General Nonsense

Book Club: The Final Countdown

 

The day before Book Club.

I was given 3 or so MONTHS to finish this book. The meeting had been put off and put off, but it was finally here. The day ahead glared at me like an evil witch, judging me for my sins. D-day. Do you know how far I was into this book, the day before the book club meeting, that I had had MONTHS to read???? Page 94. I officially made it to page 94. In 3 months. ACTUALLY, more like 4. FOUR months. If I did my math right, I would like you all to know that that is 30 pages on average a month. If you break that even further down, you sexy mathematicians, you will get one page. A day. Average.

So I planned on doing what any of us would have done, I cheated. I googled for spoilers, I read endings. I am a book club failure.

I was pretty sure I could fool everyone, though and I intended to try. I was going to go down in a blaze of glory. All or nothing. Lying to these nice people who let me into their group and their homes as I ate their pastries with confidence, commonly defined as “Of-COURSE-I’ve-read-this-book”-edence, blueberry scone crumbs clinging to the corner of my lying lips.

Look, in college I was an English Major, you think I haven’t faked this kind of thing before??  And by “English Major” I mean, “don’t look too deep into that because you’ll find I was inexplicably labelled a ‘Speech Major’ and I was too scared to go talk to anyone to get it changed. So I just made it all up as I went and then refused to completely graduate so I didn’t have to deal with it all and now here I am writing my bad-grammar blogs for free on the internet.”

So cheating and lying my way through this book club meeting like a snake oil salesman was the grand plan. And it would’ve worked too if it weren’t for that meddling Anxiety!  Because when Anxiety found out about it, she jolted me awake at 3am with judgements, panic, and an idea! Who cares about sleep, we Research! We can’t do it any other way. We’ll be kicked out of Book Club!! Several hours, and coffees, and pages, and post-it notes later, I was done.

And that’s how I finished a 306 page book. In 3 or so months. Actually more like 4. I read an entire book in almost 4 months and had to come and brag about it online.

Anyway, the next book has been chosen. I have about 6 weeks. What’s the over/under on whether I finish? One day I’m finally going to get my life together and you guys are going to be blown away.

Field of Dreams: A Metaphor

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This post is going to be super spoiler alert-y so if you haven’t seen this classic film yet, I suggest you do that first. I mean, the film has been out for 29 years, and if you haven’t seen it by now, Kevin Costner knows, he’s like Santa and Kevin Costner is not happy with you. Alright, you’ve been warned about both spoilers ahead and Kevin Costner’s disappointment, on we go with this journey.

This is basically a movie about ghosts and baseball and indulging in personal obsessions that no one else really cares about, but then kidnapping someone and making them care about said obsessions that probably somehow involve ghosts, and those are basically my favorite things in the world. Why wouldn’t this be one of my top 5 best movies ever?

It’s essentially an analogy of my current life, the field being the internet, I’m Ray Kinsella and I’m just sitting on the bleachers/couch watching ghosts play baseball and yelling about it to whoever will listen to me on the internet instead of contributing anything to my family. That’s an exaggeration actually, give me a break, I just sold a coin purse on etsy.

Here’s my question, how do I get my husband to agree to any of this? To indulge my figurative hopping in the car, driving 1000s of miles to kidnap people, throwing ghosts in the backseat to bring back to this field I mowed into my backyard so I can watch baseball games all day instead of harvest corn so they don’t take away my farm? There’s no way he would agree to that unless he’s hoping to get a two week vacation away from me. I’m going to work on my pitch, adding in the detail that the ghost I brought back into our home will save our child from choking on a hot-dog!

I’m not sure how that part of the movie actually worked though, is it like when Patrick Swayze pushed the penny up the door in Ghost? Is that how he pushed the hotdog out? And then once he saved the kid, where did Doc go? He couldn’t go back to ghostland once he stepped off the field. Oh god, does that mean he’s a zombie now? Roaming the streets of Iowa? What happened to Doc Moonlight Graham, Ray?? You didn’t ease his pain, you turned him into a zombie. This movie makes me cry at least 7 times per viewing anyway, but now I’m going to be crying about an old man zombie doctor that just wanted to play ghost ball with some pals, but now he’s stuck out in a field somewhere with that thing from Jeepers Creepers.

And if that weren’t enough dramatics, then you’ve got Darth Vader giving us the most satisfying monologue in history.

Ray. People will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. “Of course, we won’t mind if you look around”, you’ll say, “It’s only $20 per person”. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again. Oh…people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

– Terrence Mann, Field of Dreams, 1989

And again, another spoiler alert, Terrence Mann gives this tear inducing speech that makes me cry even thinking about it, tells Ray he lied to him about something (I don’t remember what it is though because I’m always too busy crying at this part), and then goes and dies on everyone. And laughs when he does. Seriously. Here’s Shoeless Joe dragging James Earl Jones to his death in the cornfield, like some kind of dementor, and he laughs about it. Listen, if you think I’m going into a cornfield ever again, you’re nuts. Seriously. Don’t give into temptation. No good is going to come from going into a cornfield. You’re either running into Mel Gibson’s alien friend, some weird blond kids, or Jason. No matter which door you choose, it’s certain death. Especially if Henry Hill’s the one inviting you in and he’s smiling. It’s a scam.

You know what the biggest scam of this whole movie is though? The fakest part ever? No way they got THAT many people to show up to a PTA meeting.

And one lady wore her church pearls! Maybe I should class myself up a bit. I roll into our meetings in my sweatpants, feet up on a table as I daydream about staring into a field of make-believe and ghosts.

These Boots are Made for Walkin’, or How I Plan to get my Own Category on NextDoor

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I don’t know what’s happened to me. I’ve become a walker. It’s ridiculous how much I have taken to it. I walk now. That’s a thing I do regularly. I had walked 5.32 miles yesterday before it was even 11 am. Out loud, that doesn’t sound like I’m living up to my original, diva-esque, Mariah Carey year plans, but in looking back over that resolutions list, I’m not actually that far off. My vision of the year probably involved a lot more champagne and foot rubs, however, as I am sorely lacking in champagne and foot rubs. I also noticed from that old post, we were just about to Supermoon.  And here we are, capping off the whole month with another Supermoon. This one yesterday was all eclipsy. I did not turn into a werewolf, sadly. I did not Thriller dance in the streets. My eyes, they did not yellow.

So fun news! I have a new, additional walking buddy, because, let’s be honest, if I’m not able to gossip and laugh while I walk, then what’s the point. I’ll look like a random hoodlum and will wind up on NextDoor under a “Suspicious Character” titled email. I mean, I might be on NextDoor anyway but I don’t need to prompt them.

Or maybe I do. Maybe I plan an elaborate prank that will last weeks that will get all the neighbors riled up and cause them to go all Hardy Boys. I’m going to tell Nurse Friend about this new plan. She’ll be thrilled.

So new walking buddy that hasn’t replaced Nurse Friend will hereby be known as Book Friend. Book Friend and I like to walk on the other side of Encino. The super rich people side. The house James Dean lived in when he died side, the Liberace Piano Pool house side, The Jackson Family Compound side. Two of those are actually in Sherman Oaks, but not the Jackson house. That’s Encino and speaking of the Jackson house, Tito has not come out and greeted me with a warm cup of tea yet, but it might happen if I wish hard enough.

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Liberace Piano Pool house

Yesterday Book Friend and I accidentally (on purpose) walked onto a live car commercial shoot. They yelled “HOT SET!” at us which I think meant, “shut up about your bad life choices and get out of the shot, pajama girl”. That was not exactly how I’d dreamed of being discovered, but we can’t all be Marilyn.

The rich people side is super nice though and we even saw one of those Little Free Library things that look like a bird mansion with books that people set up around the city. The one we came across had nice books in it like Hamlet and Jane Eyre. I’ve wanted to set one of these Little Free Libraries up around my side of the tracks but $10 says that someone would throw a Playboy and a used condom in it and then hit it with a baseball bat.

Look, my side of the Boulevard isn’t so bad. It’s real nice, actually. They have chairs out for you when you need a rest. Give me a glass of champagne and a foot rub, and it’s like, Tito and his tea, who?

That emerald toned, Lazy Boy is as, if not more lavish than any piano pool, don’t let the lure of Hollywood sway your perception.

The next time Book Friend and I walk, I’m going to pick up one of those Maps of the Stars so I can gawk and awe. Do they have a Valley edition? If they don’t, TMZ Tours better look out. They’ll have some Valley competition soon.

I’m going to get kicked out of Encino, aren’t I?

Neighborhood Watch: Urban Legend or Truth?

On our second day ON DUTY, Nurse Friend is already on thin ice.  I’m starting to think she’s not as into the Neighborhood Watch as I am. My tip-off was her saying, “Oh my god, you think this is real, don’t you,” when I bent down to take a picture of a discarded glove.

That kind of talk gets you demoted to the desk, Nurse Friend. Besides, this could be like, the OJ glove. Evidence? Planted evidence? Who knows, that’s not my job. My job is to document and take notes. Maybe it was Nurse Friend who dropped the glove. Maybe she’s involved in some kind of 2018 Bling Ring crowd. Maybe she’s trying to create a diversion. A nihilistic snide to the very idea of the Neighborhood Watch hoping that I overlook the key piece of evidence that could make or break her trial. How are the jury going to acquit if they never know if the glove fits?

Needless to say, Nurse Friend is no longer amused with this,  which like all things I do, it might have made my friends laugh the one time but now it’s uncomfortable and now they don’t know how to say, “enough”. She still goes walking with me though, so all of that is on her. She loves me.

Okay, but listen, listen, listen. I think we may have found evidence disproving the debunking of urban legend, “Dead Scuba Diver Found in Tree” !

This is what we found at an off-ramp in The Valley, nowhere NEAR a body of water. You tell me this isn’t all that’s left of that poor scuba diver that got sucked up into the bucket of one of those fire helicopters. RIP Jr Collins. RIP.

Neighborhood Watch

Well, craps. Last night I fell asleep again at 9pm. I’ve become so uncool. I have a reputation to uphold. Although, falling asleep so early means that I am also up so early and I can’t say I hate that part. I do enjoy all the quiet and calm before everyone wakes up in the morning.

So, let me tell you about my newest obsession. The other night there was a PTO meeting at school. (PTO is like the PTA but like, the underground version. Like a badly drawn version of Tony the Tiger but his name is Cody and he’s in board shorts which is actually an improvement because, why doesn’t Tony wear pants??) Anyway, at the PTO board meeting, an officer from the LAPD came to talk to us about neighborhood safety which in turn, made everyone at the board meeting passionately consider forming a neighborhood watch to catch the criminals in the act and let them and all their thief friends know that we are not having this here in the 91436, thank you very much, sirs!

This is my favorite thing that has happened in recent memory. Frantic, vigilante moms taking back the streets of Encino.

My nurse friend and I try to walk the neighborhood for a couple of miles at least once a week. Something ridiculous happens everytime we go out, but add “catching crooks” to the list and I cannot wait to document all of it. The NextDoor posts are about to level up.

This topic is all I can think about and I’ve been laughing about for 3 days. This is getting its own category on my blog. Stay tuned. I am not done with this nonsense.

I need to go get ready ’cause we’re walking today. My first, unofficial Neighborhood Watch patrol. I’ll report back if anything goes down. Today could be a two post kind of a day.

Home

I missed two blog days because my schedule is all off. When I was in Oregon, I was writing about my day at the end of the day when everything was quiet and I had pictures to add to posts and the only worry I had was if I was wearing enough socks.  Now that I’m back in California, I have dinner to make, dishes to do, children to bathe, bedtime stories to tell, and a cat that’s been waking me up at 5:00 in the morning. So when it’s time to put my 6 year old to bed, I end up falling asleep right next to him and waking up at 3 in the morning with my glasses still on my face, a full bladder, and teeth that haven’t been brushed and a full glass of wine next to me on the nightstand. I’m a disaster. And when you fall asleep at 8:30 pm, 5:00 am is EIGHT AND A HALF HOURS LATER.  I have to force myself to go back to sleep when I wake up at 3am because my body only really wants 6 hours of sleep. I’m turning into night people, but like the opposite way from when I was a cool 23 year old.

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I have no idea where this picture was stolen from originally but I stole it from a dude on tumblr who stole it first.

This year has already gone off the rails. I’ve spent the majority of 2018 not home and in someone else’s space, living someone else’s schedule. And not showering because it was too cold to be wet.

But I’m home now, I’m warm, and I’m buckling back down.

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness or contentment or whatever that is. That place. The Calm. And I think I’ve discovered it. All of it comes down to living your own life and allowing other people to live theirs. Live and let live. Like when you were young and your heart was an open book.

It’s not healthy or peaceful to comb through everyone else’s business looking for things to be mad about. Negativity breeds negativity. It just does. New rule! Ignore it. In this great year that is The Year of Me™️**, I think this is my official tagline: Ignore and move on.  No more unsolicited advice. I’m a notorious advice giver. I wish I could shut up, but the pull of the demons in me that wants to advise others is too strong. But facts are, advice is annoying. No one wants advice, advice is the worst and it makes you want to punch the know-it-all in the mouth. I officially ignore everyone from here on out. Except in the case of NextDoor. Those people are asking for judgement.

New year, new me equals butting out of people’s business. I’ll still probably have something to say, but I will keep it to myself from here on out to the best of my abilities. I mean, still give me the gossip, I love the gossip, you know this, but I need to be done with the acting like I know everything part. I’ll still know everything, obviously, but I’ll keep my mouth shut about it.

I’m still going to blog everyday.

I’m still not going to exercise.

**is the trademark meme out? Is it too 2017? Let me know, I can’t look out of touch with the youth

Oregon Day 3. Don’t Read This.

Today we drove through places that looked like they could be in a movie or a book or an episode of Dateline. I have a lot of thoughts about this place that I want to fully formulate because I want to do this place justice. I have a LOT of thoughts.

We went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry today. The kids loved it and honestly they could’ve stayed there all day.

I think we’re going back into the city tomorrow and I can’t wait to finally get a feel on the “magic and weirdness” that Portland has to offer.

I wish I had more to say right now. I DO but it’s not necessarily my thoughts yet? Basically there are a lot of white people and a lot of churches and I need to see more of Oregon to make a final call on this but… sunrise at 7:51 am. Sunset at 4:45 or something? That is seriously messing with my sleep cycle.

I’m tired. I have thoughts that I’ll put together eventually but I made a point of blogging everyday and I have FULFILLED this thus far, as bad as it has been. Oregon people, reading this, don’t get on me yet, I admit I have biases being from both Colorado and Los Angeles, and I haven’t seen Portland yet officially. However, I still have yet to see a person of color. I have seen 27 churches and several guns. That’s a bad combo, statistically.

Every place we’ve been has had a play area for kids, and while cool theoretically, I have thoughts on that as well. Because, of course I do.

Tomorrow we’ll talk. Possibly. Depends on how riled up I feel. Oregon folk, please don’t take this as a challenge. I’m from Colorado, it’s real hard to impress me on outdoors and for 2, I’m from L.A., show me weird. I have some biases. I admit them. Please don’t take this as Anti- Portland. I haven’t been there yet. I’m from Colorado. My children LOVE Oregon. I’m trying really hard to not be from Colorado or Los Angeles. I’m trying to feel the draw.

Guide me. Show me the way. I love you.

Horses, Hops, and Mt. Hood

Portland. Day 2.

Before I begin, I’m just gonna panic attack for a minute and say OH MY GOD as I sit here in silence, in a dimly lit room, at night, and suddenly realize that there is a huge glass door behind me leading to the back yard and now I can’t stop imagining I’m about to have my Scream debut (and death).

Is this because I said that I was going to go all 90’s chokers and mini skirts and Doc Martens the other day?? Listen up, Mask Guy who is reading this over my shoulder, I have seen this movie, I know your game, I don’t care if you’ve set-up some elaborate scene to make me open the door, I will not look out that window. This is what Dua Lipa was warning me about, and I do not like scary movies so go bug someone else.

Was I tough enough on him?

See, this is precisely why I’m a city person. The Great Outdoors really isn’t that great, we’ve discussed this previously, AND  there’s murderers. Yes, I know murders happen in the city but every scary movie, other than like Child’s Play, takes places in rural areas. You know this is true. I am now going to think about this every night that we’re here. Fabulous.

Anyway, Portland, day 2! I don’t know how that’s even possible, because we’ve done SO much and it’s been very nice, and VERY cold (that part hasn’t been my favorite part).

This is going to be picture heavy and word light because it’s late and now I’m scared of demons and serial killers.

So our day started off meeting a horse named Angel, who I’m told might’ve been not as much of an angel as her name would suggest. She tried to eat my older son’s hood off of his jacket but she was also super cute and fluffy so, jury is still out.

Then we drove up to Mt. Hood and the boys went sledding and saw snow for the second time of their lives ever which makes me, as a Coloradan feel like I may be failing my children.

In theory.

Snow is friggin cold and if you notice by the MASSIVE amounts of broken sleds, dangerous.

It was fun, the kids had a blast I was cold and complained a lot. And then we went to dinner at a place called Hopworks or something which is a cool restaurant on top of a brewery.

I am wrapping this up in a really choppy way because

  1. Don’t pick up the phone
  2. Cold
  3. Tired
  4. Not even looking at that door behind me again as long as I’m on vacation.

Maybe Angel will eat the masked guy’s hood off and he will be exposed like this is some kind of Scooby Doo episode.

Until tomorrow.

Does This Book Come as a Podcast?

I made a New Year’s resolution to write a blog everyday. Here I am, Day 2 and I’m at a loss of interesting thoughts. My brain has had “Never Gonna Give You Up” on repeat for around 3 hours now and nothing else. My brain would rather rickroll me than help me become an upstanding member of society. I’m doing great at this. 

I’m also supposed to be reading a book. I joined a book club a few months ago and have read maybe eleven pages total. There have been 2 books. I’ve read ELEVEN (11) pages. How am I so bad at this? On the downlow, how morally reprehensible would it be, really, to CliffsNotes this bad boy? I’m so going to get kicked out of book club, aren’t I? I don’t want that! This feels like high school all over again but with a lot less 90210 to watch.

I love book club. Not only am I the youngest by a couple of decades which makes me feel super young but the other people in the book club are such interesting and smart people! I have so much to learn from them. And I’ll never get the chance because they’re going to kick me to the curb soon because I can’t stop researching conspiracy theories on the internet, thereby giving me no time for reading actual books. 

I need to make the time. I’m pretty sure that’s how resolutions work. Ugh. This feels so restrictive and unfair. Who decided we need to be better people?? Whose hair-brained idea was it to decide everyone needs to be healthier and nicer and more cultured just because it’s a new year? That was asking for trouble right out of the gate because I was a bit drunk on champagne when I thought of this dumb list and hungover when I decided to publicly announce that I was a “New Me” so now I feel obligated to whine loudly to anyone who happens to be in the vicinity of my online tantrums. You’ve brought this upon yourselves.

If you’re keeping score on my resolution revolution, then you should know that I have showered, you’re welcome. I have gone outside, because I had to take out the trash and that counts, it should count twice because it was the trash. I’m currently blogging, and I don’t actually remember the rest of my list but I’m sure the exercising part is going to be the catalyst that will drag this whole lifestyle change into the gutter so we’re not going to mention it.  So see? I’m doing great! I just need to read my book. After checking in on my social medias. And googling “hauntings”.

Wish me luck! I’m on page 7. I want to get to at least page 34 tonight. Think I can do it? I need someone to be my conspiracy and celeb gossip looker-into-er, though. Who wants that job?? It’s for the greater good so I don’t get kicked out of Fight Club. Oh my god, what if they beat me up?? This is exactly like high school, time to bust out the chokers, plaid mini-skirts, and Doc Martins. I’ve got reading to do.

New Year, New Me (but likely the same me but hopefully I’m a little less lazy about it)

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I spent New Year’s Eve laughing and drinking with neighbors and my husband and kids. The kids weren’t drinking, obviously, but I did my part anyway and drank what they couldn’t. We had fun and drank too much and sang Beatles’ songs at the top of our lungs really late into the night. It was the perfect catapult into what I think is going to be a fun year. And then I was awoken from a peaceful dream about swimming in the clearest, bluest, warmest, sharkless ocean by a champagne headache and a cat with a death wish.

I have made grand plans to have a “Me” year, though. Around this time 2 years ago, I vowed to have a Mariah Carey year full of me being my diva self and not caring who knew. Well I had that year and it was exactly like I’d imagined but without the money or the shoes or the personal assistants or the Yes Men. No one cleaned for me. No one made sure my mimosas were filled.

What’s a girl have to do to be seen as a diva and not “Amy, put on pants”?

I’m still on the ultimate quest of living my “Mariah Carey Year” which may or may not have already panned out depending on how liberal we are with the rules. For example, sitting around drinking wine without pants on and talking about myself while everyone else around me does everything I didn’t get around to doing, we’ve probably had similar years, hers is probably a lot more gold plated and sparkly and she has someone to do her hair and stuff. I just look like an episode of Roseanne. (Speaking of Roseanne, did I really see that that show is coming back??? Please tell me it wasn’t a champagne fueled hallucination and it’s really really really happening.)

I am going to have my year this year. I’m doing it.  I say this every year and as a matter of fact, my 2018 so far has been me sitting on the couch juggling mimosas, napping, eating pizza and Doritos, and scrolling the internet all day so, exactly where I left 2017 off. Although, I have showered, gone outside, and am blogging, which, if you’ll notice on the forthcoming list, I’m not doing too shabby.

My RESOLUTIONS are as follows.

  • Try to go outside everyday
  • Exercise for 30 minutes everyday
  • Read for 30 minutes everyday
  • Shower. Everyday.
  • um, Eat an apple or something that grew out of the ground?
  • Blog. Everyday.

Once again, this list looks like a cry for help. But I do intend to blog everyday which is fitting as I leave town for several days soon and the idea of bringing my laptop will probably be met with eyerolls and “Come on, like you’re really going to write everyday. You’re not even going to open that thing once. Leave it here,” which sounds like I’m vacationing with my parent but no, just the husband. But I will be sitting in front of a cozy fire, probably super inspired by my new Oregon surroundings, it’ll be like Funny Farm only hopefully I won’t throw the whole thing into the fire when super husband, Ward Cleaver over here writes a best selling kids’ book about squirrels.

Ooh! Very important side-note: I just remembered that I had a baked potato for dinner so add that to the list of accomplishments because it grew from the ground. It counts. See? I’m doing even better than you thought I was.

There I go, fulfilling resolution list things right and left. Tonight’s supermoon is making me a super human. Or a werewolf. We’ll see what happens when I go outside. If you see me running around Encino naked and howling, you’ll know where we’re at but you have to let me go for at least a half an hour so I’ll be able to add another checkmark to my resolution list.