Monday, May 21, 2007

Yo Ho, Yo Ho...

A while back, I spent a day with the blue-eyed guy that started with a hot air balloon flight, and proceeded with a back-country Jeep ride, a cattle round-up, two games at Wagon Wheel bowl, and a trip to the outlet mall. (It was what my mom would call "over-defining the situation," which is funny because she first defined that phrase, then coined it.) It was totally surreal and fun.

We kind of had a day like that on Saturday. We went for a hike in Franklin Canyon, which was only slightly laughable because we're the two city kids looking at each other semi-retardedly like, huh, check us out here in nature! even while we were in full view of the valley. But we got in some good Half Dome training (albeit about 90-minutes worth, but it's a start), and, importantly, we tested out our backpacks and shoes to see how sturdy our gear is before the crajor* hike, now just 12 days away. So far so good, but I'm totally buying one of those water-to-mouth-hosey things, because regular old water bottles aren't going to cut it apparently. Also I seem to have developed a late-life heavy-face-sweating issue, but that's neither here nor there.

Afterward, still in our grubby outdoorsy gear, we stopped at an estate sale in Holmby Hills on Mapleton, sandwiched between the Aaron Spelling estate and the Playboy Mansion. It definitely had its share of $50K furniture and paintings, but it also offered walk-in closets full of vintage duds and other semi-affordable finds. Sounds gold mine-ish, I know, but for some reason it wasn't quite. There was no evidence that this woman had done any shopping since the late 1960's, and most of her gowns were labled Bullocks Wilshire and I. Magnin. Kind of rad, but also kind of ugly. Plus, her feet were much smaller than mine (pity--some good nude peep-toe Ferragmos on that rack; just what I've been looking for) and she seemed to have had a tiny waist and outsized bust. How lovely that must have been for her! Moving on.

So then we went home and changed into our best pirate gear (no we didn't, but we should have) and headed out to Anaheim for the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere. Hello, it was awesome. I didn't realize how long it had been since I'd been to Disneyland until I realized how gleefully I was tugging onto the blue-eyed guy's sleeve, begging can we please puh-leeeeease go on Splash Mountain even though it's nighttime and cold, please, we can sit in the middle so we don't get wet, come on, it will be fun, please? And then I ate churros like it was my job (actually, I guess it kind of is my job in this context--sweet) and watched the movie and saw fireworks and wore my Mickey ears with the pirate earring all night long, until I fell asleep in the car on the way home. I figure, if this is what turning 30 feels like, I can totally dig it.

*Crajor = crazy + major. I made that up while writing a comment on my sister's blog and now I'm trying to get it to stick. Anyone with me?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Can I Help it That my Future's so Bright?

This one time I took the Chinatown bus from New York to visit my sister in Philadelphia. It was hella hot outside and we went to catch the end of the Live 8 concert with Stevie. So we're walking and this guy stops us on the street and says to me, "You look like that one singer--what's her name? Mariah Carey!" And after he walks away, I go to big Dubin, "I don't think I really look like Mariah Carey, do you?" And she goes, "No. It's just that nobody in Philadelphia wears sunglasses that big."

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

You know how if, like, your arm hurts, and you start looking on the Internet for all the reasons your arm could hurt, then you end up determining that you're going to die in an instant and you probably have the flesh-eating bacteria or cancer? The Internet is scary like that.

I'm experiencing a similar thing the more I read about the Half Dome hike, now less than three weeks away. I have yet to find a blogger writing about the experience who doesn't mention that training in the gym won't prepare you, and that going down is not easier on your body than going up, and that this will be a 12-hour ordeal so if we don't manage to start right at daybreak, well, then, we're basically screwed. All scary points, but manageable.

But here's the detail that got way under my skin this weekend: the matter of the last quarter mile, the bit where you climb at a 45-degree grade using the Yosemite-provided cables, which will shred your hands as you hold on for dear life, so you better bring gloves. The upper-body-strength requirement doesn't scare me so much here (although I'm sure it should) but it's the fear-inspiring height that I hadn't spent much time thinking about before this weekend. Apparently, according to bloggers who have done the hike, many hikers panic when faced with the cables and don't make the ascent. It could only be a very daunting thing that could make a hiker turn back just shy of the summit, after he has already made it 4,000 vertical feet over eight miles and six hours or so.
Anyway, note to self. If you know you suffer from insomnia, don't read a blog that includes this comment right before you try to go to bed:

The cables are intimidating because: If you slip, you will fall to your death, no doubt about it.

Update: Did it on June 2, 2007! Read my story here.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Holding out for a Hero

(In further sycophantic praise of my gym,) I took an awesome workout class yesterday: Super Hero Training Camp. There was much leaping and bounding and crawling Spidey-style on fingertips across impossibly long stretches of gym floor and partnering up as hero and villain and trying to knock each other off the Bosu. It was so much fun and there was a lot of perverse sweating and hooting and hollering in glee/pain. And if I'd been forced to do something like this in junior high P.E. class--particularly the partnering-up bit--I probably would have been awake with night sweats for a week in anticipation of the living nightmare it would have been.

I hope this sort of thing is preparing me for the great Half Dome hike that is now looming only three weeks down the horizon. There will be camping involved (which is "for homeless people," if you ask the blue-eyed guy, and I generally agree but am trying to be positive and strong and fearless and stuff) and I hope I don't lose a toenail because they don't give discounts on nine-toe pedicures. Oy, I'm excited, but scared. I suppose that's how you know you're alive.

Monday, May 07, 2007


That's how much it cost to fill the 12-gallon tank of my modest little Mazda3. And that's even before the orange light came on. And you know I passed up like four gas stations before I found one with regular unleaded for $3.59. To borrow a phrase from my Arafat-hankie-wearing casting director pal in New York, "Dang, y'all, gas prices don't play, mmmm-kay?!"

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Student of Life

Who wants to bet this kid goes to U.C. Berkeley?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Thanks For the Memories, Coachella 2007!

Sis: where exactly were you guys staying?
me: we stayed at the quality inn in indio
in a king smoking room with a pullout sofa bed
very glamorous
Sis: whoa, so it smelled like smoking and air conditioner and stuff?
me: yeah
it was kinda ghett
or "bust out" as [my Brooklyn-by-way-of-Youngstown-Ohio friend] would say
but everything was crazy sold out
Sis: "bust out" means ghet?
me: even our room was $224/night with our AAA discount!
and it was kind of a coup to even get it
bust out is good, right? i'm trying to implement
Sis: wait: 2 things
me: k
Sis: 1) 224 a night????
even with the three As?
me: yes. for a smoking room at the quality inn with one bed and a AAA discount. and a small bug problem.
Sis: because of coachella, right? i mean, not normally
me: because all the cool kids with bangs flock to town and grab the rooms
totally because of coachella
Sis: ok also, you're trying to implement bust out - is bust out an adjective? That's so bust out?
me: yes
like: "our room at the quality inn was bust out, but at least it was close to the concerts."
or for another example:
it was so hot that [the Mexican architect] was fanning herself with her dirty-ass flip-flop. that was hella bust out
Sis: ok
me: or we saw a girl on sunday night walking out of the venue with a plastic bag tied to one foot because she apparently had lost a shoe. that was mad bust out
Sis: ok whatev you say but it's not totally intuitive