We celebrated J’s birthday this past weekend. He wanted to spend the day in Oxnard, and then have dinner later that night in Studio City. I had worked roughly 70 hours last week, but I mustered up all the energy I could for J’s big day.
At around 1pm, after walking by the pier and doing some trinket and hat shopping, we found ourselves seated at the Mexican restaurant we love that overlooks the harbor. As I sipped the remainder of my margarita towards the end of the meal, J motioned for me to come around to his side of the booth. He scooted over, and pointed towards the harbor pier. “Look, a seal!” he exclaimed. For about five minutes, I saw nothing. I grew impatient as the waiter handed me the bill. “Wait, look, it’s got its head popped out!” This time, I saw the harbor seal/sea otter. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I had never in my life seen a seal outside of an aquarium.
A few moments later, J and I were on the dock, thanks to my insistence of getting a closer look at the big sea creatures. Every time a seal (there ended up being two!) popped its head out of the water I’d squeal with delight. I kept lamenting to J that I wish it would pop all of itself out of the water, but J shook his head and laughed at me, insisting that that would never happen. “I think you’re having more fun on my birthday than even I am!” He had a point. J had seen these Oxnard seals before, but it was a first for me. Suddenly I was five, completely in awe of the glorious sea. Seriously, its moments like these that keep me sane & young.
Add a comment March 23, 2009
Last week I worked four 12+ hour days. I keep scolding myself to quit internally complaining because, hello?!?! It is only a 7-8 wk job & I haven’t freakin’ worked since around Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to hear that voice of reason when you’re beyond tired.
Working with Karen again has been a much needed refreshing treat. Despite the hours and the somewhat manual labor involved in this job, her energy gets me through. In fact, I like everyone involved on this show so far. The producer is also very nice, which doesn’t happen as frequently as I would like.
I saw a basset hound today at the farmer’s market. It had one blue eye. I go crazy and cause a scene whenever I spot a basset ’round these parts. They seem to be a rarity in L.A. I had J take a picture on his iphone.
Now I’m doing laundry, and already dreading the long week ahead. Only seven weeks, only seven weeks.
Add a comment February 22, 2009
As I mentioned in my last post, I start a new 8 wk job on Tuesday. This is great news, of course, as I’ve been out of work for too long. However, I will have to get up at 6am. Yeah, you heard that right. This past week, I truly have tried to go to bed earlier, (12am instead of 1am or 2am) but it’s difficult trying to break the cycle. I’m just praying that I don’t collapse once I’m seated at my new desk.
Today my friend Nate has a half day at work. We’re going to see “He’s Just Not That Into You.” I’m sure it will be a fun, light-hearted flick, so I’m looking forward to it. I remember reading the book and, while flipping through the pages, feeling frustrated. When I read the book I was only twenty-three years old. I had been navigating my way through one failed relationship to the next and, I have to say, Greg Behrendt opened my eyes. It’s better to have learned the hard way than to never have learned at all.
I can’t wait for “The Real Housewives of NYC” on Tuesday. I have immensely enjoyed this season of “The Real Housewives of OC,” so I’ll miss those broads, but no one offers the kind of drama that the NYC gals offer on a weekly basis. Oh, and I’m all about the drama, being that I held the title of “Most Dramatic” in my high school year book.
Add a comment February 13, 2009
I think Bette (pictured right) & Sammy (on left) will be spending much more time on the window sill for the next eight weeks starting on Tuesday. Why, you ask? BECAUSE I FINALLY HAVE A JOB. It’s a production gig on a TV pilot. It’s not as ideal as a long term job with benefits, but it’s work/$. The best news of all is that I’ll be working with my favorite boss ever, Karen. I found out today, officially, but J and I already celebrated last night with martinis. One martini and I was DRUNK. That’s what a low tolerance after hardly drinking for a few months will get ya, but I loved it! Cheers! Oh, and that’s J’s hairy arm in the pic above, not mine :).
1 comment February 12, 2009
Check out Sammy on the fridge. It’s his new favorite napping spot, unless you count my bed! Without these cats, I think I would be going through a major bout of depression. When I’m home with them for most of the day, they make me laugh, get up and play, and keep me company all around. They even nap with me! I love these cats.
Bette has her napping spot too. It took about seven shots for this Bette pic to come out right. She’s not as photogenic as her boyfriend. She hates looking at the camera. She likes to do the kitty pretzel though. Oh, in case there’s any confusion, Bette is in the pic above, and Sammy is on the bottom.
1 comment February 10, 2009
One of my New Year’s resolutions for ’09 is to make more friends. This is not to say that most of the friends that I have aren’t worthy of friendship anymore. Really, I feel as though it’s time for me to be more social.
Last week I ran into my next door neighbor, Allison, as I was coming back from my interview. She asked me how my cats were doing, and I said they were “same old, same old.” Secretly, I love it when people ask me about my cats. They’re like my children, after all! I asked Allison how her cats were doing. She said fine. She has five cats, and I look after them whenever she and her husband go away on trips. Not only are these simply five cats, but they are a family composed of a mommy cat, a daddy cat, and three cute ‘lil kittens.
I went on to tell Allison that I had gone to volunteer at an adoption event over the weekend. Yes, dear readers, this was the thing I had promised I would talk about. This is the thing that makes me even more of a crazy cat lady. I had gone to the event with the sole purpose of volunteering,(another beautiful one of my New Year’s goals) but immediately found myself driving one of the other volunteers to Lynn’s house where Lynn would show me her rescued FIV cat named Arnie. I could have protested to the volunteer, “No, I’m just here to volunteer. My boyfriend does not want another cat,” but instead I folded my hands and quietly acquiesced.
When we got to Lynn’s house, we went through the gate around back, and were greeted by two giant dogs. One was a doberman, and somehow, I made this dog so excited that he bit me on the finger. My months of watching The Dog Whisperer have clearly paid off. A few moments later, I stood in front of Arnie’s big cage. Arnie lived in a covered cage outside on the patio. Lynn appeared, and let me go inside the cage to pet Arnie. No doubt about it, Arnie was a cute, docile orange tabby. However, I didn’t feel a huge connection with him. He wasn’t overly friendly with me, but then again, neither was Bette when I had adopted her. Although Bette wasn’t the warmest when she first looked into my eyes, she chose me, and I felt a connection. Sammy had looked into J’s eyes, and done the same thing, only he had been Mr. Charmer.
Lynn wore a black shirt that had cat cartoons all over it. I’m not making fun of it. As a matter of fact, it was kinda cute. You couldn’t really see all the cat characters though because of all the cat hair that covered her shirt. When I asked her how many cats she had living inside the house with her, she said that she couldn’t tell me. “You don’t want to!”
I kept petting Arnie, and asking “What’s up, Dude?!?!” in my high-pitched kitty voice. He let me pet him. He seemed sad and content all at once. Two other cats lived in his cage with him. One of them was a fourteen year old female. She let me pet her too. Even though she was the hairiest calico I had ever laid eyes on, when I pet her all I felt was bone. The other cat, a male, was like Arnie in that he looked perfectly normal. When I asked Lynn what his story was she said that the poor guy didn’t know how to use the litter box. I thought to myself, “Hmm, this is the cage of rejects.” Across the way, there were two beautiful Himilayan cats in their own cage. The ladies told me that those cats had been adopted, and that the future owners would be coming for them tomorrow. Next to the “Reject Cage” was an empty cage. A younger cat had lived in that cage, and had been adopted a few hours earlier.
Lynn and the volunteer tried to convince me that adopting Arnie would be a-okay. FIV in cats is like HIV in humans, only humans can’t get it from the cat. It’s a very slow process of the weakening of a feline’s immune system. They told me that Arnie wouldn’t give my cats FIV unless both cats mixed blood. That could only occur through deep tissue wounds. The doberman came up to the cage, wagging his tail. I looked down at my finger.
I knew that the probability of Arnie giving my cats FIV was very unlikely. I knew that Arnie would most likely live a normal, healthy life. However, something in my gut told me not to take this cat home. I felt so sorry for Arnie, I really did. Every cat should have a home to call their own, and be loved by their humans. I don’t know if it was J not wanting another cat, or how expensive having a cat with FIV could in fact become, in all practicality, but that voice inside me was like, “Nooooo, don’t do this!” Looking back now, I believe it was the lack of connection. As much as Arnie needed a home, he didn’t choose me. Hopefully, he would choose someone else.
Holy tangent! Getting back on track now, (promise!) when I filled Allison in on snippets from this “volunteer mission,” she told me that I had absolutely made the right decision. She said it didn’t matter how Arnie probably couldn’t give my cats FIV, but that it wouldn’t be fair to Arnie. My two cats have eye herpes in their system, (even when their eyes look perfectly fine) and Arnie’s weakened immune system shouldn’t be exposed to that. It was so obvious! It was common sense! I felt even better about my decision now. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that before.
Before Allison disappeared off into her apartment after all the typical “good-bye, cya lata” pleasantries, she asked me if I’d like to take a walk some time. I had told her that I was now unemployed, and that I often got bored during the day. I told her I’d love to walk with her. We both agreed we’d knock on one another’s door whenever we felt like walking.
Allison is around my parents’ ages. She has two children who live a few hours outside of L.A. She used to live in a house in Santa Barbara. She’s a claims lawyer, usually working from home. She’s in her second marriage, and her current husband is an out of work librarian. She likes plants, and has a little garden off her balcony. I vicariously live through her when she chats about her balcony and the view she has of the canyons because, sadly, I have no balcony.
Yesterday, after it stopped raining, Allison knocked on the door. We had already walked at least three times together during the week, and were becoming fast friends. I felt embarrassed as I opened the door, suddenly realizing that I was still in my PJs at two in the afternoon. She asked if I’d like to walk. I told her to give me five minutes.
Once dressed, we headed west on Ventura Blvd. We walked to the Temple Garden. I had only ever passed this place driving by, so I was curious. The entire shop was gorgeous. It was more like a sanctuary than a shop. Allison told me all about the different plants, and I got a million ideas for Father’s Day gifts since my dad is a gardening guru.
When we got back to the apartments, Allison and I agreed that we should each host dinner one of these days. After we said our good-byes, and I shut my apartment door, I smiled to myself. I was grateful to have an unlikely new friend.
Add a comment February 9, 2009
Here are a few things that went down on this rainy February Friday.
1. I took an hour nap with the cats on the bed when I had already had a thirteen-hour night’s sleep. I include the cat detail because the cats are not supposed to be allowed in the bedroom ’cause J is allergic. However, this wasn’t the first time in recent weeks, days.
2. For the billionth time in my life, a Starbucks barrista spelled my name on the cup “Christan” when I popped in to order a piping hot green tea latte. Okay, now you know my name… Kristen. Only in Cali have people chosen to spell it “Christan.”
3. Last night I had a dream that I was sleeping in a puddle. I woke to find a wet spot in the bed. I tapped J on the shoulder to demand how this could have happened. He said he was sweaty, so maybe the bed got a ‘lil wet. I know, I know, gross. Just the same, I accepted this explanation, and managed to drift off. Well, tonight, I collapsed onto the bed next to J and, lo, there was a gigantic wet spot AGAIN. It hadn’t been there when I had napped earlier in the day. I looked up at the ceiling. Sure enough, there was a leak. “Shit!” J and I exclaimed in unison. Now, instead of sleeping soundly next to my boyfriend, I am wide awake writing this post. Of course it was my side of the bed.
4. I like all Nicolas Cage movies, I’ve decided, officially and all. Tonight I watched “Bangkok Dangerous” and enjoyed it thoroughly.
5. Since it was pouring buckets, J and I decided to stay in and order Chinese. I had three helpings and could have had four.
6. I ordered an $8O Dr. Denese SPF 30 tinted facial lotion this evening, despite the fact that I promised myself to STOP ORDERING FROM QVC. What truly sold me were not only the before & after models, but also the ultraviolet fluorescent photos. It brought me back to high school, when I went under one of those buggers during “Skin Cancer Awareness Week.” The damage was bad enough then, so it made me panic & ask myself, “HOW MUCH DAMAGE IS THERE NOW???”
7. I embarked on a new book today, “Dewey.” Yup, the cat book. By the time I got to page 30, I had already cried 5 times. I shared this w/J when he got home, assuming he would find this amusing. Instead, he flashed me a concerned frown.
8. I didn’t hear from the place I interviewed with on Monday. My heart sunk a ‘lil.
9. I still don’t know for sure if I have a job with my former boss on a pilot that’s starting soon. I despise uncertainty.
10. A cricket has resided somewhere behind our fridge for the past 3 weeks. It never bothered me one bit. As a matter of fact, it reminded me of the time when I lived with a roommate who had a pet lizard and fed it crickets. I loved that roommate, (not as much as J, but still, she was awesome) and her cute ‘lil lizard. Sadly, the lizard fell ill, and the crickets began to eat it, but that’s a story for another rainy day. Getting back on track, although I took comfort in the cricket’s chirping, (I love nature, what can I say?) J wasn’t so fond of it. He tried killing it with a broom handle, blowing a fan under the fridge, and pounding on the fridge furiously, but it was all no use. The cricket was invincible. I secretly chuckled to myself, but J was mad. Tonight, J’s wish finally came true. While reading Dewey, I heard some pouncing. Sammy and Bette were up to something. Then, I realized that I hadn’t heard our pet cricket in a while. Next thing I knew, Bette was torturing a big tan colored cricket. She taunted it until she couldn’t take it anymore, and then proudly chomped it to bits. Sammy looked on in awe and in jealousy. I woke J up to inform him of the good news. “You let her eat it?” he proclaimed in disgust, “You could have just let it outside!” Yup, I thought to myself. Yup, the girl who didn’t want her boyfriend to kill the cricket had let BetteBoop eat it to death. I was proud of her even. Yup, and the boy who had tried everything to murder the little chirper was now upset that I had had the black heart to let Bette commit such an act. I know what you’re thinking. J and I are the perfect pair full of contradictions.
Add a comment February 7, 2009
It’s official. I am bored to tears. I had my first interview on Monday and, really, I forgot how exhausting interviews can be at times, let alone how exhausting driving in L.A. can be at times. Seriously, I went from around December 2oth, 2008- February 3rd, 2009 without filling my gas tank. That’s what walking everywhere, and having no where to go will get ya. At least I’ve saved money on gas.
The interview went well, and a day later a former boss told me that she may have a production gig for me soon. See, there are things in the works… maybe. I.will.do.anythiiiing. All I want is to work and get out of my dreary apartment. My friend Bri suggested I paint a wall in my place, but I can’t fathom spending money I don’t have on that right now when I need to eat. Sure, J has been great and always pays when we go out to dinner, and gives me cash for groceries, but still. A few days ago I was counting the one dollar bills in my wallet, (there were about 3) and I held up one of the dollar bills and just stared at it for five minutes. I felt the need to share that with you guys. Yes, I’m broke, desperately need a job, and am GOING CRAZY.
At the present time it’s almost midnight, J is sleeping soundly in the next room, and I am watching a show on Animal Planet called “Cat People.” These people are even more nuts than they sound. Think the movie “Best in Show” times one million with cats in place of dogs. My biggest fear is becoming one of these folks. Oh, and there was something I did last weekend that I’ll fill all my millions of readers in on in my next post. This “thing” that I did even further illustrates my loony cat lady antics. I know, the intrigue!
Add a comment February 6, 2009
After about a zillion fights last week, J and I managed to have a fantastic weekend. I don’t want to dwell on the past, mentioning all the details of last week’s fights, so instead I’ll focus on the good. Oh, and I have a hunch that there will be more good than bad from now on.
On Friday night, J surprised me with dinner at this fancy Italian restaurant down the street. Keeping with our New Year’s walking resolution, we peacefully strolled down the street to the restaurant, hand in hand. When we got there, J immediately ordered a bottle of my favorite French cabernet, and we munched on dinner rolls. We, at once, apologized to one another for all the fights and impatience of the past week, vowing to change some of our unwanted behaviors (God, I’m sounding like the Dog Whisperer!). When we got back to the apartment, full from all the delicious foods that we had just consumed, we watched The Soup, and went to bed in peace. Ahh, the first night in a while not going to bed angry.
Saturday morning was a lazy one. It was reminiscent of the kinds of Saturday mornings we had experienced in our first months of dating. We vegged out on the couch, there was no “nagging” on my part, and J listened to me easily, wanting to hear about all the jobs I had applied for during the week. Later in the day, we played racquetball. By the time the game was over, we were both on the floor, consumed by laughter. Leave it to us to finally being able to laugh again only after a competitive game where we’re both yelling at each other the whole time & wacking each other with the ball. Ha!
Sadly, we got a call from J’s dad around 3pm. J’s childhood pet, a kind-hearted German Shepherd, Duke, had died overnight. J was all chocked up. Although J had known that Duke’s time was running out, (he was eleven) it was still difficult. J and I both agreed that it was good that we had taken him for a walk the last time we saw him. We knew that it wouldn’t be the same anymore when we visited his parents again. Duke wouldn’t be the first one to greet us when we pulled into the driveway. You could tell that Duke always had a smile on his face once he saw J round the corner.
Once Sunday rolled around, we decided to check out the Farmer’s Market in Studio City, right smack dab down the street. Again, we walked. On the way to the market, I tricked J into coming into an antique shop with me, knowing perfectly well that there was a kitten adoption happening at that very moment inside the store. J threw me one of his annoyed looks once he saw what was going on. In a matter of seconds, I was holding a fifteen week old white kitten. He had eyes like blueberries. He squirmed quite a bit in my lap. I glanced up at J. His eyes said it all, “No more cats!” A volunteer lady kept asking me how serious I was about adopting a kitten, but I tried to stay vague, for my sake and J’s. If J hadn’t been with me, I would have whisked that kitten away, back to the apartment to meet Bette and Sammy. J, however, was not having it. He informed the volunteer that he was allergic to cats, and that we already had two as it was. The lady stopped pressing, and I reluctantly handed her back the kitten. Even though he couldn’t come home with us, I was grateful to have held him and smelled his irresistable kitten scent.
At the Farmer’s Market, J purchased the most yummy trail mix, and I bought the most succulent blood oranges. I also bought some exotic lemons for cooking & to flavor my teas and water. J also decided to stop in at the nearby sports store. He decided that we should start playing tennis, even though we both hadn’t played for years. After all, he contended, we had tennis courts just down the street from our apartment, why not take advantage? J bought me a pink racquet, and I decided that this was the perfect Sunday.
The moral of this story is that sometimes all it takes is a weekend to make amends with the one you love, with or without a kitten.
Add a comment January 26, 2009
Hope everyone had a nice holiday. Here’s a pic of an anonymous Korlina in Boston before I go off in a long post.
I haven’t been able to write in a while. This is probably because of what has transpired during the last few months. In a nut shell, I was fired again. Yes, I saw it coming before it happened and, yes, I did not feel as bad about it the second time around. My shitty boss gave me a similar speech as the previous big boss with the irritating, “Well, I was fired before too!” The man went on to say that I was a good person, it wasn’t personal, and that he needed someone who could do the very specific job. In other words, he wanted me to be a babysitter. I realize that that is what being an assistant is all about. I shouldn’t have taken the job in the first place. My patience with people in the workplace who don’t know how to wipe their own asses vanished long ago. I knew this boss was a bad apple when he had me plan his own son’s party the first week I was there. I could go on forever about this work experience, but I’ll stop before I discuss too many details.
I go devoting about an hour a day to the “job hunt,” but it’s so frustrating. Even the jobs I apply for that I know I am completely qualified do not lead to any phone calls. Instead of moping though, I’m enjoying being a stay at home mom to my kitties (don’t laugh). When I’m not dangling a new mouse toy in front of the cats I’m either watching QVC, watching the Dog Whisperer, reading mobster books, reading other peoples’ blogs, begging J to let me get a dog, cleaning the apartment, eating, or walking down the street to get an apricot iced tea at The Coffee Bean. Two things I haven’t been doing much of are drinking alcohol (I’m giving myself a gold star on this one) and sleeping. I blame the mobster books and late night documentaries on the latter.
As much as J wants me to get a job, he keeps commenting on how amazingly happy I am lately. I tell him I’m happy to not be working for such a-holes. Last night for what feels like the hundredth time, I couldn’t sleep. I finally confessed to J and, to myself, that I am afraid to work again. I am afraid every job from now on will go like the last two. J says I need to move forward. He says I can’t apply to jobs where I’ll be an assistant again. I know that this much is true, but I’m also scared that I won’t get any other types of jobs.
Most days, I want to move back to Boston to be closer to my family. I miss them terribly, and it breaks my heart every time my mom cries when I leave after a visit. J doesn’t want to move out of L.A., away from his parents, at least not now. He also uses the annoying excuse that he can’t find good IT jobs outside of L.A. Conveniently, for me, my sis recruits for IT jobs in Boston, and that is clearly not the case. Even though J agreed to email my sis his resume, he’s insistent that right now is not the right time for him to be looking f0r other jobs. Even though this is true to a degree, it breaks my heart when my instints tell me that he may never leave L.A. for me.
J and the cats are all I’ve got in L.A. Friends have disappeared off the face of the earth, I have no job, and not even the constant sunshine can lift my spirits in terms of what Los Angeles has to offer the world. Leaving L.A. may be like running away, but I don’t care. I have had enough of this place. I have had enough of all the cut-throat jobs, how every day seems the same, (I want to experience four distinct seasons again) and phony friends.
I promised J that I wouldn’t move anywhere without him. We’re going to begin going on at least one day trip a month to get out of the hell hole that is L.A. I don’t have to live in New England again, but I want to be at least closer to my fam. Until J and I are on the same page, I suppose I’ll have to keep plugging away on my job search, try to seek out new friends, volunteer somewhere, (one of my New Year’s resolutions) and stop buying crap on QVC. Hell yeah, the flannel sheets are nice, comfy, and live up to the Quality, Value, Convenience motto, but that doesn’t mean I have to keep buying. Sigh. All right, gotta go get some apricot iced tea down the street. That time of day, y’all.
2 comments January 8, 2009