find too risqué. Pen, my friend who is supposed to be my voice of reason, seems to be leaning in the daring décolletage direction, and Chloe doesn't care what I wear as long as she gets to see video evidence of the entire thing.

The logical thing to do in this situation is to admit defeat and figure out a way to make the saran wrap I will end up in look good – although I'm not really sure how to get industrial strength spanx or find an intricate pulley system to combat gravity that won't also leave unsightly lines and bulges.