Thursday, July 31, 2008

Let's Go To Bed

Child #2 is on the way. A girl this time. We're pretty stoked about the getting one of each kind thing. Lily is about 6.5 months along. I can't imagine what it's like to not only be carrying one child, as in pregnant, but to have to also deal with a toddler who's exploring his abilities to get into everything his parents don't want him to.

When Lily went in for a routine checkup last week, the docs put her on bed rest. The doc probably said something along the lines of "the stork will be arriving way ahead of schedule if you don't take it easy". So Lily got off her feet for a couple days, but not really. And then on her follow up to the routine checkup, the docs immediately admitted her to the hospital. Not so much that Lily or the baby wasn't doing well, but more as a precaution to the whole stork arriving too early thing.

When Lily called me to inform me that she had been admitted, I was in the middle of my yearly employee review, and my phone kept buzzing in my pocket. Not wanting to tarnish my reputation as a shining employee, I didn't answer the phone. But the second I got out and returned to my edit suite, the phone was ringing in there too. Our receptionist Gladys told me to call Lily immediately. I called, and Lily told me she was in the hospital. I achieved half-freakout mode and told her I'd be there right away.

Because this hospital is about 4 blocks from my work, I considered walking there. I also considered walking to our parking lot, which is about 2 blocks away, and driving. I opted for the walk. And good thing I did, because when I arrived at the street where the hospital is located, the entire street had been blocked off because a truck had flipped over moments before. Bad for the truck, but good for jaywalking.

And because I had never really been in this hospital before, it took me about an extra 30 minutes to find my way through the maze of hospital to the place where Lily was resting. She had a nice big room with a view of the Santa Monica mountains and palm trees. She was fine. The baby was fine. Just a precaution they said. But she'd be staying for a few days to monitor the situation.

Now Lily and unborn baby are home. And following doctors orders this time. I tell the story to most everyone I bump into, and everybody asks how Lily is doing. She's fine, I tell them. How's the baby? She's fine, I tell them. Nobody asks about me. I just run around doing everything Lily used to do, plus everything I used to do. Maybe if I'm lucky, Lily will let me curl up in bed beside her for some much needed rest.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Unknown Pleasures

Like almost every other person in Los Angeles, on Saturday I went to Santa Monica for an event called Glow. Santa Monica isn't set up for that size of crowd. The city powers-that-be advertised Glow as an all-night event, from dusk til dawn, and it was touted as Burning Man in the city. But it lacked the art. And later it lacked the music.

I should have turned my car around when I saw traffic backing up from the 4th Street exit about a mile onto the 10. But no, I was positive my parking karma would come through. Nope. Not only were all the parking lots next to the Promenade full, the Santa Monica Police Department was busy putting up barricades everywhere, essentially turning the streets by the beach into one big evolving maze.

I brilliantly thought of parking at the Santa Monica Public Library, which was eight blocks from the pier. Apparently a lot of other people had this stroke of genius as well, because the only spots left were on P3, which was two floors down from street level. But getting to the event was easy enough. And when we arrived, we wondered what the big deal was. From the beach just north of the pier, the only glowing pieces to be seen were two 10-foot buoys floating about 40 feet from shore, and a misting device (about the size of a small house) that was lit up with different colored lights. Woo hoo.

There were plenty of people with glow sticks, and some with glowing light sabers, but not much else in the way of of anything worthy of calling an event "Glow". We hung out on the sand talking to friends we randomly came across until we all concluded that the event was a huge bust. At least Judah had fun running around on the sand.

When we made it back to the car, there was a line to get out of the garage. And Lily and I both had to pee. But we both agreed that we could hold it until we got home. We pulled out of our parking spot and got in line. And we moved about 1/2 a car length every 5 minutes. This, from 2 floors below street level. It was hot down on P3, and the exhaust from all the cars idling was choking us, so we had to roll our windows up. I remembered that I had forgot to bring my iPod, so I turned on the radio. Not much to hear but static when you're down two floors below street level in a concrete parking garage.

After about 30 minutes of sitting in the garage, I noticed that my gas meter was sitting on empty. And we still had one more floor to go. So I was forced to turn my engine on and off every time we moved up the exit line.

The highlight of the wait was witnessing a douchebag in a Mustang take the liberty of zooming past everyone in the wrong lane, going the wrong way. The highlight was 15 seconds after he zoomed past, when he was forced to go back down in reverse because some other suckers who were trying to park to see Glow were driving the right way in the right lane.

One hour after we began our journey from the center of the Earth, we arrived at the gate to pay. And there was only one gate in operation this night. 3 bucks flat rate parking. Just remember, next time you decide to go to ground zero for some event where all humanity will be in attendance:

- always keep a reasonable amount of fuel in your car
- bring your music
- go pee before you get in the car

Better yet, stay home. I know I will. Apparently the Santa Monica police department shut down the music at 2 am. Way to party til dawn Santa Monica.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Straight Outta Compton

I recently completed traffic school for the moving violation I received a few months back: Running a red light on a left turn. I chose the (Compton-based) Internet Traffic School option, because then I could make a beeline straight to the test part and fly through it because I'm such a knowledgeable driver. No need to read through all that pesky study material.

But being the diligent student I've always been, I decided to skim through some of the study material. And some of it was not only informative, but very entertaining. Here's an excerpt:

"Many accidents happen because Driver #1 assumed Driver #2 in front of him was entering traffic, but Driver #2 either did not start or changed his mind after going a few feet, so Driver #1 wound up in his trunk."

Here's another:

"How can you avoid mental mistakes? It is really quite easy. In each of the examples above, one part of your mind, the adult part, was telling you the right course of action. But you were not listening to the adult part. You were listening to the child in you who wants a drink, who thinks it is exciting to race a train."

and another:

"Have you ever walked, gotten up in the middle of the night and stumbled around in a house or apartment? Sure. Everybody has. Usually you stumble over something that you forgot was on the floor, banging your shin. Ouch! Or you walk into a door that you forgot was closed. Double Ouch! Or worst of all, you stub your toe. Pain!"

After reading a few passages like these, I decided to go ahead to the test part. I took the test. Failed. Three times. The questions seemed mostly obvious, but there were a few that weren't, and a few more where the test had to be wrong. Seriously. Both Lily and I agreed that the question about "making a right turn and moving to the left side of your lane" to do it had to be incorrect.

So we checked on the California DMV website to see what the law says, and lo and behold, there were all the answers. Every single one. I mean, the wording of the questions were exactly the same as the ones on my Compton internet traffic school's site. Now, I've never been one to cheat, but when the answers aren't true, you have to resort to other options.

So if you're ever in internet traffic school, just go ahead and get your answers straight from the DMV. But it's probably best to not get a traffic ticket in the first place.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Holidays in the Sun

Last Friday one thing that struck me as kind of odd was people wishing each other a "Happy Fourth of July!" Maybe that doesn't sound strange to you, but it made me wonder why we refer to the holiday as its date for only that holiday. We're celebrating Independence Day. But you don't hear people say "Happy Independence Day" do you?

Why don't we say "Happy 31st of December" when we're celebrating New Year's? Or "Happy Fourth Thursday in November" when we're talking about Thanksgiving? "Merry 25th of December!" The list goes on and on, but the Fourth of July is kind of screwed when it comes to referring to the cause behind the celebration.

People aren't gonna start saying "Happy Independence Day". We're Americans and we're too lazy to change now. But I bet if we called it something sexier, people would change. Possibly "Happy Fireworks Day!" or "Happy Explosion Day!" That oughta do the trick. Try it out next Independence Day. That would be the Fourth of July, in case you forget.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

In a Big Country

The latest from the inadvertent e-mail front:

Somebody named Larry Gardner from Alabama is apparently huge. Not huge like "blowin' up", but possibly about to blow up by ballooning to proportions not really meant for human beings. I know this because Larry was sent a few e-mails from King Size Direct concerning registering on their website and buying several items. King Size Direct's slogan is "More For Less In Big & Tall Sizes". I on the other hand am neither Big nor Tall, nor named Larry. We only seem to share the same spelling of our last name. Still, it's kind of interesting to see how the other half lives.

Larry bought three shirts and one pair of pants. The pants, colored "Stone", size 44 x 40 would almost fit two of me into them. The three shirts ranged from a 3XL Black Polo to a 2XL Dark Mauve Shirt and 2XL "Soft Yello" Shirt. This tapestry of colors at that size would probably form a nice quilt that would cover me comfortably, but I'm having trouble imagining what Larry must look like wearing "Soft Yello" or Dark Mauve shirts that would probably fit the likes of The Notorious B.I.G.

All in all, Larry spent $107.94 on an amount of fabric that would probably make an entirely new wardrobe for yours truly. Lily recently bought me one size S hoodie at Club Monaco for $120. Either good things come in small packages or I need to start shopping for bigger clothes.