Saturday, December 22, 2012

Too Much Cat Hair

While leaning out my closet the other day in preparation of hopefully moving at some point, I came across my "good" winter coat absolutely covered in cat hair. FYI, we put the cat down in September and he spent a lot of the summer hiding. Now I know where.

This was not "Awww! My cat fell asleep on my coat LOL" or "I sat on the couch where the cat likes to sit" but a thick layer of hair, matted into the rough wool of the coat, both the front and back. The hair had become one with the fibers, like mohair. I brushed it, I lint rollered it. I brushed and rollered again. I ran it through the dryer.

So I Googled it. Nothing. Sure, lots of loving cat owners who don't care if they are covered in cat hair suggesting I buy the "pet hair" roll refills, or gently wipe with a damp sponge, but no advice for this kind of damage. Some don't even over advice, but scold people for getting cat hair on them in the first place. Thanks, jerk. I know. Don't let your animal sleep on your clothes. The coat was hanging vertically in the back of a closet, not thrown on the floor.

I decided to wash the coat. I figured it was ruined anyway, so that if it did work it would be awesome and if it didn't, I'm no worse of.

It did work...for the most part. If this was a junky coat I wore to work in a scenic shop in the winter, this would be just fine. Except this is my good winter coat to wear over a dress when I need to look grown up and presentable, and will no longer qualify for that.

So now, it will go into my car to be given away to the next homeless lady I see who looks like it will fit her. After cleaning the garage a few weeks ago I did the same thing with a mummy sleeping bag. I wished I'd had a dozen sleeping bags to give away, I'm sure I'll feel the same about the coat.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A new Target...the city

This weekend, Dexter and I ventured out to the new Target in downtown Los Angeles called "the city." I knew it was crazy to go to any store like that on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, but we needed some things and I figured that one wouldn't be too crowded since no one really knows about it yet.

It is The Future. In a sorta shiny, happy Blade Runner kind of a way.

It was hard to find. The address is 7th and Figueroa, which seems like it would be easy, except Fig is a one way street, which changes directions right around where I would normally dump onto it at the north end of downtown. I had to loop around down Hill to 7th, and then it was still difficult to find the parking lot entrance. The plaza is definitely built with the idea that people will WALK to this Target, not drive. Once in the parking structure though, there was plenty of parking, $1 with validation.

The store itself is the one floor style, my favorite, and gives the vibe of chic and cool. For a Target. It is a bit smaller than a regular store but it makes you feel like you've stepped into some Euro/Japanese universe. The workers are an attractive Benetton ad array of friendly young people, eager to help. you shop with a mini cart- you don't want to buy too much since you will be schlepping it back to your downtown loft or out to your car, and the carts are not allowed into the parking garage. If you do buy so much that you can't carry it (duh, why am I at Target in the first place?) a worker will escort your cart down to a loading zone, wait for you to get your car and drive it to said loading zone, and then load your car for you.

Stuff was a little more expensive than a regular Target, but it was NOT CROWDED. This was worth the extra 40 cents/bottle of soda, at least on a holiday weekend. No lines at the registers, but enough people in the store to make it fun and festive, not at all like a normal Target Saturday in Burbank, which is always packed, trashed and filled with screaming and weeping children.

All in all, it made for a fun little outing. I will stop by when I'm downtown buying fabric, but it's not worth the hassle and added pricing to make it my regular weekly Target.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Craving Calico Critters

I'm in love with the Calico Critters. I saw them a few years ago at Toys R Us, and filed that info away thinking they might make good presents for my various nieces. I did try to get some for Claire in the spring, but wasn't able to find them at Target and I only had limited time that day, so it was a no go.

Tonight, Dexter and I went off to Toys R Us to buy 2 girl birthday presents. He was thinking Barbie, but I had these little creatures in mind, at least to check out as an option. For those not in the know, they are the absolute cutest little flocked animals you have ever seen. It is as if Holly Hobbie and Polly Pocket and Gund conspired to create little woodland creatures.

 And they are all families. And there are dollhouses. And little furniture. And aprons. And food. And it is all adorable, and sweet, and not sexy, and though not cheap, they are much less than American Girl Dolls. And they are the first toy since Dexter was born that I have considered buying for myself.

I cannot justify buying this for myself at all. I can envision I time when I could have... say, BEFORE having a son...I could have invested in a small little set and claimed it was for when my niece Claire came to visit or any of my friends' daughters. It's always nice to have a few things for them to play with on hand.

But now? Sure, Steve can claim that the Lego Monster set was for him and Dexter, but I know he would have bought that before the boy child came into our lives. If not actually bought it, he would have considered it.

The sight of these little animals today shot through me like a spear. Dexter asked me if I was crying, I was squealing so much at the entire giant display of them. If I was 6, I don't know how I would live without them. I would be spending every waking moment scheming how I could earn the money, save the money, and asking Santa to PLEASE PLEASE bring me a bunny rabbit Calico Critter Family.

They were a little too much for a school chum birthday present, especially since we had to buy two, but I did get a set for Claire for Christmas, with my eye on them for the Chicago nieces as well. You know, just to have an excuse to go back to that aisle. I feel very virtuous starting the holiday shopping in August, but really I just wanted to have this box in my house for the next four months. If only it wasn't taped shut. She won't know if I just slit the tape...I could always retape it...oh my god. I did it. Their arms are jointed. THEY MOVE. I CAN POSE THEM.

I have always loved dollhouses. There was this really cool Modern House doll house that was sold at Fred Segal and the MOMA gift shop about 12 years ago. I really wanted that one too- but it was $400 and big. I did not live in an apartment big enough to have it even as a conversation piece of Art. (turns out, I should have. As I search for a photo, I find it is no longer available and goes for $1750 on ebay.) 

Deep breath. I'm a grown woman. Would I rather have very cool shoes, a new purse, a spa day? New clothes? A Kitchen Aid stand mixer? Laser hair removal? Mani-pedis? An iPad? Books? A new car? A trip somewhere else besides where our mothers live? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Of course.

But there lives inside of me a young girl who would like nothing more than to dress a sweet little kitty Mama in a tiny checked apron and help her rock her diapered kitten in a cradle.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Why I no longer listen to music

I don't really listen to music anymore, at least not anything I choose. Steve listens to music, it comes from his computer and streams through the tv. Many things have to be on-his computer, the x box, the tv-and I have no idea how pick the music.  Actually, I do- there is a lengthy process of scrolling around, and then scrolling around some more, and it not loading, and then more scrolling and then settling for something else.

In the car, I turn on the radio, thankfully KCRW actually plays music. I can't pick it, but I usually like it. Mostly.

At home, I end up turning on the radio. For some reason, we don't always get great reception lately, so I turn it off. The CD player on it stopped working years ago, perhaps as a result of a toddler opening and shutting the drawer 405,952 times.

I could turn on the tv and stream music through one of the 5 different ways it can happen on the tv, but then the tv has to be on, and it seems like a colossal waste of energy to turn on the heat producing beast just to hear music. No one with a penis believes that giant flat screen tv's produce heat, because they have an energy star sticker on them. They do.

So I thought I listen to my crappy computer. The speakers are lousy, but it does have some of my music downloaded. While on vacation, I heard a great late night interview (on the radio) with Steve Miller. It reminded me how much I used to like his music and that I don't actually own any of it. I have an iTunes gift card hanging around. I'll buy his album! Then it will be on my computer! And maybe that Katy Perry song that's in Madacascar! Music! I pick myself!

All I want to do is turn on one or two things, and hear music. I don't want to rewire the space shuttle to do it, heat up the living room or have it take 20 minutes to get it all together. If I had 20 minutes, I'd tweeze my eyebrows and file my nails.

I have just spent the better part of 45 minutes not redeeming a gift card, and circling around with fucking ID resets and passwords and fucking nonsense. To not purchase Steve Miller's Greatest Hits. Or Katy Perry. Or anything. I've bought things from iTunes before. Maybe not in 6 months, but it was very easy the last time. At this point, I don't care. I have an hour left to clean the house, and I will do it to silence.

So I spent 20 angry minutes writing instead. Feh.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I'm considering souping up my car a bit. Don't get too excited, as that little money sucking project gets in line behind buying a house, moving, new furniture, and two upcoming cross country trips this summer. But I recently got four new tires and the suspension repaired and it's made me feel all sassy.

I proudly drive an old Honda Civic. My commute is 6 miles, I rarely go anywhere else besides work, Trader Joe's and Target, and we live in a densely packed area of the city where parking is always tight. Most people around here drive smaller vehicles, and I don't ever have to be nervous that someone might ding me in a parking lot or use the bumper to guide them as they parallel park. My constant companion is a four year old boy, so the car is always filled with small toys, crumbs, old band aids, stickers, rocks, sticks, sand and empty juice boxes.

What I've started to get lately is attitude from panhandling homeless guys. I must admit, I've always figured I'm less of a target then the guy driving the Audi with dealer plates still on it, since if I could afford to give you a five spot would I be driving this car? Amirite? Except now, instead of the usual nod and moving on that I've gotten for years, I'm starting to get an extra once over of my car and the sneering, tsking head shake. "Hey Buddy!" I want to yell. "You live under the 101 and beg on the exit ramp at night. Perhaps you should not be judging my lifestyle choices!"

I know this town loves their cars. Status is everything. Everybody leases so they can get a new car in two years, because that is what is important. I've turned into my father, snubbing my nose at all of it and driving an old car because I can.

It's old, with almost 160,000miles on it, but it's not a shit box. It runs well, and I keep it in good condition. It has all the hubcaps and no mismatched quarter panels or anything. I think Kelley Blue Book would call it Good to Excellent. My model and year STILL get stolen, mostly for parts, but it is also desirable to the street racer kids.

Which is where the souping up comes in. The delivery kid from the local sushi place drives a sweet little souped up something and it got me thinking about it seriously. I don't have to paint it all matte black with an orange racing stripe like his, but what would a paint job, some window tints and new hubcaps run me? At least new floor mats and a steam cleaning of the upholstery and carpet. There won't be a car seat in the back forever!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

KISS vs The Aquabats

The other night Steve and Dex came to the Kimmel show to see KISS perform. Dex went through a bit of a KISS obsession last summer. He had these little action figures he loved playing with, we had to watch the Halloween episode of the new Scooby Doo show (starring KISS) about 200 times and the lunchbag faces were KISS every day. They even made the final cut to the new lunchbox art. If there was a face painting opportunity, which it turns out there is actually a lot of when you are four, he requested Gene Simmons makeup.

the action figures, in action
lunch bag, with assigned characters
KISS is bottom left corner

 We waited outside the Green Room to see them walk to the stage. They were in full on KISS everything-makeup, boots, giant spikes on black and silver leather. They are absolutely huge and a complete theatrical experience just standing there. As they walked by, Dex gazed at them and said, "I didn't know they were real!"

Here is his review of the show. (He lasted one song)
"I like them better on Scooby Doo. There is too much fire and missiles." What would you change about that? I asked. "Lasers. They should have lasers." They did have a crap ton of fire and explosives. Car alarms were going off all around us. It was pretty rad. They might have had lasers too, but we did not get to see them. Enjoy!

Steve asked him who is cooler, KISS or The Aquabats (his current obsession.) "Aquabats." Why? "They have five guys, and KISS only has four." Who has better superpowers? "The Aquabats, because of Jimmy the Robot." I should have known, as Aquabats are the lunchbag kings now.

Dexter as Aquabat
 If you have not checked out their new kid series on Hub, you must do it right now. They are the creators of Yo Gabba Gabba, and this is their new project aimed at the next age level up- 4-8 year olds. It has all of the good things you remember from Sid and Marty Krofft shows plus crazy Japanese kid shows plus the Superfriends. Here's a promo!
My neighbor Helen Harwell is the production designer and pal Matt Hardiman is the art director. The budget was about $7, and they did a fantastic job.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Feeling Charitable

I will no longer donate money to any charity or organization that cannot remember my name is not Mrs.

I will accept Robyn Simms, Robyn Johnson, Robyn Simms Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen and Robyn Johnson, or The Johnson Family. But Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Johnson really pisses me off. I didn't think this still happened, but I also didn't think access to birth control pills needed to be discussed either, so here we are.

I am the one who writes the checks to these charities. I fill out the donation form, my name is the first one on the check, and I sign it. There must be a way to enter that info into the data base so both names come up. I can't believe that I am the only woman who feels this way either. I recently decided that I will express my displeasure with my wallet and I will no longer renew any giving to a charity that does not recognize me. I've noticed it's the more conservative charities that use this form of address. Is the theory the more wealthy the woman, the more likely she is to want to be reduced to Mrs.? I bet Mrs. Stedman Graham uses her own name!

Charitable giving and squeezing money out of donors is a science, so I'm sure each charity knows their donor base well enough to figure if it should be Dr. and Mrs. Stanley Rosenbalm or Mrs. Edna Rosenbalm to get Edna to write the $20,000 check towards a new theater lobby bench. But if a charity wants Mrs. Stephen Johnson to write the $20 check, they better address me as Robyn.