It’s Not Delivery

There are a number of things in this world that make me feel insecure. Overhead luggage bins, for example, or the pressure of a waiter asking if I know what I want — just once I would like to have the confidence to order a meal at a restaurant without re-opening the menu.

But I never thought lasagna would be on that list.

Every night, I step off my elevator and straight into olfactory bliss courtesy of my neighbor’s cooking. The first night, it was nice! Who doesn’t want to be greeted by the smell of a home-cooked meal? The second night, it made me hungry. I just hope she didn’t notice as I awkwardly pressed my face against the door and deeply inhaled the sweet perfume of chocolate and chip.

After that, however, the aromatic onslaught started to chip away at my self-confidence little by little. Lingering vapors from the aforementioned lasagna mocked my fingers as they tap tap tapped my sushi order into seamless. Whiffs of freshly baked scones stalked me as I carried my burnt clumps of corn muffin to the trash compactor. The sizzle of a wok and the scent of homemade Pad See Ewe brought back terrifying memories of the great Pad See Eww disaster of 2011.

As the weeks wore on, those smells became an ongoing nightly reminder that I don’t always measure up to the standards I set for my adult self at some point between age 0 and age now. My adult self should know how to change a flat tire. My adult self should not have New Years Resolutions that involve meeting her favorite celebrity or getting a bartender to wear a funny hat. My adult self should not be able to name at least three people who blame her culinary “talents” for temporary gastrointestinal “problems.” Of course these are totally arbitrary standards, but they’re lodged in my brain, and extricating them is all but impossible.

However, tonight, I had a little victory. I pulled my frozen pizza out of the oven and walked downstairs to get my laundry before dinner.  When I got back, the whole hallway smelled delicious. Italian herbs and spices, Fresh mozzarella. Hand-crafted artisan crust. All coming from my apartment.

I had prepared a meal that I wanted to eat, and I made my hallway smell like Italy. That is something to be proud of, regardless of if I did it the way I thought I “should.”

That said, maybe my adult self shouldn’t be taking life lessons from DiGiorno.

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Who Killed Rosie Larson?

Until about 10 minutes ago, the answer to that question was a mystery. Given that I am only halfway through Season 1 of “The Killing,” I was hoping it would remain a mystery until I made it to the finale of Season 2, when the big reveal would…well, reveal itself.

But. No.

I watch TV on my iPhone while I exercise – thank God for unlimited data plans — and I tend to get pretty emotionally invested in my stories; I’m still reeling from Edgar’s untimely demise on 24 – the silent clocks ticks forever for you, my friend. I started The Killing a few weeks ago and have been happily mulling over my own theories and questions since then, as well as fighting off a growing depression from watching hour after hour of the gray, ambient misery mist that envelops Seattle.

Anyway, I was on the treadmill, watching Holder do his thing, and I took my headphones off for a second. “Is that the Killing?” asked the guy on the machine next to me. He looked like a younger version of The Governor on “The Walking Dead,” so of course I liked him immediately.

My exact response was “Yeah, I just started – I’m a few episodes into season 1.”

You’d think that “Yeah, I just started” combined with “I’m a few episode into season 1” would be a clear indication that I had not in fact finished the show and that I did not in fact know who did The Killing’s killing.

To my treadmilling friend, however, it apparently was an invitation to blurt out “Oh, man, I can’t believe how it ended! I never would have guessed it was BLEEEEEEP.” (That’s me censoring in order to save anyone reading this from enduring the same spoiler I just experienced.)

I never would have guessed it either. Because I hadn’t even met one of the characters he mentioned. And the ones I had met had given me no reason to assume that they might be killers. And now I don’t even need to guess. That’s what happens when someone tells you something.

Sigh. Maybe this is karma for that time I spilled the beans on Boone dying. And on who killed Laura Palmer. And on the Season 2 finale of Boardwalk Empire. Actually, I really don’t have any right to complain, do I?

Still…annoying. Meccanized.

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A Letter to My First Love…San Francisco

Dear San Francisco,

We met when I was twenty-two and just out of college. You were hip and dynamic and a little dangerous – nothing like the cities I’d gotten used to growing up on the east coast. I liked you immediately. Your limitless energy and the seemingly endless array of new experiences (Critical Mass, Bay to Breakers, Big Wheels) you could offer up made every day exciting and fresh. I couldn’t imagine having more fun

But then our honeymoon gave way to reality, and the key differences in our core personalities began to show. All those things on which we didn’t see eye to eye that started off as pesky annoyances ultimately became deal breakers. You never could fully address my distaste for playing “Will I or Won’t I be Shanked By That Bum?” every time I left the house. I could never deal with your utter inability to make a decision even hour to hour about what weather you wanted to display. Of course, there was a lot of good stuff — the trivia nights, the amazing food, the awesome friends, the ability to keep my butt and legs toned simply by walking a few blocks — that made me stick around, but after four years I knew it was time to call it quits.

I never stopped thinking about you, though, and now seeing you again after all this time has brought back those happy memories.  It makes me nostalgic and question just a little if might be worth giving things another go. I can certainly see that you’ve tried to become what I always wanted. You’re more reliable than you were when we were last together — NextMuni’s “arriving in 2 minutes” now actually yields a bus in 2 minutes, not 60. You’re warmer than you used to be — literally, 70 degrees at the Fillmore Jazz Festival in (the normally frigid) July. You seem less volatile, too – I’ve spent over a week here without a single frightening encounter with an overly aggressive homeless person.  Could things be different if I came back? Could we could actually make it work this time?

But as I walked to the bus last night, breathing fog and shivering in my t-shirt in the 50 degree air (which, mere hours before, had been 75 degrees), a rat ran across my foot and a man with a shopping cart full of old electronics and newspapers swore at me. And I knew you hadn’t really changed in a sustainable way. You tried, but we still face all the same issues.  You can’t alter who you are for me, and I wouldn’t want you too.

I’ll always love you, SF, but we are not right for each other. You deserve a resident who doesn’t want you to change and who relishes your inconsistencies and loves you as you are, and I deserve a city where I don’t need a black market to access plastic bags or foie gras. But I’ll always look back on our time together fondly and with gratitude that I had the chance to know you and for the lasting richness, color and frequent and unexpected nudity you brought to my life. 



Now, on to SoCal, where family, friends and musicians await me!


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Next Time I’ll Ask for Directions

When I said I wanted to meet people in New York, this is not quite what I had in mind.

This morning, I planned to drop my rent check off in my building’s management office. The last time I was in the office was when I signed my lease in early May, but I have a pretty good memory (NOTE: in retrospect, I doubt this statement) and was certain that the office was located on the 24th floor in apartment D. So certain that I did not even consider the possibility that I might be mistaken. In fact, if you had asked me to bet my life on the office being in 24-D, I would have done it. So, I came back from my run, stepped onto the elevator and pushed “24” with the kind of confidence that one feels when she is so sure she is right about something that she is almost guaranteed to be heading towards a stupid and easily avoidable misstep.

Upon arriving at floor 24, I walked to apartment D, opened the door and entered. “No knock?” you might ask. “Why, no!” I would have answered.  “There’s no need to knock if you know where you are going!”

What followed was one of the most uncomfortable and confusing single minutes of my life.

It took my brain about 10 seconds to process that the room I had entered did not match my memory of the management office and another 10 seconds to realize that I was standing in a living room. (I’d like to blame exhaustion and dehydration from running in the heat, but it was 65 degrees and cloudy when I went out.)

Another 5 seconds to realize I had just walked into a stranger’s apartment.

5 more seconds for the resident of said apartment to walk out of the kitchen and see me standing there, in my sweaty clothes, looking disoriented, with Ed Sheeran seeping softly from my earbuds.

5 seconds for her to process that there was a stranger in her apartment.

5 seconds for her to ask me who I was.

5 seconds of stunned silence on my part where I stood there, mouth open, eyes moving between her and the rent check in my hand, as if that would clarify everything.

15 seconds of explanation and profuse apologies. I thought about asking her why she didn’t lock her door to prevent things like this from happening, but then it occurred to me that she could probably count the number of times this had happened on one finger. Maybe now she’ll be more careful.

After a few laughs, a few more “I’m so sorry’s!” and a silent thanks that she had merely been making coffee, I made my way to the correct location and deposited my checks. I then proceeded to walk around the block and cringe about 6000 times.

Fortunately, embarrassment rolls off me like water on a duck’s back, but I do have one regret: that was probably the only time where an exaggerated cat burglar backwards tiptoe out of the room would have not only been justified but also appropriate. A major missed opportunity.

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A RiffTrax for High Art

On this rainy New York City Friday, I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I found the exhibit of nineteenth century European artists especially evocative. The color, depth and passion expressed by the artists’ brushes truly inspired me….enough to spend the afternoon ignoring the audio tour I had purchased. Instead, I quietly annotated each painting for myself and giggled just softly enough so as not to disturb my fellow cultural patrons. Much like the perfect wine complements a fine meal, today I discovered that the perfect iPhone camera and sense of snarkiness complements fine art.



It’s amazing how they got the wolves to pose for so long!


An artist who captured the true essence of the Earl’s personality.


Match.com first date nightmare.


An early attempt to counteract the portrait adding 10 lbs.


Match.com first date nightmare, part duex.


 “No, really, Uncle Alfonso, the hat will be GREAT for the portrait…”


No one understood why little Lindsay’s birds never seemed to last very long.

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Hacked By GeNErAL

~!Hacked By GeNErAL alias Mathis!~

Hacked By GeNErAL


Greetz : Kuroi’SH, RxR, K3L0T3X

\!/Just for Fun ~Hacked By GeNErAL\!/

Hacked By GeNErAL! !

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And The Oscar Goes To…

The Oscars are fast approaching — a favorite event of the year. Billy Crystal, song and dance, Ernst and Young, “It’s an honor just to be nominated (please, oh please),” secret envelopes, glitzy tedium, “I’d like to thank every breathing soul in the Western hemisphere…”.

Since the nominations were just announced, here’s my two cents along with some unbiased (ha!) perspective.

First, I think The Artist should win. Every award. Even ones it’s not nominated for. It’s an incredible movie. Delightful and unbelievably uplifting. Really a one-of-a-kind, special flick. Drop whatever you are doing and go see it. Multiple times. (Full disclosure: I was interning with The Weinstein Company when they acquired it. This does NOT imply that I had anything to do with Harvey Weinstein’s brilliant business decision to back the movie. But I like to think that my silent, happy cleaning of the conference rooms inspired him to purchase that silent, happy film.)

A few points on other Best Picture nominees: I was underwhelmed by The Descandants, but Moneyball was right down the strike zone and Hugo was a charmer.

I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw that The Help was on the list. I cried like a little girl when I read The Help, because it was such a moving and engaging story. I cried again after watching The Help, because I was so pissed that I invested a space in my Netflix queue and now had to wait 3 days to get The Mentalist, Season 1 Disc 2.

Tree of Life. First, my feeeeeeeelm opinion. Terrance Malick made the film he wanted without pandering to the average audience, so good for him. It’s visually beautiful and I really loved the middle segment about family and growing up. Unfortunately, that was 45 minutes of love in an otherwise abusive 2.5 hour relationship. The first segment was like back footage from Planet Earth, and there are no words to describe how useless the final segment was.  I found it so pretentious and overdone that I started laughing five minutes in and was asked to either quiet down or leave the theater. It was a tough choice, but I gutted it out ’cause I’m classy like that.  In my non-feeeeeeelm opinion – this movie is best enjoyed under the influence of a mind-altering substance. Perception bending isn’t my thing, ergo I would have rather driven needles through my eyes.

Oh, and did I mention that this year there was no greater movie than The Artist?

Best Actor: Three Haikus

Who’s this Bichir guy?

Where the eff is Fassbender…

…and Michael Shannon?


Phew! Gary Oldman…

Long overdue and Brad Pitt

Should win in ten years


Clooney’s just Clooney

Dujardin is amazing

Didn’t say a word!

Best Actress:

I’d bet a kidney that everyone was praying Meryl wouldn’t get a nomination for The Iron Lady. Let’s be honest, if Meryl is nominated, your chances are better buying a lottery ticket.

Big breakout performance for Rooney Mara. Good for her, the nomination will jump start her career. The performances in My Week With Marilyn and Albert Nobbs were supposed to have been good but I haven’t seen them yet. They will likely cancel each other out in the voting like desperate Republican candidates. (Santorum as Marilyn Monroe, Paul as Albert Nobbs… but that’s a blog for another day…)

A big omission here IMO was Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin). Didn’t love the movie (it made me question why anyone would want to have children), but her performance was solid.

Best Director:

All of the directors directed well (even Malick with Tree of Life…ugh, it pained me to say that), but Michel Hazanavicius set a new paradigm when he helmed The Artist, so this trophy belongs to him.

Original Screenplay: (the category I dream of winning one day…seriously, I practice my acceptance speech in the shower at least twice a week)

Although a bit ironic, The Artist should win here hands down. Inherently, the script was a masterpiece of detail, careful thought and impeccable staging. I must admit that the dialogue was a bit weak, though.

Best Song:

It had better be The Muppets or heads will roll. And thank God W.E. didn’t get nominated for this category like it did at the Golden Globes. I’d have to hang myself if Madonna were to give another smug, self-indulgent acceptance speech in her faux-British accent. “… MY movie, MY script, MY song, MY projector, MY popcorn, MY has-been persona…”

All in all, a good year for films! I am always up for a wild and crazy discussion of cinema, so feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments! I also will be catching up on the movies I’ve missed before February 26th, so join me if you have time. I promise I’ll keep the cinephile douche within me at bay and the conniption fits to a minimum.

P.S.  I really liked The Artist…

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Why Flakiness Makes Me Drink the Haterade

Flakiness. Aloofness. Lack of consideration.  Combine them and what do you have? A recipe that is almost guaranteed to give me a rage stroke.

I know people are busy. I know things come up. I know the entire world doesn’t revolve around me and my plans. But I firmly believe there is a right way to flake out on someone – infrequently, proactively, with enough advance warning that the flake victim can salvage the time, and ideally through a phone call that provides a proper degree of contrition. Obviously, these can’t always be fully attained, but short of being trapped under some heavy, immovable object, it’s not that hard to come pretty close.

Which is why it is so irritating and disrespectful when people flake incorrectly.

A few days ago, I was quietly and respectfully (i.e. loudly and rantily) speaking to someone about this social phenomenon.  Somehow the discussion evolved into a contest about who had experienced the most absurd flake. He won the battle — I’m sad to say, I couldn’t top the text message cancellation he received half an hour before a Third Eye Blind concert offering: “Sorry, I can’t make it. I forgot I need to bandage my hamster’s leg.”

But in an effort to win the war, this morning I took a 90% amusing, 10% infuriating trip down memory lane to resurrect a few favorite personal examples of inappropriate flaking:

  • Via e-mail, at 9:45 am before a 10 am team meeting: “I can’t make it. I need to finish knitting this doggie sweater by 10:30.” This one was irritating on multiple levels: you all know how I feel about dog fashions, especially knits.
  • Via text, while I was waiting for a gentleman at a bar: “I ordered the Famous Chicken and it takes an hour to cook. I’ll just see you tomorrow.”  Note: I did not see him tomorrow. Or ever again. And just how famous can any one chicken really be?!?
  • Via e-mail, ten minutes before a Boot Camp exercise class a friend had committed to attending with me: “Ate too much ice cream. Count me out.”
  • Via text, fifteen minutes before a mutual friend’s surprise birthday dinner: “Got sucked into a Hoarders marathon. Have fun!” (Funny, but now that I think of it, I never saw THAT person again either.)
  • Sent via text, about Valentine’s Day dinner. “Oh, that’s tonight? I’m still in San Mateo.” Stand back, ladies, this one’s mine.

I am increasingly uncomfortable with my own escalating flakiness, especially since I understand just how obnoxious it can be and how little effort it takes to be base-level considerate. It’s something I am really trying to focus on (hence a 2012 resolution to return phone calls, to be on time, to not cancel anything I commit to, etc.). Of course, my quest for personal betterment has only made me more sensitive to the overt expression of aloof, flaky alleles in other people’s genetic makeups…and it boggles my mind how often I see it happen.

Aloof flakers everywhere… you are Meccanized.

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I’m Getting Too Old For This Sh*T

I am a heavy sleeper. I have slept through earthquakes, impromptu band rehearsals and the loudest fire alarm in the history of the world. It was so loud that the other people in the house figured no one could possibly sleep through it and so didn’t bother checking my room to see if I was there. When they didn’t see me outside, they assumed I had stayed the night elsewhere. As a result, had it actually been a real fire, I would have been in trouble.

But no depth of sleep could keep me from the ABSURDLY LOUD POUNDING on my door that occurred at 3:45 am on Saturday morning. Still half asleep, I staggered towards the door wondering who the hell might have decided to visit at that hour. In my previous life, random visits at odd hours weren’t that uncommon. Once, someone who shall remain nameless decided to throw pebbles at my window late at night in a romantic gesture…only in his inebriated state he misjudged the size of the “pebbles” and the location of my room and in reality hurled a small boulder that broke through my roommate’s window and nearly gave her a heart attack. But this kind of thing hadn’t yet happened in Virginia. Until Saturday.

3:45 am. Pounding. I asked who it was. I got back “It’s Julia and Amy.” “Um…” I said, “I don’t know you.” Their response? “We’re staying with you. We’ve been here all night.” Deciding what to do was entirely dependent on what genre of movie I had been suddenly and unwittingly thrust into. I was hoping for a RomCom. What I got was an after school special on teen drinking.

I could tell there was no real threat, but I was not letting Julia and Amy into my apartment. I’ll spare you the more boring details of what happened for the next hour, but suffice to say, the conversation that took place through my door was scintillating. I said the phrase “You don’t know me” at least five times. After reading the signed letter that I had taped to my door for UPS, they started referring to me by name, and it took me another 20 minutes to convince them that knowing my name did not, in fact, make me their friend. These two had no idea where they were, how they got there, where they needed to go or where there ride was. Finally, one became coherent enough to call her friend, find out where he was and relay to him the directions I gave to her to get to my building. Around 4:30, they were picked up and I got a loud, slurred “THAAAANNNKKK YOOOOUUUUU!!!!!” that probably woke everyone in a 2-mile radius.

Before anyone says anything about how I handled things…my “too niceness” has been well documented, and I know most of you would have just called the police and been done with it. Fair enough. But what I found more interesting was how I felt after they had left. This whole incident made me feel old…and not really in a bad way.

I never pulled a Robert Downey Jr. and showed up at someone else’s house by mistake, but I’ve had my share of ridiculous nights. At some point, though it wouldn’t have been me telling the story, I probably would have thought it was funny to hear about a friend ending up on a stranger’s doorstep at 4:30 am or…say…waking up in the street 2 miles from campus wearing nothing but a cowboy hat and a drapery of yellow caution tape. I probably would have even thought, “Man, I wish I could have been there.”

Now? I don’t really find it that funny or wish I could have been there. Saturday made me appreciate that the term “ridiculous night” means something entirely different to me in my old age. I think I can officially say that my “ridiculous nights” going forward most likely will not include finding myself coatless in a strange apartment complex at 4:30 am in 30-degree weather. Or dressing in heels that are too high for me to walk in without looking like I’m 8 and wearing my mom’s shoes. Or being so incapacitated that I need tons of help to get home safely.

I’ve crossed some threshold where that just doesn’t seem as funny as it used to. Instead, my ridiculous nights will consist of much more mature things. Like organizing a fake birthday party at a bouncy castle compound. Or splitting a bottle of wine and kicking butt at various Wii games. Or dancing my face off to ‘80s music and then eating my weight in pancakes at IHOP.

Still absurdly fun. Just a little more in control.

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Spear Guns and Apple Sauce

Who knew that the TSA had a blog?! And that this blog details the delightful smorgasbord of crap that TSA agents confiscate from airline travelers?! A spear gun here. 240 live fish there. Countless live and inert grenades. Consider my mind grapes blown.

Because I still believe in humanity, I am choosing to assume that no one is that stupid. Instead, I will assume that people do this for the same reason they show up in the ER with odd objects – bottles of shampoo, beepers, books (all true) — inside them: because they wanted to see if they could. (Ok, that may be the second reason people show up in the ER with objects inside them, but the first reason is outside of the scope of this blog.)

I understand that “well, maybe I’ll pull it off” feeling (important note: this refers only to the TSA portion of the above, NOT to the shampoo bottle/beeper/book portion). My weapon of choice? Mott’s apple sauce.

A few years ago, when I was a poor PR rep instead of a poor grad student, I did not want to pay an arm and a leg for food at the airport. So, before leaving my apartment, I put a container of apple sauce in my purse even though it was more than 3 oz and I was pretty sure it was considered a liquid/gel. Yeah, I’m a wild woman. I also apparently have the snack preferences of a risk-averse toddler.

While waiting in line to get my boarding pass, I began chatting with a cute guy. Mid-conversation, I imagined what he would say at our wedding: “When I saw her baggy sweatpants, baby blue neck pillow stained from years of soda and coffee spills during turbulence and her armload of celebrity gossip magazines, I knew I wanted to marry her.” Yes, this was the kind of unshakable love upon which so many Nicholas Sparks novels are based. After we both had our documents in hand, we proceeded to security together.

And then things got…embarrassing. A TSA agent pulled the apple sauce out of my purse and informed me that it could not be carried on. I gave him my best “I’m small and hungry” face to no avail. I argued with him about the classification of the product as a gel. He wouldn’t budge. Meanwhile, my gentleman friend had slowly edged away, moved to a different security line and was already removing his shoes. I can’t imagine why – what man wouldn’t want to hang with a 26-year-old woman making a scene about a container of apple sauce?

The TSA agent gave me the option of throwing out the apple sauce or eating it before I proceeded through the checkpoint. I locked eyes with my man, now through the X-ray machine. I had a tough decision to make. Potential future bliss and lifelong companionship? Or No Sugar Added, Vitamin C-rich apple deliciousness?

As I sat there snacking, I sarcastically thanked the TSA agent for costing me a chance with my soul mate. And in a moment I’ll never forget, the TSA agent looked me right in the eye and said “Your soul mate would have stood by you while you ate your apple sauce.” Wise words, Mr. TSA agent inde viagra. Wise words.

Tell me your airport security war stories!

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