Procrastination (But I Digress)

Friday, July 30, 2004

Goodyear is the Bomb; Josh is Tops Too.

So Josh is hard at work at my house already and he tells me that the front bathroom sink is history--pipes broken, rust stains indicating long term leakage, etc. My car needs to be picked up. Melody wants her check cashed. Shrek2 is playing in Burbank with the last show at 5:15. (As an afterthought Mel tells me that it's playing in Glendale--where we never go at 7.) I only have a hugh summary judgment motion (that I smuggly told opposing counsel was already done) to do by Monday. I think I'll leave work early and go meet Josh and Ris at Lowes to buy a new sink. We skipped the furniture part and just got the plumbing pipe stuffy and Josh and Jim are hard at work fixing the sink. So I then went to Goodyear. I said "Exactly when is the part going to be in." He said, "we got it today, your car is all fixed now." And it didn't even cost a fortune. They gave me a discount on the oil change and he followed me home so that I didn't need to get a ride there. I have my air conditioner back. I'm so happy. I even told the guy--no car repair place has ever made me such a happy camper.

I wanted to thank Josh and Jim for fixing the plumbing, so we're taking them out to dinner tonight. Yum for me. Shrek2 will have to wait until tomorrow. I got gas and I stopped at the bank and I still had three minutes left over to write this blog. It's All Good....

No Air Conditioning for You.

Well I got up at the crack of dawn and took my car to Goodyear a mere two weeks after they fixed my air conditioner to find out why it stopped working again.  So I'm describing the noise it makes and the guy gets in to drive me home and wants to hear the noise.  Now the darn thing won't make the noise and cool air is coming out because I was parked in the garage overnight.  Points for the guy though, he still acts like he completely believes me about the noise.  So just as I'm leaving for work (I have to drive Melody in, so there's no going in late anymore), they call and say they found the problem--I have a leaky hose.  Great--fix it.  Here's the problem they say, we have to order it and it won't be in until Wednesday.  Ok, order it.  He hems and haws, ok we'll fix your new problem of the leaking hose.  I said, "you expect me to believe that the hose just started leaking after you fixed my air conditioner--that's nuts."  "Well," he says.  And then silence.  I said "order the part."  So now, no air conditioning for another hot week in the summer.  I have to drive to Downey tomorrow and we're going to the beach on Sunday.  Then there's San Diego next Friday and we all know the parts not going to be there on Wednesday. 

In other air conditioning news, last night Dad and Josh were talking about new ductless air conditioners.  That would be perfect for my house.  Josh is going to look into it for me.  AND Josh is training to become a plumber so he asks if I have any plumbing problems in our house.  Ha.  My house is held together with paperclips and masking tape--of course I have plumbing problems.  So he has (pardon my french) card blanche to diagnose and fix anything he can find.  [I love that--I heard a commentator on NPR say "pardon my french, tour de force" and I haven't stopped laughing.  I'm also reading a new book called "Use the Right Word" and they say that only a small fraction of the English language is actually derived from Old English, but that the words that are make up about 65% of what we actually use.  They also say that about 20 words or so make up more than 50% of usage--I just love that stuff.]

Well, Megan is halfway through her visit and she thinks it's going too fast.  She's trying her best to only have fun on even days, but the whole weekend is odd so we may have employ emergency measures and invoke some fun on odd days.  We're going to see Shrek2 tonight--I really thought I'd get by without, but no.  TTFN

Thursday, July 29, 2004

To Grandfather's House we go

Since I'm having withdrawals because there's no new picture of Jackson today, I thought I better give you all my daily input.  First, I am really mad right now--not get a gun mad, but darn close.  I have been doing all of my own secretarial work for a while now and last month I went one step farther than I've ever gone and I prepared the form for the attorney service.  This is way down the food chain of my work and so far into the secretarial work that I had never gone there before.  But it was on the computer and I thought, What the hell.  It was a Wednesday and I would need checks.  I don't even know how to request checks (the secretaries keep that a secret for job security no doubt).  So I put it all on my secretaries desk and I said "Don't file this until tomorrow."  I even had tomorrow's date on the form for the attorney service.  It included my declaration signed as of the following day calculating interest through the following day because I was certian it would take her forever to get the checks.  Now this is all my fault.  I know this and yet I am still so angry I could spit.  First two checks were needed, but my secretary only requested one.  Then (you guessed it) she sent it out the same day and it was filed a day before the date of my declaration.  But I didn't know all of this until today--a month later!  The court took two weeks to reject the whole package, because first of all it was missing a check and second of all the interest was wrong.  I've had my secretary calling the attorney service almost everyday to find out the status of the package, but she relayed that it would be approved and sent back any day now.  So today I said it's been a month--that answer is not good enough anymore, call the court.  The court told her it was all rejected a long time ago and we should have had it back by now.  So I physically went to court and did the attorney services job also.  And my air conditioning in the car went out on the two trips to court (one to find out why everything was rejected and the second one to fix it).  I just paid over $1,000 to fix the air conditioning in my car two weeks ago (after living with no air conditioning for two excruciatingly hot weeks--parking at Mary's in the sun...)  I think they have to fix it for free, but I know they'll find some way to make me pay something.

This is cathartic.  Now we are off to pick up Megan and Mel and I are going to Dad's for breakfast for dinner.  Marisa and her boyfriend, Josh are joining us there and then the whole bunch of us are going to Mary's to go swimming at night.  Marisa wanted to invite more friends, but I discouraged it.  We cut a pretty big crowd as it is.  Well I better leave early, because I'm always late.  Bye.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Is Erika bothering you guys too.

While Gretchen was out wowing new employers, I was out meeting politicians.  Well, their aides anyway.  (And don't forget to adjust for the three hour time difference.)  Our ABWA chapter is co-sponsoring a Women in Business Luncheon with the local (democrats) politicians.  It was a room full of young (very young) bright and energenic kids, and they spoke so enthusiastically about getting donations and who to call and who has what contacts.   And I thought, I could be a politician, why not.  Then Erika sends me this picture to put on the blog with me holding an orange baby.  I said, thanks, but no thanks.  Then she sends me a picture of me slouched in a chair holding an empty diet coke.  I tell you, I don't get no respect.  Gretchen can't keep up with little short people and Erika doesn't have any good pictures of me--what's the world coming to. 

But seriously, Thanks Erika--I was getting kind of  jealous of  Jackson.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Creative, but not that creative

I want to have cool titles for my blog, but I'm not that crazy about having them published to the world at large.  I got back from the cruise to a very nice voice message from the wife of one of the guys at Kiwanis who complimented me on the bulletin that I wrote for Kiwanis the previous week.  I was witty and pithy and someone read it and laughed.  That was (I'm sorry to say) cooler than the cruise.  I credit writing for this blog for releasing my creative juices.  Oh and all those years of hard work in college and law school and being a lawyer, blah, blah, blah.  And I'd like to thank the academy, and my Mother who was my inspiration, and my Father who made me work hard, and God--I mean really where would the Universe be.

Now you see why this is not release to the world kind of stuff.  And here I was working on being humble.



Friday, July 23, 2004

Tall Egos Make Great Targets

First the news.  I don't watch Big Brother; I didn't attend the baseball meeting; I'm not up on the latest brush fire; and Megan and I had a pleasant time buying her every food item she could possibly want for her visit and then some.  We stayed away from candy, but we did buy a cake mix, premade icing and some horrible hot curly snack things.  She was surprised when I kept saying yes to everything, so I felt compelled to tell her the story of when Adrienne had come to spend a few weeks with me when she was young.  I bought her what ever she wanted to eat and then when Mom got there, she yelled at Adrienne for putting brand name cookies in the cart.  The moral of the story I explained to Megan is that what's ok with Aunt Kathy should'n be confused with what might be ok with Mom.  She nodded knowingly, either having understood me or simply humoring me after hearing me say blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, again.  I do say that a lot.

I've said this to Steph and probably everyone else on the planet, but I remember firmly believing that I knew everything when I was nineteen.  I guess I'm thinking about it a lot this year, because Steph is nineteen and I have all these teenagers living in my house who are fast approaching that age.  I see that age as a watershed in my life,  when I had a really big ego and got my head handed to me on a platter.  I'm reading about Ben Franklin and I came accross an event in his life that summed it all up.  He was a rising star in the community, well received by the dignitaries and he was visiting a respected, wise elder in the community.  Walking through the house, the wise elder said (and in my mind, he comes off like Willie Wonka mumbling the warning) lower your head.  Ben Franklin didn't understand him and he said it again, "Lower your head."  Ben Franklin still didn't understand him and he hit his head on a low beam--really smacked it hard.  He said that incident made him strive valiantly to be more humble for the rest of his life.  [The biographer says he never quite pulled it off, but he sure did try.]  So I read this and I thought about Martha Stewart, Bill Clinton and Michael Jackson.  I am a big fan of all of these tall egos and I am happy to support their giant personas.  I view the persecution of them by the media and zeolous procecuters as modern day witch hunts and I wonder at societies hunger for that kind of pursuit.  I blame Big Brother and it's ilk for raising the entertainment bar for the evening news.  But what about Paul McCartney.  I have this image of him as always lowering his head when he talked to the media or appeared in public.  He seemed reluctant to be the star of the group and always seemed to step back to share the spotlight.  He's a humble, very rich, extremely talented, famous guy.  When Linda died, there was a news story about six months later that he improperly moved her body.  The sensational story lasted exactly one day.  Martha, Bill, Michael take a lesson.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Summer Movies

I've seen a few movies this summer and I'm planning to see a few more.  I don't like it when Erika hyperlinks us to a site on the internet about a movie, because then I can't (for who knows what reason) get back to Erika's blog and I have to start all over.  I have learned not to hit the link, but whenever I skip a link I get a nagging feeling in my brain that I'm missing something good.  Like when you go to bed early and you can hear everyone laughing--you just know you're missing something good, so you get up and there's nothing there.  They stop laughing and say "why did you get up?"  Boy did I digress.  It is one of my favorite pastimes.

Anyway, I went to see Stepford Wives with Dad.  I was shocked that he wanted to see it and while it was a marginally good spoof and good to see actresses that I like, I could have missed it.  Then we went to see Feriheight 911 which was really funny.  Too bad it's true.  Then I went to see Anchorman with Adam.  That was funny, but really dumb.  Not as good as Elf, but I'm guessing better than School Days or whatever that dumb first movie by Will Ferrall was that I only saw previews for.

Then we (Adam and I) on a whim, since we found ourselves with nothing to do and 40 minutes to get to the movie went to see Spiderman 2.  (P.S.  Stop reading if you want to be surprised when you go see this movie.  Wait, I can't stop laughing--ok, go ahead.)  At first the movie was a little slow, babies in the theater cried and it was very distracting.  Then Spiderman started to fly between buildings and so did we.  It was like being on a roller coaster.  And the plot was good and so was the character development, but the best part of the movie is that you really felt like you were reading a comic strip.  They started or ended the scenes with a still that you could totally picture in a comic strip and the speeches that some of the characters gave were so corny, you could practically see the bubble.  I loved the incredulous look Spiderman gave the maker of corny speeches.  But my favorite line in the whole movie was when the best friend finds out who Spiderman is and wants to kill him, but Spiderman says "There are bigger things than you and I right now."  Ha.  Only that the bad guy had kidnapped the girl and was going to blow up the world.  I love summer movies.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Is it time for my vacation yet?

I'm going on a cruise to Mexico for the weekend this Friday with Girl Scouts.  It's a very good thing, because I need a vacation.  I've only had two very long and full and wonderful vacations this year, but I really feel like I need another one.  When I worked at the Studio, you got a week after you worked for six months, then two weeks after a year, then three weeks after so many years, then four weeks, then five weeks and it went up to six weeks after working there many years.  I've been working for many years and I think that my being expects it's six weeks.   My partners, God love them, would say, take all the vacation time you want IF you make the income that's set forth in our agreement.  I never make that income.  So my value to the firm is my complete availability, which means that I don't get so much vacation time as I have been taking.  But this year is unusual--Jackson, the most adorable baby on the planet was born.  All experts agree that the vacation time devoted to him was absolutely necessary.  (After all the crap I took off of Erika when she was little and getting spoiled rotten by me, I get to enjoy the gravy of her genes--great big Jackson smiles.)  Of course, next year he'll be a toddler and unless he gets really ugly here pretty soon, I'm sure that I will be unable to avoid taking more time to see him.  But hey, my partners are educated people--they're street smart--they've been around--I know they'll understand.  The perfect solution would be for Jackson to hire me as in house counsel.  I mean his parents did negligently allow him to fall out of bed.  I think there's a cause of action.  You guys have insurance, right?    I'd never need to take another vacation.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

My alarm clock is set to the news, so I am woken in the morning either to a really annoying ad or to a headline of a news story.  This morning I was awoken to "It was 35 years ago today..."  The commentator paused and in my head I filled in Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play.  Adam was a little slow getting out of bed, so I rummaged around and I found that CD and played it while driving him to school.  He had never heard it and has had little exposure to the Beatles--on oversight in his education that I will soon alleviate.  Then I drove Melody to work and found that she also did not have a full grasp of the Beatles--she had never heard Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  She said that Gordon has a disc of the Beatles music videos, but that she hadn't seen it.  I felt it was my civic duty to inform her that the Beatles pre-date music videos, so they made movies in which they just ran all over London singing their songs. 
Then I picked Megan up from the airport.  I was pretty lucky, because they didn't start a practice this morning of not allowing Aunts to pick up their 12 year old nieces at the gate.  It wasn't easy to find Spirit airlines, but once I did it was pretty easy to get to Megan (although I was behind a baby and toddler with only one parent and an oversized stroller AND two elderly people on the verge of having a heartattack with two dogs AND a very impatient gangster boy/man (is 20 or 21 year old dressed in baggy, messy clothes a boy or a man) with about 16 pockets full of metal that had to be put into the box in line at security).  Megan's gate was right at the beginning, but they had already started coming off the plane so I got there just in time.  About five minutes later, Megan came off the plane.  She had thrown up on the plane and was carrying her shirt in a blue bag.  Another passenger had given her a shirt.  I tried to find out who, but Megan couldn't remember what she looked like.  She pointed out someone she thought was the person, but they wouldn't make eye contact so they get to be an anonymous good samaritian.  (That word is not in my dictionary, but I digress so much more than I already have.)
You guessed it.  Megan had never heard Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  She only knew two Beatles songs:  Yellow Submarine and Hard Days Night.  She got to listen to the whole CD (it was a long drive home from the Airport).  Then when we got home, Marisa booted up her computer (completely unrelated to and in total ignorance of my Sergeant Pepper craze) and clicked (I am not kidding) "Songs Kathy Would Like" and they were all Beatles songs.  While we waited for Adam to get home, Megan was treated to all the classic and wonderful Beatles songs that I know and love.  Then we all went back to my office to have lunch with Melody.  Marisa drove, but I wouldn't let her listen to music while she was driving, so Marisa missed getting to hear me sing Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band at the top of my lungs.  Too bad--it's a really good song.
P.S.  Thirty-Five years ago Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren landed on the moon--the news story that started my day.  They said that Neil Armstrong was the greatest pilot in the world at the time and that Buzz Aldren was a walking computer, he was so smart.  The computer went down right before they were going to land on the moon and they only had 10 seconds of fuel left when they touched down.  35 years ago today.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Backseat Drivers Unite

Here I am trying to be a nice Aunt Kathy, but I fail again:  "Aunt Kathy is a backseat driver."  (Period within the quotation marks, thanks to Ben Franklin.)  Marisa asked me to give her a ride to her friend's house on Sunday.  I had driven half way up the block when I remembered that Marisa has her learner's permit.  She needs practice driving.  What better time to practice then a short drive in the neighborhood to a friend's house.  I pulled over and had to insist that she drive.  She was extremely resistant. (Wait--spell check, oh no, it's not in my dictionary.  Is it an "a" or an "e"--I just don't know.  Did Ben say we had to put periods inside the parenthesis or out?)  Anyway, she finally got into the driver's seat and she did very well.  Everyone knows how I feel about my stuff--I'm very protective, but I only clutched the door handle three times.  Ok, maybe four.  When we turned on the street her friend lives on, she got so close to the cars on the right that I had a terrible flashback of my first attempt at driving with Dad.  I scraped the car on the right, because I got too close.  So I made a small, tini, tiny comment that she was a little close on the right and I told her about my first accident.  She parked the car, scraping my tires on the curb and told me I was a terrible back seat driver.  Now I know we Van Houten's cannot stand criticism of any sort, but shouldn't the older ones get a gimmi against the younger ones and shouldn't the younger ones not do it to the older ones.  Just a thought.

It's a revolution

Mom, no Erika started it.  What's not to love, write everyday about anything and everything and people will read it or not read it as they choose.  I can drop hints about what I want for Christmas (or what I don't want) and I can share every mundane thing that Dad and Aunt Mary are sick of hearing about.  Good luck fair reader, beware.