a little like this

Every week or so I get a 4:30pm phone call from my brother on his way home from work. Today's went like this:


"You got your ears on?"


"Niner, Niner, what's it like down by the 41st mile marker?"

"What?" (laughing)

"What are you doing?"

"Working" (this is always my answer at 4:30 p.m.)

"What are you working on... that er big house?"

"Yea" (more laughing)

"You get the sh#$&ers put in yet?"

"Yea" (laughing so hard I have to go outside)

"I was just looking at Echo Park on the map and you
are real close to Dodger's Stadium"

"Correct" (I'm always amazed with my brother's

"You can zip right on the 101 and head downtown"

"I need to get back to work"

"Ok fine, bye"


a rockette in training

Now that Dave and I have a new home base, we also have a new daily routine. This routine usually includes 1 morning lap around Echo Lake located within Echo Park (see photo). We, along with 30 or so other people traverse around the lake mostly minding our own business, sometimes casually saying hello. All of us that is except for the dancer. I would equate her movements to a mixture of Olivia Newton John and Chris Katan. Some days she is freestyling around the lake but most often she is moving in a 5' area using a park bench for a prop. I don't say hello, although I am tempted, it's her high kick that scares me off.

do you... sudoku

My Dad's family are mad game players. Anytime 2 or more of us are in a room together you can bet there is some competing going on. We have been known to pull all night monopoly competitions or all day card sessions. Dice, pool, basketball, golf, egg hunts, quarters, dominos, oh heck you could name almost anything and we have played it.

Soo.o when this weekend I heard 3 times from 3 different people, including puzzle master Will Smith, about a new game I was pleased as punch to realize I had been playing it for years. It is called sudoku and if you are logically challenged it's not for you. You can read Will's article in the ny times here.

And I'll leave you with one final thought....
If you are a Smith you are a most likely a competitor but if you are a competitor you aren't necessarily a Smith.

happy playing.

life's little questions

It is another sweltering weekend in Los Angeles. Now that Dave and I have cemented our existence in Echo Park, we are feeling the full brunt of the heat. No more cool ocean breezes trace through our house. It is hot! The sticky, please-don't-get-near-me, ice-is-not-cool-enough hot.

Last night we found ourselves in yet another tense conversation where the averageness of our lives becomes painfully clear. Should the fan blow in or out? Should it be on the floor or in the window or (dare I say obvious) directly on the bed blasting cool air right on me.... I mean us. This is the question that plagued our night. Of course Dave had all the scientific reasons for placing it in the other room blowing the other direction. Still we woke up in need of a quick, cold shower.

Tonight onto the toilet paper......should it roll over or under?

destiny's child

Every once in a while you come upon a situation that is incredibly hard to work out. You fiddle with it; play out every situation possible and still there seems to be no easy answer. All signs point to Awful.

Dave has been stuck in this funk for quite some time. He's been working at a small office and really enjoys the project but really can't stand the "management". Daily he comes home with some crazy story about their wacky ideas to improve the office. And may I point out that this is not a unique situation. People are leaving faster than you can say "pink slip". On Monday, Dave finally made the hard decision and will officially pack up just in time for the holiday (cheering).

Now both sets of parents are reading this, shaking their head. I suspect my cell will ring in T-minus 3...2... but hold on. Only 3 days into potential unemployment and firms are calling, offering.

Perhaps destiny does wait for one man.

2, 4, 6, 8 who do we appreciate

Lately my day has been all about the numbers. I yell them out across the room, curse at them on my computer, and round them until they do what I need them to.

In general, I'm fairly good at numbers. During high school I excelled in calculus, trig, and geometry. I even helped some of my classmates to excel as well. In college I was ok too. My first job taught me to add quickly but precisely. 3/4 + 5/8 + 1/4 Go. My boss could spot an errant dimension within 2". It was demoralizing when he would say "This is 8 inches, its supposed to be 6"..
"No" I would childishly say "I'm fairly certain, it's 6."
"Go check it and come back."

In the world of design, I really believe a few inches can make or break the project. Several people in my office would argue otherwise. Today, someone threw down a bet that I couldn't visually mark down 25'-0". They gave me a 4 inch advantage. I measured out to 24'-6".

So here is the test. What percentage of the public can actually tell the difference? How close to 25-0" can you come?

Do 2 inches really make a difference?

et tu brute

It pays to work in an area with satisfactory eating establishments. Not that our office is completely in the boonies but its not exactly surrounded by high quality Zaggot's listings either. Plus, I like to walk at lunch, stretch my legs and get some un-filtered air in my lungs.

All of these things more often than not lead me to the local grocery store during my lunch break. Now I'm a pescotarian (more on this in another post) so my eating options are already limited already. You can usually find me perusing the sushi deli or the steamed entrees. One really can't go wrong with a dish of mac-n-cheese and a few edamame.

Lately I've been trying to do my stomach of a favor by going the salad route. Let me just say, I will still vote Pizza Hut 9 times out of 10 as having the best all time salad bar, but this place..needs a lesson or two in salad bar choices.

1. What is Lite Cilantro Dressing?
2. Nobody every did or does like imitation crab meat.
3. Referencing #1, 15 dressing choices does not make for quick line movement.
4. If you eat roast beef on your salad please raise your hand.
5. Last but certainly not least...you must have tomatoes!

The only official salad that I know of made without tomatoes is Caesar. Last time I checked I wasn't in Rome....so please be kind enough to stock some.

lost angeles

It's always hard when a friend moves away; especially so when you find one who fits nicely.

When I moved out to this coast from the other Ryan took me under her sophisticated wing and guided me through the city. We laughed over a cup of Pete's and cried through the cheapest flicks. She didn't mock me when I wore pink for a month straight or decided to go platinum and I lent her my shoulder when a boy broke her heart. We shared the obvious things; we are both from the heartland, enjoy a good debate, and have a soft spot for Julia Roberts. I should say... we weren't exactly two peas in a pod, but we weathered the storms in style.

Sooo.o the list of deserters from this thankless city keeps growing and today I say goodbye to a friend.

"So long Heather #1."
"I will try not to be too much of a 'pillowcase' while you are away."

my day

I'll make this short...
Last week Dave and I went to see a new band,
Goldspot, at the Troubador, a small venue here in LA. The performance was inspiring and I've been listening to the cd quite a bit since. Their current album has a song titled Friday which holds the following verse:

"today is friday, it is my day..."


The view from the courtyard of a project I am working on.

clutch in, dignity out

First off I would like to say, I grew up in the heartland of America, where Chevy pickups and Ford Impalas go to die. I have been driving since before I was 16 or even tall enough to reach the peddles. My first car was a classic white t-top Camero with navy blue interior and an automatic transmission.

No, it did not have an eagle on the hood and yes it was fast.

Ever since then, I have driven a car with a manual transmission; a grab-it-like-you-mean-it 5-speed of power. I k n o w h o w t o d r i v e a s t i c k. If you would like to test me, put me in the seat of an 18-wheeler with a drive shaft from here to china and I'll bounce right out of first gear into second. I grew up in the country where country was cool...

Back to the point, this morning at about 8am, my loving but unreasonable husband David says to me.
"Do you have meetings today, I need the car?"

(We are in fact a 2 car family. We have the backbone of our commuting, a grey Toyota Matrix which is the scrubby cousin of the much cooler Toyota Sienna and we have a 240Z Datsun, a lovely piece of machinery built in 1970 which my husband guards with his life. Thus, we commute together to work, and I enjoy it.)

"Yes, I have meetings most of the day and on the westside."
Here is where I ask the question that I will inevitably regret.
"Can I drive the Z?"

He walks over to me and gives me a loving look that actually means I'm about to learn something that even a 5 year old would know.
"Yes....., but

Please, let the clutch all the way out before you give it gas. It makes this awful zuuuuuuuuuuzeeeeeeeeeee sound when you drive it."

whose sweater is it anyway

I'm a forgetful person or maybe I'm a preoccupied person. Definitely one of the two. Everyday, sometimes every hour I leave something behind. A coffee cup here or highlighter there; the office is a treasure trove of items I've discarded unknowlingly.

This is where I come to my point. If you leave something and forget it and don't recall it for weeks, is the person who finds it obliged to remind you
1. That it is missing.
2. That you did indeed misplace it.
3. Return it.

I have in my possession a discarded item. It has a zipper and red text. It is loved by all but claimed by no one. I wear it, wash it.. I even loaned it out to a friend. I think of it fondly as my own.

Is Miss Manner's going to come after me in my sleep.
Are you going to report me to the ethics council of clothing?

Is there a statue of limitations on unclaimed items of apparel?

I'll bet you one stylish sweater there is.

do re mi

A nice gal once said...
"Let's start at the very beginning; a very good place to start."

the beginning of this all started with the usual


See there was this list .A mental one where items with little hope to be completed got jotted down.

  • the rsvp left unsent.
  • the un-baked brownies moved from house to house.
  • the car left unwashed.
  • the balls of yarn left unwrapped.
  • the blog to start
  • (abbreviated in the interest of time)

If I were to be honest.. I enjoy it a little. Although the taunting and the downward gaze I don't particularly enjoy. I do take pleasure in prolonging the agony of defeat, and of course the relief of completion!
Isn't it always the wait that is the greatest. All those days leading up to christmas with the packages under the tree... perhaps knowing the contents of some and other being quite unaware of what was inside.

I would like to prolong it..

My ever so 'wise' brother would interject some quote at this point about getting out of the kitchen or saddling up to the horse, to which I would remark elegantly that it is not when you enter the race but how you finish.

Listening to my own advice, I guess I'll be done with it.

The beginning that is.