The Desperate Housewives Thing

FYI: This post has been hanging around in my Drafts folder since mid-December so about a month or so.  Since this happened, the Desperate Housewives episode I was on aired and my person was left on the cutting room floor.  Before you pat me on the back and hand me a hanky, I am actually A-OK with this and this is not me just “being strong”.  I was actually more nervous for anyone to see me than anything haha.  I am more of a thrill-seeker/doer than I am attention-monger so the experience of doing this (and getting paid for it to boot) was more than enough.  The “seeing me do this” was actually kind of the only downside but I wasn’t going to rob my fambly from seeing me mug on national tv, especially when I’m so far away.

Anway, if you want to read about what it was like, go read the jump below.  I wrote this a while back and haven’t re-read it, I just want to post it so I can have it for my own memory because I doubt lightening will strike twice haha.

Continue reading

The Christmas Toy

The Christmas Toy

This one goes out to my sister. We used to watch the shit out of “The Christmas Toy” when we were kids but both totally forgot the name of it until this year. I decided on Christmas Day that I was going to spend 2011 putting together a seriously intense Christmas movie collection because I’m tired of constantly scrounging for my favorites every season. And I do like me a multi-sensory holiday experience. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what this was called but as I was searching for other shit, this popped up. I haven’t bought it yet (because I don’t have a j-o-b) but I just found it on YouTube and decided to post it here. Enjoy bitches!

Part one of five:

Part two of five:

Part three of five:

Part four of five:

Part five of five:

Happy New Year everybody!

Not to brag (yes to brag) but we had an awesome New Year’s Eve too. Before I get into that, I want to tell you about the package that my sister Christine sent us this week. It arrived on Tuesday but I was at the DMV taking my written tests for my CA Driver’s licence. I failed the first time, read the entire 90 page book, took it again and squeaked by. I’m a licensed CA driver y’alls! (My NJ one expired yesterday and I just only remembered this week so I hopped to it, thank god.)

Anyway, the package came while I was there and then was re-delivered on Wednesday. OMG was it awesome. She sent us all of our favorite NJ foods!!! Rolls from Brother’s Bakery, Bagels from Bagel Bistro, Entenmann’s Crumb Cake (which for some reason they don’t seem to sell here in LA), Bags of Wise Chips (Honey BBQ and Sour Cream and Onion Ridgies), some Scottish stuff (Digestives, Fingers, Smarties and Maltesers) etc. SO GOOD. Also she gave us a copy of the Observer, our town’s newspaper. I don’t know what it is but if you are from Kearny or the surrounding towns you are admittedly or unadmittedly obsessed with that paper. It’s always good for an unintentional laugh and you can always see someone you know’s picture or name in the paper (whether it’s for an accomplishment, a man out on the street, police blotter or obit haha).

She also got us slippers, a book called Girls to the Front and a BETTY WHITE CALENDAR!!!!!! Now you might recall me saying that if I don’t receive this calendar, I will refuse to even open my eyes for the entirety of 2011 because I don’t want to see a year without Betty White in it. Well thank god for some miracles. I was getting a little worried about how I’d manage it. We hugged and high fived over that calendar A LOT. Thank you Christine and Matt!

We’ve been eating through this package since Wednesday. It’s safe to say that all of the rolls and bagels are gone as is most of the crumb cake. We did some damage to the chips and sweets but we still have some to plow through.

So onto New Year’s Eve. Kristyn had to work last year so basically I just counted down with the cats and then went outside to watch the fireworks my neighbors were drunkenly shooting off. This year Kristyn had off so we planned a big dinner! We bought a Tofurkey again and had some potatoes, home-made stuffing, biscuits and pumpkin bars for dinner (thanks again for the Pumpkin Bar recipe Jessica!).

But I’m getting ahead of myself. We slept late, got up and had the rest of the rolls and crumb cake for breakfast with giant cups of tea. Then I re-read some of my old Myspace blogs for a project I’m working on while Kristyn cleaned. DAMN she did a great job! Then she got showered and ready while I baked the Pumpkin Bars and made the Cream Cheese Frosting. After that I started on the Tofurkey and Potatoes because I figured we’d be hungry in the hour and a half it would take to bake. I showered and got ready and then we played the Michael Jackson Experience some more.

I tried my hand at making stuffing but it was honestly only a “nice try” haha. I have a basic idea down and I think it will work out better next time. So we ate at around 8:30ish. Because 9pm is midnight on the East Coast, we put on the ball drop and had our countdown at 9. Then we texted all of our family and friends and talked to Kristyn’s Dad on the phone for a while. He said, “Now don’t be calling me at your midnight because I’ll be in bed!” Haha. Duly noted.

After that we fooled around with the Christmas Story temporary tattoos my sister sent us with her Christmas gift. We put them on our wrists and took pictures haha. We played some more MJ and drank some wine and before you knew it, it was West Coast New Year! We totes missed the countdown and we don’t have cable so we didn’t see the ball drop. Suddenly fireworks went off and we looked down and it was 12 on the dot! So we ran outside and watched the fireworks and played with sparklers. I bought these in Montreal in like 2006 or so. I’ve been trying to get Kristyn to play with them since. That and I keep forgetting. So first we played with some poppers, you know those things where you pull the string and confetti comes out? Then we started lighting the sparklers. Turns out Kristyn has never played with a sparkler before and I guess thought they were dangerous. I guess if you put one behind your ear things could get sketchy but I don’t know of anyone who has blown up via sparkler haha. Anyway, we took a million pictures of the sparklers.

Once we went through those, we came back in, put on PJ’s and played Harry Potter LEGO until we were almost falling asleep. We fanciful slept on the couches while watching Buffy. It was a great day.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Congratulations Christine and Matt!

Also (and I don’t know how the hell I could have forgotten to include this) but my sister Christine and her boyfriend Matt got engaged on Christmas Eve!!! Here are some pictures that my Uncle Danny took of Christine and Matt. The hands are Nana’s and Christine’s. That’s Christine, Nana and Matt in the second picture. Also, if you don’t love that Santa Snuggie, you are cold and dead inside. This is what my brother Charles got in the Grab Bag at Christine’s Thanksmas Dinner a few weeks ago and it’s now an awesome Engagement Picture Prop. Amazing.

Congratulations guys and here is A MAJOR AWARD for the BEST ENGAGEMENT PICTURES EVER!

* Also Congrats to Shannon and her Fiance Ray on their engagement!

We had a great Christmas!

I’m a week late in posting this but who cares? I have been partying and having a good time all week. I gave myself sort of a self-imposed vacation. I ate Christmas cookies, drank Two Buck Chuck, watched Buffy and crafted. It’s been wonderful. I also managed to crank out some work and hustle and bustle a bit but I definitely took a week to turn the hustling down to a dull roar. This week, it’s time to turn it back up again haha.

Anyway, we ALSO had a great New Year’s Eve but I’ll tell you about that later. Last year we had sort of a “meh” Christmas because Kristyn had to work both Christmas Eve AND Christmas. We Skyped with everyone and got lots of good prezzies but we were homesick and apart and it was kind of blah.

This year Kristyn had off for Christmas Eve (but worked on Christmas). This is good because Kristyn’s favorite part of the entire Christmas season is going over to her Aunt Alison and Uncle Rich’s for dinner. (ie. She loves celebrating on Christmas Eve.) My family always celebrated on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day because we’d rotate going to see either side of the family on each day.

ANYWAY. On Christmas Eve Eve, I baked like six or seven dozen Ricotta Cookies, two dozen Gingerbread cookies and made two dozen Potato Scones to have for breakfast (not two dozen for breakfast that’s just how much the recipe made haha). I cleaned the house from top to bottom and even wrapped all of the presents our family sent us! Kristyn came home after work at like 1:30am and was mad at me because she had stopped by Walgreen’s to pick out some stuff to put in my stocking as a surprise but I had her debit card on me haha. So we went to Walgreen’s in Hollywood and shopped for a while. We didn’t get home until probably around 3 or so. We chilled, I showed Kristyn all the stuff I’d made and we went to bed watching Buffy.

In the morning, I cued the Yule Log up on the laptop. Here it is:

And we started opening our presents. We got SO MUCH from everyone and we are SO grateful and were SO surprised! I don’t want to list everything because I don’t want to brag or make anyone feel funny but a sampling of what we got is:

* A box of cookies, candy and fun stuff from Matt and Rachel
* Two vegetarian cookbooks from our Moms
* A gift certificate to Trader Joe’s from Aunt Alison and Uncle Rich and the boys
* A box of goodies from my Mom and Nana. Inside were some holiday decorations, Christmas socks, a springform pan to make Apple Cake and a hand-written cookbook. The cookbook made me bawl my eyes out because it’s all hand-written family recipes from my Mom and Nana and even one photo-copied and stapled in that my Great Grandma wrote herself. I grew up with her and think of her as almost like a second Mom. She passed away when I was about thirteen so to see her handwriting again just…it made me really happy and cry a LOT. Haha.
* A gift certificate that let’s you choose any kind of outing you want in California from Kristyn’s brother Charlie, Linda and the kids.
* A gift certificate to our favorite store Target from Kristyn’s sister Lynn, Tommy and the boys.
* And my sister sent us something but it didn’t come until just this past Tuesday so I’ll put it in the New Year’s Eve post. Trust. It’s awesome.
* Grandma Barr sent us money to buy something for ourselves with. So sweet.
* Kristyn’s parents went crazy and sent us EVERYTHING haha. Comforter, dishes, pots, pans, utensils, slippers.

And that isn’t even everything. We are really SO LUCKY and made out like bandits. It wasn’t even the gifts themselves just the thought. Also we got a ton of Christmas cards which we LOVE. Thank you EVERYONE!!!

Oh and with Christmas money we put some stuff in our stockings and decided to buy The Michael Jackson Experience and Harry Potter LEGO. OMG SUCH GOOD GAMES!!! More on that later.

So on Christmas Eve morning, we opened prezzies and gave the animals treats. We then called our Parents and Grandmas to wish them a Merry Christmas. We didn’t eat breakfast until like 3pm haha. We had fake Taylor Ham and cheese on toast, scrambled tofu and potato scones with coffee. So good.

We then cleaned up the horrific Christmas mess we’d made. We let the cats play in the melee of the boxes and paper mess until they got tired out haha. Then we played the Michael Jackson Experience for a while.

After that we decided to make the Pee Wee Herman Shrinky Dinks that I’d bought for two beans at a thrift store a few weeks ago. We’re going to make them into ornaments for the tree. I’ve only done Shrinky Dinks like once and Kristyn has never done them so this was a lot of fun. It was really satisfying to see them curl up in the oven haha.

After that we were kind of hungry so we started on dinner. I made my Mom’s famous ziti (the recipe for which came in the hand-written cookbook). In the pictures below you’ll see that she wrote “Eat like a pig, sleep like a baby” in the book. This is in regards to this recipe hahaha. We found fake shrimp at Whole Foods recently so Kristyn decided to make her Aunt Alison’s Shrimp Scampi with it. (FYI, we do eat shrimp sometimes, we just wanted to try this fake stuff out. It wasn’t bad.) So for dinner we had Baked Ziti, “Shrimp” Scampi, Fake Italian Sausage, Biscuits and Wine. For dessert we had Christmas Cookies.

After we ate, we were kind of stuffed to the gills so we played Harry Potter LEGO until we couldn’t take it anymore. GODDAMN is that a good game. Highly recommended!

On Christmas morning, we got up and had a good breakfast (Facon, Biscuits and Potato Scones with coffee). Then it was time for Kristyn to leave for work. She had kind of a rough day but we drank wine and played Harry when she got home so that kind of evened things out haha.

I had a great day. I watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (my favorite), drank coffee, made a LOT of progress on a dress I’m sewing, fooled around with Kristyn’s Mom’s sewing machine, watched a TON of Buffy and drank some wine.

Overall it was a great Christmas and here is the proof. The pictures start on the one where Kristyn and Monster are kissing in front of the tree. This is at like 3am on Christmas Eve haha:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Christmas Monster

This year it feels like Christmas is just passing me by. I guess it’s because we didn’t have to do any Christmas shopping. We’re not in a position where we have enough money to buy people things, let along ship them cross-country. In fact, we’re not even exchanging gifts with each other. Anyway, we’d been stressing about that and just realized we should just, for this year only, call it a wash. Next year I WILL have a job and we will feverishly lavish our loved ones with birthday and Christmas presents, we SWEAR.

But this is our favorite part, buying prezzies for people so Christmas without it is almost TOO unstressful. Like we don’t have to constant fever to pick out the right thing but it leaves a weird present -shaped hole in the holiday season. *sigh*

On the upside of stressing over something that’s not stressful, I have been listening to more Christmas music this season that is healthy for one person. I listen to almost constant Christmas music. Sometimes I listen to so much that I get aggrivated and have to shut it off. I’m doing to myself what people in service industries have done TO them. And Kristyn just found an app recently that lets us listen to NYC radio stations so we have been splitting our Christmas music listening time between LA and NYC’s radio stations. It’s sick and they don’t even play different music for the most part. We originally wanted to listen to New York’s stations because we wanted to hear “Dominick the Donkey” and “Donde esta Santa Claus” but they’re not playing them this year! A Christmas Travesty! We were stunned to learn that these songs are a regional delicacy last Christmas and are flabbergasted to learn that theyre not even being played this year at all. I didn’t even hear the Hannukah song once! (Although I saw Adam Sandler a few months ago.)

What else? Oh I FINALLY just got done with and mailed the Christmas Cards. Yeah it’s the 21st. I have literally been working on them all month long. I told Kristyn that there is no way in the firey pits of Santa hell that she is getting off the hook for writing Christmas Cards next year (but that’s what I say every year and every year she chuckles while my writin’ hand addresses and stamps fourty something cards haha).

One thing that is making me berserk though is that I STILL haven’t hung the Christmas lights on the front window. (Actually the BARS on the front window haha.) This is happening tonight, rain or no rain. I’m about to have a mini-light nervous breakdown over this. Kristyn kind of backs away from holiday decorations because she says I am a control freak about it. She is not wrong. I don’t mean to be but I just come from a family that considers holiday decorations TO BE A VERY SERIOUS AND IMPORTANT AFFAIR WHERE THERE ARE RIGHT AND WRONG WAYS TO APPROACH THINGS. Haha. I’m not saying it’s a pretty attribute but it is what it is. BUT the good thing is that we kind of divvy stuff up according to what I MUST CONTROL and what Kristyn likes to do. I have to put the lights and garland on the tree and she hates that so I do it and she reclines. I have a very specific way I like the “base ornaments” to go on the tree while Kristyn likes to put on the specialty ones. And this is where Kristyn goes haywire. IDK whether she does this because it makes me sigh or because she likes it. She actively admits to doing things so I’ll “yell at her”. (FYI this “yelling” she speaks of is a smirk and an eyeroll but she likes it.) Anyway she at some point decided she wanted to put birds all over the tree. She buys one every year (though she hasn’t for the last two). The tree is covered with birds and they’re her FAVORITE to put up. She gets to excited about them so that is her major HAVE TO as far as the tree is involved…that and a set of glittery grapes that I am POSITIVE she only puts on the tree to get me to “yell” at her. Hideous. At least she puts them somewhere towards the back haha.

I am also really picky when it comes to hanging lights around the apartment. For the most part she stays away but she’s taller so sometimes I have to compel her to help me reach things and she does it. What I am not really picky about are the decorations that go around the house and I know she likes to do that so typically while I’m obsessively hanging lights on things, she is placing stuff around the house. There are only a few things that “are supposed to specifically go there”. Hahaha. I’m the Christmas Monster.

BUT don’t feel too sorry for her because she’s always “busy” from December 26th until mid-January and can’t seem to find time to take the decorations down or get rid of the tree. She’s also always very, very busy and can’t possibly put the boxes away. And it’s her birthday in late January so we’re already on “It’s your birthday!” mode so I let it go haha.

So that’s all our Christmas dish for right now. We got a bunch of presents in the mail from family and they’re all under the tree waiting to be opened and being sit on by cats. We have (mostly) decided on and bought our meals for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Kristyn has both off!!! Thank god! Last year she had to work and I was here alone. We both got the short end of the stick because at least I was home but at least she was with people. This year we can celebrate both together!

Okay I gotta go get ready for another job interview. Wish me luckaroonies!

Only me.

I got a $68 parking ticket while leaving the Welfare office. Because I didn’t have the $5 for their PAID parking lot. Swift little business they’re running, do you see what I mean? LA itself is a business. It gets exhausting. The meter maid had the nerve to pull up and yell at me to move my car AS I was sitting in it reading my ticket that I’d only JUST gotten. I said, “Yeah thanks I got the memo. I only just came back from the welfare office. This is like a quarter of what I’ll make for the month. Have a nice day.” I know the meter reader is just doing his job but damn.

Also, and this is a perfect example of your tax dollars at work. The REASON welfare is putting me through the ringer is because I told THE TRUTH on my forms and said I was receiving help from Kristyn. They actually said, in a letter to me, that I was being cut off of aid BECAUSE MY BILLS ARE LARGER THAN WHAT THEY ARE GIVING ME. Naturally there is a “good reason” that is supposed to make that sentence make sense. *sigh*

I sure hope you guys aren’t judging me because I am putting myself way out there for you. I want you to see what this is really like. LA is a beautiful and tough place to live. I am so inspired here but goddamn these weird rules. You never know you’re crossing a line until it’s crossed. EVERYTHING has a learning curve and I am sure all places are (so don’t get all “correcty” on me). I’m making up words now. Okay gotta go hop in the shower to make it to my SECOND welfare appointment of the day. My back is killing me, blerg.

My family huddled around the warm glow of the internets

Me and Kristyn finally decorated the tree today.  We already had the lights, garland and star on it but hadn’t gotten around to the balls.  I was irritated right off the bat this morning because the cats had torn off half of the garland and some of the lights in Mortal Kombat earlier in the morning.  I dramatically declared, “That goddamn tree is gonna be the DEATH of me!  Mark my words, I will have torn it down by New Years!”  Haha.  So in order to make me smile (and to save the tree not to mention the cats), she started putting the ornaments on.  Because she had to go to work, it turned into a marathon ornament putting-on session but we got it all done.  This picture doesn’t even show the whole tree just because my lens wouldn’t let me get the whole thing and I was too lazy to switch lenses.  I’ll get a better picture later.  The bottom line is that the lower half of the tree has next to no ornaments on it haha.  It’s not worth it because if I have to put them back on I am sure to tear my tshirt and shorts and turn into the Hulk.  Merry Christmas!

Anyway, here is a picture of MOST of the tree.

And here is a picture of the top of the tree.  Yes that is a lady’s leg you spy.  Yes there are an awful lot of birds.  Definitely that is masking tape at the bottom of the star.  What can I say, we’re classy broads…

So then I wrote down some recipes for a while.  I have started writing up a book of all of the recipes I use all of the time because I am tired of always searching for them.  I mean almost NONE of them are my own.  They’re from other people, cookbooks and some are just off the box of something but I hate having to rely on finding that stuff.  A few years ago I had bought three hardcover notebooks at Barnes and Noble with inspirational messages on them.  I gave one to me (!), one to Kristyn and one to my Dad.  They were just to keep track of life goals because we were all in a time of flux.  WELL. Me and Kristyn started using ours but my Dad didn’t use his and I found it in a box of his stuff when we moved.  I snatched it back from him haha.  So I started writing my recipes in here.  The cover says, “Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.”  That’s apt for a cookbook in case you want to create a lardass out of yourself.  (And I do!)

Anyway, my sister Christine  and her boyfriend Matt invited my parents, brother Charles, Grandma and Matt’s parents over for “Thanksmas”.  In other words she made a Turkey and they exchanged grab bag gifts.  From what I saw of the gifts, there was: A Santa Clause outfit Snuggie (want), A bottle of viscous fluid (my Dad purchased this and Matt got it, I tried to get them to crack it open and drink some with a spoon but they weren’t having it), a Jersey Shore poster, a candle and I forget what else because my brain lost steam with the viscous fluid.

THE POINT IS that we Skyped for like an hour haha.  Here is my Sister and my Dad (and me in the little window at the bottom):

Here is my Grandma Barr (my Dad’s momma), my Mom and my Sister:

Here is my Dad and my brother Wee Charles (or just, ya know Charles if that’s how you are) (P.S. Wee Charles is at like a foot taller than me and eleven years younger than me haha.):

Here is my Sister and my Momma:

Here is another one of my Grandma, Mom and Sister:

And here is my Dad and Charles doing god knows what.  It was weird to scream “LOOK AT ME!!!” at them from 3,000 miles away haha.

So that was that! I forgot to get one of Matt!!! He might have edited himself out of the photo shoot though if I know him haha. And who can blame him, computer cameras are not the most flattering format. My video kept cutting out so they could only see me like half of the time. Drat. Anyway, I’m a tad hungry so I’m going to go slap my feedbag on. TTYL.

La Femme and Sick of Sarah!

Hi guys! Two more of my blogs posted on LA Music Blog.

Go to this link to read my review of the La Femme Show at The Strange last Saturday night. And here are some of my favorite pictures from that night:

Also, go to this link to watch the new video for Sick of Sarah. Here is a picture of their new album:

Sick of Sarah

Good times.

He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister

I went to see He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister at the Echo the other day. The show was a LOT of fun. Here is my post for it at LA Music Blog.

Also we started decorating for Christmas! I put some of the lights on the tree the other night and some on last night. I also put on a TON of garland because I felt like I didn’t put on enough last year. It’s gaudy/beautiful as heck. Tonight we have some work to do and then we are going to finish decorating the tree and the house. Tropical winter wonderland y’alls.

Here is the tree in the dark. The Golden Girls approve. Also that blue light on the right of the picture is the ghostly aura of Michael Moore’s “Roger and Me”. Nothing says Christmas time like 30,000 layoffs at General Motors.

Also I went to see La Femme play on Saturday night. Here is a picture from the show:

Great pate, Mom, but I gotta motor if I wanna be ready for that party tonight.