Monday, October 30, 2006

Sitting Pretty

I am hopeless. I know, I know. I just redid the room. But I couldn't resist the fall jewel tones.

And Banana Dog looks fetching, doesn't she?

As if I don't have enough to do, I'm planning on doing NaNoWriMo again this year. I didn't finish last year, as November brought emergency re-plumbing of the whole house, my Shi Tzu's emergency eye surgery, and my lab's cancer diagnosis. A week later she suffered convulsions, on Thanksgiving, and ended up paralyzed and blind in one eye and had to be put to sleep the next day. So I wasn't in any shape to be creative.

I'm hoping this year goes better.

So I hope you don't all feel neglected, but I'm taking on yet another project for November. At least I have a pretty place to collapse from exhaustion!

Sunday, October 22, 2006


We moved in here about 5 years ago. I wanted to have a house warming, but with one thing or another we haven't. Mostly because I wanted to wait until it looked good enough to let people in the door. To a guy, that means someplace to put down your beer. To a woman, that means things that match and are clean. At the same time.

The other revelation vis-a-vis party-ability has been that if you buy a fixer-upper, you seem to spend all your potential party money on fixer-uppering. Who knew.

In the mean time: Laughing Boy has had two sushi-making parties; our backyard neighbor has asked us last minute to have a dinner party for his girlfriend's return with a whopping forty five minutes notice; one of Laughing Boy's coworkers has hosted a party at our house; and LB's Mom has held a holiday party for their whole family here at the House of Panda. And to all of these requests, Laughing Boy has said "Yes." Which brings us to tonight, when LB's having another sushi party.

In the middle of planning this last minute shindig, cleaning the house, finally buying our first set of all matching non-chipped dishes and generally sprucing up the place, I suggested we have a little late brunch here in a couple of weeks. For the good friends of ours who can't make this weekend's festivities. I mean, why waste the clean. LB begged off. We have so little free time, we're having a party now. No need to have another one so soon.

I'm not the one to look a sushi horse in the mouth. But there's something wrong with this picture.

Let's see, I'm sure someone hasn't had a party at our house... Someone who lives here, even. Let me think... Oh yeah. That would be me.

So, with my usual subtlety and tact, I pointed out the gross disparity in the hosting department. And then, we practiced.

"LB. You know the lady who hit my beloved car last week and pretended she couldn't see the dent she made in my car door, and then when that didn't go over so well, pretended she couldn't speak English all of a sudden? Let's say she calls up and asks if she can have a party here at our house, you say... what?"

"No. It's Panda's turn to have a party."

"And when I say, 'Hey, honey. Why don't we have a little party here next week...' You say...?"

"Yes, sweetypoops. That would be great. We can have a party whenever you want."

Good boy.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I Want My HGTV!

We don't have cable. No cable, no satellite tv. And when we originally got cable (long since cancelled), the installer clipped off our antenna line from the roof and pushed it back through the floor, lost now somewhere under the house with all the black widow spiders. So we've got no reception of anything.

It isn't some "moral high road" choice, don't get me wrong. We don't think we're superior to TV. After all, working on TV shows covers our mortgage most months. We'd originally just cancelled the cable when we had some down time in hiatus, and wanted to save some money. Not coincidentally, the decision was made right after an evening of 3 and a half hours of channel surfing and only finding one show we actually ended up watching all the way through. When we cancelled it, we figured we'd hook it back up in a few months, and in the mean time maybe we'd get some stuff done.

Oh, we're not totally back in the dark ages. We have a DVD player so we've got all the HBO TV shows from Netflix, albeit a year late. And my tiny 13" TV in my office has half broken rabbit ears, so I get four fuzzy channels, if I'm really bored or I need to see an episode of some show I did some work for.

You'd think we'd have cable and a huge plasma TV, living in LA, and working on TV shows and movies, and having a guy in the house. There's sports! And Xbox! But I lucked out and, in our nearing-extinction free time, Laughing Boy would rather do stuff than watch stuff. (Score!) We do miss "The Da1ly Show" and a few of the other shows from Com3dy C3ntral. But I know why, really, Laughing Boy isn't in a hurry to replace our connection to the outside world.

Saturday mornings. And HGTV. Followed close behind by The L3arn1ng Chann3l. I think it was the day where there were two different mini-marathons, one of Hous3 Hunt3rs and one of Trad1ng Spac3s, that he snapped.

I loved Hous3 Hunt3rs. I'd probably still love it, if we had us some cable. But back when I got addicted, we'd just bought our house and the first few shows seemed to be in neighborhoods just like were looking through in LA. Laughing Boy didn't say anything, but the look on his face said enough.

Someday, I will once again be able to waste an entire day drooling over other people's countertops, or cringing at Doug's designs on Trad1ng Spac3s. Until then, I'll be haunting the news stands, peeling back the covers on all those decorating magazines, hiding them under my bed, and tearing out pages of insanely expensive glass bathroom tile, bamboo flooring and tansu chest cabinets.

Until then, you might not want to mention The F00d Chann3l around a certain Panda. Me sad.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Maybe Compared to the 2 am Drunk at the Bar

Hey, I like a compliment as much as the next person...

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convincing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

But even when a totally frivolous internet quiz says "An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly", I have to protest. Silly quiz!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Oh, THOSE Tassels...

I think I just hit a world record for work-to-payday-to-spent. Which is the best part of those kinds of horrendous deadlines.

Besides the whole roof overhead and food on table issue, I sometimes need incentive to keep me going when I'm working my third all-nighter of the week. So when I finish a project, I've been known to splurge a bit on one item I've had my eye on for a few months.

This time, it was this daybed for my home office.

And the mattress, the quilt, the duvet cover, the white embroidered curtains to hide my hideous 60's cardboard closet doors, the etc. etc. etc. Laughing Boy was particularly gallant, driving me to four different stores all over Los Angeles on Saturday, trying to find a place that would sell us a futon or mattress at a reasonable price and let us have it the same day. Because I am, in my secret superhero identity, Instant Gratification Woman. And waiting 9 months from the day I spotted that daybed in the magazine to buying it and taking it home, is also a world record for me. I was not about to wait another week for a mattress.

I could have bought a mattress from the store that sold me the daybed, but I found out at the cash register that they didn't even display their own mattress on this daybed at the store. They used a ringer mattress, as theirs is so soft and squishy, you'd roll right off the edge if you sat too close.

We ran out of time on Saturday, and the final mattress store had just closed before we pulled up. All the department stores and futon places had bragged about "we build our mattress just for you, when you order it". Like they'd go bad in the warehouse if they didn't. All it really means is they don't have to carry inventory, and I can't get a mattress for five to seven business days. At least they didn't say "for your convenience". Smart move, salesman.

I finally resigned myself to waiting until Monday to sit on my new daybed. With an astonishing amount of grace. For Instant Gratification Woman, that is. The next day, Sunday, I trudged off to Nameless Studios at 7:45 am, to work for the 18th day in a row. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, Laughing Boy snuck off to find me an affordable and instantly available mattress. And then went to another store to buy me a mattress pad, sheets, a down comforter, moss green curtains... And three fancy brocade pillows. With fringe, and tassels.

Marking another unique moment in history. The first time a man has willingly put out money for tassels that weren't attached to someone's chest.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Oh, Nothing

This could be one of those posts that reveals the horror of working all but 5 hours of a 48 hour period, and hitting three deadlines spot on with only 3 hours sleep in all that time. Of working 127 hours for two clients/one boss over an 8 day period, only to have my boss pitch a fit because I couldn't manage to be in two places at once, after the fact.

Did that last sentence make any sense to you? Me either. But he's truly pissed.

As am I, since I covered 3 full shifts while only being paid for two of them... and am getting blamed for not being able to cover a 4th shift that noone asked me to cover until I got crap for not having done it. I know I give off the vibe that the space time continuum applies to everyone but me, but even I am not that good.

But that sort of a post would bore even me, and after 8 solid hours of - blissfully - uninterrupted sleep, I've lost interest in the righteous indignation. And truly, at this point I would only be trolling for a couple of "poor yous" from my trusty commenters. And how pathetic is that, really.

So I will just collect the pay and spend the money. And the next time they hit the triple shift mark, I'm cutting them off. Cold turkey. I may even stick my tongue out while doing it.

So in honor of my not jumping through their invisible hoops, here is a list of things I may be doing today. And for those of you who wonder why "working my butt off just so I can get yelled at" is not on the list, you've obviously been skimming. That's the spirit! Good for you!

Things I Will Be Doing Today

- eating leftover chinese food
- watering the plants
- avoiding the sinkful of dirty dishes
- indulging my home-improvement (aka home-decorating-porn) magazine fetish
- getting stomped on by a seven month old lab
- not vacuuming
- ignoring the cell phone
- not getting yelled at
- nothing
- getting purred at by a cat or two
- petting the Shi Tzu, who is back in happy-dancing form (hooray!)


- consuming at least one eclaire, creme brulee, or piece of key lime pie, while ignoring the correct accent marks required in typing the first two. I scoff at your punctuation, foreign languages! And I consume your desserts anyway! I'm a rebel that way.

I'm Simply Dazzling!

No way this is real, of course, but it is hilarious... if you're a geek like me.

The verdict on my site here?