Thursday, March 27, 2008

Patrons of the Arts

Yesterday my dad told me on the phone that, while at the Getty Center on Monday with my mom and aunt and uncle, he ran into Huell Howser! Filming an episode of California's Gold right there at that moment! And they had a lovely chat! And my dad said he would not wash his hand after shaking Huell's until he got a chance to shake mine, so I could benefit from the glorious transference of my hero's germs or dirt or DNA or whatever, like on that episode of The Brady Bunch with Davy Jones.

I said, "Dad! That's even better than when mom ran into Val Kilmer at the Bel Air Hotel." And he goes, "Oh wait, Val was there too. At the Getty!" Seriously? What are the chances.

So it was my mom, dad, aunt J, uncle A, Val Kilmer, and Huell Howser all enjoying a sunny Monday afternoon at the Getty. The things you miss when you have a job.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Potential Titles for my Future Memoirs

Motivated by Coffee: The AD Story

Motivated by Fear, Fueled by Coffee: The AD Story (borrowed, with permission)

Motivated by the Calorie Counter on my Heart Rate Monitor: The AD Story

Distracted in Yoga: The AD Story

Accident Prone (Or, Why I Am Wearing This Patch Over my Eye): The AD Story

Commitment to Finding Better Airfare Than You Are Likely to Be Able to Find on Your Own: The AD Story

Apropos of Nothing: The AD Story*

Eh, You Get the Gist: The AD Story

*Current front-runner

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

But for me it's no booze fest, like it was in the college years, god bless them. Now, here's what makes me happy on a Monday night:

6:30 to 7:45. Muscle through Beautiful Booty class followed by half hour on elliptical while watching CNN's Spitzer-inspired special on cheaters.

7:45 to 8:15. Drive home, while talking on Treo to blue-eyed boy, a comfortingly routine exchange of information about the day's work and workouts. Bonus conversation topics: 401k, taxes, the Yucatan.

8:15. Arrive to find a delightfully clean home. Best new house cleaners ever.

8:30 to 9:30. Cook and eat dinner, Hamburger Helper made with veggie ground beef and skim milk substitutions. (Yeah, I copped to my white-trash treat; don't sleep on Hamburger Helper.) Savor vodka/pomegranate cocktail while watching PBS. Life does not get better than Huell Howser. LOVE.

9:30 to present. Continue enjoyment of cocktail and PBS (now an Ansel Adams special filled with Yosemite porn images). Further savor delighted feeling that comes from not being out drinking in the midst of some slutty St. Patrick's Day mob scene. (Nonetheless pleased with selection of green polka-dot PJ pants.)

Perhaps this is the face of 30. I can get with that.

"There's something in Ansel's work that is almost gothic. It's this tracery, it's this shimmering tracery...It's not really substantial. It's like a movie screen, mm, flickers like that... It's all this surface ornament, very vital and animistic and never still. Shimmering, shaking."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Reckless Driving Incident

Today I was browsing the grocery aisles at Target when another woman shopper ran her cart right over the toes on my flip-fopped right foot. I was startled and it hurt like hell, and moreover I thought it was going to mess up my 20-minutes-old pedicure (OPI Cajun Shrimp).

The other woman was so upset that she might have hurt me that she frantically apologized over and over, and then in a flash of panic let slip out, "Can I kiss it?" But not in a creepy foot-fetish way (like that guy outside the Macy's offices in San Francisco who always used to accost us on our way up from the BART station talking about, "nice...pretty...toes..."). But in a total Jewish mom kind of way; I could just hear the words coming out of my own mom's mouth. After the foot pain subsided, I released my toes from my massaging hand, and told her, no, no, no, it's no problem, of course you didn't mean it, things happen.

Then she said, "Are you...are you Jewish?" Yes, I'm Jewish, "Are you the daughter of...?" Nope, wrong Jewish parents' daughter. But I knew the reason she'd been distracted enough to run over my foot was that she was fixed on me trying to discern whether I was this person she suspected I was. I had wondered why she'd been staring.

[Vastly oversimplified kicker:] In this town, people offer to kiss your foot after running it over with a shopping cart in Target. In the Target in Queens, they steal your full cart so they can use it themselves, and throw all of its contents, including your scarf and winter coat with a monthly MetroCard in the pocket, on the floor under the boys' underwear racks. OK, so maybe that only happened once, but it obviously scarred me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Eliot Spitzer, Stop Trippin'

Men and their spectacular capacity for hubris and misjudgment!

The other day I heard: "Men are stupid and women are crazy." I would agree that men can be profoundly stupid, particularly when it comes to women. And I'm sure women can be profoundly crazy, particularly when it comes to men. But people, let's reel it in. Stop with the hookers and the lies, or The New York Times will find your hired help and link right to her MySpace page.

Hillary, if you get there, show these boys how it's done and do the ladies proud.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Wow, so I finally did it. I exhausted the World Wide Web. I've done so much Internet searching over the last week that I actually finished looking at all the Web pages ever posted regarding lodging in Tulum.

I don't recommend finishing the Internet like a book; it makes your eyes hurt. (Plus I managed to absentmindedly polish off most of a box of Life cereal in the process, which is not ideal.) But I do feel insanely educated now, just the way I like it.

See also: Reservation Mode.


I bought three bunches of daffodils yesterday at Trader Joe's and they've already all opened into terrific yellow blooms in vases around my house. Daffodils always make me smile on account of this memory: In Berkeley, there was a thing called the Daffodil Festival, which was some kind of Greek-system charity fund-raiser. All the sorority houses would sell bunches of five flowers for $1 on Sproul Plaza. For that price, it seemed the campus became transformed into a brightly hued kinetic sculpture, with blooms peeking from bobbing backpacks, tucked behind ears on happy heads, and sitting in sills all along Bancroft. For a limited time, the sunny accessory seemed to transcend genres; who wouldn't want one of those pretty little things? Such a fond springtime memory from an era during which a handful of life's greatest gifts converged: youth, optimism, curiosity, hope, friendship, and learning. Le sigh.

Today I have the first sunburn of the season after a hike in Malibu with the girls (during which we figured out the answers to all the world's mysteries, natch) across five little streams to a graceful waterfall. Warm weather is my happy place.

You can take the girl out of California, but... please don't.

Friday, March 07, 2008

In Which I Try to Ascertain my Comfort Level With Scorpions

And not the '80s hair band either, but actual crawling scorpions. I am in Reservation Mode now, fully in my element, researching and booking the details of our upcoming Yucatan vacation. There seem to be so many amazing things, and so many amazing nothings, to do there, I'm wishing we had four weeks rather than four days. Alas.

So, nu. Tulum. It seems to be a spectacularly unplugged place with little electric power, mostly wind and solar energy. So there seems to be little risk of accidentally stumbling into some kind of gross Sandals-type environment packed with fat Americans and sweating Swiss cheese on buffet tables. But I'm trying to figure if a relatively civilized hotel environment is the right choice, when there seem to be many tremendous palapa/tent-type options on the beach and in the jungle. But the more I read online, the more references I see to scorpions. Those things can hurt you, right? I mean, I'm not trying to be prissy, but. Also I am known for swelling up like a Macy's parade balloon when I get even a little mosquito bite that would be totally innocuous for someone else. I'm just saying, a girl ought to know herself.

One eco-hotel reviewer on TripAdvisor, who by the way loved one of the spots I am considering, mentioned that the place was not for people with "nervous dispositions" on account of all the "creepy crawlies." And that's when I was kind of like, OK, next. Unless I want to spend my rare vacation in the infirmary like I managed to do every summer at camp, I should probably keep looking for someplace, say, with more Aveda toiletries than nervous-disposition-challenging insects. Or at least somewhere in the middle.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Roll Call

Aha! I am writing from the gym to add to the list another celebrity who works out here: Taye Diggs. He was on the recumbent bike, we made eye contact, it was serious.

What is it that gets me excited to see celebrities working out, considering I see them all the time when I'm out covering events for work (and then am generally disinterested if not semi-disgusted)? Because they are supposed to be at events, on the red carpet and things; it's their natural habitat. But to see Mr. Big on the elliptical is still a novelty. And also it makes me feel muscley to work out alongside Fabio. It's just too silly to be true.

And also I'm obsessed with my gym in general, but that's neither here nor there.

Update: I saw Mark McGrath at the gym again tonight too. What has he done since spread-your-wings-and-fly-oh-me-oh-my time? Pity for his career.

Update part deux: Oops, he hosts Extra. My bad.

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

It's on like Donkey Kong.

Yucatan trip officially booked yesterday...check! 28 days and counting. (--->OK so I stole that image from the Web, sorry, but I will take lots of my own pics next month!) Coachella pool parties, get ready for us at the end of April! Grand Canyon hike happening in late June!

It's shaping up to be just the kind of spring/summer season I like. The vacation-packed, friend-filled, swimsuit-shopping-spree kind. Yes! Don't sleep on spring break, y'all. (The difference between now and college is that these days I actually deserve a vacation.)

Stay tuned. Last summer's going to be hard to beat, but I'm up for the challenge. Ladies, are ya with me?