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Random Tuesday Thoughts: The, Well, Random Edition

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Do you know the scene in Broadcast News where Jane Craig (Holly Hunter’s character) unplugs the phone and holes herself up in her office to have a good cry on a regular basis? I do that sometimes. Mostly because I’m wound tightly, but lately because I’m sort of coming unglued.

My job has been rough and I don’t know what to do. There have been issues with my salary, and it’s been brutal, but on top of that I have a boss who doesn’t think twice about being rude to me simply because I’m the person standing in front of him (and sometimes just because). Yes, I can be sensitive, but I can also hold my own. I give as good as I get, but after a while it gets old.

I know I’m at a crossroads with this situation. I’m tired of feeling scared (for my job), I’m tired of feeling angry (for putting up with certain situations) and I’m sick of going home and crying in the bath tub, trying to hide it from my husband so he doesn’t know just how shitty this is. I’m not a victim and I’m tired of behaving like one.

And really? All this crying isn’t good for my face. Puffy eyes are not a good look on me.

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I guess I'll cool my heels

I guess I'll cool my heels

Then again, this was my horoscope this weekend.

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I keep trying to write a series of posts about the new fall TV season, but I can’t seem to find the time because I’m glued to the tube. It’s so insane, that both Tivos are maxed out with shows.

On Sunday it’s Mad Men and Brothers & Sisters (I’m a few weeks behind on Mad Men and need to catch up). Mondays and Tuesdays are all about Dancing With the Stars. Tuesdays also have my new favorite show Modern Family. And if you aren’t watching it, you should. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. Except you should watch Modern Family. I’ve also been recording Cougar Town with Courtney Cox but I haven’t had time to watch those episodes yet. I can’t think of what’s on Wednesday night, but Thursdays are jam-packed with The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Grey’s Anatomy. But because Gracie’s agility class is from 8-9 Thursday nights, I don’t usually get to watch Thursday’s stuff until Saturday. This fall, Ugly Betty will be on Friday nights, and I also record a show on Animal Planet called Jockeys.

I’m a huge fan of Lost and a few people told me that Fastforward is just as good, if not better, than Lost. Somehow I doubt it, but I’ll check it out. I missed the first episode so I’m going to have to track that down on iTunes, but I’ve been recording the series, hoping to catch up.

This list doesn’t even include shows like Toddlers & Tiaras (yes, I admit it. I watch. Sue me.), L.A. Ink and I still record West Wing, which is still the best-written show on TV.

And yet I wonder why I haven’t had time to write more often…

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I’ve just discovered Nutella. I don’t know where this has been all my life, but now that I’ve found it, my life is complete.

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The chocolatey, hazlenutty goodness is heaven in a jar.

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For more random, go see Keely. She’ll serve some up, hopefully with a side of Nutella.

Anyone else notice a trend in my tweets?

Apparently, there’s a whole lot of sucking going on….

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Really, I Have No Idea Why I’m Not Sleeping Well

This is clearly the post of a sleep-deprived person.

I haven’t really slept well lately. I don’t think I’m under an usual amount of stress and there’s nothing life or death about the things I think about. I just can’t shut my head off and get some rest.

Here’s a rundown of my night.

10:00 p.m. Totally exhausted so I climb into bed and sink into my comfy mattress. I prop my pillows up behind my head and watch TV for a few minutes until my eyelids feel so heavy I can’t hold them open.

10:15 p.m. Turn off the TV, turn off the lights, settle into bed and close my eyes.

10:17 p.m. Doze off.

10:20 p.m. Wide awake. Make a mental reminder to grab my iPod in the morning so I can take it to work.

10:21 p.m. Speaking of work, did I remember to send that e-mail before I left? Think about what I need to do when I first get into the office.

10:35 p.m. Think about how much traffic there’s been in the morning and wonder if I should get up a little earlier.

10:36 p.m. Get cranky about having to wake up earlier and vow to just get ready faster in the morning.

11:00 p.m. Remind myself to grab that book before I leave for work because I need to use it as reference for something I’m working on.

11:05 p.m. Realize I will never remember to grab it in the morning, get up, find it and put it by my keys.

11:20 p.m. Let the dog out.

12:00 a.m. Let the dog in.

12:10 a.m. Remember to pay the power bill tomorrow (which is now today).

12:30 a.m. Roll over and pull a pillow over my head to block out Bill’s snoring.

12:50 a.m. Take pillow off my head because it’s hot.

1:00 a.m. Get irritated because I’m still awake and can’t go to sleep.

1:01 a.m. Wonder if it’s too late to take a Tylenol PM. Maybe just one? Probably not a good idea.

1:02 a.m. Will myself to sleep, but the more I do that, the more awake I become. Maybe I should take up meditation? Or yoga?

1:04 a.m. Wonder when I would ever find the time to do yoga since I barely use my gym membership.

1:05 a.m. When did I go to the gym last?

1:15 a.m. Wonder when I’m going to find time to go to Target this week.

1:16 a.m. Mentally make list of stuff I need to get at Target: toilet paper, paper towels, hardwood floor cleaner, soap…

1:17 a.m. Contemplate getting out of bed to write up my target list. And maybe a grocery list.

1:19 a.m. Wonder if I have enough toilet paper to last through the weekend if I can’t get to Target during the week. Maybe I can go Thursday night?

1:21 a.m. Nope. Not Thursday. I have to take Gracie to agility that night.

1:22 a.m. Wonder why the special leash and collar I ordered for Gracie to wear for agility hasn’t shown up yet. Wonder when I ordered it. Hmmm, should be here by now. They usually send orders pretty quickly.

1:30 a.m. Wonder if it’s too late to take shot of NyQuil to knock me out.

1:40 a.m. Let the dog out.

2:00 a.m. Let the dog in.

2:15 a.m. Maybe a half shot of NyQuil?

2:20 a.m. Frustrated because I can’t sleep. Think about everything I have to do this weekend. Things that don’t involve sleeping in. Or even being home much.

2:30 a.m. Hope I get off work on time Thursday night because I have to drive home, pick up Gracie and drive her 40 minutes away to agility.

2:35 a.m. Plan what I need to take to agility. Make backup plan in case new leash doesn’t show up.

2:40 a.m. Doze off.

3:30 a.m. Hear Bill wake up and go into the other room because he can’t sleep.

3:31 a.m. Wonder if my not sleeping is keeping Bill from sleeping.

3:35 a.m. Listen to the coffee pot grind the coffee and wonder why that damn machine makes so much fucking noise.

3:36 a.m. But damn, it makes some good coffee.

3:48 a.m. Do I have enough dog shampoo to bathe Gracie on Friday night? She has a show on Saturday and I have to groom her.

3:49 a.m. Do I have all of her dog show stuff together? Do I need to wash her bowls? Where is her lead?

4:45 a.m. Let the dog out.

6:40 a.m. Let the dog in.

6:50 a.m. Alarm goes off.

7:10 a.m. Get out of bed, totally trashed from not sleeping.

8:25 a.m. Leave the house late. Again. Too tired to get ready on time.

Is it just me or is anyone else—other than Bill—stressed to the max over nothing at all?

Perspective

The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it. —Anonymous

I think I’ve thoroughly established around here that Julie the Cruise Director Bill is a doer, a planner, a get-up-off-your-ass-and-move kind of guy. He is always on the go, making plans, going places, meeting friends. He likes the idea of sitting still, of just being, but can’t really wrap his head around actually doing that.

For my part, I’m The Master of Chill. I have no problem lounging around, doing not much of anything except riding the couch, watching the TV and/or reading a book. For me, there’s a lot of pleasure in doing nothing. A perfect day is one that extends infinitely ahead of me without plans or demands. It’s how I get my bearings, find my center.

Most of the time Bill and I balance each other our pretty well. He drags me out (sometimes kicking and screaming, sometimes willingly) to do things, and 85% of the time I’m glad he did. Some days I insist that we’re doing nothing and I plant myself somewhere and refuse to budge like a willful child. About 85% of the time Bill will tell me later in the day that he needed to do nothing that day.

Until a few days ago, though, I wasn’t really sure why he was so unrelenting with doing. There’s almost an urgency to it sometimes, as though if he can keep moving…what?

We were having one of those State of Our Marriage talks that happen from time to time. Nothing serious—more like a check-up more than anything. You good? Yup. You? Yup—and the topic of living life came up. Bill was reminding me that it’s not just doing what you have to do, but really living life—actively participating, taking charge, having fun and not letting it pass you by.

I’m all for that, but I’m a proponent of balance, too.

And then he said something that made everything click in place:

“I’m 55 years old. My father died when he was 75. If that’s any indicator, I’ve got 20 years left. I’m not about to spend that time waiting, watching life pass me by.”

That slapped me hard. Suddenly, 20 years doesn’t seem that long.

Granted, it’s a somewhat fatalistic view of life, but I suppose there’s a lot of truth in it. We talk about going here, doing that, writing more, traveling, doing things that make us happy. So what am I doing? What am I waiting for? I want to spend more time with my husband, doing things together, having fun. And not just because he may only have “20 years left” (truth be told, he’ll outlive me!), but because I don’t want life to pass me by. I don’t want to wake up when I’m 80 and wonder what I did all my life. Because as much as I love my Tivo, it’s not what I’m going to remember when I’m sitting in my rocking chair at the old folks’ home.

I’m not going to live my life like a game of Beat the Clock, but I will definitely say “Yes” more. I will try to get out more and burrow in my house less.

What have I got to lose?

Ambush

Last night Bill and I went to dinner for a friend’s 40th birthday. It was a great night—dinner at a fancy-schmancy restaurant and then drinks by the rooftop pool. Toward the end of the night, everyone decided to go to Carney’s for some late-night chili burgers and hot dogs. (All the better to soak up all the alcohol everyone had!)

Everyone was having a great time, sitting outside, chowing down, laughing and talking.

And then the shit hit the fan.

One of the couples at the party sat down near us after they got their food. I made a comment to the woman along the lines of “Oh, you changed your clothes.” I didn’t mean anything by it; it was just a way of making polite conversation.

I could see something in her face, and she turned around and unleashed her rage.

She yelled at me from the other table, asking me my why I didn’t like her and wondered why I was always rude to her, looking her up and down, judging her.

Huh?

This is a woman who is somewhat prominent in our town. A woman who couldn’t be bothered to remember my name—or my husband’s—for about a year. A woman who stuck out her hand and reintroduced herself every time we saw each other as if we hadn’t already met 374 times before. I never went out my way to be her BFF because I was clearly never a blip on her radar. Or so I thought.

This woman is good friends with some of my friends, but I’ve never socialized with her. I’ve never even gotten past the niceties with her before she’s moved on to someone more prominent, more important in her eyes. When her and her husband showed up earlier in the evening I stood up, said hello, hugged her and told her it was good to see her. I did the same with her husband. I was nice, asked how they were and made small talk with her husband. Never once was I rude. EVER. Not last night. Not before that.

So I was stunned at first. Her attack totally came out of left field.

I kind of laughed a little because I wasn’t sure she was serious at first. And then I asked her what in the world she was talking about. I told her I was never anything but polite, that I’ve never been rude to her.

And that’s when she did her Linda Blair impersonation—head spinning around all crazy—and unloaded. Apparently, this woman who I’ve never really had occasion to talk to, who has looked ME up and down on occasion and can’t remember my fucking name, thinks I’m a the most rude person she’s ever met. And not only that, she’s not the only one who thinks so. Everyone apparently in her world thinks I’m rude. I never talk to her and she doesn’t know why I think I’m better than her.

At this point I was still trying to be nice. Why? Not sure. Maybe because it caught me off guard, that this woman ever gave me any thought at all.

I told her I had no idea what she was talking about, that I had always been nice, that I’ve never been rude to her and I had no idea who else she thought I was rude to. She, of course, conveniently wasn’t going to get into all that.

I looked at Bill totally stunned. He shrugged. He was still trying to keep it light too and told her  that I do get shy and have a hard time talking to people sometimes.

I got up and walked away for a minute and the more I thought about it, the more pissed I got. I had no idea how I suddenly became the bad guy.

I came back and sat down and asked Bill what the fuck that was about. I was muttering to him that she was out of line and again, WTF?

She shouts from over her table that she can hear me, which was sort of the point I guess, and I tell her I don’t give a shit. I told her SHE was rude and out of line and I didn’t need to put up with that.

At that point her husband stands up and declares that they “don’t have to take this”—as if they were the victims—and they left.

I got up and walked into the parking lot to cool off.

When one of my friends came over to check on me, I promptly lost it and started to cry. Full body-wracking sobs. And I couldn’t stop.

Bill came around to see how I was and was surprised that I let this woman affect me so much. But I was embarrased. Not only because I felt ambushed by a clearly unhappy woman, but because it happened in front of a group of my friends. And because I wish I probably handled it differently. And I wish she did to.

I would have been much more responsive if she walked over and sat at my table and calmly asked my if there were issues. But she chose to attack me in front of everyone. And although I don’t really give a shit what she thinks of me, it concerns me that other people think I’m rude.

That pretty much ended the night. Everyone left to go home.

I felt horrible that my friend’s birthday ended on that note.

I am pissed that I was attacked without provocation.

And frankly, that fucking cow owes me a public apology.

And more importantly, she owes the birthday girl an apology.

Random Friday Thoughts

I know—it just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Random Tuesday Thoughts, but I’m three days behind and I have a bunch of randomness rattling around. So sue me. Besides, Bill, who has apparently assumed the role of my manager/mom was reminding me that I haven’t written and if I don’t post soon you’re all going to stop coming over here. At which point I suggested he start his own damn blog. But I digress…

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Monday night I got the chance to go to the premiere of Julie & Julia, which opens next Friday (August 7). It was awesome. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about reading My Life in France, the biography of Julia Child’s years, um, well, in France. Her story is so fascinating to me as I approach decrepitude, because she really didn’t find her niche until she was almost 40. The parallel story in Julie & Julia is the story of Julie Powell, who spends a year cooking every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking while blogging about it. No small feat. The movie could have been a recipe for disaster (ahem), but Nora Ephron, who wrote and directed it, really did an amazing job blending the lives of these two women who never met.

And really—anything with Meryl Streep just rocks.

Side note: In Los Angeles, it’s not uncommon to run into “celebrities” (I put that in quotes because I couldn’t give a shit about the likes of Speidi), but every now and then you have the exceptional luck to see someone really worth seeing. The other night I had a great spot along side the red carpet and at one point was less than five feet away from Merle Streep. I might have swooned.

Special screening of Julie & Julia, Mann Village Theatre, Westwood, California

Picture by: Russ Einhorn / Splash News

••••••••••

I’m a little pissed off at Nissan right now.

Last September I bought a brand-new 2008 350Z convertible. Otherwise known around our house as my Midlife Crisis. It goes Vrooom. It’s fast, it’s pretty, I can feel the breeze blowing through my hair, and it’s the perfect antidote to a shitty day at work. I leave the office, put the top down, blast the stereo and instantly feel transported out of the stress and drama.

However…I do have a couple minor problems with the car. The more minor issue is that the reflector on the front driver side has cracked and broken. It’s totally gone. And the car isn’t even a year old. For the amount of money we’ve spent on that car, shit shouldn’t be breaking off.

The bigger problem is a pain in the ass. Nissan is known (apparently to everyone but me) for having faulty motors for their windows. At some point they start to give out and you can’t close the window. It started a couple of months ago, and it didn’t really worry me too much until they failed at the car wash.

I pulled up to pay and grab my ticket, and when I tried to roll up the window, it went up and then went down about half way. I hit the switch again and it went up and then opened halfway again. I did this about a half dozen times until it seemed to stay up. Until I drove into the car wash. And it rolled itself down again. I had to hit the switch quickly and hold it until I was through the wash.

I did some research and it turns out this is common. The most common solution offered is to not roll down your window. Um, yeah. Not going to work for me. Especially because if you put the top up or down, the windows automatically go down.

Nissan says they’ll replace the motor but that’s a faulty solution, too. Because if you haven’t actually fixed the problem in all of the motors, I’m just going to have to go back in and replace it all over again. But the really insidious thing is, most of the time they don’t actually replace the damn thing anyway. The mechanics reset it.

So Nissan. You’re on notice. Fix your window motors and stop screwing your customers over. I can’t imagine in this economy that they can afford to lose any business.

••••••••••

Tomorrow night I’m going to a soccer game. It’s the Los Angeles Galaxy (with the hot but obnoxious David Beckham) versus FC Barcelona. I’m a little scared because Bill said soccer is a little crazy (like throwing cups of pee kind of crazy). I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

In Which I Complain About Being a Magnet for Assholes

Last night Bill and I went to see KÀ at the MGM Grand. I can’t even begin to tell you what the story was supposed to be but here’s what the website says: “KÀ the unprecedented, gravity-defying production by Cirque du Soleil takes adventure to an all new level. Be awed by a theatrical landscape, as an entire empire appears on KÀ colossal dynamic stage and a captivating display of aerial acrobatics envelops the audience.”

Story-schmory. I don’t care what it was supposed be about because the production was amazing. This floating stage twists horizontally and vertically, sprouts poles for performers to climb, and is covered with ‘sand’ (cork) for actors to hide within. It’s unlike any of their other shows—although it does have the Cirque’s trademark acrobatics.

Tickets to Cirque shows are never cheap, but we had what would have been perfect seats (insert ominous music here).

We sat down about 10 minutes before the show started and the two women sitting to my right were deep into a conversation about husbands, sex, drinking, and god only knows what else. Normally, it wouldn’t have bothered me too much but Cirque du Soleil usually does a little show before the show while they’re waiting for everyone to grab their seats. These women were so loud you could hear them over the music.

Since the show hadn’t really started yet, I tried to relax and tune them out.

The house lights when down and the show started and the two women were still talking, only now they were practically shouting to hear themselves over the live band and what little dialogue there is.

I tried to ignore it and figured they were just wrapping up their conversation, but after 10 minutes I was so annoyed I couldn’t enjoy the show. In fact, I was pissed.

I leaned over and tried to politely ask them to keep it down, but they either didn’t hear me or chose to ignore me.

Wanna really piss me off? Talk so loud that you can’t hear anyone telling you to shut up.

I waited a minute and tried again. I know they heard me this time because they both kept stealing furtive glances my way and continued to talk.

I finally had enough.

I leaned over, tried to ask nicely again if they’d mind keeping it down, and they kept talking. Meanwhile everyone around them was shooting daggers their way but they were so engrossed in their conversation they didn’t even notice. The only time they interrupted their steady banter was to comment on the hottness one of the acrobats or to cheer and wolf call at totally inappropriate times.

I leaned in one more time, tapped the arm of the chick next to me, got in her face and asked, “Seriously? Are you going to talk through the entire show?” I told them that we paid a lot of money to see the show—not listen to them. The second woman leaned over the woman next to me, told me chill out, and said they were just trying to have a good time and enjoy the show. I leaned back in and told her that we were also trying to enjoy the show, and if they wanted to catch up and talk about their sex lives, they should have saved themselves the $15o and gone to a bar instead.

They both glared at me and it got quiet for a second. Until the stage whispering started.

A couple of minutes later, the second woman got up to go to the bathroom. We were dead center in the row, and she had a choice to make. She could sneak out one way, or she could come our way and climb over us.

Guess which one she chose?

As she’s tripping all over my feet trying to get out, she leans down and practically sits in my lap, puts her face in mine, and says “(hiccup) Miss Meanie, weeeeeeeee’re jushhh trying to have some fun, okay? (hiccup*) And you’re jusssssshhhhhhh, you’re mean. I’ll refund (hiccup) your ticket since you’re so mean.”

I shoved her off of me, and tell her to shut the fuck up and get off of me.

When she came back with her vat of alcohol she crawled back in the other end of the row and the two were fairly quiet for the rest of the show. Occasionally, the drama of the show would be punctuated with the random “Woooooo-hooo!” and the slurping of a straw in a nearly empty drink. Sluuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp.

When the show ended and everyone stood up for an ovation, the two women sat slumped in their seats, totally trying to to sober up enough to leave. Bill moved me in front on him to keep me from getting into it with them on the way out of the theater.

I don’t know what it is about me. I don’t seek out confrontation, but if there’s an obnoxious drunk or a person who’s going to chat through an entire movie or performance, they find me, they sit next to me, they cut in front of me in line. I’m like a magnet for crap like that.

I need to find a way to demagnetize.