Dec 29, 2011

Another One Down

Today I became a 35 year old woman but spent the day acting like a 65 year old man. Oddly, I was pretty good at it.

Dec 28, 2011

Ciao, Chanukah!

I gave the usual Italian & Asian fare a break and whipped up some traditional and tasty Jewish nosh. My kitchen ain't kosher, but I am a shicksa. 

No harm, no foul, bubbala.

Dec 23, 2011

My Own Private Mexico

I heard on the radio this morning that Mexico is expecting 50+ million tourists this year – spurred by the 2012 Mayan doomsday prophecy. It was not reported exactly what these people hope to get out of their visits as souvenirs seem terribly impractical given the circumstances. But it was the business news, so I guess humanity and substance are beside the point. 

There have certainly been an abundance of armageddon predictions lately, and an equally plentiful pool of fools willing to mark their calendars. I know I am not the first one to point out that “eschatology” and “scatology” can sound very similar to the untrained ear, but it’s far too easy to dismiss these soothsayers and their sycophants as nut-jobs. And those who know me know I do not make things easy.

So what is the appeal of apocalyptic predictions? I keep returning to a rationale similar to the reason why I buy lottery tickets. People need an “escape hatch” to latch on to. And in these end times, which seem to be hard times for so many folks, maybe utter destruction appears a more attainable fate than outrageous fortune. They both dangle that no-looking-back option that appeals to the 99%-ers. Two sides of the same coin, really. Slightly ironic too that my chance of winning big at the thoroughbreds as well as the Mayan prophecy are both driven by Mexicans.

Nonetheless, this is the end of the year—wrap-up season—and saying 2011 has been a year of ups and downs is an understatement. It was downright bi-polar for so many I know. But using our neighbors to the south as an example, there is always a way to work the positive side of something. Even apocalypse.

See, I recall that Mexican tourism took a nosedive a year or two back because of the rampant, indiscriminate murders and kidnapping of tourists by powerful drug cartels. Now, it’s back...and better than ever. Nothing like a good ol’ doomsday prophecy to bring us all together.

Here’s wishing a happy yours, Mayan, and ours.

Dec 22, 2011


I'd like to share a photo of my new Christmas ornament. It just screams "It's the holidays, and I don't give a shit"...does it not?

Dec 15, 2011


There is a neat-o vintage tchotchke shop in LA's Farmer's Market called Shine Gallery (online at They sell all kinds of cool, authentic, period novelty items like patches, buttons, small toys, and postcards. 

One eye-catching piece was particularly kitschy: this fully-stocked display of "Hollywood Finger Cigarette Rings."

I do like how they specified the Hollywood ring was for the finger, thus differentiating it from the West Hollywood ring. Moving on...

If ya zoom in a bit you'll see that the apparatus is supposed to hold your cigarette while your hand relaxes and leave your fingers free for such activities as driving, talking on the phone, and even playing golf. While these seem like logical claims, I do call horseshit upon every single one of them.

Given the time period these were made, I declare the sole purpose of this invention was to stop one from dropping their smoke while bombed on the booze. And that's not a bad thing; just because the smoker is wasted, doesn't mean thier cigarette should be too.

Dec 14, 2011

In The Soup

A few weeks ago brought us Black Friday, the official kick-off of the holiday shopping season…although its “official” status is being jeopardized by newcomers such as Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Come to think of it, it seems we now have more holidays too–like the Kwanzaa–so who knows what is actually doing the kicking off and to what it’s kicking toward. Regardless, you know what I’m talking about.

Now, you may call me many things, but “doorbuster” is not one of them. I find it preposterous to line up around the block during the wee hours to save ten bucks on shit that I, nor anyone else for that matter, needs.

I suppose if you really are watching your pennies and the alternative to “midnight madness” is scarring your child for life by denying them the commercial pleasures of Christmas, then fine, ya’ll get a pass. But if you are the sort who can afford MSRP on that Blu-ray, then you are out of line even while queued behind stantions at Best Buy. And if you have ever uttered the phrase “time is money” and have the snowballs to participate in this nonsense, you deserve to be pepper-sprayed on sight.

But the greed of Black Friday (or whatever the fuck) is nothing compared to the rampant avarice I witnessed today...on the lunch line at work.

This is going to take a little background: every day the cafeteria offers two varieties of soups. They are set up in two stainless steel stations, each housing both varieties. That’s a total of four kettles. Got it?

Today they offered Italian wedding soup, apparently the only thing that can spawn behavior more obnoxious than an actual Italian wedding. You see, this afternoon there was a sign–put up by management–stating the number of mini-meatballs to which each diner is entitled based on the size of the soup purchased (i.e. a 12 oz. order allows four meatballs; a 16 oz. allows six). This was something new.

When I finished rolling my eyes, I scoped BOTH stations and saw no meatballs in either. Just broth and floating pasta thingies. Clearly, the sign was necessary. My co-workers had picked clean the balls.

On one hand, I kind of felt bad for the catering manager as sales surely suffered due to the sphere-less soup. But upon further thought, I laid my pathos with the patrons. I figured that when you are forced into a position where your opportunity to “stick it to the man” involves stuffing all the balls you can squeeze into a 12 ounce cup, well, that’s just not a good place to be.

I’ve been thinking a lot about values lately. Not necessarily moral vs. material, but how the two often go hand in hand. Shit, I do enjoy a bargain and I do hate to be ripped off. But there are limits, kids. Just as we work hard for the dough we need to buy stuff, others have worked hard to make the stuff we’re buying. Somewhere between point A and point B people certainly take advantage, but that’s not my...umm…point.

Jesus (Mithra, etc.) may not be the reason for the items we bought on Black Friday or the goodwill to which we will raise our glasses next week. But there is a moral lesson to be learned in all of this. As we all ponder values this season, remember that treating each other with fairness and respect is not just for special occasions. In this spirit, I urge you: leave the half-off Barbie dolls for those who need them and, for the love of God, go easy on the balls.

Dec 11, 2011

A Ride to Remember

Today I present the 100th entry to this blog. And while I admit the quality of the material on here varies greatly, I will say I think I nailed it for this milestone post.

You see, I got the chance to ride in a Tucker while on vacation in Los Angeles. I'm only half-joking when I say my life will never be the same.

Now what the hell am I gonna do for the 200th?