Saturday, June 30, 2007

Thank You

I am amazed at how supportive the online community is. While I know many of you in real life, I am also grateful for the kind words from fellow e-citizens regarding my previous post. Thanks again for all of your very sweet comments and encouragement. It really means a lot to me.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bitter, Party of One

Attention, law school students and baby lawyers (i.e., those of you in your first three years of practice):

Don't do it. Get out while you can. Don't succumb to the golden handcuffs.

This was my day today, albeit my name is not Alexander:
I won't bore you with details. I will just say that it was exasperating, ridiculous, draining, and generally shittastic. I am actually blogging from my office while I wait for the hubs to pick me up. And thank God for the hubs. And thank God he used to be a lawyer, too.

It is difficult, if not impossible, for non-lawyers to understand the horrible, no good, very bad days. You just don't get it unless you've been there. It is more than just the hours. The hours are nothing. I can take the hours. As we used to scream while running down the halls in my old firm's New York office, sleep is for the weak! We were delirious, yes. But hours can be weathered. Hours are not the problem.

What gets to me is the soul-sucking and spirit-snuffing. The backstabbing. The prestige-grubbing. The pummeling of your psyche until you feel this small. This, I cannot bear.

As our word processor left tonight, she stopped by my office to ask me if I was ok. "You don't seem yourself," she said, "I don't see you smile nearly as often as you used to." To this, I replied, "There isn't that much to smile about these days."

I used to be filled with the hope and naiveté that what I did actually mattered. That, if I worked hard, people would take note. That, if I did good work, I would be rewarded.

I am now well aware that none of this matters, and I don't matter one tiny bit.

This profession has aged me, fattened me, and made me bitter and ugly. It has made me lose faith in humanity. It has opened my eyes to how vile, cruel, and unfeeling people can be.

A special note to Ms. Calcetines Rojos, if you're reading -- remind me to tell you about today when I see you in SF in a few weeks. I'm sure you will relate or at least fathom the horror.

My Loves Are Loserish

Substitute "So You Think You Can Dance" for "bowling," and this is me.
Too bad I must work because what I love won't pay the bills.
(You may click to enlarge.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

They're Ba-ack....

Well, almost. The Weezer website tells me:
Hey Party-People,
Weezer is just polishing up a batch of songs for a recording session that is going to start at the beginning of July. This will be the final recording session for our 6th album which we aim to put out in the first half of 2008. We hope you are all having good times.
Happy, happy! Joy, joy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pastrami Passing

Albert J. Langer died Sunday. He was 94. Does the name ring a bell? Yes, this is the Langer -- the man who founded L.A.'s venerable palace o' pastrami.

Langer opened Langer's Delicatessen in 1947. The old-school deli has been making mouths happy for 60 years. Part of Langer's charm is that the place hasn't changed much at all. Whenever I eat there, I feel like I've taken a ride in a De Lorean, and Doc Brown will show up any minute to tell me the flux capacitor is broken, thus stranding me in the 1950s.

Even with the influx of a predominantly Latino community in the 1980s and 1990s, Langer's persisted. I still remember the first time I tried Langer's in 2000. I was a summer associate at my first law firm, and my friend Sisqo (not his real name) and a few other associates took me there, declaring that I was about to sink my teeth into the best pastrami sandwich ever. I thought it strange that this traditional Jewish deli was smack dab in the middle of español galore. When I walked in, however, the place was packed with people from all walks of life, brought together by their shared love of salty smoked meat.

I tried a #10. Seven years later, it's still my staple, along with crinkle-cut fries and a slice of apple pie a la mode with brandy sauce. Monkey shares, of course. It's too much food, even for this self-proclaimed garbage disposal.

I leave you with a 2002 review from The New Yorker penned by true New Yorker Nora Ephron (writer of When Harry Met Sally):
The hot pastrami sandwich served at Langer's Delicatessen in downtown Los Angeles is the finest hot pastrami sandwich in the world. This is not just my opinion, although most people who know about Langer's will simply say it's the finest hot pastrami sandwich in Los Angeles because they don't dare to claim that something like a hot pastrami sandwich could possibly be the best version of itself in a city where until recently you couldn't get anything resembling a New York bagel, and the only reason you can get one now is that New York bagels have deteriorated.

The resulting sandwich, slathered with Gulden's mustard, is an exquisite combination of textures and tastes. It's soft but crispy, tender but chewy, peppery but sour, smoky but tangy. It's a symphony orchestra, different instruments brought together to play one perfect chord., in short, a work of art.
Rest in peace, Al. Thanks for making so many mouthwatering lunches possible.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Heavy Rotation

Work is a bitch. Bitch, bitch, bitch! I take solace, however, in the fact that, for about 10 minutes each morning, I get some quality time in the sun when I walk to work. As you may know, I am a rare species -- los angeles pedestrianus. Our kind is a dying breed, but, when we are spotted, you can often recognize us by our telltale dangling white earbuds.

My iPod provides the soundtrack to my life. Ok. That's a little dramatic. Let me rephrase that. My iPod provides my backing vocals when I make my morning on-foot commute.

Stop looking at me in that tone of voice.

I sing when I walk. Loudly. Enthusiastically. I don't encounter that many passers-by, so usually Monkey in Concert goes uninterrupted for several blocks. When I do see someone approaching, I stop momentarily, and I resume warbling when I perceive that someone to be beyond earshot.
Then, when I get to the elevator at work, if I'm alone, I sing, and I dance. I use the term "dance" rather loosely. Security probably laughs their asses off at my "dancing."

Monkey in Concert has been featuring the following for the past few months:
Lily Allen, Alright, Still
Arctic Monkeys, Favourite Worst Nightmare
The Bravery, The Sun and the Moon
The Fratellis, Costello Music
Peter Bjorn & John, Writer's Block
Shiny Toy Guns, We Are Pilots
Travis, The Boy With No Name
Amy Winehouse, Back to Black

And, sheepishly, I must admit that I've also been performing Avril Lavigne's The Best Damn Thing every now and then. I do a mean "Girlfriend."

Especially in the elevator.

Shows are every morning. No cameras permitted. All ages. Admission is free.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I'm a Little Teapot

Yesterday, I had tea with Nanette, Jenny, and Connie at Jin Patisserie. After a whirlwind of rushing to get ready (I was an idiot and got the time wrong), driving around forever to find parking (I was an idiot and couldn't parallel park my SUV), and missing the boat on carpooling (I was an idiot and had my phone off when Connie called), I had a delightful time with my three friends in the hidden oasis on Abbot Kinney.

Nestled behind both modern frosted glass and green shade trees, this quaint little bungalow offers a light menu with various tea sets, salads, quiches, sandwiches, and sweets. We all opted for the High Tea ($18), which included a pot of infused tea or other beverage of your choice, two finger sandwiches, a savory mini-quiche, two scones accompanied by clotted cream and homemade marmalade, a sliver of pound cake, three or four other sweet treats, and a small chocolate. Salads range from $6.50 to $12. Quiche and sandwich sets cost $12 to $14. All sweets may also be purchased a la carte for dine-in or take-out.

Everything in the High Tea set was delicate and delicious. I chose the Melange du Cap tea, a red tea native to South Africa flavored with cocoa and vanilla pods. It was light and sugary-smelling without being actually sweet. The scones were great -- just moist enough not to be dry, while retaining that characteristic somewhat crumbly scone quality. The clotted cream and marmalade complemented the scones well that I ate half of Connie's delectable accoutrements. All of the pastries and cakes were perfectly sweetened. A pet peeve of mine is when desserts are too sweet. Not at Jin!

I gobbled up both my egg salad sandwiches, and I'm totally not a cold egg person. That's huge that I liked them. Oh, and the quiche! It was warm and cheesy and flaky and yummy for my tummy. Monkey gives thumbs up to both taste and ambience.

Upon our departure, my cohorts each bought an 8-piece box of French macaroons ($12). I have not sampled them, but they looked divine. I await reviews, tea chums!

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I am thinking a banner with pics of me is too much.
A few iterations (you can click for the full effect):

(1) Initial huge and really obnoxious version. Me, me, me, me, me, and me!

(2) Fun with overlapping. No fun with legibility issues. Boo.

(3) Separate but equal. Not really. Lacks balance and cohesion.

(4) Less is more. However, there sure still is a lot of me. Hmm. So vain.

[Decided to tinker some more after reviewing five reader comments...]

(5) Modified #3 by shrinking me and enlarging the text. Added a barrel.

(6) Deleted all of me from #5. Ah, minimalism always wins.

Opinions? Suggestions? Yes, I was bored.

No Doubt About It

Last night, we went to the Gwen Stefani concert at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. My husband's brother's wife's brother's wife couldn't go and couldn't find anyone else to take her tickets. Many degrees of separation were crossed, and apparently nobody in their circle of friends likes Gwen.

Lucky for my husband's brother's wife's brother's wife, I loooooooooove Gwen.

Actually, that is not exactly true. I super puffy heart No Doubt. I've been a fan since "Trapped in a Box" was released as a single. I was there when they started touring small clubs before Tragic Kingdom hit it big. I've seen them over a dozen times since 1994.

Now, Gwen? I do adore her. She is cute, fashion-forward, and powerful. But I'm not really a huge fan of her solo work. Seriously, how do you go from this...
To this?
It truly boggled my mind. Heck, it upset me. I felt sad that Gwen abandoned her ska roots and started mixing beats with Pharrell like every other flash-in-the-pan teenybopper played on KIIS. KIIS! Gwen, you're on KIIS now! For shame.

Nevertheless, I was happy to take the free tickets. As many of you know, I'm happy to take free anything.

Gwen put on a fun show. I was excited to see both Stephan Bradley (trumpet) and Gabriel McNair (trombone) in her crew; they've toured with No Doubt for years. For what it was, Gwen's solo show wasn't great. The choreography and special effects paled in comparison to those of the Justified/Stripped show I saw a few years ago. (Yes, that was free, too. You really think I'd pay for a Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera show?)

I thought Gwen's Harajuku Girls weren't very good at all (not to mention, I found them rather disturbing in their perpetuation of submissive stereotypes, twirling parasols for the enjoyment of the male dancers dressed as businessmen). Love, Angel, Music, and Baby (yes, those are the aliases of the girls -- insert eye roll here at the unabashed marketing ploy) were totally not in unison, their movements neither crisp nor hard-hitting. Maybe I've just been spoiled by So You Think You Can Dance. Maybe I was just jealous that those Asian girls were on a world tour instead of drafting motions.

When Gwen finished the main set, I thought, "Hmm. She already played all of her hits. What is she going to play for an encore?"

Then I heard the first bars of the song I played over and over and over again my sophomore year of college. That unmistakable opening riff in D major....


I went nuts. TOTALLY NUTS! I was so ecstatic that I almost started crying tears of joy! I jumped up and down the entire time during "Just a Girl," "It's My Life," and "Spiderwebs." I was such a sweaty monkey after that, grinning ear to ear. Those three songs made my night.

A new No Doubt album is in the works. The boys are back in town.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mind the Lap

Do you ever use your laptop right on your lap? Do you ever get really hot when you do? I do! One of my favorite things to do is to play on my laptop while watching TV. Yes, I am such the multitasker that I have to do more than one leisurely activity simultaneously. My legs, however, have been paying the very warm price, and now I know that my laptop has, as well.

I got my new Lapinator Plus today. It looks like this:
The Lapinator is a laptop desk that blocks heat to keep you and your laptop cooler. (The Lapinator Plus is the model made for larger laptops.) CNET gave it a rave review, saying the Lapinator is "by far the most effective at blocking heat, and it's also the lightest, most comfortable, and...the least expensive." The Lapinator costs $24.95. The Lapinator Plus costs $29.95. I paid $7.10 for shipping.

Why get a laptop desk? Can't you just put a pillow underneath? No! Aside from the fact that a pillow does not insulate you well from the heat, a pillow can actually harm your computer. Usually, a laptop has a fan on its side or bottom. A pillow blocks these openings, causing the laptop to overheat and damaging it. When I learned this, I was so sad -- I'd been using a pillow for so long! Oh, my dear Vaio, I'm so sorry!

I've been using my Lapinator Plus for about an hour now. So far, so good. I can tell my computer is cooler, and my legs aren't hot at all. It's also very light and comfortable. Monkey likes it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Lately, my eyes have been twitching a lot, my right eye more so than my left. Blepharospasm is the fancy-schmancy name for it. Common causes include stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, and prolonged staring at a computer screen or television.

Can you say "all of the above"?

My co-worker Talksa (not her real name) told me to soak a chamomile tea bag and put it on my eye. Home remedy, according to Talksa. I was so desperate this afternoon that I put a warm wet Bigelow Cozy Chamomile tea bag on my right eye at the office. Did it help? Not really. Perhaps Talksa just wanted me to look silly at work. Nothing says "professional" like a tea bag on your eye.

The Internet informs me that, because stress and/or anxiety often causes eye twitching, a good preventive measure is to keep stress down. One should also get plenty of rest and minimize caffeine consumption. While bothersome, the twitching is generally harmless and will resolve itself without treatment.

Keep stress down? Get plenty of rest? Minimize caffeine?

Sounds like I'm doomed to a lifetime of blepharospasm.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Just Another Manic Fund Day

Why do people bring their kids' fundraiser shit to work? Girl scout cookies, magazine subscriptions, gift wrap, chocolate, etc. Yuck. I'm not made of money. I don't want overpriced mediocre candy. I don't even know your kid.

Now, don't get me wrong. I do make one exception. I buy stuff from my own assistant (whose kids I have actually met). But, seriously, don't approach me to buy crap if I don't even work with you, especially if it's the same damn crap that I just bought from my own assistant. Don't show me pictures of the kids I'll be supporting. They will not sway me. If anything, they will anger me. Yes, anger me. Why? There is no way I'm buying anything to support the group of tiny little sparkly cheerleaders you're waving in my face. Don't you know those are the girls who made my childhood miserable? Why would I buy hideous gift wrap to send my tormentors to spirit camp?

Yeah, call me Scrooge. I'm sorry, but I just don't want to buy the same shit from a dozen different people for causes I don't care to support.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Let the Cold War Begin!

Yesterday, we went to Little Tokyo to get some yogurt from cé fiore, which, as I blogged about before, is a tasty facsimile of the wildly popular pinkberry (whose website, much to my dismay, no longer has its full version of this catchy little ditty).

As we pulled into the loading zone in front of the Japanese Village Plaza, what did I spy directly across the street from cé fiore?

Unbelievable! A new pinkberry under construction! Just a few steps away! It's like Starbucks versus The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf! McDonald's versus Burger King! Borders versus Barnes & Noble!

Well, not exactly. More like David versus Goliath. Poor cé fiore. I fear that not even its four flavors (original, green tea, blackberry, and pomegranate) and mochi can save it from the new behemoth that is pinkberry.

The good part of pinkberry's Starbucks-ization is that I am now one step closer to my long-anticipated head-to-head yogurt taste challenge. I will no longer have to rush one yogurt surrounded by ice in a cooler, as if it were a delicate organ to its new host, for an accurate comparison.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Duck Beats Tiger

Today we went to see my dad. He lives in the middle of nowhere. Actually, my dad lives on the sun. It's that hot there.

After having some tasty Indian food, we all settled in on his couch and watched the U.S. Open Championship. Angel Cabrera became the first South American (he's from Argentina, to be exact) to win. Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk tied for second. "Finishing second is not fun. To play so hard and come up short, it’s just disappointing," Woods said. Poor Tiger. It's his first Father's Day. Well, almost. The baby isn't quite here yet, so maybe it doesn't really count.
Even though our beloved Woods fell short by one stroke, we enjoyed watching Cabrera, who is known as "El Pato" in Argentina. (He walks like a duck.) It was the first time I saw a fat guy who smoked cigarettes in between holes win a golf championship. He smoked! While playing! On the course! And won! Sweet.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Saturday Double Feature

My brother, his girlfriend, the hubs, and I saw Ocean's 13 and Knocked Up today. I liked both. Neither was outstanding. Far from. I was, however, sufficiently entertained.

[Slight spoilers to follow.]

Ocean's 13 was little more than George and Brad mugging for the camera, but, of course, that was pretty enjoyable. I think my brother pointed out the main reason why the movie wasn't particularly compelling -- the boys were just doing what they were doing for revenge's sake. There was no heist. It's all about the heist, damn it! Nevertheless, the flick was slick. I don't feel bad for having paid to see it, although my brother's girlfriend might. She fell asleep! Oh well.

Knocked Up was remarkably similar to Judd Apatow's other hit, The 40-Year-Old Virgin. In what way? Good jokes and banter followed by sap, sap, sap. I could do without the sap, but I guess Apatow is smart to include it. This way he gets the money of what I call The Stupid Girl Awww Contingency. These are girls who love stuff like Titanic, Love Actually, Pretty Woman, Beaches, Fried Green Tomatoes, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, The Bridges of Madison County, Bridget Jones's Diary, Notting Hill, When Harry Met Sally, and Sleepless in Seattle (oh, hell, these girls eat up anything with Meg Ryan).

Me? Not so much.

Thankfully, Knocked Up was cleverly raunchy enough to satisfy my puerile taste, even if the movie didn't really make me guffaw at any point. It did remind me, though, of how much I adore Paul Rudd. What an underappreciated actor! He pretty much stole every scene he was in. I've loved that guy since Clueless.

Unrelatedly, I still have yet to satiate my filet-o-fish craving. Sad.

I'm Still Thinking About the Damn Filet-O-Fish


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Filet-O-Fish! Filet-O-Fish!

I just saw this commercial during the NBA Finals. Bizarre!

It's directed by the guy who played the weirdo older brother in Napoleon Dynamite. You can read more about the absurdist campaign here. Check out the other ads, including "Sesame Seeds Are Not That Smart," "Buns Just Don't Get It," "Chicken McNuggets Can Only Go When You Take Them," and "Make Sure Your Fries Are All Your Fries." I think they are actually much better and cuter than the filet-o-fish ad that made it to TV.

Nevertheless, the hubs and I were mesmerized when this commercial aired. It seemed to last eons, and it was so strange!

Now we can't stop saying it. I hate it, and I love it. Filet-oh-fish! Filet-uh-fish! I don't quite understand....


Why is this word pronounced "gooey duck"?
Why is it a big-ass clam and not something that quacks?
Why does it look like a big floppy penis?
Why would anyone eat this?
Why do I ponder such things at 1:17 a.m.?
Thank you for teaching me new things, Top Chef. It should be noted that the contestant who used geoduck in his dish tonight is named Hung.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Safe and Sound

6:41 p.m.
[ring ring ring]
He wants it when?


What the client wants, the client gets. I crank out a mean cease-and-desist letter. Mean, mean, mean! It's kind of funny how scary I can be on paper sometimes. My co-workers leave, one by one. I finish. Not bad. Under two hours. I can still make it home for the second half of So You Think You Can Dance! Then, I look outside. It's dark. No one's around. My better half is at the Dodger game.

Shit. I'm stranded.

Why stranded? Here's the thing. Unlike 99% of the people in this town, I walk to and from work. It's great...except for nights like this. Thank goodness I wore flats today. I pretty much ran all the way home.

I see you're still confused.

Two years ago, I was assaulted while walking home. It had rained earlier that day, and the streets were somewhat deserted. I was wearing a quilted Burberry jacket and carrying a small Burberry handbag (before you picture me decked out in the signature plaid, let me assure you that both featured only a subtle strip of the plaid). I suspect it was this recognizable plaid that attracted my mugger.

I was about to cross the street when a low-riding souped-up Honda Civic slowed down behind me. A passenger got out of the back seat. I was listening to my iPod, but I still noticed that this guy seemed to be following me. I quickened my pace. I felt him getting closer. I started running. Then I felt a sharp tug at my bag.

Grip. Of. Steel.

All I could think of at the time was "There is no way you're taking my purse, money, iPod, and BlackBerry, you asshole!" The next thing I know, I'm whacking this guy on the head with my rolled-up Paul Frank umbrella. Seriously. Just bludgeoning mercilessly.

Our eyes met. He looked shocked. And scared. Of me!

He took off running and jumped into the Honda Civic, which was waiting for him down the street. Sadly, the would-be mugger and his crew sped away before I could mentally jot down the license plate number.

I rarely walk home after dark now. I never listen to my iPod on the street at night. I constantly look all around me if I do make the evening trek. Looking back, attacking my assailant was perhaps ill-advised. He could've had a gun. He could've had a knife. Ah, stupid instinct and adrenaline!

So, here I am tonight, safe and sound, having sprinted all the way home.

And I didn't even wield a monkey umbrella.

[cue awful Rihanna song]

Zero Marketable Skills

If I didn't do what I currently do, what could I do? I don't really have any marketable skills, and my few [questionable] talents don't really translate into careers.

So-Called Talents:
(1) Doing well on standardized tests.
(2) Remembering names and faces.
(3) Making people laugh. (Sometimes.)
(4) Writing. (Maybe.)
(5) Gaining weight. (I keep getting better and better at this one.)

Please let me know if you hear of a job opening for a fat clown to teach essay-writing skills at The Princeton Review. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Job Insecurity

Another person was let go on Friday. No grace period. Nothing. Just asked to pack up and leave. Rumors have been swirling about. Morale is low. Scary times.

I continue to work hard and hope for the best. It's really not a good position to be in -- busy yet unstable. Cross your fingers that the below scenario never comes to fruition.
To make your own fun (or not-so-fun) sign, check this out.

Monday, June 11, 2007

My Childhood Doppelganger

Nanette sent me this video today and posited that this was what I was like when I was little. Hee!

Otterly Adorable

This video has made the rounds, but it's so damn cute that I just had to post it! Make sure to watch all the way to the end. It's worth it!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

B-Celebs and Baseball

Yesterday, we went to the Dodger game. We go to a lot of games, but yesterday was particularly fun for me because we went early to watch the 49th Annual Hollywood Stars Game before the actual Dodger game. This year, 26 celebrities and quasi-celebrities (yeah, I said "quasi") played five innings of softball filled with hilarity, terrible form, and extraordinarily poor fielding. This year, the game benefited The Painted Turtle, a camp for children with life-threatening illnesses.

It was fun to be down on the field! It's not often that you get to be so close to the action and have that vantage point at Dodger Stadium.

Who knew Dawson Leery could play softball? James Van Der Beek whacked a double. I was impressed. In contrast, former L.A. King, Luc Robitaille, totally flubbed an easy play when he tried to tag at second; there was no force, and the other team's players stood pretty on first and third. What?! I expected more from a real athlete. Carlos Mencia (Mind of Mencia), who looks nothing like an athlete, made an awesome outfield catch, truly shaming Robitaille the One-Trick Pony.

Other celebs I enjoyed seeing included James Denton (Mike Delfino on Desperate Housewives), Greg Grunberg and Adrian Pasdar (Officer Matt Parkman and Congressman Nathan Petrelli, respectively, on Heroes), Michael Clark Duncan (The Green Mile), Oscar Nunez (The Office), and Joel McHale (The Soup and The IT Crowd, a new NBC sitcom slated to air mid-season next year).

After the Stars game, the Dodgers went on to lose to the Blue Jays. Boo! I did, however, get a kick out of this couple sitting in front of us.
The hubs laughed and shook his head when I snapped this photo. I get that a lot.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Girl Power, Equine-Style

Rags to Riches won the Belmont Stakes! I just watched it, and I'm not sure why, but I'm really excited! She's the first filly to win since 1905! Even though she stumbled a bit coming out of the gate, she blew by all the boys! Cool!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Tears of a Clown

I had a hearing this morning. Sadly, it was in Pasadena. My usual haunt is L.A. Superior Court downtown. Of all the days to go to court elsewhere!
This picture is sheer hilarity. So pathetic!

I can't lie. I don't hate Paris Hilton. She is silly. She is immature. She makes poor decisions. She has herpes. But I don't think she's a bad person. Herpes doesn't make you a bad person. Herpes just means you're a dirty whore.

In any event, kudos to the brains behind The Simple Life for excellent editing and convincing me that she's not all bad and can actually be rather kind and sweet sometimes. I know, I know. TV lies to me, but I still can't help feeling that she is sort of nice but just dumb as rocks. Then again, I'm the person who watches commercials and runs out to buy the products within hours of seeing said commercials.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for her going to the slammer. [Slam her? I barely knew her! And now I have herpes! Yay!] I do, however, have a soft spot in my heart for Paris. I appreciate people who are willing to lampoon themselves.

Here's an oldie but a goodie:

Best of luck, Paris. I hope you come out alive and unscathed. Well, almost unscathed. Deep down, I hope that you'll emerge with a teardrop tattoo on your cheek as a lifetime memento of your idiocy.

Say it with me -- that's hot.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

A Power Lunch With Thrills and Spills

I love trying new restaurants, and I love when work is not so crazy, so I can get out of the office and try a new restaurant with my lovely co-workers. Pescado, Mansmell, Laborgirl, and I headed to E3rd Steakhouse & Lounge for lunch today.

After a ridiculous 40-minute circuitous drive through Little Tokyo and the Arts District (thanks to Mansmell and his lack of navigational skills or, rather, his failure to use the oh-so-magical and mystical Google Maps "to and from" functionality), we finally found the place. Fear not. It's really not that hard to get there. Mansmell is simply better suited to writing briefs, so don't pick him to be your partner for The Amazing Race.

E3rd is like the little American-born brother of its neighbor, Zip Fusion, which shares the same owners. I would characterize E3rd as a steakhouse with Korean flair. The decor is modern with rich chocolate furniture, steel paneling, and polished concrete floors. A blackboard spans the entire back wall and is covered by whimsical chalk drawings. Rays of sunshine stream through a couple of skylights to offset the dark wood.

We each ordered a "Power Combo," which costs between $10 to $14 and consists of a main meat dish, soup or salad, and your choice of two of the following side dishes: kimchi mashed potatoes, french fries, sauteed mushrooms, green beans, or onion rings. Pescado and Mansmell both had the "e3rd Rib Steaks," mushrooms, and green beans. Laborgirl got "Sizzling Beef," mushrooms, and french fries.

I devoured "Chef Ahn's Imperial Rib," french fries, and onion rings. (I'm a sucker for fun names and artery-clogging side dishes.) My short rib was delectable -- savory and slightly smoky and tender enough to fall off the bone. My onion rings were golden and perfectly battered, and the onions themselves were sweet and succulent. The french fries were lightly fried potato planks with a dusting of various seasonings. Tasty, but a little thick for my liking.

The service was pretty good...notwithstanding the fact that, shortly after we placed our orders, a busboy spilled an entire glass of ice water on me and my unlined white skirt. I'm quite certain, had I stood up, everyone would've been able to see my underwear and the monkey on my butt. Awesome! (Note to self: Maybe it's time to buy big girl panties.) We were whisked to another table and then treated with extra care the entire meal -- a free ahi tuna salad to start and free green tea ice cream to end.

Fish, Mansmell, and Laborgirl thanked me for taking one for the team, and then we drove back to the office.

It took 10 minutes.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Summer TV

Ah, summer has come, which means good TV has gone. Ok. Maybe summer hasn't officially come yet, you calendar sticklers, but you know what I mean.

No more cheerleader-saving mutants.
No more CTU agents fighting the evil Chinese.
No more stranded survivors on eerie islands.
No more unrequited office romances.
No more overly requited hospital romances.

What's a girl to do?

Well, aside from a few of my old summer staples like So You Think You Can Dance, Top Chef, and Hell's Kitchen, I've discovered two new shows to add to the Official Monkey Viewing Schedule: Hidden Palms on The CW and Traveler on ABC.

Hidden Palms is the new The OC, which was once the new Dawson's Creek. No surprise -- HP is the latest brainchild of Kevin Williamson, the same dude who brought us the original angst-ridden Creek teens. Now that Joey Potter has grown up and married Scientology's top gun, and Marissa Cooper has moved on to dating guys with extraordinarily long, droopy balls, the world is aching for a good new teen drama. (Hmm. Be careful with that last link. Extra hint: You have to scroll.)

Having digested the first two episodes, I say HP has potential. Notwithstanding its predictability and stock characters, I'm still hooked enough that I'll watch next week...and probably all summer long. I'm a pretty easy customer. And who am I kidding? I've been waiting for a new Pacey for years. HP is nothing more than Creek + The OC set in Palm Springs.

And I love it for that.

My equation is actually rather literal. Not only is this a Kevin Williamson joint, HP's protagonist used to play Oliver (the crazy rich kid who was obsessed with Marissa), and another HP lead played Zach (the guy who dated Summer Roberts off and on before she settled down with Seth Cohen) on The OC.

Yes, I watch a buttload of TV. I also have a remarkable knack for remembering faces and names, real or fictional.

Anyway, The OC connection doesn't stop there. The Orange Curtain extends all the way to my other new show, Traveler. This show is all about suspense. It's packed with lots of running from the cops. Why? In case you decide to watch the first couple episodes online or on your TiVo, I will refrain from ruining your viewing pleasure by speaking only in generalities. The premise is that two Yale graduates get into lots of trouble for something they didn't do, and now the guys are on the lam, while simultaneously trying to figure out the true identity of their other friend.

Traveler has been sufficiently exciting so far, although I do think the origin of the show's title is pretty lame. I won't reveal anything further, just in case you plan to watch. Oh, yes, I forgot about The OC connection. One of the two main characters is played by none other than the guy who played Ryan Atwood's ne'er-do-well brother (you know, the guy who used to be in prison and then raped Marissa). Now he plays a trust fund baby. Great!


I need to play some Phantom Planet now and read a comic book. Oh, how I miss thee, Adam Brody.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Tag, I'm It

Nanette tagged me for a meme.

Each player starts with seven random facts or habits about himself or herself. A tagged player then writes a blog entry with the seven things, as well as these rules. Then the player tags seven others and lists their names on his or her blog. Remember to leave a comment for your newly tagged players, letting them know they have been tagged and to read your blog!

Here I go:

Cats suck!(1) I hate cats. Why? Aside from the fact that I am deathly allergic to cats, cats have all of the opposite qualities that I look for in a friend. Cats ignore you. Cats are not loyal. Cats will eat you if you're dead. And don't even get me started on the musical.

(2) I have chronic insomnia. My husband says it's because I have a hard time shutting my brain off. Thoughts just keep running through my head constantly. I can't just picture blankness or nothingness. When I lie in bed, I often think of all the work I have to accomplish the next day. This usually doesn't result in truly restful sleep.

Damn you, Butterfly Effect!(3) Because of #2 above, The Butterfly Effect, a not-so-great movie featuring Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart, literally kept me awake for two days straight. I couldn't stop thinking about what my life would be like if X happened. Or Y happened. Or Z happened. I'm insane.

(4) My 10-year college reunion is next year. I'm looking forward to it, even though I'm a total lard-ass now.

(5) Although I have visited a number of places around the world (including Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, the Galapagos Islands, Japan, Kenya, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, and Tanzania), I have never been to our neighbor to the south, Mexico.

(6) My inseam is the same as my waist. I am a box.

AriesSnake(7) My Chinese zodiac sign is the Snake. My astrological sign is Aries. Snakes are allegedly philosophical, organized, intelligent, intuitive, elegant, attentive, and decisive. Snakes get along with Oxen and Roosters. (My husband is an Ox, and my brother is a Rooster!) Aries are supposed to be energetic, courageous, enthusiastic, confident, quick-witted, impatient, and quick-tempered. Aries are not compatible with Scorpios. (My husband is a Scorpio!) I don't believe in astrology, but, oddly, I think many of these adjectives do describe me. This klutz, however, is definitely not elegant! Bah to astrology!

I'm tagging breeintheory, dapotato, greengelato, katorade, mrs. shorty cake, obsessedwithpink, and wanlifetolive. Thank you, and good night.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Priorities, Priorities

Question: Go to the MTV Movie Awards or hang with some of my fave girls?
Answer: I can always watch a re-run!
Man, that last pic totally cracks me up.

And, for the record, every single time I eat at The Standard (and I've eaten there probably at least 20 times over the past few years), I always get that damn Asian girl on my menu. It's like weird racial menu profiling!
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