Thursday, January 31, 2008

Blogging From LAX

Bags have been checked. Gone through security. Now I'm sitting on the floor next to an outlet for one last report in the U.S. before we fly to Santiago, Chile. (I don't have my iPhone, but Mr. Monkey does, and, yes, we brought the laptop, so you will be able to experience our trip with us the next 17 days!)
Brother Monkey graciously agreed to drive us to the airport. He and Torry came to our place, and then we headed to Tiara Cafe for an early lunch. We got there around 11ish, and it wasn't really open until 11:30, but, luckily, Fred Eric (the super-duper creative mind behind Tiara) remembered I was a friend of Curly Fries, gave me a big hug, and sat us down.

We dined on chickpea fritters, winter bubble bread, a red pizzette, andouille corn dogs, three different freshwiches, and the Monkeys' perennial favorite, the duck medianoche presswich. Everything was washed down with fresh pomegranate lemonade or accompanied by a pot of hot tea. I'm glad we got to see Brother Monkey and Torry before we left. Totally a great way to bid America adieu!

There was one wrinkle, though. Poor Brother Monkey got a traffic ticket when making an illegal U-turn, which particularly sucks because he got another traffic ticket not long ago. That first ticket was, in fact, the first of his life, not unlike my own recent traffic ticket. Torry got a ticket recently, too! 'Tis the season for tickets in the Monkey family, it seems.

I felt really bad about Brother Monkey's ticket because I was definitely partially to blame. I plan to pay for it when we get back. But for the fact he came to drive us to the airport and but for another parking suggestion of mine, he never would've gotten the ticket! Boooooo!

The guy is blaring over the loudspeaker now. Only 10 more minutes until boarding!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Killer Leopard

Another snoozer of a day. Well, blogging-wise anyway.

My day was actually quite packed with meetings back to back to back. As you know, I'm still not used to being "the legal person" in the room (or "The Hammer," if you will). It's really weird when you have to explain to laypersons why the word "and" should be used in a document, as opposed to "along with." And it's even weirder when those laypersons are twice your age and skeptical.

But I did it. And the language stayed my way. It's Hammertime! [Credit to ballin_axehammer.]

Since I was consulting with clients today, I played the role of the professional advocate. Black suit. Serious. Conservative. Stern.


Peeping from underneath my suit were none other than my leopard Stuart Weitzman stilettos. Rowr!

I am thrilled to report that I got many compliments from very different people with very different styles. I guess sassy shoes are universally beloved. That abundant love almost made up for the redness and soreness at the end of the day. Indeed, 'tis another pair that needs breaking in, which surprised me because I have three other pairs of Stuarts, and they each fit like a dream! But at least I experienced no blisters or broken skin, so I'm a happy camper.

And no rain either! The no-rain-on-new-shoes vibes worked! Those vibes. So powerful.

Monday, January 28, 2008

What a Snoozer

Today was a totally unremarkable day. It's days like these that it's hardest to blog. I ate at the company cafeteria for lunch and had a salad for dinner, so I don't even have any good food about which to write.

I filed my demurrer in the morning without much fanfare. My supervisor had only a handful of changes, so it took all of five minutes for me to edit. The demurrer was out the door by 10:30, so the rest of my day was pretty much chill.

Lunch with Bax and Giggles was delightful, even if we just ate downstairs. (I must say, though, that my crab cake sandwich and curly fries were pretty damn awesome.) The great thing about making new friends is that all conversations are interesting, even if you're talking about the most mundane things. It's all about learning what makes people tick.

Not long after lunch, we had a long "attorney forum," which was oddly both somniferous and entertaining. We discussed career tracks, cross-training, distribution of window offices, and...the dress code. The dress code! Apparently, there has been much brouhaha about capri pants.


Then somebody noted that, while denim shirts and denim jeans are not allowed by the dress code, the code says nothing about denim dresses.

I totally lost it at the mention of "denim dresses." I was, like, snorting. And so were Giggles and Bax. I even had to wipe away tears.

All I could picture was something like this.

And how this would apparently be "work appropriate," while a capri pantsuit would've been prohibited by the old code.

Other than lunch and talk of denim dresses, today was a real snoozer. Not that I'm complaining. I actually like days like this. It just doesn't make for good blogging.

Finally, thank you all for all your nice words for Glam. She has been given the go-ahead to telecommute. Yay! The bad news, however, is that she has two complications: marginal placenta previa and an incompetent cervix. [Incompetent cervix?! What a strange term!] The goal of the bedrest is to help these conditions. We all hope that Glam makes it to at least 27 weeks, when she will then be injected with steroids to help develop Baby Glam's lungs.

Much love to Glam and Baby Glam! Stay strong! We're all pulling for you!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sneaker Pimp

Hi! Shoe Whore here, reporting to you on a rainy Sunday! I failed to inform you of another shoe purchase after my blog party last Sunday, so I'll do it today, seeing as how today's three loads of laundry seems unblogworthy.

I love Vans. Man, I need Vans! I wear my limited edition Julius Vans all the time. (And, because I'm crazy, I bought two pairs, so I still have one perfectly pristine unworn pair.)

I love being able to slip them on and off. Vans are a lazy person's dream. I am so lazy that I relish the time and energy saved by not having to tie any shoelaces. That's pretty lazy.

Knowing my love for these shoes, Mr. Monkey's brother and sister-in-law (parents of Little Monkey Niece) gave me a Vans gift card during the holidays. This is easily the best present I've ever received from them. It has taken nearly seven years, but they finally get me! Yay!

After John O'Groats, I went to a nearby Vans location (13220 Washington Boulevard, Culver City) and started adorning my feet with all sorts of fun.

I ended up with the classic checkerboard in red and KVDs with black polka dots.

I can't wait for the rain to subside, so I can don my new canvas friends.

Piggin' Out


We visited Papa Monkey yesterday. Loyal readers know that my daddy lives way out in the middle of nowhere. Good food is hard to come by in the middle of nowhere. We usually end up eating at a chain, much to my dismay, and yesterday was no exception.

Babe's Slim Pig N's Bar-B-Que & Alehouse (1635 Industrial Park Avenue, Redlands) was our lunch destination.
The name of the restaurant bothered me to no end -- so many grammatical issues. Ugh. The decor was kitschy, over-the-top, and typically chain-y.

The food was mediocre. Not bad. Just not very good. I do love barbecue, though, so I'm a happy monkey even when I eat unspectacular barbecue. In my opinion, the competing chain barbecue restaurant across the street (where we ate months ago) is better.

I got the baby back ribs with sweet potato fries and baked beans ($12), as did Papa Monkey. Mr. Monkey and Brother Monkey each got the quarter chicken, ribs, and hot links with sweet potato fries and baked beans ($13).

The meal ended with a complimentary little cup of sherbet. Outside, we saw a different sort of icy treat in the back of a pickup truck.

After over a year of good behavior, Papa Monkey seems to have reverted to his old ways with me. The criticism, lack of interest, and failure to listen are back. Apparently, he now feels comfortable enough to do this in front of Mr. Monkey.

Out of nowhere, Papa Monkey informed me that I should be less critical of people. Out of nowhere. We got our drinks, and he just blurted this out. While this observation is true, Papa Monkey is The Last Person on Earth who can say this of anyone. The things he used to say to me during my 18 years at home, my God! Mad props to Brother Monkey for having my back immediately when Papa Monkey made this comment. I love Brother Monkey so much.

Then, as I snapped my iPhone pics, Papa Monkey excitedly told us that his friend has a really cool website on which he posts pictures of what he eats and describes the food and ambience. Readers can even comment on every post.

Really? Really?!

This time Mr. Monkey had my back. "Um, Dr. Monkey, Weezer actually does that nearly every day. That's why she always takes pictures with her iPhone."

It's no wonder that Mr. Monkey and Brother Monkey are my favorite people in the world.

Brunch...A Week Later

Please join me again in my trusty time machine, as we journey to one week ago.

Blog Party #3 at John O'Groats. Yeehaw!

I know I'm the last to blog this time, so please feel free to read other more timely accounts by Kate, Leslie, Nanette, R, Wan, and Winnie. Theirs are filled with beautiful photos, while mine is not.

Why not?

If you recall, my Canon point-and-shoot died, so I am now using a crappy Nikon Coolpix S9 that I won a few years ago at my old firm's retreat. It is the horrible combination of the lame camera and my own user incompetence that made my pictures so awful -- so much so that I ended up whipping out my iPhone to take a few pics, despite having a real camera at hand.

(I hope Mr. Monkey masters this stupid Coolpix during our vacation. I'm going to stick him with that sad little thing, while I use this. Bwahahaha!)

So here's my shoddy pictorial. The other girls already did such a great job of describing our fun that I feel little need to add more verbiage, except that I absolutely loved my Huevos O'Groats and side of bacon, and I highly recommend John O'Groats to anyone who loves breakfast.

As always, I have a the usual treat for blog party members on the party blog, so be sure to check it out.

Thanks so much for coming, everybody! I had such a wonderful time. The next party will be in March, after our trip to South America!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Gone Glam Gone

Today, Glam, Bax, and I went to Di Pilla's Italian Restaurant for what may be our last lunch with Glam for a long time. Why? Glam is six months pregnant, and her doctor recently put her on bedrest. ARGH! I'm so sad for Glam. She is so fun-loving, full of life, and totally not the type who wants to be stuck in bed!

Of course, being the selfish bitch I am, I am extraordinarily sad about this for my own sake because Glam is one of my favorite lunch pals. She is adventurous, open-minded, and can handle the heat! Lunch bunch minus one. So very sad!

Di Pilla's is ok. It's not gourmet by any means, but, once you step through the doors, you feel at home. It's very much like an old-school family-run place. (Whether it actually is a family-owned restaurant, I have no idea, but that's the general vibe.) Dark wood. Cozy booths. The only things missing were red and white checkered tablecloths and an animated spoiled Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and scrappy mutt sharing spaghetti.

You'll have to forgive me. I left my iPhone charging in my office, so no pics for you. I did take some pics with Glam's phone, so maybe I will update later with those.

We started with a huge complimentary basket of hot buttery salted bread. So. Damn. Good. We paired this with vinegar and olive oil. The three of us kept saying, "Mmm." Bax was particularly excited about the bread, and Glam informed us that this bread was the only thing she remembered from her last visit to Di Pilla's two years ago. Insanely delicious bread. No exaggeration. You should come to this restaurant just for this crack bread.

Glam had the spinach fettucine al salmone in a light cream sauce with mushrooms and capers ($11.95). Glam raved about the dish, and the bite of salmon I had was great -- perfectly cooked and moist.

Bax ordered the pesto pasta with fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, and romano cheese ($8.95). I had one bite. The pasta was al dente, and the pesto fairly flavorful.

I got the combination plate, comprised of lasagna, ravioli, and mostaccioli ($9.25). This plate was huge! Di Pilla's is exceedingly generous with its portions. It was a like a mountain of different pasta, smothered with a heaping load of marinara meat sauce. Definitely no skimping here! The sauce was rich and savory, although the sheer quantity of it made it somewhat difficult to tell just how good (or bad) the pasta was. In any event, I liked my dish. I can't wait to eat it again tomorrow, as I took about two-thirds of it home with me.

The only thing lacking was good timing. Oddly, my strange clam chowder (which was orange and creamy -- a bizarre mix of Manhattan and New England that sort of resembled thousand-island dressing) came out almost immediately, while my dining cohorts waited at least another 10 minutes for their Caesar salads, which were followed nearly instantaneously by our main courses.

We also had a timing problem with Giggles. It wasn't until I got back to the office that I saw an email from her about lunch. Damn! Alas, timing just wasn't our friend today, especially for poor Glam.

Oh, poor Glam! Please cross your fingers that her pregnancy proceeds swimmingly, and she encounters no complications!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Murakami Redux

The Murakami exhibit kicks ass. How much ass? Enough ass for me to go a second time with my pal Perfecta. We had so much fun, and Perfecta loved the bright colors and happy flowers as much as I did.

The gift shop was great. When I went to the Murakami exhibit with tater and Jen, we failed to make it to the gift shop before it closed. Perfecta is a super shopper, and I was dejected about no gift shop fun last time, so there was no way we were missing it tonight!

Perfecta bought a beautiful Murakami coffee table book ($65), which seemed like the best deal in the store. Sadly, Murakami's gorgeous prints were all sold out. And the gigantic plush flower? $1000! (Please note the man in the background for size comparison.) Even this little flower held by Perfecta was about $100.

Perfecta bought me this little gift below. It's a glow-in-the-dark monkey-shaped zipper pull. (I snapped these iPhone pics while resting my gift on my Paul Frank robe.) Mr. Monkey tried it on his albino Paul Frank hoodie.

Long ago, Perfecta used to work in this area, so we went to an old haunt of hers, a small unassuming restaurant called Korean Kitchen Hibachi BBQ, nestled in the Japanese Village Plaza. Yes, we had Korean food while in Little Tokyo, but it was surprisingly good, and who am I to deny my dear friend a happy reminder of her past?

Panchan included kimchi, spinach, candied potatoes (particularly fantastic), and bean sprouts. I ordered galbi, of course. It sizzled. See all the smoke?

Perfecta had the chicken, which I didn't photograph, but I did snap a shot of her California roll after she was through with it. Not only did I laugh at those hollowed-out rice shells, the waitress did a double-take, as well. Perfecta would like it to be known that she loves rice and simply ate too much other rice (doused with her chicken's sauce), making her too full to eat the California roll in a normal person manner.

It should be noted that we didn't smell after our meal. Why? Because it was 10 below zero in the restaurant. We were freezing in there. It was colder in the restaurant than it was outside. We both kept our long wool coats on and were still shivering. In fact, it was so cold we could actually see our breath! Inside the restaurant! My head hurt a little after dinner. I think it was because of the extreme chill.

The frigid restaurant conditions notwithstanding, I had a lovely time with Perfecta. It was so wonderful to catch up. She is the kind of person who lights up a room and can make just about anybody smile. I am so lucky to have such a warm friend with even warmer seats in her X5.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...