Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ring Around the Rosie

UPDATE: When you read this you'll probably think I'm crazy, because these are normal directions. When I posted this Google gave me some freaky ass directions that circled me all over Los Angeles. So, this post was funny once. Trust me.

I was looking for directions from Union Station to my house today, and this is what Google maps decided would be the quickest route:

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Because obviously driving a route that looks like a twisty straw is much more important than getting home, say, sometime this week. Culver City by way of Alhambra? An excellent choice.

This is my favourite part:

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I wish the directions said, "Add some flair to your drive by making a fun circle on the 710 for no reason. It's a great accessory to any trip. For even more fun - bring your bedazzler!"

Who even knew there was a 710?

It reminds me of the early days of Google maps when to get from New York to London, for example, it would tell you to swim across the Atlantic Ocean.

Speaking of Google Maps - they have this thing called Street View, which I absolutely love. You can see what the building looks like for the job interview you have the next day, you can see creepy people standing in windows, and you can even see my car sitting in front of my parents house in Montana (they really need to update that satellite feed).

They can also do a little product placement.

Some of you know that I like to be very vocal with companies whose services I use. I send them letters of complaint, letters of praise, letters with suggestions, and so on. How can I expect them to better serve me if I don't tell them what I want? Lately I've had to do a lot of complaining, (that's another blog for another day), but just a few days ago I wrote a nice letter to Budweiser telling them that I loved their Bud Light + Clamato Chelada's, but that I wished they came in sizes other than the 24 oz. cans, which is just a little too much at once. I got the nicest, completely customized (read: NOT A FORM LETTER!) email back from an employee, that not only used the phrase, "You're wish is our command!" but also listed some places in the area that sell Chelada's in a smaller size. I of course went straight to Google maps to find where the closest one is, and this is the street view that comes up:

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Talk about great advertising!

UPDATE: Apparently, the Google van has made another sweep past this street, because the picture is different. It used to be a giant Budweiser semi blocking the Arco station.

I could spend hours looking at things on Google maps, but I have a lot to do, and I'm tired, and I have a glass of whisky waiting for me so I'll leave you with a giant uncooked chicken in Pittsburgh:

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Make sure you turn 180 degrees to see the guy dressed as a ham lurking in the alleyway. It doesn't really look like a ham, but fortunately for us, Google has a zoom feature, and the guy in the suit was nice enough to label his confusing costume "Ham".

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Be our guest! Be our Guest! Our command is your request

I'm so hot right now.

Check me out guest blogging on Lori's blog.

It's a little offensive. Enough so that she added a caveat to the beginning. Um, sorry about that. I sent it to her in an email and now that I'm seeing it all printed up for the world to see I'm a little like Woah.

I'd write more, but I'm off to Anaheim to see some West Virginians.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm tore up: a pictorial.

I'm starting to feel old. Not in a "wiser" kind of way, but more in a "my body is falling apart" way.

I peg the decline of youth at about 24 years old. That's when random knee pains, loss of mental faculties, etc. started occurring out of nowhere. Faint wrinkles started to appear around my eyes.

Then at about 27 there was a second drop. I started to get fatter, and care less about getting fat. I started getting complacent. Faint wrinkles became less faint and fun forehead wrinkles started to show up.

And now at the ripe old age of 28 and 3/4ths I'm starting to not be able to sustain injuries like I used to.

My current decrepit state started last Saturday - July 4th. I went to Visalia - my friend's hometown - to celebrate our nation's birthday (or whatever the hell the 4th is all about besides beer and burgers). She'd been talking up river floating for years now and I was excited to actually go.

It was so fun and relaxing. Until we hit the rapids. They weren't big. Nothing to worry about. But then there was a pirate ship in the way (isn't there always?), and my inner tube was underinflated, and I ran into some guy and next thing I know, I'm being drug over sharp rocks at a fast pace. It hurt, but I've felt worse, and it was over in a few minutes. For the most part I was just numb and a little sad that I'd lost my flip flops and sunglasses.

The real fun part came later when I was having trouble laying down, so I took a look at my (sweet, luscious) ass in the mirror and saw a bunch of giant bruises. I won't take pictures of my (juicy) ass and post them here, because ew, but pretty much I look like this:


Which is fine. I can sleep on my stomach.

But then today, I drove my scooter to a mailbox. Easy peasy, right? Well. I pulled up to the big blue box, put my hand brake on and pushed the button that keeps my bike upright. See, I have a Piaggio mp3, which looks like this:


The two front wheels actually lean with each other and there is a button that will lock them in position. I put my right foot on the ground and was in the middle of swinging my left leg over, when my jacket caught the button and unlocked the front wheels, which sent my bike tipping to the right. Which trapped my right foot between my 500 pound bike and the curb. The scene looked something like this:


I'm not really the best at Paint, but I'm here to tell you, that's almost exactly what it looked like.

Anyway, so my bike falls to the side and my leg is trapped against the curb and I'm, like, half on my bike, half off of it, and I know I look like a beached manatee and I'm super embarrased and I'm not quite sure what to do. I tried lifting the bike, but, like I mentioned before, the thing weighs 500 pounds and I wasn't in the best position to push it off me. So, I start wiggling my foot to the left, to get it to an opening big enough to untangle it. Just as I get it out, this guy that looks like he just hopped the border fence comes running across the street to help me.


He helped me right the bike, and I tried to explain what happened, so he wouldn't think I was a complete dumb ass, and to say thank you, but I don't think he understood and I was too flustered to say gracias.

And now my ankle has one of those bruises that doesn't look too bad yet, but has a menacing look to it and that "there's so much blood trapped under here that it's hard" kind of feel and the whole area is tingly. I look like this:


So now I have my foot up and I'm icing it and I'm whining about my war wounds on the world wide web and sipping whiskey. I had originally planned to go bike riding tonight and start work on getting fit again, specifically because I'm so old and fat and battered and need to be able to handle life's blows better - but tonight I'm too old and fat and battered to to work on not being old and fat and battered. So now my evening plans look like this:


And my cat looks like this:


because I'm neglecting her to write this post, and she really wants to be petted, and she doesn't care about any pain I might be in, so she's just kind of silently lurking next to my chair and giving me the eye.

I take that back, now she's standing on her back legs and yelling at me.

I feel like a (bruised, old) bad mom.

The end.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My morning grind just got so much better.

I'm a big fan of music. When I was younger I played in about every band possible (like, school orchestra type bands - not cool rock bands. Let it be known that I am not hip). When I was in high school, the Information Superhighway* (which, by the way, I was sure would never fly) was just starting to become accessible to the average Joe and I would search music message boards and try to find new, cool alternative** music. I would drive to the mall and search Sam Goody for a cd that looked interesting, and give it a shot. This was in the days before mp3s and Napster and in general being able to sample bits of music to see what you liked. In fact, cd's themselves were relatively new. I bought my first cd in 1994, right before I started high school.***

This is all to say that now, with music as accessible as it is, I'm in hog heaven, and I spend a lot of time on iTunes and The Hype Machine downloading new music. I downloaded enough that I ran out of room on my 8G iPod. Which would have been alright, but my iTunes was being annoying and I could only manage to get a few hundred songs on there, and for some reason, when I put it on shuffle in the morning so I could dance around while I got ready for work (and, let's be honest, so I could sing to my cat), it would play the same handful of songs over and over. It was getting a little monotonous - and whose morning schedule needs MORE monotony? Not mine, that's for sure.

Enter Lori Culwell, author extraordinaire. Note that I said author, not writer, because she is published. Several times. Check it out here, here, and here.

I met Lori while taking a UCLA Extension class, and we bonded over the fact that we both appreciate all the really weird and funny crap that happens around Los Angeles. (More on this later). Anyway, Lori's husband, Stephan (who is a voice-over actor and was on Family Guy once, which makes me want to pee my pants a little), somehow managed to run out of room on his 80G iPod. So after hearing my plight of the full iPod on Facebook they...drum roll please...decided to give it to me. How nice is that?? I loaded it up last night, and while I still have a long way to go to fill all the space, I really appreciated the eclectic mix of songs that were the soundtrack to my morning and Miss Mags really, really enjoyed having Erasure's "Always" sung to her.

Thank you Lori and Stephan!!!

In other Lori news, she has a blog (Funny Strange) that details all the weird and hilarious things that she witnesses around town and she invited me to be a guest blogger! I'm not sure exactly when it will post, but it should be up this week, so head on over there and check out my 15 minutes of fame!

* If you were born in the 90's you may not know it, but Information Superhighway was what they called the Internet before it exploded into what it is today.

** Again, if you were born in the 90's, you probably don't know that alternative music used to be the term for the underground stuff that not many people listened to - Nirvana, Bjork, etc. When those bands became more widely-liked, underground stuff then became Indie, but now Indie is what's popular, so I'm sure another term will be coming soon.

*** I'm starting to feel kind of old.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blame it on the alcohol.

There's so much to catch you up on - like how I floated down a river and totally bruised my ass or how I went to an awesome concert at the Hollywood Bowl. But I'm a busy woman with lots to do, so I'll just catch you up on one of the highlights of my three day weekend.

So, when I can, I like to take my scooter up to Neptune's Net in Ventura County, have a drink, maybe a burger, and enjoy the view. It's nice to take a break from the grind of commuting for an actual fun ride. The Net is a particularly good destination, partly because it's on PCH, so the ride is beautiful, but also because there are always a ton of other riders on the road. I love to catch up with a group of Harley's and pretend I'm with them.

For some reason there weren't a lot of riders out last Friday, but that didn't matter, because the rider of all riders was out. Picture it - I'm riding south on PCH, enjoying the ocean breeze and trying to cut between cars, when I hear the lovely roar of fellow riders. I expect the usual gang of tatted, bandana-wearing muscle men, with their leather clad women in back. But instead I see her. Hot Chocolate.

I kid you not, this woman has a hot pink Harley, with the words "Hot Chocolate" and a picture of a steaming mug of cocoa emblazoned on the side and back of her bike. And her helmet. I should also mention that her bike was nice enough that it had a radio (or cd player or something) on it that was blaring "Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol" for all of Malibu to hear. It. was. awesome.

(Is it racist if I mention here that she was black, which was why the name Hot Chocolate is particularly awesome? Or maybe you already assumed? Does that make you racist? Does it make me a bad writer that I can't think of any other word than awesome to describe what I saw?)

She was the leader of the two-person pack. The other woman had a jean jacket with "Harley Davidson" and the HD eagle bedazzled on the back in rhinestones. Her license plate said 1moride. She was like the sparkly Sancho Panza to Hot Chocolate's Don Quixote.*

I followed them for quite some time, hoping that the awesomeness (again, I apologize, but I'm sorry - it was awesome) of owning a hot pink bike or a HD bedazzled jacket would rub off on me, but sadly, I was all too aware that, despite my posturing, I could never be that bad ass.

You were definitely Born to Ride, Hot Chocolate, and I salute you.

* I have never read Don Quixote, so I'm not exactly sure of the comparison I'm making there, but I thought it sounded good.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

“Bacon, it’s the candy bar of meats!”

Have you ever been on The Innernets and one thing leads you to look up something else which leads you to look at something else which leads you to all sorts of new worlds?

Well, it is one of those kind of mornings. I'd like to introduce you to ...

Bacon Flavored Vodka.

Yes, I said bacon flavored vodka. It makes me really want a Caesar. Or to at least try a sip. I don't know if I could bring myself to buy a whole bottle of it though.

Thumbs up to whomever designed the bottle with that awesome semi-abstract bacon symbol.

Thumbs up to the people who a) even thought to make bacon vodka and b) made it using potatoes.

Thumbs down to calling it Bakon. Too obvious, man.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'm talking 'bout the man in the mirror

Ok, so there's a lot I could say about the death of Michael Jackson. I could say that he definitely left a dent on the music world and on me as a child of the 80's. I could say that he was weird and I could talk forever about whether I think he actually molested children or not.

But that's not what I want to say.

What I want to say is, "Um...what?"


Did Diana Ross know that MJ wrote her into his will to be the mother of his children if Katherine Jackson couldn't or wouldn't? What kind of random choice is that? Can anyone do that? Like, can I leave my children to Julie Andrews? I don't have any children, but if I did, and if I had a will, I'd totally leave them to Julie Andrews.

The other funny thing is that those were the only two options he left. Doesn't he know that his mom and Diana Ross are both old? Aren't there better options? Maybe Janet? Or Tito? Or hell, almost anyone other than MJ himself or the crazy baby mama (or the aforementioned old people) would be fine.

I take that back, LaToya probably isn't a good choice either.

Also, am I the only one wondering about Joe Jackson's access to the kids if they are with Katherine? Isn't Joe an admitted child abuser?

I leave these confusing questions to you. I have work to do. And by work I mean I need to go write a will leaving my MC Skat Kat tape to President Obama and my underwear to Justin Timberlake.