Wednesday, March 30, 2005

When Ten Means Twenty

What does an AOL Journaler do when on hiatus?  No one really knows for sure.  We only know what we read.  However, I'm here to report the truth in Robbie's much-needed break from this Land of J.

I caught her on the phone the other day, scrubbing behind her fridge.  That's right, behind it.  She had started inside, then outside, then around the sides and well, you know how that goes.  A regular Pandora's Box.

That's when she admitted she should be doing the "ten loads of laundry" (ten loads, my ass!) that had apparently taken up longterm residence in her living room. 

Atta girl with her priorities!

The thing is, Robbie only has one washer and one dryer.  That alone makes even a few piles of laundry seem overwhelming.  She considered taking her stash to the local laundry mat to do it all at once. 

Brilliant idea!

But remember, she recently bought that fabulous sporty convertible Mustang.  I'm not so sure it's fit for even one laundry basket.  Okay, maybe one.  But certainly not the four boxes of bleach and detergent.

Meanwhile, back at my place...

I was putting off my own laundry that was overflowing and scattered around. 

I lug it across the alley just about every two weeks.  The anticipation of dragging it out is usually worse than actually doing it.  [and look how neatly it packs into these handy-dandy 99cent Ikea bags.]  As simple as that task seems, I just couldn't psych myself up enough to start.

So I thought, if we're both gonna be miserable doing laundry, we might as well be miserable doing laundry together!  And the PeaceMobile can certainly fit all of our laundry combined.  Of course, this was when I thought "ten loads" meant "ten loads".  We put the cargo area to the test.  Looking at the picture above, I don't think my car's ever carried that much cargo.  Not even with eight dogs.

Final Results

~ 25 loads of laundry -- 5 of which were mine
~ Three? Four? hours ?? [admittedly, I lost track of time]
~ Also lost track of dryer count -- started with 3 and marked them as our territory. No one dared cross me.  Robbie might still be there today if I hadn't fought for that last one!  But that 10-year-old had nothing on me!
~ Lots of laughs
~ Pizza and cinnamon sticks
~ Fun day with a friend
~ Clean Laundry

Totally worth it!


Still, I don't expect Robbie to return to AOL Journals anytime too soon.  This is just the beginning.  For all I know, the clean laundry is still residing in the living room.  Putting it all away is a whole 'nother task.  Especially since she'll most likely refold everything I folded.  I know, I know, towels in thirds!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Desktop Recording Kit

Yay!  I've found it.  Or rather, it found me The break in my boredom.  This is something I can (eventually) afford.  Something I've been dreaming of.  Something every Livingroom Superstar cannot do without.  And now it's actually here.  I'm getting this.  I don't know when.  I don't even know what exactly it involves.  But it's the beginning of some great research.

The MXL Desktop Recording Kit was designed as a complete solution for all home recording applications. The MXL microphone included in the kit is completely self-powered--eliminating the need for costly preamplifiers or external power supplies--though it works seamlessly with external microphone preamps should one be available. This feature alone makes the D.R.K the perfect compliment for those using a laptop computer as their recording platform.

The MXL microphone included in the Desktop Recording Kit is the first truly professional microphone specifically designed for the 'average' computer user by a professional audio based manufacturer.

Hello!  Did you read that?  "for those using a laptop" and "the 'average' computer user."  That's totally me!

With this baby I could record my next demo right here, in my bedroom.  hehe...nice huh?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Dental Face

Proving that I do indeed look like hell after a day of torture at the dentist's office.  You'll just have to trust me when I say I had hella speech to match.

After my first experience with this dentist, she knows well enough to overload me with novacaine.  Today was supposed to be the beginning of the end of my visits.  After six agonizing shots of oozing numbing fluid (two of which I could swear pierced my sinuses) and two hours in the compromising dental position, we found out, there's more beneath the surface than we thought.  Or rather, there's less.

Today I had a deep cleaning on the entire right side, three fillings and one cavity that turned out to be almost large enough to require a root canal -- Almost -- was prepared for another crown.  My insurance copayment for a crown still leaves me with a hefty tab.  There goes rent!

This visit was the worst so far.  Still, I wanted my dentist to do all she could while I was planted in the chair.  I didn't want to leave.  "What else can you do? Now's the time.  I'm completely numb."  No one understood a word I said -- including myself!  The assistant nodded, smiled and handed me a cup to rinse and a paper towel to wipe the drool from my chin. [precisely why I rejected Aileen's request for an audio entry.]

So, at this point, I have three more visits to go.  Gotta get the deep cleaning and fill a cavity or two on the left side next Wednesday.  Next Friday is more crown prep.  And two weeks after that is the crown placement.

Even though I know that's all I need (so far), I do know there's one more crown my dentist suggests.  But because it's only a suggestion, it's not covered on insurance.  I can wait.  Maybe I'll shop around for a different dentist.  More likely, I'll go to her since we now seem to be more comfortable with each other.  But seriously, rent comes first!

After this though, I will finally be able to say I'm caught up and current with all of my health appointments for the first time...ever!  Do you know how good that feels?

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Martinis & Music

ROBIN TAYLOR MUSIC

Nothing like a little sacred music to set the tone for the night. 

 

If it weren't for the bar across the street, I might've gotten lost in a music trance.

Instead, I drifted in and out of a martini trance.

And today (all day) I've been in a trance of another kind. 

When will I learn?  I can't drink like I used to.  Ah, who am I kdding?  I never could drink like I used to.

But, it's just so much fun.

OK, I'm headed back to bed to nurse my aches from such good times.

Hope you all had a nice weekend.

 

 

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

By The Way...

IT'S TUESDAY -- Scalzi's on the phone again.  Today he's being interviewed by his daughter Athena.  This one's really more about the 'awwww' factor.  But still, you know how I feel about Scalzi

Yes, Aileen, I know he's spoken for.   Sheesh, crush-crusher!

Monday Photo Shoot

Doing it the Scalzi way!

1.  Printer. Previously useless.  I finally caved and bought new ink.  Damn, that stuff's expensive!

2.  Way cool, cheapo Ikea shelves.  God help me in an earthquake.

3.  Sage. My life savior!

4.  Books that inspire me.  Some I've read.  Some I aspire to read.

5.  Carly's Creation made for me, this time last year.

6.  Calendar too far out of reach to actually keep up to date.

7.  Christmas lights.  Not just for Christmas anymore.

8a. Monitor decorated with YakYaks.  And keyboard I haven't used in two months.
8b. Computer to match unused monitor and keyboard.  I'm just not ready to part with them.

9.  Pictures of friends and inspiring people.

10. The most comfortable desk chair ever!

11. Behold!  The very computer I'm using to post this entry.

12. Very cool Wacom tablet.  Came with mouse and pen for drawing programs.  It's a little frustrating because I'm left handed but I don't know how to use the mouse on the left.  But it came with Photoshop Elements and a Corel Painter program.  So, there's a lot yet to discover.

13. Om/Peace candle votive made by Nadine.  Surrounded by affirmations and special stones as a reminder of creative energy.

14. Dining table portraying a kick-ass desk.

15. A friend's old, dead computer that I'm determined to fix.  Actually, it's been there so long, I forgot about it until I saw it in this picture.  It makes a great clutter-holder!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Gumpisms

Stupid is as stupid does.  Robbie asked if I could explain this.  Until yesterday, I was also unsure of its meaning.  But I think I think I've got a pretty good idea now.

I made a stupid mistake yesterday that I just can't seem to get over.  An avoidable mistake gone wild.  In a nutshell:  I let my new client, Gizmo -- the pitbull -- say hi to three of my dogs.  They were all fine.  No worries.  Even letting Gizmo get closer to them was fine.  She was on a leash.  But two of my dogs jumped out of the car.  I almost lost one to city traffic as he waddled down the long driveway, away from us.

Again, everyone was ok.  It just could have been disastrous.  I had to flip Gizmo on her back because she was so overly-excited to see other dogs.  She and Hunny had a growl/attack/standoff.  I expected it. I was prepared.  So, that's when I first tried to get Gizmo on her back.  She fought with all her strength.  She used every part of her body (including her mouth) to get me off of her.

When I felt her jaws on my forearm, I was like whoa, what am I doing here?  She didn't bite me.  She didn't break skin.  She used her mouth as another appendage.  Like a hand, trying to remove my hands from her face, neck, body, paws (where ever my hands were at that time).

It was a long struggle.  I had her down three times.  Each time, she got out of the hold.  I couldn't give up.  She would've won.  And she'd have lost all respect for me.  We've been working well together.  I wasn't about to give that up.

I was totally out of breath, sweating and still whooping her ass.  She's strong!  Maybe the strongest dog I've ever worked with.  Possibly stronger than Marley.  She's also untrained and more importantly, unsocialized!  THAT's where our work is going to be most difficult.

Anyway, my left arm is so fricken sore.  I even have bruises and swelling in my forearm.  I rarely bruise.  I also have a nice raspberry on my knee from the black pavement.  I choose my fighting grounds well, don't ya think?  My white t-shirt was filthy, as well as my arms and the knees of my pants.  My body is traumatized. Sore neck and all.

I feel like I was hit by a bus.

The mistake was introducing them so soon.  One little hello was perfectly acceptable.  But when we returned from our walk, Gizmo was going wild with excitement, trying to get to the dogs in my car.  Just to be near them.  She sounded like she was being tortured.  I wouldn't let her run to the car.  I made her heal the whole way.  One. step. at. a. time.  I rewarded her with another greeting.  If I had tied my dogs in the car, or better yet, if I didn't open the car door, the chase would've been completely avoidable.

A dog could've gotten hit by a car.  I could've gotten bit by a pitbull.  Honestly though, if Gizmo wanted to bite me, to really bite and hurt me, she would have.  She had every opportunity.  My entire forearm was in her mouth.  She could've taken it off.  She didn't want to.  [note: if I thought she'd ever want to, I wouldn't be walking her.]

I finally got my dogs back into my car.  I got Gizmo  to calm down and refocus on my commands.  And before I left, I had her submitting on her back in her territory.  And like every day this week,  everyone in the office (they work for Gizmo's mother) who watched this whole scene was thanking me for all I'm doing with her.  [I'm thinking, did you not just see any of this?]  "You're welcome. See you tomorrow."

I know it sounds like everything is okay because it all worked out.  And that's true.  It is ok.  It did work out.  All is well.  Except for the "what if" aspect.  Even though I still really believe it's important to get this dog around other dogs ASAP, it needs to be in a more controlled environment.  And in this situation I was out of control when things got out of control.  That's a mistake I can't afford to make. 

Sure, I put myself in a potentially dangerous situation every single day.  But the moment I feel out of control is when it actually becomes a dangerous situation.

Stupid is as stupid does.  It means one is stupid because of what one does, not because of who one is.  My choices were stupid.  I'm not stupid.  But I tell ya, I feel pretty stupid.  It was a stupid mistake.  Just stupid.  But ...

Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get.  ~Forrest Gump

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

10 Things Explained (3)

07.  Survived a violent attack on stage when a drink, thrown at my face, shattered off the microphone and planted tiny shards into me and my guitar.

Ugh.  This one was traumatic.  It was around a high point of my music.  A small record label/management company was very interested in me.  Their main focus was their punk band.  But they wanted someone like me with a totally different style so there wouldn't be a conflict of interest when negotiating (or whatever).  I shoulda known by the name: Lunatic Records.

My music was greatly appreciated by them, the guys in their punk band and many of their fans ... except one.

It was a CD release party at a club in West LA.  There I was, opening for these guys -- me and my guitar, alone on stage, in front of a buttload of drunk punkers (and about 20 or 30 of my own friends).  Most of them cheered me on.  But one woman was so loaded and outwardly angry.  I didn't even notice her [I sing with my eyes closed].  She apparently was circling the club raising her fists and flipping me off.  When she got in front of me, she pitched her drink.  It was a direct shot to my face.  It shattered off the microphone.  I felt the attack in slow motion.  Microphone, glass, ice and booze covered me from head to toe -- mostly glass.  My guitar still has glass dings. 

I stood there, frozen.  The room was silent.  I tried to go on.  But I was like, "What just happened?"  All I heard was DON'T MOVE!  I looked down, "what's on me?"  I had glass in my hips, my waist, my eyelids, my hair, my neck, my arms, at my feet.  It was surreal.

Four of my friends jumped on stage to pull the big pieces out of me.  Two of my friends guided me off stage to the bathroom to get the rest out of me.  I had to strip from head to toe.

Meanwhile, three others (two of which were from the punk band) hauled ass after the drunk woman down the city streets.

Lunatic Records told me it was an accident.  The glass wasn't meant for me.  Asked me not to press charges.  Thanks for having my back on this one. 

It was a long night.  I didn't find out till later that it was fully intended to hit me.  The woman could've been charged with attempted murder.  As absurd as it sounds, it's something the managers should've taken care of.

Instead they encouraged me to get back on stage to show I wasn't about to let that stop me.  I didn't want to.  I wanted someone to make these decisions for me.  So I did what they suggested (they were to be my managers after all).  Everyone (everyone!) in the club cheered for me and watched the rest of my show.

For the next few days I was pulling out tiny shards of glass from various places in my body.

The club has since shut down in that location.  The one in Hollywood is still open.

 

08.  Appeared on six episodes of the TV show Wings.

It was my first month in LA.  A few friends were working at Paramount Pictures as pages and production assistants.  One friend called and said he'd heard that one of the regular extras on Wings had just quit.  The season was just starting.  So I made my way to Stage 29 and introduced myself to the 2nd Assistant Director asking for the job.  No headshot.  No prior TV experience.  Just a BA in theater (means nothing in LA) and a smile (means everything in LA).

 You can read more about it (and even see some still shots of one episode) here.

09.  Was arrested during a raid and swept away in a paddy wagon.

I was 18, drinking at a beach party in New Hampshire.  All I had to do was dump my cup and walk out.  But I didn't know that.  Instead I walked by the commotion, out the front door and past all the cops with my bucket of 99-cent mixture.  Two cops looked stunned as I said, "excuse me" and kept walking.  They let me go.  But then they were like, "um, what's in that cup?"  I was taught not to lie so I said, "Sprite."  They eyeballed me.  As if I could be smart enough to outwit a NH cop.  Again, all I really had to do was dump it.  Why didn't anyone ever teach us this?  They asked, "Is that all?  Just Sprite?"  Again, no lying, "Well, there's Sprite in there."

All it took was one whiff and I was loaded on the wagon with my other dumbass buddies.  Classic scene.  Beth, smart enough not to get arrested, hung on to the bars saying, "I'll be right there.  We'll get you out."

At the station, I was the last to be admitted.  Mug shot and all.  They didn't notice my backpack until they finished the paperwork..  They asked me to empty the contents.  I was like, "Oh shoot.  You might want to see this."  I pulled out the rest of the wine I'd been drinking.  One cop held it up for his partners, "Uhh, what do you wanna do with this?"  They rolled their eyes.  They didn't want to go through more paperwork.  So they just dumped it.  I was like, "Are you crazy?  At least drink it yourselves.  You're wasting perfectly good wine!"

We needed cash to bail ourselves out.  We had the money -- but not cash.  At this time all of the others were in a jail cell.  I was hanging out with the cops.  Soon Beth arrived with bail money.


10.  Scooped dog poop every day for the past nine years ... and counting.  [oh yeah, so proud]

I'm thinking this one doesn't really need an explanation. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

A Dogwalkers TAIL of Woes

Waaahhhhh ... I don't wanna go!!  I'm tired and cranky and whiny and grumpy and achy and tired again.

Today's my busiest work day of the week.  I need the energy.  But all I wanna do is crawl back into bed -- even after a great shower and good coffee.  I'm pissed too because my favorite jeans are too tight on me.  Then again, they only really fit me best when I was at my sickest.  I just haven't done laundry.

My arms are sore from yesterday's walking.  It's gonna be this way till I build the muscles again.  NO, I'm not walking on my hands.  I'm walking that new strong dog and teaching her how to heal.  It's a full-on upper body workout.  Then I have 8 dogs for the park.  I hope it's as fun as it was last week.  But I'm just so :::ah-ah-choooo::: not feeling that great.

Wahhhhhhhh.  See?  Even dogwalkers get the blues.

Monday, March 7, 2005

10 Things Explained (2)

04.  Sang in bars 2-3 times a week when I was twelve.

My dad was a musician.  That's where I got my introduction to music.  He played talent shows, gong shows and guest nights.  Today we call them open mics.  He brought me along to give me stage experience.  For a while it was fun.  And folks thought it was cute to see a 12-year-old jamming to Proud Mary and singing backup harmonies of Eagle's tunes.  I got bored.  I wanted to sing pop songs and show tunes.  You know, kid stuff.


05.  Danced with Paula Abdul at her home.

I was working for the company who distributed home videos.  They were holding an open casting call for a new Paula dance/workout video.  They wanted non-dancers.  Real people.  To show how "easy" it was.  That "anyone" could do it.  We were invited to audition.

The audition was in her home studio.  We signed up and had to introduce ourselves into a video camera.  Then we learned a few moves and "auditioned".  There's no way anyone could see me.  I was tiny and way in the back.  Even when they mixed us up a bit, I ended up closer to the front, way off to the side.  And then I had a meeting, and had to leave early.

Still, I made the cut.  I have no idea how that was possible.  I can't dance.  I mean, I can move and keep rhythm.  But really, you're looking at two left feet here.  All I could think was that they saw my video introduction and thought, "Hey, she's not too much taller than Paula."  That's it.

One of my dancer roommates made the cut too.  One other didn't.  She was pissed.  She was a dancer.  I wasn't.  So, I showed up for the first rehearsal.  Sweated with Paula.  Laughed with her laughing at me.  My ears heard her words but my feet ignored her.

The next day there was a message on the machine, "We have too many dancers and unfortunately there's no room for you. We're sorry."

I was disappointed.  But mostly relieved.  They said they wanted average people with no dance experience.  But that's not what they ended up with.  Which makes total sense to me.

I went to the video shoot.  It was a long, long, long recording.  I was thrilled to be watching (and not sweating).  My roommate who was in the video was visibly drained.  And she's a dancer!

Fun memories.  I think the video is still floating around out there somewhere.


06.  Lived on a 10-dollar-a-week food budget for almost a year.

This was off and on for at least a year.  I was temping and trying to make ends meet.  I ate practically nothing -- oatmeal, apples, cheese sandwiches, tuna.  Then I got a long term temp position in the promotions department at a major motion picture studio.  I worked 10 hour days.  Since we worked through lunch, it was often paid for by the execs.  I would eat half at lunch and the rest for dinner.  Snacks and drinks were in the break room.

I was living with three other people, paying a ridiculously low rent.  But because I was so used to scrounging for food and living on such a tight budget, I didn't notice how much money was in my bank account till I decided to consider moving.  I had first, last and deposit ready before I knew where I was headed.  Basically, it afforded me to finally move to Venice Beach, where my heart resides.

I'm just sayin...

This week starts the busiest time for me in regards to dogwalking.  I have to walk that new doggie (Gizmo) separately at first, so I can get a sense of who she is.  I can't take Hunny with me, since I don't know yet how Gizmo deals with other dogs.  That means I had to walk Hunny before I start my day.  I will leave her here while I take Gizmo for her hikes.  Already I worked up a sweat before 10 AM.

I'm not complaining about the weather.  I'm just saying...

It's already time to buy light cotton walking pants.  I'm reminded of just how heavy jeans can be.  Great for winter.  Oppressive for spring/summer.

It's also time for Hunny's winter locks to be buzzed.  Eek, and my legs could use a good grooming.  Ahhh spring!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 6, 2005

10 Things Explained (1)

01.  Flew in a private jet to be a weekend nanny in Vegas.

I was working for a guy who liked to spend money.  One weekend, on the side, he hired me and my roommate (who also worked for him) to babysit his two little terrors while he, his wife and another couple played with the high rollers.  He neglected to ask if we would also watch their spoiled little rich girl. 

We were miserable.  These were no average children.  These kids had every single thing they wanted the moment they opened their mouths and screamed bloody murder.  My roommate and I wouldn't tolerate it.  We ignored their screams and responded only to pleasant tones.  We monitored their buckets of quarters (because they were dumping them in machines and walking away before games were even played).  At first the kids didn't know how to respond to, you know, boundaries.  Soon they discovered the power of "excuse me, please and thank you."

They eventually calmed down and we had some fun.  The next morning the kids spent some time with their folks while we had a couple of hours to ourselves (I guess to breathe and maybe shower).  When we went to meet them for breakfast, each of the kids had picked out a rose and greeted us with hugs and thanks for a great night.

The jet was small and wobbly.  But definitely cool and fun.  Games and videos for the kids.  Drinks for the adults.  Kinda like a mobile home, but you know, with wings.


02.  Moved cross country with $300 to my name.

I was 24 and miserable.  A painful breakup woke me up.  I quit my dead-end job, sold most of my things, packed my car and started driving.  When I got to LA, I knew I was home -- finally free.  They say what doesn't kill you will make you stronger.  The breakup was one of the best things to ever happen.


03.  Played a cop in a movie who was killed by a bullet to the head.

One Late Knight was the movie.  Lt. Benson was my character's name.  Unfortunately, it's not rentable.  It was a student film, written and directed by John Perry (dir. for The Dr. Phil Show today).  My ex-boyfriend (the painful breakup from above) played the lead role.  We had a lot of fun.  My favorite clips are the outtakes.  where is that video tape?

Friday, March 4, 2005

10 Things

I don't even know where this all started.  Scalzi did it.  Andi did it.  Dawg did it.  Now I'm doing it.

10 Things I've done that you probably haven't...


01.  Flew in a private jet to be a weekend nanny in Vegas.

02.  Moved cross country with $300 to my name.

03.  Played a cop in a movie who was killed by a bullet to the head.

04.  Sang in bars 2-3 times a week when I was twelve.

05.  Danced with Paula Abdul at her home.

06.  Lived on a 10-dollar-a-week food budget for almost a year.

07.  Survived a violent attack on stage when a drink, thrown at my face, shattered off the microphone and planted tiny shards into me and my guitar.

08.  Appeared on six episodes of the TV show Wings.

09.  Was arrested during a raid and swept away in a paddy wagon.

10.  Scooped dog poop every day for the past nine years ... and counting.  [oh yeah, so proud]

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Crushing on Scalzi

OMG - I'm totally crushing on Scalzi.  He does these AOLbyPhone (AOL-only link) entries on Tuesdays -- sometimes Mondays, or any day he chooses.  Is it just me or does his voice make him totally cuter?  I mean, he's cute in pictures and writing and all.  And we know his family is totally cute.  But his voice!  His Vans should've been a telltale sign.  He totally sounds like a Cali-boy.  A little skater/surfer hottie boy.

His dialogue this week with his daughter, Athena, is endearing.  One thing I notice about Athena is her desire and ability to make an informed decision.  When Scalzi uses a word she is unfamiliar with, she takes her time to think about it and inquires about the meaning before she commits to stating her honest opinion.  That's a brilliant child.  And that's a reflection of attentive parents.  That he's a great dad makes him even more attractive.  I swear, I'm all giddy over here. 

I'm almost afraid to know what his wife, Krissy, sounds like.  I'd most likely be crushing on the whole family.  No worries about finding me stalking them all the way over in Ohio though.  Brrrr

Now, if he were still a little skater-boy living in SoCal, and we were in the 8th grade, there might be hope for us.  Ah, who am I kidding.  I'd probably just be one of the guys, skating in the wash, watching him pine over a real girly-girl, like Krissy.

Some things are just meant to be.