Wednesday, June 18, 2008


As a follow-up to the tomato lamenting, the FDA has approved tomatoes grown in certain states safe to eat. California is one of them! But I'll probably wait just a little longer, just in case... You can see if your state is approved at

I love watching movies so I thought I might mention a few movies that I saw this weekend. Hint, I liked them all.

First up, the Hulk! Yes, I was there opening weekend to view yet another comic book movie. I like them so much. And, I needed to have my faith in the green monster restored after that terrible version just a few short years ago. I was not disappointed! Ed Norton, who just rocks anyway in just about everything, was able to carry off the scrappy scientist who's got just enough inner turmoil to freak out on you at any moment, even without being infected by gamma rays. The movie gave shout outs to the tv series from the opening credits with it's grainy, blue photography that made me feel like I was sitting in my living room watching my 13in tv way back when. And they continued to pay homage to the series throughout, replicating some classic scenes and dialogue. What was great is that they gave these nods without being campy and without deviating from the story at hand, which was filled with lots of action and a little bit of humor when possible. I really enjoyed it. Everyone is saying, well it's not as great as Ironman but still good. I suppose. Ironman tells a much more complicated story. The Hulk is just an ordinary man trying to control the rage within. The story is well told and a lot of fun to watch. I'd definitely recommend it to any action fan!

Next up this weekend was Lars and the Real Girl. The initial idea of it freaked me out a bit. A lonely, social outcast orders a 'Real Girl' online and interacts with her like a real person. While these dolls are mostly sold as sex toys (and to sneak into carpool lanes) his intentions are much more pure. He is in a delusion where he actually believes she is a real person. His brother and sister-in-law take him to a doctor who encourages everyone to go along with his delusion until he is able to work out the psychological issues he's long avoided. This extends to the entire small town in which they live. It was sweet to see how willing everyone in the story is to help him, how they accept his 'girlfriend' Bianca and treat her as an ordinary person. There care for her really shows their love for him and it's nice to think that sometimes people can be that loving towards another person. It was also interesting for me to see how his progress evolves throughout his meetings with the doctor and see his relationships change all around him. I'm a sucker and cry easily at movies and this one had me crying on early on and often as I was touched by many scenes. A very sweet story to watch.

Lastly, this weekend I watched Stardust. I did not want to see this in the theater because I felt that the casting of Robert De Niro was a really bad idea for the role. I also never felt that the trailers gave me anything different about this fairytale from others so I felt I already knew the story before I saw it. That right there takes it off the table as an $9 movie and onto the rental list. Which we did. Now my husband became very interested in the movie once he heard that it was based on the novel by Neil Gaiman who has also written many wonderful things, Sandman being one of his favorites. That inspired us to move it up on the list. The story was entertaining and imaginative. It is, at it's heart, a fairytale with witches, spells, love, kings, betrayal, hidden identities and a quest. Taken as a simple story with interesting twists then it is lovely. De Niro was an odd choice for his character. I think they thought it would be funny but the whole time I was thinking, this isn't really working, and it took me out of the story for his scenes. Other than that, I did enjoy it very much and a happily ever after ending will make me teary-eyed every time. It's a great fluffy movie with no great message, just the ability to take you to another world for a little while.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Don't Know What You've Got, 'Til It's Gone

Yes, I heard some Cinderella yesterday. But the title fits since I am so very sad. So sad that I cannot eat tomatoes. After a childhood of disliking them, I finally came around to their glories in the past couple of years. Now I add them to everything, especially my favorite sandwiches. Caprese, grilled cheese, burgers, hummus and pita. Sheesh. Lots of my favorite lunches. And now that they are gone, what's the point of a hummus, tomato and pita sandwich without the tomato? And what's the point of a caprese sandwich or salad without the tomato? Sigh (with my wrist to my forehead in despair) When will they be safe once again? A big, huge, fat slice of tomato to practically cover the sandwich... Sigh Of course, I wonder for a moment that perhaps this is an insidious start to some larger eco-terrorism. I can't help it. It's in my wiring to think such things. But though I wonder that, I will hope instead that it's a small, human error that will be easily traced and fixed. Allowing tomatoes to once again be eaten freely. Oh, yes, and I did buy a tomato plant this weekend in the hopes that I could eat some in just days. Yeah, right.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I have completely wasted a full day. Well, 4 and a half hours at this point. I'm about to jump out of my skin. 4 and a half hours that I will never get back. It's not even like I'm avoiding work, there is no work to do. It's a Friday and in the first hour and a half of covering the front desk, the phone did not ring once. Not for another 20 minutes did the phone ring. For someone who doesn't even work here any more. I had a small assignment of work to do. I did it. Done. I've now read the Daily Variety, Geek magazine and Inc magazine - all which come through my desk for various people who no longer work here. I've read blogs, my horoscope, my email - answered everyone I needed to, wrote people I haven't written to in awhile. Ugh.

Mostly I'm upset because I didn't prepare properly for today. Most days I like to bring some sort of project to work on. A song I'm working on, maybe stringing a new necklace or making new earrings, filing, rearranging papers, researching websites to post music on, working on my webpage, I have do to lists! And I neglected to bring anything with me. Well I brought my monster KCRW bag with me but I just cleaned it out, the other day at work, and emptied some papers at home and didn't replenish. I rarely let myself be bored, let myself have nothing to do. But I did. And now I'm stuck.

And not only am I annoyed that I must find new ways to entertain myself today, I'm annoyed that I've wasted 4.5 hours...quickly approaching 5. Once we rented a movie that we absolutely hated. I think it was a strange movie version of The Tempest. I don't know if you can anymore but you could go to Blockbuster and tell them you didn't like a movie and they'd give you a free rental for something else. You had to fill out a paper and say something about why you wanted the refund. My husband wrote, 'Two hours of my life, wasted, that I will never get back.' Well then. I can't even blame it on a lousy movie. Just on myself.

I will go now. To write a brand new masterpiece. You will hear it on the radio soon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Let It Go

I write songs in spurts which has always been fine with me. For a very long time I got into this 3 songs in a row pattern. I'd finish three songs and then not write for awhile and then write 3 more then not. It seemed to even out. And that doesn't really count all of the little pieces of songs that would come to me, a line here, a melody there, a chorus, an idea, I just mean finished songs came in threes. And then I went through nearly a year where almost nothing was finished at all. And now I'm back to writing some here and there but they don't necessarily come in 3s anymore.

Lately though, I'm in a huge rut. I have 5 songs I'm working on at the moment that have the chorus 'Let It Go.' That sucks. The songs go where they go and you land somewhere and I keep landing at 'Let It Go.' Some are upbeat, some are sad, one is angry. And you should just let the songs go where they go. Let them create themselves sometimes. I figure, I'll just keep working on them and eventually change up the chorus' or abandon the songs all together. Because really, what can I do with 5 songs with the same title? That's just weird. But it's more weird that that phrase keeps popping into my head. What can it mean?

Should I let go in my writing? Follow the muse instead of trying to lead her by the hand? Should I let go in my life and let things happen? Try not to be so controlling of my path? Really try to surrender to the sentiment in my song 'Thy Will Be Done' which I often have such trouble doing? Should I let someone go? One of the songs seems to be a love song to let someone go, even though my life doesn't reflect that situation, but it's another variance on the theme. Or should I be letting something go, like my songwriting? If every time I come to the well, I hear 'Go Away' is that a sign as well?

I like looking for signs, confirmation that I'm on the right or wrong path. Certainly 'Let It Go' is a sign from within. Even if I could let go, I wouldn't even know what to start letting go of first.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bike Safety

How about a shorter post today? A rant perhaps? Okay then, a rant it is.

It really bugs me when bicyclists don't act like cars. They want other cars to share the road and treat them as equals, fine, I'm completely fine doing that. Then don't blow through stop signs just because it's a pain for you to stop and start! Yes it's a pain but if you don't want to spend the energy to stop and start, ride on a bike trail or drive your car.

Would I rather not have to stop? Sure I would; especially when I'm in a hurry. But I stop. And when I come to a four way stop, I expect you to stop too. Because it's the law! Because California Vehicle Code says: Bicyclist Rights (CVC 21200) Bicyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of vehicle drivers. If you want the rights, then you're stuck with the responsibilities.

This weekend I seriously saw a gang of 30 bicyclists ride into a left hand turn lane, bypass three cars and swarm around the front car. When the light changed, they all just moved out in front of the car and turned. Are they allowed to do that?! It was so dangerous! The poor car in the front couldn't move at all because the bikes were all around him, some sitting in his blind spot, some right in front of him. If a bicyclist is in front of me in a turn lane, fine, I give him space, I treat him like a car because he's behaving like one. We have mutual respect for each other. And yet there are bike gangs taking over the streets of LA. What can you do?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Psychics Part III

You didn't think I'd go to a psychics part 3, did you? Well I did. And here's why. I took my dogs to a pet psychic fair this weekend. Have a crossed a line? Perhaps. But it's no less crazy than taking my dogs to a pet psychologist, is it? And I've done that too so call me a Californian and get it over with.

The same school that did the readings the other day also do a Free monthly pet fair. You can bring your dogs in for an aura reading/clearing and communication. Our main motivation for going was to take our one dog, Lemon. She is a rescue dog who was severely abused before taken to a shelter. We didn't need a psychic to tell us that. When we brought her home, she shook for a full 24 hours straight and tucked her head into the corner of our couch with her back facing us. Over time, she learned to trust us but even still, as the sun set, she would hide in another room under a table. She's much better and some days she's a normal dog. But most days, 8 years later, she still has lingering doubts about her safety. She still startles easily, hides around strangers, barks and snaps at strangers or other dogs as we walk her. She's the reason we've been to a dog psychologist. He was not very helpful.

So, why not try this? Why not see if they can heal the stress that she deals with everyday? It certainly couldn't hurt and maybe it could even help her. And, since we were bringing her, we thought we'd bring the rest of the pack.

Watson was a mess of energy, wanting lots of attention and to see what everyone else was doing. Ezzy was her mellow, lovable self. Lemon was pretty nervous and uncomfortable the whole time.

The whole thing was pretty cool. They gave some pretty accurate readings, in as far as we can tell of course. They said that Watson likes his dark place very much and doesn't want it taken away. This can only mean his crate. He's the first dog we've crate trained and it's where he still sleeps at night. In fact, when he's tired, sometimes he'll go in there on his own and take a nap. And sometimes he'll take a bone and hide in there away from the other dogs, just in case they want to take it from him. Strangely enough, the day before we talked about him maybe being old enough now to not need a crate and to maybe sleep at night with the others like a big boy. I guess he heard us and is not interested, according to the psychic. Crazy, huh?

That was the most obvious and accurate part of the reading, since lots of it you can't really confirm with a dog. They did mention that Lemon feels the most safe on a particular bed. She does camp out on our bed when we leave the house and when guests come over so it makes sense that this is her safe place. But, what dog doesn't like to be on the bed so that can't be claimed as a huge prediction unless I let it.

They did pick up on Lemon's fears and troubled past. There is some what of a safety issue with her around other dogs, people and children. We worry that she can't be trusted. The psychic says she worries too. But he said 'How long do I have to prove it to you?' was something she was saying to us. I don't know. But if she worries about her ability to restrain herself, then I guess we have to wait for even more proof.

In the end, Watson and Ezzy really don't need the whole thing often but it could be helpful for Lemon. Perhaps if we take her often enough they can help her clear the negative energy that is so much a part of her still. These bad things that happened to her cause her to always be frightened and always ready to protect herself and that is what keeps us in doubt. If they can help clear that and make her more happy and normal, I'm all for that. Anything is worth a try.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Psychics Part II

I suppose I can't mention going to a psychic without following up with what she said. The school that I went to is called True Insight and they have lots of classes, workshops and events. I went to their monthly open house last month and it was pretty cool. Mostly, I was impressed with their balance of explaining what they do without pushing you to join. They did a good job of leaving out the pushy part. At the open house, they provide an aura healing and a brief communication (sort of reading.) They also raffled off a long session, which they do weekly, of an hour and 15 minutes. This is what my husband won. And I was excited so I went and got one too.

They are sessions done by students so the price is very reasonable but you never know what you're going to get. As a person who's into going to see acupuncturists at a clinic, I'm comfortable knowing that the students working on me are far enough along in their training that they do a great job, even if not 'full fledged' official yet. When my friend went, she had several students reading her at once, taking turns. My husband ended up with only two readers and I only had one. Still they gave what seemed to be good readings.

My person told me about my rose, some of my past lives and my auras. She also was open to answering some questions I may have brought with me. All in all, I was pretty impressed with her. She was pretty awesome! She identified a number of things that are true for me and, as a test, not true for my husband.

The past life issues she identified for me were pretty right on. The first one was especially right on. She said I was a girl who's parents didn't have enough money for a dowry. So I decided to become a teacher instead and never marry. The issue with that life was that I always struggled with deciding between having a family and working/doing something that was creative. Wow! I'm sure there are many people with this struggle but it has been especially bothersome to me. In fact, in an earlier blog I wrote about how I had realized that, in trying to find balance, I fight being a full time mom like my mom and I fight being a workaholic like my dad, leaving me with no idea of what that balance may be. I'd say that issue from that past life fits me and what I'm currently working on. Cool.

Does it really matter if it was a past life of mine? I'm not sure analytically if I believe that they are reading past lives or if my body somehow communicates with them a story to explain an issue that I have. Maybe my body is taking a problem I have, turning it into a movie of the week and screening it for them. I don't think it does matter since they're obviously capable of watching the film I'm showing. And that is just as amazing!

She read some other past lives that related to equally important issues that I currently struggle with and all of it was cool. The aura readings seemed to point to some pretty ingrained characteristics in me. And she answered my questions in an interesting way. They are not allowed to give advice. Maybe because they're students. This is another place where I'm not sure I'm a true believer. I gave her a list of 4 things I'm choosing between. She meditated on each one and read the colors around them, letting me know if they were positive or not. Here's the thing, is she telling me colors that come to her because the universe is telling her what is good for me to do or is she getting colors from me based on what I want to do? I guess again it doesn't matter again because if deep down it's what I really want, then it will make me happy then, right? I guess.

It's funny that I try so hard not to give information to her, make her guess, test her the entire time and then debate the results. She said in one of the past lives I had trust issues. Yeah, I know. Like the X-files poster, I want to believe. I just don't want to be lied to. And I absolutely believe that there are people with this gift. It's just hard for me to believe each person without testing them first. It takes a lot for each individual to win me over. But, I have to say, the whole event, especially after adding in the big hits they had on my husband's reading, was pretty convincing.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I'm going to see a psychic tonight. Yeah. I know. Kind of crazy. And I suppose it makes no sense for a girl who hard core believes in God to think that psychics are real but I do. Now, that's not to say there aren't fakes out there, there are plenty of fakes. I know that for sure. I was one of them.

I worked for a little while as a phone psychic. Yep. And yet I know that I'm not psychic. I answered an ad in a paper looking for people who wanted to become one and I wanted so badly to be psychic that I signed up. I've wanted to be psychic since I was a little girl. I would stand at my window on weekends and think thoughts really hard to my best friend trying to get her to hear me. Then on Monday, I'd ask her if she heard me. Nope.

I kept pestering my mom in the hopes that she would admit that somewhere I have a twin sister that she gave away at birth. Because in all of my books back then, I'd read about twins who had amazing psychic connections. No such luck. But she did offer to sell me to the gypsies whenever I got on her nerves.

So, after hoping for so many years, here was someone who would teach me how to be psychic. Actually, she taught me how to read tarot cards. And she said that being psychic is like having a muscle that you need to exercise. The more you exercise it, the stronger and better it gets. So I believed just as hard as I did when I was little.

I took calls for a couple of months and hoped that as I got better at reading cards, I was also getting more psychic but there was little proof. And, I started feeling bad that I was lying to the people calling and stealing their money. Technically I wasn't lying because I was reading their cards and it's possible that their psychic vibes were coming to me to influence the cards and it's possible that I was being granted some sort of psychic guidance to interpret the cards the right way. But I still didn't have any proof. And I felt bad because the company wanted me to try to keep people on the phone longer than they wanted to get more money. But I couldn't do that. That would have been too far. So I never tried to draw out the call, I just gave them a reading.

And maybe I would have gotten better. Maybe not. But one night a woman called asking me to help her find her daughter. She said she had run away. I asked her if she had called the police to have them help look for her and she insisted that she had but my psychic sense said that she hadn't. Here was this woman with a missing child turning to me, certainly no expert, to find her. I did my best reading the cards and it turned out that the girl came back during the call. She was a teen and perhaps it was just a stunt, perhaps she did it often and that's why the mom didn't call the police. I didn't care. I didn't want to be responsible for that. Sure, if I really were psychic, I'd be all over the country trying to help find people and solve crimes...but I'm not!

So instead, I'm going to go to see a real one tonight. My husband won a free reading and I'll be darned if I'm not going to get one too. It's from students at a psychic school. Yep. You can find anything in LA, including a school for psychics. I just hope they're further along in their development than I ever was.

Monday, June 2, 2008

So last week I started talking about a article I read about and the guy who started it, Jake Nickell. I realized that I was getting quite wordy in my entry so I've moved it to today. I hope that's not cheating.

As I said last week, I've been reading the marketing magazines that come into my work and I'm very fascinated by them. It so interesting to understand the why of people's purchases and how some campagines work and others don't. I think it's the psychologist in me that gets interested in this kind of stuff. Anyway, I read a cool article about Jake Nickell and

He, unintentionally, started the company on the basis of 'user innovation'. That somewhat means that the people who use the product come up with the product as well. It's similar to what you see happening in shareware for computers. In shareware, someone wants something and designs it for themselves, then lets other people use it since it might help them too. Pretty cool.

So this guy was a part of an online community already that frequently bounced ideas back an forth between each other. He designed a t-shirt, just for fun in the community's annual get together. His design was chosen and it felt cool to win. So he started online competitions for people to design t-shirts with other people voting. Whatever one wins, then he prints up a bunch and sells them. Initially the winner won $100 but that prize has now risen to $2500 and he is a millionaire. Crazy.

What is so cool about the program is what I find exciting about American Idol. The reason American Idol works so well is that you spend the entire season becoming involved in the final product. You vote for who you like. You do all of the market research for the record company. You tell them, I'll buy David Cook's album if you make one. So, they make one. Instead of launching an unknown artist and spending thousands of dollars for you to get to know him, they do all of the test marketing as they go. They let you get to know all of the contestants during 4 months of 'marketing' all while they narrow down the final, most profitable product.

This t-shirt company is doing the same thing just on a smaller scale. They are letting people vote on which design wins so they are telling you 'this is the shirt I would buy.' In fact, the owner says, that was his main idea. 'Why wouldn't I let people buy something they like?' Now on top of that, he's not only letting you tell him what you want, he's letting you make what you want. So cool.

So now this guy who's a college drop out and makes t-shirts is giving lectures at MIT to teach them business principles that they only theorized about. It so exciting!