Friday, April 20, 2007

With the nice weather comes . . .

Garage Sale Season! Needless to say, I'm VERY excited that spring is here and the church bazaars and garage sales are getting into swing. Last weekend was record for us- I think I spent about $60 (for a good cause) at the annual Samaritan House sale and walked away with far too much to list (but rest assured it included an entire 8-person setting of cobalt glass dishes, 2 jewelry boxes, tons of costume jewelry, and a fireplace log holder for $1!).

So I had high expectations when I checked the "garage sales" section of the local paper this Friday morning, only to be let down. This one caught my eye, though. I understand that they don't want people's smelly old clothing, or toxic-waste-old-computers, but really, I just want to know, how big of a problem are "bowling balls"- and how many do they really get donated?- that they have to use their precious space to prohibit their donation? I know bowling is popular around these parts, but, really, has their donation reached crisis proportions that I'm unaware of?
Garage Sale
Sat, Apr 21, 2007
9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Endwell Fire Station, 3508 Country Club Road, Endwell, NY
to benefit Animal Care Council (donations being accepted from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. the day before at the fire station, no clothing, bowling balls or computers will be accepted)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Los Angeles' Reality TV: I finally struck the mother-lode!

When I first moved to upstate New York, I found myself watching some of the crappiest reality television ever. I couldn't figure out my new-found attraction for this junk, until one day I found my eyes glued to a car commercial, narrating to John exactly which obscure,seemingly anonymous (but not to these expert eyes!) streets the car was driving down.

Then it struck me: I watch this reality TV crap to alleviate my homesickness, since it's all filmed at places I used to live, work or play. Chasen's restaurant in Beverly Hills? It was converted into a Bristol Farms- scratch that- it was converted to MY local grocery store, and now it seems that every time some reality TV person goes shopping, they are treading down MY old bread aisle.

"The Apprentice: Los Angeles"? They can't use enough of my old haunts. One of their first challenges was selling car washes at MY old car wash, the Santa Palm (does that mean "holy palm"? I'm thinking I missed the day at CCD when we learned about that saint.)

So, after all this gratuitous LA-based-TV-watching, I hit the mother lode of my dreams: I've been watching this show called Top Design, which is an elimination competition for interior designers. The contestants have been living in West L.A. and working out of the Pacific Design Center, a couple of blocks from my old place in Beverly Hills.

But last night, I can't even stand how great it was- the finale had the final two contestants . . . designing an entire 2,700 square foot loft . . . i'm a twitter already . . . in Downtown Los Angeles . . . which loft project will it be? i know them all intimately . . . at the SANTA FE BUILDING . . . holy crap that is my friend Marie's old building that she moved out of because it was being overhauled . . . and they are doing the SIXTH FLOOR . . . that is Marie's freaking UNIT the contestant is designing for the final episode!

How awesome to see her gorgeous, expansive loft- with its 1920s architecture and incredible wall-to-ceiling views of the downtown skyline in the background, the incredible architecture of the neighboring beaux arts vintage commercial buildings seemingly close enough to touch from the sixth floor perch. The designer working on Marie's loft didn't win, but DAMN did it look hot.

That was enough reality-tv-crack to keep me watching that crap for another two years, in hopes of hitting another close-to-home jackpot.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Fish-outta-water's Greatest Hits Volume 1 (2006/2007)

I'm a couple of months overdue, but I did want to acknowledge and celebrate this blog's 1-year anniversary with my very own "Top 10" list of blog entries. It's a demanding job, translating this strange upstate New York culture to my friends and family in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Hopefully these will give you the flavor of how I'm adjusting here.

Without further adieu, as judged solely by me, here goes, please enjoy:

NUMBER 10: My Halloween Costume
NUMBER 8: Peregrine Party Platter
NUMBER 7: "Authentic" Mexican
NUMBER 6: Law Office "Art"
NUMBER 5: Tijuana Smoked Turkey Wrap
NUMBER 4: Pssssst! America! There is a whole STATE of New York!
NUMBER 3: Putting the Porn Back in Garage Sales
NUMBER 2: What's Going on at THIS church?

And, my most favoritest entry of all . . . . Jewish Cats and Eastern Orthodox Dogs? !!!!

And, with so much to choose from, I added some Bonus Tracks, from various excursions abroad:
British Dining

Ever Wonder Where the Pope Gets His Undies?

Los Angeles
"But Officer, I Reeeeeeally Had to PEE!"

I'M (not) FAMOUS

This whole blogging experience has been really fun for me. It has taught me a bunch about a lot of things, not the least of which has been that it reminded me how proud my dad is of his kids. Only sometimes, unlike when I was admitted to a great school or made the dean's list, this pride is reeeeeeally misdirected. So sweet, but definitely misdirected.

Case in point: this blog. I started this blog in February 2006 when I moved to Binghamton, as a way to keep in touch with those people who were constantly asking "what's it like living there? what are you up to?" Although I know it's open to all visitors, I figured only a handful of people (hi mom!) would actually read it, and it was not meant for broad publication.

So, when I attended my cousin's wedding last June, I couldn't figure out why all my aunts, uncles and cousins kept mentioning my silly blog? After a whole weekend, I finally figured out the mystery- MY DAD! he had sent the link to Lord-knows-how-many people and I don't even want to know what the intro said. Did it say something like, "My daughter is published" or something? because he doesn't know that millions of losers like me also have blogs? and that it's free and only takes 2 brain cells to rub together, to get one started? I mean geez, all the skid-row folks I used to work with had blogs way back in like 2004. I'm not only not distinguished for having my own blog, I was a late comer to the blogosphere, at that.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Meat Loaf in the HOUSE!

I may have said before that where I live, Binghamton, New York, does not exactly get "first tier" entertainment passing through town. Compare this to Los Angeles, where the Madonnas and Black Eyed Peas of the world could not hit enough times on their world tours. But, when living in LA, did I ever get to any of these outrageously expensive shows, with the nose-bleed seats and the huge parking nightmares? Nope, not me.

But when offered 2 box seat tickets to the Meat Loaf concert recently, I could not refuse! The guy is 60 years old and totally still rocks out. Still, since John was in his "roll offs" for bowling that night (SERIOUS stuff around here), I had about an hour to find someone to go with me, or risk looking like a friendless jerk to my boss. Lucky for me, Meat Loaf has far more appeal than I was aware of, and I got a date on my 2nd phone call.

My friend Jon owns several computer businesses and keeps a graphic designer on staff, apparently so he can have someone ready to churn out a sweet, 1-of-a-kind t-shirt (and matching g-string!) for me on a moment's notice. The back (of the tshirt, that is!) says ". . . especially with gravy." I have no idea what that means or refers to, but I loved it. The shirt was a huge hit when I put it on at the concert, and people kept walking up to the ($40!!) tshirt vendors asking for "the green one" - which they obviously didn't sell. Who's cooler than me??

I wore the tshirt to work under my suit coat the next day (only for a few minutes, of course, just to scare my colleagues). My secretary suggested that I should "bedazzle" it, but I think it kicks-ass as-is!