Archive | February 2012

Safe At Home

My husband and I have the pleasure and sometimes the pain of having two adult children living with us.  They are pretty much grown-ups.  They have college degrees, real jobs (even benefits and a 401K) and a credit card.  They wear suits and can discuss in detail subjects such as:  IPOs; what an S-1 is; say things like “we are somewhat risk adverse with that particular client”; understand top line profits and have taken quite an interest in the European debt crisis.  They could try to explain all these things and more to me in English, Spanish and Chinese and add a power point presentation, if needed.   They are fun to have around.  Dinner conversation is more interesting, a trip to Costco makes more sense and they can pick up bread at the store if I forgot.  Aside from the fact that they can’t quite afford to move out yet, they are the model of maturity.

For some reason, despite their demonstrated abilities to be grown-ups, I can’t seem to stop myself from getting caught up in that completely lose-lose area of trying to parent these twenty-somethings. Now that I get to see their personal habits and lives up close, I see so many ways that I can help them improve themselves.  There is just so much they don’t know!  Managing their health, navigating the workplace, fashion, fitness, dating, personal hygiene, driving, car maintenance, finance, the 5 year plan.  You name it, I have advice for it.  I either read about it, saw it on the Today show, got a mass email about it or even had personal experience.  Therefore, I’m confident that I know SO much more than they do that I’m quite qualified to be involved all levels.

You don't need him, you have me: a live-in know-it-all!

Most of the time, I remind myself of the “lose-lose” element to parental advice and manage to keep my mouth shut about it all.  That doesn’t mean that worried thoughts don’t follow me around.  Things like whether they’re going to get up for work on time, eat a good breakfast, cut themselves with the bagel knife, leave the stove on, get in an accident on the freeway, get lost, get carjacked, get road raged, run out of gas at night in Compton, lose their cell phones, get a poor work review, pay the credit card bill on time, walk alone in a dark parking lot, drink too much, date a jerk, don’t have any dates, get a flu shot (I mean it, Ben!), skin cancer, identity theft, washing their hands before eating, Hepatitis A, bird flu, earthquakes, tape worms, nuclear fallout from Japan, e-coli, tsunami(s), salmonella, bed bugs, aspartame, tuberculosis exposure, Ragnarok, terrorist attack and hantavirus.  Wait, I almost forgot about hearing loss from loud music, polar ice cap melting and mosquito-borne diseases!

Don't worry, I've got this covered for you too.

That is just a regular Tuesday for me.  It’s even worse if they’re out for the night, as I can’t quite get to sleep until they get home.  Unless it’s after 8pm, then I’m already asleep.

I’m exhausted and I’m pretty sure this is making me age prematurely.  I want my days of ignorance and denial back.  Some of this is sort of like watching how sausage is made; you’re way better off NOT knowing.   Catching up once a week over a steak and a nice bottle of wine and getting the glossed over highlights sounds lovely about now.   Maybe, I’ll be the one to move out…just to give my mind a little rest.

I almost forgot; I have to worry about tornadoes and dust mites too!

Advertisements

Conflict Resolution

I’d like to wrap up the week by reflecting on the art of the passive aggressive note. As young people, we move from home to more socially diverse environments, and it can be tricky to try to develop the skills to appropriately handle conflicts that come up with coworkers, roommates, and cab drivers alike. I believe this can be especially tough for women, as we sometimes don’t want to appear too aggressive or bitchy even if the truth is that we have the word “DEMON” branded across our very hearts. I, myself, have participated in more door slamming, stomping, and aggressively loud music playing more times than I would like to admit. Come on ladies, we all do it. It’s a girl thing, am I right? Like our periods!

That said, my favorite tactic that some young women employ to manage conflict is the passive aggressive note. You know what I’m talking about.

Ugh, I remember I wrote the worst one ever to my freshman suitemates who never cleaned the bathroom. In hindsight, it really is no wonder that my roommate hated me so much. I was just the worst.

Still, we mature. And today, I am faced with an issue. See, in my office everybody likes club soda. What no one knows is that I love club soda more than any of them and I dare them to cross me about it. But I digress. To set the scene, you must know that I have a mini fridge below my desk where I keep water bottles for guests. Employees aren’t supposed to take the waters, but they often do. Now, the office always runs out of club soda around lunch time, so, when freshly stocked in the morning, I like to take extra cans of club soda and put them in the mini fridge. I feel as though it is my right to do this because I have a mini fridge. Agree with me, please. Dissent on this matter will not be tolerated.

You might understand, then, how I am upset when one particular coworker of mine comes back to the mini fridge, apparently goes “OOH THE LAST CLUB SODA,” and snatches it away without the slightest consideration about how why it might be in the fridge in the first place. ‘Cuz now, all the club soda is gone and I have no club soda for HOURS until they restock! Ugh.

I won’t be mad in a few hours. It will be OK. If the problem arises again, I will address it like a normal grown. But at the moment, I’m feeling like a passive aggressive note might be just the ticket. Minus the passive part.

Yeah, I poisoned the club soda.

We Can Make That Movie!

 

Two weeks ago Miden Wood, Logan Herries, and I teamed up to make a movie in 24 hours.

Logan                          Miden                      Amelia

 

It was difficult to set aside our differences because we all hate each other so very much but we managed. We received our official challenge at 6 p.m. on a Friday.
Genre: Working Girl/Shop Girl
Line of Dialogue: “Why are you singing?”
Prop: Fritz Lang’s Metropolis Postcard

We sat down to brainstorm over dinner at Friends Cafe. Friends Cafe was an odd place to brainstorm since the three of us aren’t really friends at all. We are nemeses. We talked about the conventions of Working Girl movies for about an hour before landing on Mary Tyler Moore.

If you’re not familiar with Mary Tyler Moore…

 

Our film was inspired by the following conversation.

Logan: I want to see a film where Mary Tyler Moore gets stabbed.
Amelia: (slams hands down on table) We can make that movie!

(Miden sits in silence, shoving her mouth full of Korean food.)

So, with the help of some friends, we made that movie!

 

Here is our final product!

 

 

My Afternoon With Chelsea

My younger sister Susan has a very generous friend with a plane.  That plane came to L.A. recently, carrying Susan and her closest friends to celebrate her 50th birthday in high style.  Why L.A.?  A date with Susan’s favorite comedian, Chelsea Handler, and a taping of the Chelsea Lately Show.

She included me in the plans, as I live nearby and wanted to help her celebrate her big day.  A major concern about inviting me was the dress code for getting into the Chelsea taping.  Apparently, you”re supposed to look “cool”  in order meet the show’s hip and groovy audience standard.  Susie has seen me (apparently way too often) in my variation on a theme outfit:  a black track suit and tennis shoes.  Being quite the fashionista, she knew she had lots of work to do to get me to that “cool” level.  It started with subtle hints via email; a lot of them.  The word COOL was capitalized and underlined.  She called me more than usual, allegedly to ask how the week was going, but veered pretty quickly to an interrogation on whether I had planned an outfit yet.   She had several suggestions, most of them meant I had to do some serious shopping and I just didn’t have time nor the capability to find the right thing.  I pulled together the “coolest” pieces (that weren’t sweat suitish) from what I already had, took a deep breath and hit the road.

I met her very fun friends and realized pretty quickly that I didn’t quite get as close to “hot” as they did.  Susan and her friends were making the most of a three day party and they were going to wait to sleep until the plane ride home.  These Moms were gettin’ down and everyone had better get the hell out of the way!  I could tell pretty quickly that they were having the BEST TIME EVER!

Off we went to lunch at a very trendy restaurant.  Screwdrivers, mojitos and a few salads later, we were pre-functioned enough to go to the taping.

We lined up to get through security (which put the TSA to shame).  Chelsea must have some stalker fans or be a frequent Al Qaeda target, because it was just short of a strip search to get in the door.  We all made it in and were seated in the front row center.  I was feeling a little bit smug about my head to toe coverage outfit because the studio was about 55 degrees.  Thank God the warm-up comedian made us clap and laugh at absolutely everything, it helped to keep us warm.  Literally.

We were 10 feet away, for real! Clapping and laughing our asses off, hoping for a wardrobe malfunction.

The show begins, the round table comedians come out, Chuy arrives and Chelsea seems to appear out of nowhere.  She hits her marks, reads from the teleprompter, interviews Leann Rimes (wearing the smallest outfit ever…we were just waiting for her boob or her peekachoo to hang out), gives the promo for E News and vanishes.  At this point, I’m exhausted from the hard work of being an audience member.  All that clapping!  All that forced laughter!  All that trying to maintain body temperature!

Afterwards, we met in the bar of the fancy hotel the group was staying in.   It was a great spot to chat about the show.  Susan was thrilled to have seen Chelsea, and we all agreed that it was an unforgettable afternoon.  I soon head for home, as the ladies are getting fired up for phase 3 of their plans for the evening…something about dinner, more drinks and dancing.  They invited me, but it was way past my old lady bedtime to even consider.

The show aired the next night and I gathered the family to watch, as I thought that maybe there could be a glimpse of me somewhere during the program.  Jeff is the first to point me out  “Hey Babe, there you are!  I’d recognize the back of that big noggin just about anywhere”!  The whole family clapped and congratulated me!  I have to admit, it was pretty exciting to see the back of my head on T.V.!  Now, Susan and I have an awesome memento of her birthday.  The view of the back of our heads, side by side.  Mine quite large and brunette;  hers, normal size, cute and blonde, kind of like when we were kids.  A beautiful sister moment…if you look closely enough.

Can you find us? It's like the "Where's Waldo" of the back of our heads...

(46) Days

Happy Mardi Gras!

To celebrate Fat Tuesday, I have snacked literally all day. I upped my usual daily intake of white cheddar popcorn from two little bags to three little bags, and let me tell you, it has been great. I’m eating a bowl of lucky charms as I write this. What kind of adult eats lucky charms at work? The kind that hopes to receive dental insurance someday soon, that’s what!

But like any perpetually-guilt-ridden-mostly-Catholic-semi-grown, I know that it would not be prudent to embrace the socially endorsed gluttony of this day without committing to a sacrifice that would counterbalance how gross I’ve been today. The issue that I come up against is deciding what to give up for Lent.

Here are some of my options at the moment, together with a concept of what this sacrifice would mean for me:

  • Thai food- This would mean no Thaiday Friday. Thaiday Friday is a holiday that I made up and celebrate with myself every week where I order tofu red curry for dinner and eat it in my bed while I watch the NBC Thursday night sitcoms online.
  • Wine- This would mean that my veins might flow with blood, for a change, instead of the Sauvignon Blanc that fills me now. It would be a trial for me, to say the least.
  • Professional manicures- I guess I don’t really get enough manicures to make this a legitimate sacrifice.  Plus, if we’re operating under that old “Sunday is a break day” rule, I probably wouldn’t be giving up anything at all.
  • Weekday drinking- This would mean me altering every single plan I have made for the next 2 weeks. Maybe I should take a critical look at myself.
  • Kardashian related media- Khloe and Lamar season 2 just started. Come on. It would be a big deal for me.
  • Carbs- This would make Thaiday Friday a little complicated too. Weekday carbs maybe? Is that a thing? Ugh, I know, I know. If it were easy, it would not be a sacrifice.

If you have any other ideas, I invite comments and suggestions. Regardless, you can bet that I’ll be drinking plenty of wine this eve. It’s always good to prepare for spiritually cleansing deprivation, no matter what.

Ender’s got game.

Now that my second semester of grad school is in full swing, people ask me about my thesis and what I want to “concentrate” on. I try to conjure impressive answers…they’re usually different every time, and rarely ever true. It’s not that I don’t like what I’m studying or where I’m at. It’s just that these questions about the future really make me wonder what I want.

After deep introspection and meditation, I realized what I want. I think I kind of reached that moment everyone talks about – when life just makes sense.

I realized that I want the life of my neighbor’s dog, Ender.

He is the cutest and LAZIEST dog you will ever meet. I kid you not. This doggie means business when he refuses to go out for a walk. He stands with his feet firmly rooted to the ground or just sits on the sidewalk. Seriously. He just sits his big butt down and looks at you like “uhhh, if you’re not gonna carry me, we aren’t gonna be moving” Not to mention, when you say “Ender, sit!,” he kind of makes an effort to look in your direction, but just continues walking until HE decides to plop down. And boy, when he does…he’s not moving any time soon.

You will see him in the supine state above most of the time. It’s awesome. And I am so jealous. I would do anything to just lounge around all day, maybe reading a book or two. MAYBE. But really, I would just curl up and take nice, long naps.

And the best thing about Ender’s life is that he gets away with EVERYTHING. Why? BECAUSE HE IS SO CUTE!

You see him?? He is adorable. And so, even if he doesn’t sit or roll over or jump with his two front paws, it’s all ok…because his cuteness balances it out.

So yeah, I’m in grad school, writing papers and making presentations when I SHOULD be just taking a nap. Oh Ender. You make me realize everyday that you are living my dream…that this is what I should be doing:

                             

Top Ten Helen Mirren’s Boob’s Movies

In honor of this week of love, I would like to share my feelings about an elderly woman I admire.  In fact, the only older women I admire more than her are my grandmothers.  That’s right, I’m talking about Dame Helen Mirren.  However, as great as she is, I think there are some facets of her that go unrecognized.  Yes, she’s utterly hilarious, and yes, she is one of the greatest actresses working today, but I’d like to highlight some of her best assets.  Or rather, her breast assets.

Yes, I’m talking about the talent that is Helen Mirren’s Boobs.  Here it goes…

1. Calendar Girls:  Without question, their finest, most raw, most revealing performance.  Literally.

2. Age of Consent: A light and airy performance in which they let everything hang out.  Though they are now old and perky, this performance captures the time when they were young and perky.

3.  Prime Suspect:  Gritty police work and tenacity have nothing on a well-fitted bra and flattering lady blazer that helped define her iconic character, Jane Tennison.  Showed that they were more than a pair of boobs.

4.  The Queen:  Regal boobs whose sheer authenticity and suppression of natural skill won themselves an Oscar.  Established themselves as icons.

5.  The Love Ranch:  They played a madam.  They were married to Joe Pesci.  Helen Mirren’s Boobs: ain’t nothing to mess with.

6.  Raising Helen:  Fashionable, yet older, this performance put the work of Kate Hudson’s boobs to shame.

7.  Excalibur:  One of their more supple and pure performances, showing they could be alluring and menacing at the same time.

8.  RED:  A killer role.  Literally, they killed men.  It was very impressive.

9.  National Treasure: Book of Secrets:  Obviously done for the paycheck, but they performed in surprising harmony with Nicolas Cage’s toupee.

10.  Shadowboxer:  Decently exposed performance. Unfortunately overshadowed by the performance of Stephen Dorff’s half-chub.  Seriously.

Overall, this body of work they have demonstrated throughout the years is quite impressive.  In spite of that fact that I’m not really even into boobs, the fact that these ten performances were so memorable speaks to the talent that is Helen Mirren’s Boobs. Academy, are you listening?

Get a Boo in 2012!

Hey Grrrrllllssssss!

Valentine’s Day is over and we all survived! I’m not going to make some snarky comment about Valentine’s Day and how it’s so lame and only total sellouts fall into the trap of celebrating it. I’m not even going to complain about all of the annoying, happy couples. I’m buying into all of the Valentine’s Day nonsense! I’m totally getting a boyfriend before next Valentine’s Day. Girl, if I can do it SO CAN YOU!

We don’t want another year like this, do we girls?

 

The following is a step by step guide to get yourself a boo before Valentine’s Day 2013.

Step One: Get Out of Bed

If you’re like me, your loneliness is so crippling, most days getting out of bed just feels impossible. That’s NOT how to get a boyfriend. Believe me, girl! You’ve got to find a reason to get out of your bed! For example, tactically park your car in the direction of the nearest Cracker Barrel. When the sun rises on another sad day of your life, get out of bed! You can do it! You’re so close to the Cracker Barrel Country Boy Breakfast! Things are going to change for you today!

Step Two: Cry

Once you’re out of bed, get ready for the day! Put on a cute outfit and a little bit of make up BUT make sure you get out all of your tears before you put on any makeup. Admit it. You’re going to cry today. Let it happen, girl! Get it all out of your system then get ready to go out and get yo’ man!

Step Three: Eat Everything in Sight

It’s science. Men love a lady with a hearty appetite. Eat your food quickly. Scarf it down, girl! You don’t have time to savor it. You’ve got men to hunt! On your way out of Cracker Barrel, stop in the country store and pick up two pecan logs. Eat one in the car. Throw the wrapper out of the window. When you get back to your room, eat the other pecan log. Act like the first one never happened.

Step Four: Do Your Thing

This step is the “how-to” lists equivalent of the “free style” in a dance number. Go about your day normally!

Step Five: Go Home

Since you are trying to meet people, this may seem counterproductive. Trust me, girl! You’ll thank me later. Go home.

Step Six: Get on the Internet and Find True Love

Internet dating is awesome! I’m not talking about dating sites. Those aren’t going to help you. Your next move is a bold move. You can do it, girl! Get on FaceBook!

Step Seven: Choose Your Boo!

Scroll through your list of FaceBook friends. Pick out a boy who is cute but not too cute. Don’t get too crazy, girl! It’s not like you’re a model! (If you are a model feel free to alter this step.)

Step Eight: Change Your Relationship Status

Make your relationship status “In a Relationship with      Insert Name of Boy from Step  7  . I mean, he might go for it! If he gets weirded out just say it was an accident! What’s the worst thing that could happen? You’re alone forever? It seems like that’s inevitable, girl! At least you’ll have taken a risk!

We’ve got 365 more days to go through steps 1-8. If you wake up each morning and follow these instructions, I guarantee you’ll have a Valentine next year!*

Love ya girl!
Amelia

*My guarantee means very little.

Random Thoughts Loosely Connected to Valentine’s Day

During my weekend of walking around aimlessly, running errands, cringing at the worst broadcast of the Grammy’s in decades, and sitting through a glut of advertisements beating Valentine’s Day to a bloody pulp, I had a random assortment of musings that have absolutely no connection whatsoever.  Typical

Are You There Grammy’s? It’s Me, Apathy

  • The Grammy’s were terrible
  • Apparently, the go-to hairstlye of 2012 is Bad Combover.  Thank you, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Mr. Molesley from Downton Abbey for making balding the chic ‘do of the year.
  • Adele’s music has been scientifically proven to induce sobbing, according to the Wall Street Journal.  So really, she’s not some poor girl trying to get over a bad breakup; she’s a ruthless villain trying to destroy the world one heartbroken, slobbering mess at a time.
  • I’ve watched more videos of Whitney Houston in the past few days than any white, upper-middle class male living at home has any right to.  However, I’ve come to the conclusion my favorite Whitney is a toss up between “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” Whitney (a song my friends and I requested at our senior prom), and reality TV star Whitney. Yes, she was “The Voice of a Generation”, but clips like this show you she was really “The Comedic Voice of a Generation”.
  • Words I have the misfortune of seeing in the future: Chris Brown, Grammy winner.
  • Words I have the joy of writing without fear of libel: Chris Brown, convicted felon

And What Did You Do This Weekend?

  • I recently got a library card, and while hanging out at the library on the weekends, have begun to wonder if this might be the catalyst my dating life needs to sputter out of reverse and into park.  This weekend I saw the large print section overflowing with elderlies, the computers crowded with people muttering to themselves, and the DVD section being devoured by people fighting over the newest copy of Breaking Dawn.  Of course, I stayed and scoped out the crowd.  Nothing this week, but there’s nothing more productive to do on a three day weekend than troll the library.
  • It was 75 degrees in Los Angeles this weekend.
  • Our refrigerator hasn’t been working, which means that I’ve had the enviable task of eating all of the perishable food before it goes bad, and drinking all of the beer before it gets too warm.  It’s been a rough week.
  • I went on another date with my sister, this time to the mall.  Horrifyingly, I had a great time.

Why Valentine’s Day Can Suck My Nuts

  • I hate everyone who has someone special to spend Valentine’s Day with, during which they express their love and affection for each other.  It’s disgusting.  And yes, that includes you, Mom and Dad.
  • I considered sending myself a box of chocolates at work to make it seem like someone loved me.  Then I realized that would seem desperate, so I settled on an Edible Arrangements.
  • If I see anyone, and I mean ANYONE, holding hands on, I will yell at them to get a room.

Things That Help, Thanks For Asking

  • I will probably go see This Means War by myself today.

    There can only be one!

  • If I don’t go see This Means War, I will rent Human Centipede, as I feel they both offer up the same sentiment, expressed slightly differently.  Either way, Reese Witherspoon is in the middle.

There can only be three-surgically-fused-as-one!

  • For lunch, I’m going to go to Applebee’s and order the 2 for $20 deal for myself.  And I will finish both entrees.
  • I received a card on Valentine’s Day from my grandparents with $10 inside.  It totally made my day

The Plus Sides of Single-Hood

Valentines day is upon us, yes, so it can seem as though those of us unattached are meant to feel hideously bitter left out of the loop. But I think the whole “hag” thing is played out for me this year. Instead, I choose to be upbeat. I choose to still wear pink today. I choose to remember that there’s always a lot to celebrate even if you’re the one stuck with the responsibility of buying yourself roses and chocolates and vibrators this time of year. And so, with unbridled (and only a little bit forced) optimism, may I present, what I consider to be The Plus Sides of Single-hood:

  1. You get to wear your crest white strips at night without complaint. Who’s really trying to deal with that in the morning?
  2. You get to litter half of your bed with your computer and ipad and purse and trash from when you went shopping earlier when you go to sleep.*
  3. You get to proudly tell your gynecologist that you are not sexually active.
  4. Wanna watch 6 episodes of Say Yes to the Dress in a row on Netflix while eating an entire family sized bag of white cheddar popcorn in your bed? Go ahead! Just me? Ok!

    White cheddar popcorn has likely never touched this woman's lips. I weep for her. She's missing out.

  5. You get to gratuitously fart in bed.
  6. You get to smile sweetly while that dude you met at the bar 6 minutes ago tries everything short of physically dragging you to get you to his apartment (My advice? Marry. Him. Tonight. Then you’ll never be alone again).
  7. Wait, you bought your underwear in a 3 pack at Walmart too? The kind where the print looks like it should be on a toddler’s bedspread, but instead it’s on your thong? Oh my God, we HAVE to get drunk together coffee. We have so much in common.

    There is no bra in the world that these would compliment.

  8. Kardashians. No apologies.
  9. You get to know the real you. The you that happily eats brunch alone at restaurants. The you that buys fresh produce with the best of intentions but ends up eating delivery Thai food in bed at least twice a week. The you that weeps openly by yourself in the theater at The Muppet Movie. The you that, lets get real, is worth getting to know. Because, you know, she’s going places.

*You can also sleep dead center on your mattress, which carries it’s own redeeming value. I, however, recommend the litter avenue; helps guard against that “crater of loneliness” that will form if you sleep in the middle long enough, which is a turn off that bi-annual night you manage to land somebody there. Also, flip your mattress. Ah, but it’s kind of a two man job…