Sleepless in Silverlake

Sunday night/Monday morning and unable to fall asleep.
There is so much going on right now, it hurts my brain to think about it. It's restless brain syndrome.

Peanut Butter Recall
Good job Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) for lying and scheming your way into contributing to hundreds of Salmonella poisonings as well as a number of related deaths. I can't even begin to describe my frustration and annoyance at this whole debacle of food safety standards. Apparently, beginning back in 2007, this company knew of a Salmonella contamination of their products. They manipulated test results of positive Salmonella until they got a lab to say they were negative. They slowly expanded the recall to pertain to all the lots affected (all the way back to January 2007!!!), and in their path, they have brought, i would say, hundreds of other companies to their knees trying to keep up with their own recalls of products that included the PCA's "high quality" peanut products. Way to go Stewert Parnell!

As a food safety person myself, i can't believe the level of deceit and lies that came out of this whole mess. The standards are there for a reason. To meet those standards is not hard. I don't blame the FDA for breathing down everyone's neck - it's a hard job trying to right someone else's wrong.

I am tentatively beginning the process of looking for a condo or townhouse to buy. This is an extremely scary prospect that will entail much frustration, penny-pinching, and soul-searching. Where do i want to live? Can i afford a down payment? Is my credit good enough? Am i biting off more than i can chew? All these and more are swimming through my brain at any and every second. There is so much talk about how they is a great time to buy, how its a buyer's market and how with the right moves, owning a house could be easy, simple and a good investment. Well, at this point, it will mean budgeting my food (which i have NEVER done in my life), maybe looking for a different part-time home that is cheaper and hopefully free, and deciding if i can do this on my own, or if i need to go in with someone else. (Not quite sure if i am ready to live with others again - i like this whole independence thing.)
There are certainly places out there that are within my "range". But to be honest, i am flat out scared stiff of taking such a leap. Buying a car was scary enough as it was, and this is talking about buying the equivalent of 10 cars all at once. Too much pressure!

Work Shmirk!
Ah, the joys of working with others! To put it simply, there is always a clash of personality. I don't even have much to say about this other than the fact that it is another perpetual thought that is racing through my brain, contributing to this sleepless night. Life wouldn't be life if it was easy. How's that for poetic!

Here's some good news! I recently watched 2 movies that i now love. I love Netflix for their ever suggestive ways and it wasn't that long ago that i got on a little Zooey Deschanel kick. I like her in general and had seen a pretty interesting remake of The Wizard of Oz called Tin man on TV. I realized i hadn't really seen many movies of hers. The first i found was called All the Real Girls. This movie has one of the greatest opening scenes i have seen in a while. It may be perceived as cliche indie to some, but i found it totally endearing and realistic. Aside from a slow patch toward the end, i was wrapped up in the story and impressed by the cinematography, music, and acting. It always comes down to saving yourself, no one else can do it for you.
The other was called Winter Passing. This was again a very magnetic film for me. The opening song was Cat Power's Nude as the News, a personal favorite, and from that moment i was sold. Some personal similarities: suicide of mother (in my case just attempted), estranged mother and father, not feeling enough approval or attention growing up, and i could go on. I mention these, not to garner sympathy, but to put reasoning behind my love of films and what they mean to me. There are so many movies that reflect life in truly entertaining and healing ways. I could write a novel based merely on the constant reflection i see of my own life in the films that i watch. (Could i then claim seeing movies as a tax deduction?)



New Year, New Look

Happy almost end of January!

I am nowhere near as good as organizing my thoughts as Mr Neil, (nor as good as the chickens in Chicken Run) so here is my current state of mind spit out onto your screen:

Work: Been good to me as good as work can be. A hard earned raise finally fell on my doorstep. woohoo me! We also have a HUGE ad placement coming in march. For everyone who is able to find it, look on the back cover of the March issue of Vegetarian Times. a whole back cover all to Vegenaise. So exciting, and i got the opportunity to design it myself. yeah!

Home: Got me some TV action finally and followed that up with some VCR/DVD action. I am now the proud owner of a 37" Sony Bravia LCD thinga-ma-bobber, and a something or other VCR/DVD player. Tried to universal-ize by player thing, but it no worky. I am still stuck with all my UK dvd imports being viewed on the 17" mac screen i see before me now. Ah well, its a step in the right direction. The TV was a deal of deals, and although i dont have a stand for it yet, i got 20% off and i only had to spend 2 hours at the Best Buy store to get it. Bu-yah! I've already watched the following: Tootsie and 8 1/2, and was just about to watch Mr. Neil's recent viewing, Mulholland Drive. The movie that has no point, and leaves you feeling like you are lost and confused. Yeah!

Marathon: Not too long ago, in a work place not far away, an email fell into my inbox. It was by a person named Sheena, and it suggested that a bunch of people sign up and run a thing called a 5K. Run? Ha, that's not for me. But oh fine, i thought i would give it a try. So now, I am in a group of people who on May 4th will be running a 5K in Santa Monica and the proceeds of whatever we can conjure up sponsorship-wise will be donated to help the Orangutans who are being out-sourced to India. Or maybe they are just being kicked out of their habitats by all the palm oil being harvested for "biofuel". Bio doesnt really fit in that purpose, but its the way we do things here on planet Earth. Never a win/win. We like to see other things suffer for our gain. Yeah!

Black Books: Ever found yourself acting like someone you know. Mannerisms that they do are slowly seeping into your being. Well, I think that Bernard Black is seeping into me. I am not sure if its a good thing, but i am in a constant state of him. I think anyone who doesn't know what Black Books is should go and find out, and then picture me as Mr. Black. A grouchy, complaining, wino bookstore owner who expresses himself through quick, bitter remarks and insults. Yeah!

Right, that I think is enough for the month of January. Stay Tuned!


Happy Christmas!!

Well, another 3 months have passed and nothing really new to say.
Considering i managed to make my last post on the anniversary of my mother's passing and not know it has to be a good thing. right? or did i?

Well, it is Chrimbo night and i am at home alone in my cold apartment, far from anyone, sipping red wine and watching fantastic movies. I can't imagine anything better, oh wait, yes i can. ;)

The heating gets turned on December 30th, and until then i live in a constant state of 55-65 degrees. Henry loves it. He has a built in black fur coat. i don't. btw, for all those 3 of you out there, it got down to 43 degrees tonight and it is friggin' cold! we had snow on our mountains (hills) a few nights ago. it's cold.

But seriously, life has been ok for the last few months. I still can't spell for the life of me, and i have no tolerance for typos, but work has been good and play has been so-so. if i were to take a survey of my life now, i would be pretty satisfied. albeit, there is no leading man (at least not on my own continent). i play dodgeball once a week, when i remember to bring proper clothes, and i enjoy my friends and hearing all about the fun and life they are involving themselves in. pssst. liz has boyfriend. drama, but i'm excited to someday meet this fellow.

blogging is fun when i find the time to sit down and brag about my fabulous life. hehe just kidding. its tedious and daunting. but i will make a point of keeping up with it as much as i can. i like to hear about those i am connected with, and can only hope they feel the same. even if they don't necessarily connect with me back... story of my life.

which i am writing, so those of you beware, you might be fodder for my visit to oprah when she adds me to her list. .. oh this is fun, talking to no one and yet everyone at the same time.

i will see you all in the new year! Happy Christmas and a fantastic new year to all of you!

i love you all!



Ireland movie fest

So, last night i finished up what i will call "really sad movies about Ireland fest".

I was on a Daniel Day Lewis kick after seeing There Will be Blood, and added a slew of his movies to my netflix. Then a few other Ireland films came up as recommended, so I added those as well.

Here is the list:

The Boxer
Angela's Ashes
Michael Collins
In the Name of the Father
The Crying Game
The Wind that Shakes the Barley

They were all fantastic and all very fantastically depressing. I am forever connected with Ireland and found each one of these films to be enjoyably informative. Not to mention that each one had an actor that i love, whether it be Stephen Rea, or Alan Rickman, Robert Carlyle, or Mr. Day Lewis himself. I am always amazed at how much turmoil and fighting that little country (with huge exports) went through. Independence is certainly an achievement and these films documents those struggles.

The Boxer

I'm still alive...

For those of you out there that actually read this, please be reassured to know that I am still alive.

I moved into the aforementioned apartment and for the longest time didn't have internet. All has been remedied and i am back on the inter-galactic web.

Living in an apartment all by my lonesome is in fact quite lonesome, but very much a learning experience. Henry and I have both enjoyed being on our own, with no kiva or koala to beat us up or wake us up in the early AM. (although henry has decided to take over that task). I am decided that I have way too many clothes and feel like the apartment is in some sort of laundry state at all times. Right now my bikes are covered in clothes, as is my couch and side chair. Oh yeah, and the whole right side of my bed. Its like i am sleeping next to someone, but it is fact my pile of clean clothes. not quite a boyfriend.

I still havent gotten around to purchasing a tv set yet. That is kinda the final act of living alone i suppose. Getting a giant tv and cable access. For now its my ancient laptop that heats up so badly that I have to put it in the freezer every now and then and netflix dvds. oh the good times.


whats going on...

New recap of last week:

Friday: Atresha texted me to meet up with her at my house at around 630 so we could head out to a dinner reservation in downtown at 8. At 6, I get a call from a lady who has an apartment for me to see in Silverlake, but she will only be around until 730. So AK and I rush over to see the apartment on the way to dinner. We barely make it, but once there the apartment is really cute and HUGE for the price. The best part is that parking is included. So I pick up an application and tell the lady i will fill it out and bring it back on Saturday, since they will be making their decision on Monday. We go to dinner (which was fabulous) and then proceed to the Standard in downtown, where we have to sit outside for ages to get in, but finally do, and the view was amazing. Pictures will someday be updated on my picture site.

Saturday: Geolyn breaks her wrist while hiking. She fell backwards and broke her fall with her wrist, but in the process, dislocated and later found out that it was broken. The most amazing part of the tale to me is that she had to finish the 5 miles back down the mountain to the car. She certainly is a trooper. I dont think i would have had that much gusto. I do end up turning in that application and then spend the whole day with my aunt at the mall and we see a cute movie called Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Overall it was a good day except for G and her wrist, and the damn public transportation system. My aunt and i almost got stranded 3 miles away from her place but a nice bus lady stopped for us even though she wasnt supposed to.

Sunday: Get to spend the day with G sitting around in the waiting room of the Urgent care place, where we discover that the wrist is in deed broken, and will need to return to the orthopedist on Monday for a cast. Her fracture is called a Colles fracture, and it would end up requiring something called a closed reduction, which is basically setting the bones so that they heal right. This "little" procedure, is actually considered surgery even though it doesnt involve a knife or blood. They moved her wrist a bunch of times back and forth, and from what she described, was the most pain she has ever felt in her entire life. no thank you!

Monday: I got the apartment! woohoo! pictures will be coming soon on this :)

Wednesday: My aunt and I head out to the airport. She is going home, and I will be her travelling companion. In the car, we hear that there was a bomb scare in the terminal 1, which closed down that terminal. Her terminal is luckily number 6, so hopefully there wouldnt be a problem. When we get there we also find out that American Airlines has cancelled some 2000 flights that day for plane inspections. Continental had better be good to us! So since we are standby, we basically get to sit and wait to find out if there are empty seats on the flight that we can take. All the passengers were boarded, and the gate was empty except for us and 2 other people. Turns out there was only 1 seat left, and my name was next in line. So my aunt took my seat, and i got to turn around and go home. I called Sheena to come and pick me up and bring me to work. It took her forever, and it turns out that there was an explosion at the water and pwer building near the airport, and 2 firefighters were injured, one of which later died. I didnt really think that this week could get weirder.

Saturday: Sheena and I spend almost all the sunlight hours painting my new kitchen and living room. the kitchen is a yellow color called Cowslip #4, and the living room is a light gray/brown called Taupe #3. Very exciting, abut uber exhausting. We had lunch brought home from a super delicious vegan place walking distance from my new place, and got drinks from the even mroe exciting mcdonalds near it too. (just kidding)

Today: was crazy. I can't think of any better way to say it than that. G and I set off around noon to head out to my *new apartment* and meet Shannon so she could bring me over some furniture that i am taking off her hands. We were going to stop off first to get lunch and then hike for about an hour in Griffith Park, so G could get somd exercise in since breaking her wrist last weekend. The traffic on the freeway was ridiculous! Turns out that someone was shot in the head on the freeway at 8:15 am, and they had the whole freeway heading eastbound closed for investigation. Freeway Shooting It was interesting to see a small place with a banner behind it flying over the scene. We were joking around that it would be a perfect time for advertising with everyone in their cars sitting doing nothing, but we really think it was to keep the news helicopters away from the scene. So after much deviations, we make it to lunch, and eat and The Birds place on Franklin. Super yummy. Then we are off to Griffith Park, and we walk up a pathway that gave us the most amazing view of the Observatory. Its been restored beautifully, and its a landmark that i have always loved in LA. We could also see the Hollywood sign perfectly, so all in all it was a perfect tourist hike. The rest of the day was as it was supposed to be. I now have 2 pieces of furniture in the new place. A fantasticly retro kitchen table and chairs and a futon for the living room. So exciting.

On a side note: I was talking with G in the car as we were passing the accident on the freeway. Not to mention that just last night there was another shooting of someone in their car on a freeway, but the incidences of shootings is just frightening. I was looking online at a stats breakdown of my new zipcode and discovered that there are 38 registered Sex offenders in the area. If we are so concerned about registering these offenders, I am very interested in why we dont have greater controls on bullets. We should have registration of bullets, or I think it was some comedian (maybe Dave Chappelle) who said that bullets should cost like $500. That way each bullet would mean something. I think in America we are so concerned with the right to bear arms and hold on to that right as if it meant that we have the right to jsut shoot what we want. In actuality, the threat that existed back in those days of independence are no longer at those extreme levels. To hear also that there are some people in the NRA who want to allow teachers and people who have guns allowed to bring them onto school campuses just seems outrageous! Lets add more risk. Instead of taking away the guns that shouldnt be there in the first place, lets allow untrained civilians to carry them. The right to bear arms is perfectly ok to have, but lets place contols on the bullets that are placed in those guns. If you are a hunter, or a law-abiding registered gun owner, what risk would you have to carry and use bullets that are registered in your name or are trackable? Granted, there will always be people who break the law, or scratch out serial numbers, etc. But is there not some way to better track these killing tools. To think that the person who shot the guy on the freeway today may never be caught because all we knew was the caliber of the weapon... It just seems stupid.


what day is it?

quick recap of my last 4 weeks (in no particular order):
aunt came to stay to escape horrible Pennsylvania winter...
celebrated oscars with party, and go to see Once win for best song...
aunt breaks leg, but is ok, and gets to stay longer...
spent 2 weeks of 10 hour days preparing for EXPO...
spent 5 days working 13 hours at EXPO...
got filmed by Modern Marvels TV crew for a new show... (might be famous tv star someday) hehe
finally cleaned up desk at work, and can see the wood and carpet... finally!
spent the last 3 weeks searching up flights to Greece, and all major cities around it
purchased tickets to LONDON!!! which will be the stopover point of our TRIP TO GREECE! woohoo...
almost got a new apartment, but still waiting for news...
emotionally drained from general apartment hunting... mostly scams on Craigslist... dont rely on it!
bought new bathing suit for greece...
vowed to start exercising in attempt to look decent in aforementioned bathing suit ;)

and yeah... that about sums it up... all the fun and games that are me... i have a feeling that there are way more that i am missing, but that will just have to wait until the next time.

until next time... may the schwartz be with you...


I think I got a date for April

FRIDAY, APRIL 25: Jack Johnson, The Verve, Raconteurs, The Breeders, Fatboy Slim, Tegan and Sara, Madness, The Swell Season, The National, Animal Collective, Slightly Stoopid, Mum, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Stars, Battles, Aesop Rock, Midnight Juggernauts, Does it Offend you, Yeah?, Minus the Bear, Spank Rock, dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip, Diplo, Adam Freeland, Santo Gold, Jens Lekman, John Butler Trio, Vampire Weekend, Dan Deacon, Architecture in Helsinki, Sandra Collins, Busy P, Cut Copy, Black Lips, Datarock, Professor Murder, Reverend and the Makers, The Bees, Porter, Rogue Wave, Modeselektor, American Bang, Lucky I Am.

SATURDAY, APRIL 26: Portishead, Kraftwerk, Death Cab for Cutie, Cafe Tacuba, Sasha & Digweed, Rilo Kiley, Dwight Yoakam, M.I.A., Hot Chip, Cold War Kids, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, DeVotchKa, Flogging Molly, Mark Ronson, Turbonegro, Scars on Broadway, Islands, Enter Shikari, Calvin Harris, Boyz Noize, Junkie XL, Cinematic Orchestra, Jamie T, The Teenagers, VHS or Beta, Carbon/silicon, Erol Alkan, Yo Majesty!, Little Brother, Bonde Do Role, St. Vincent, Akron Family, MGMT, Institubes DJs (Surkin, Para One and Orgasmic), James Zabiela, Sebastian, Kavinsky, Dredg, The Bird and the Bee, Grand Ole Party, New Young Pony Club, 120 Days, Yoav, Electric Touch, Uffie

SUNDAY, APRIL 27: Roger Waters (“Dark Side of the Moon”), Love & Rockets, My Morning Jacket, Spiritualized, Justice, Gogol Bordello, Chromeo, The Streets, Metric, Danny Tenaglia, Simian Mobile Disco, Booka Shade, Murs, Dmitri from Paris, Autolux, The Field, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Les Savy Fav, The Cool Kids, Sons & Daughters, Sia, Holy Fuck, Black Kids, Black Mountain, The Annuals, Kid Sister w/A-Trak, Man Man, Duffy, I'm from Barcelona, Manchester Orchestra, Deadmau5, The Horrors, Austin TV, Shout Out Louds, Plastiscines, Brett Dennen