My Multi-media Message

9:18 PM Edit This 4 Comments »
Alright folks! Here's my multi-media message, a little posting to share a few great sounds and sights. First, I thought I'd share this great little video that my brother sent me online. It's from the old TV show "Cheers" that we all remember from TV Land, and of course it takes place in the bar "Cheers" in Boston. I don't know if any Bostonians actually go there, or if it's a tourist trap now, but it still gives me civic pride. In fact, on KROQ when they were giving away free trips to a concert in Boston, they played a clip of the theme music to really give a sense of place to the listeners. I wonder who even got it? I sure did...

The rest of my little message is about music. As I'm sure y'all know, I love the stuff. Especially really good indie hip-hop and alternative. So today my recommendations are two great songs by two great little lady-fronted indie alternative bands. The first is called "The Ting Tings," and the song I'll suggest is "Shut Up and Let Me Go." The second is called "Tilly and the Wall," and the song I'll suggest is "Pot Kettle Black." You won't be disappointed. In fact, I was so excited about it that I bought tickets to see Tilly and the Wall in LA next month! Yippee! So get your google on a listen to some great music!

Chrissie Tsaturyan: a gentlewoman and a scholar.

2:06 PM Edit This 3 Comments »
Today I had the unparalleled privilege to see my good friend Chrissie (with daughter Rose and sister Megan in tow) for a few hours. They happen to be in town visiting grandparents in the valley, and popped over to lighten my life. We ran over to the Huntington Gallery to get out of the heat and yet actually do something... unlike my typical day-to-day life. I was so glad of the company that I probably talked their ears into oblivion.
Here's us on the grounds:

I basically gave a condensed version of the tour I had the last time I went to the Huntington, with my mom and all of her other menopausal friends. We only stayed about an hour, but I think that was plenty for all of us (it is so hot lately... and we forgot the stroller for Rose, so we carried her the whole time!) I made sure to highlight my particular favorites for them, like the William Morris textiles and furniture.
Next we came back to the homestead (which makes it sound like home, home on the range... maybe I should call it the château?) and chilled for a bit, me doing more yakking, etc. Chrissie's sister happens to know lots of Belmontians, the most exciting of which was Collin Beecroft.
Chrissie's daughter, Rosemary Ella Tsaturyan (or Rosalind, as I've taken to calling her) is so cute! I find a lot of babies repulsive, but this one's beautiful. She has really soft skin and beautiful blue eyes like her mom. And, just in case we need to up the coolness factor for her already at 3 months, she's 5/8ths Armenian! Word up!
I really enjoyed their company, and apparently they enjoyed mine. Of course, you can still tell that I'm awkward around babies, since I asked Chrissie, "Will you take a picture of me with your child?" Sometimes I'm just strange, but I've come to terms with that. Last night after an extraordinary Celtics victory and some very easy babysitting, Alexandra and I watched Stardust. In case any of you haven't seen it, it's a fantastic film. It's really light-hearted, totally creative, and Robert DeNiro is TO DIE FOR. If you're a DeNiro fan, get ready!


10:17 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
So, my life continues to be monotonous. In fact, this post will probably bore you to tears. I had a pretty good weekend, though I got a little sick Sunday/Monday. I think I was dehydrated or had a little bug or something. That, and I'm COVERED from head to toe with bruises... some are mysterious, but others are from my new client who likes to beat the crap out of me when he doesn't want to work. Who knew malnourished 8 year-olds were so strong??
Wow, there's no point in continuing... I have nothing!

a love letter to doc rivers, paul pierce, and ray allen:

9:38 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
It doesn't take a genius or a college graduate (though I happen to be both)
to realize that the Celtics are going to win the NBA finals this year. I mean, of course they will, right? We've got the whole Boston sports thing going for us with the ridiculously passionate and loyal fans through thick and thin, and the players and coach to beat them all. Furthermore, we had a record-breaking come back today, and even statistically speaking, the Lakers are screwed. So take that LA! GO CELTICS!!

(There's nothing like a Celtics game to get all of the girls in our house screaming, except maybe a Banana Republic gift card.)

It's official.

9:49 PM Edit This 2 Comments »

It's official. I've decided that I absolutely MUST purchase a house on Prince Edward Island someday. You see, my sister Allie and I are currently watching Anne of Green Gables, and so I got curious. You can buy a 5-bedroom house on PEI for less than 100,000 dollars!! Canadian!! We used to go to Canada on vacation a lot when I was little, since we were too poor for airplanes and would drive up from Boston. Anyway, fabulous. Imagine me, on an island in Canada, with a giant garden. The eccentric lady in the neighborhood.
So anyway, today I got a breather from working. My client canceled, so I hiked up to my Aunt's house in Agoura Hills and spent the day with her and some of my cousins. I fell down the stairs on my way, which was fun. But the best part of it all was my two little boy-cousins being OBSESSED with the word "buttocks." I asked one of them, Hudson (he's going to be in Kindergarten next year) "what do you want to be when you grow up?" He said, and I quote directly, "I want to be a BUTTOCK maker!!" Then the 3 year-old did a little dance yelling "Buttock buttock buttock!!" It's a joy, a sheer joy.

This is Drewby in the pool. I asked for a high-five, which I got, and which he corrected me: "it was a wet-five!!"
Then there's Clare. She's my bosom-cousin... we have a deep connection. A few years ago she told her mom "Lauren's my girlfriend!" She's going to be 8 in September. She kept introducing me to her little friends today as "my college cousin." She was shocked to learn that I had in fact finished college. She did cut me some roses from her garden though! That was cool.

I won't comment on the Celtics game.
Of course, here's a picture of Hadley! It's her yakking on the phone. Sometimes we can't get her to stop talking! Of course, she doesn't have opposable thumbs, so she doesn't text. But we never know exactly who she's talking to...

The daily doggy dish:

10:16 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Imagine 4 or 5 quarters stacked on top of each other. Better yet, STACK 4 or 5 quarters on top of each other. See that? Feel that? A bunch of stones bigger than that came out of my doggy's bladder a few days ago. She came home from the vet today after her surgery, so I actually held one of the things in my hands. I wasn't going to, since it was IN HER BLADDER, but my sister Caroline held the stones out to show me and I was so shocked that I had to touch it and hold it in my hand. It feels just like a smooth rock that you would get on the shores of a lake; the perfect skipping rock. It's sick. Can you believe that? No wonder she kept peeing on the couch!

Today at work a few funny things happened. 7 year-olds are great, maybe my favorite age for kids. They're old enough not to be as obnoxious as they once were or throw temper tantrums, and they're young enough to still be soo soo cute and innocent. To preface my first story, you should know that I call all little girls either "girlfriend" or "mademoiselle." Last summer my little cousin told her mom "Lauren's my girlfriend." It was maybe the happiest moment in my life. So anyway, I kept calling my client "mademoiselle" today, and eventually she said, in utter confusion, "I'm not Mademoiselle! I'm Aminah!!!!" It was really cute. I didn't bother explaining that one today. Later on, she showed me her sense of humor when we were doing receptive animal noises. She knows them all and gets them all right (she's 7 for Pete's sake) so the second time I said what "kind of animal makes this noise?" (ROOOAR like a Lion) she said "YOU DO!!!" I'm such a party animal. For that, I made her get up and do a silly dance with me.

Randomly changing gears, my little sis had her wisdom teeth out today. She lucked out in that she only had 3, and one of the missing one was a bottom one (which are much worse.) She's physically fine. When I had mine out, I started the adventure with outrageous, Valium-induced laughter, went on to vomit my blood, gauze, and guts out, then sat on the couch subdued as my cheeks swelled beyond recognition. I was a little sad from a recent breakup, but I'd say I dealt with my pain pretty graciously. Well Alexandra, who can eat and drive and walk around, is the grumpiest little pissant you've ever seen. My mom said "it's like she's angry at the pain." It's hard to be around. But, I'm so glad she doesn't have to go through what my brother and I did! He cried for two days straight and accused the entire family, in a very passive-aggressive note on the counter, that we were on crack.

Books, art, and more on being an old lady.

10:04 PM Posted In , , , , Edit This 2 Comments »
I've used enough Aspercreme on my arthritic hands to be able to type comfortably for a few minutes, so why not take advantage of it? I thought I'd share some thoughts on the three books that I've read recently in the past two weeks. My criteria for really loving a book is that it both touches my soul somewhere deep and agonizing, and it teaches me something shiny and new for my arsenal of useless knowledge. Books that attain neither of these are simply entertaining, not worth much mention or contemplation.
The first book I read in the aforementioned time period was The Secret Life of Bees but Sue Monk Kidd. It only satisfied one of my two criterion: I learned a lot about bees, honey, spirituality (especially non-tradition, personal spirituality) and so on, but I didn't really connect emotionally with the book. I thought it was great and beautifully written, and I would definitely suggest it. I think it would be especially cathartic to anyone with an abusive parent, or a parent that died in childhood.
The second book I read was C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters. This was a great! It wasn't as overtly entertaining as the other two, I'd say, but it has a dry witticism that is subtle and fun. I felt like I gained a lot of really wonderful insights from the book (I used one in church the day after I finished it!!) and that I learned a lot about myself. This one fit both criteria, and I would suggest it to anyone that professes him/herself a Christian. No matter what, you'll understand yourself and your faith better after this one, and you'll get a few good laughs.
The third one, I just finished about 10 minutes ago, was Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. Oddly enough I chose two books with the word "secret" in the title, and the main character in both of them is named Lily. Don't even ask... I'm trying not to look too far into it. I keep seeing a secret daughter named Lily, and I don't want that happening EVER so--anyway, the book was fabulous! The language was rich and it transported me into another world. I could almost feel my toes breaking as the characters bound their daughters' feet. I learned a lot more about Chinese culture than I ever knew... it's such a daunting task in History class to try to memorize the order and dates of the dynasties that my mind tended to just shut off during China time. Anyway, I felt like I really identified with Lily's pangs of remorse and trying to make a retribution for her wrongs. I've had a lot of wrongs. The beauty and dignity of her suffering were very inspiring. I would suggest this to anyone and everyone, especially men who don't understand women (oh right, that's ALL men!!!), but I wouldn't read it if you're going through a depressed state, or in the depths of a snowy winter.
This morning I went to the Huntington Museum/gallery with my mom and all of her menopausal church-friends. It was hilarious to trot around looking at art with these dentured, permed, orthotic-wearing ladies... they certainly weren't hard to keep up with. The great thing is, whenever I'm out with my mom, everyone always says, referring to me, "is this your friend?" I mean, do I really look like I'm in my 40's? Because that would suck. At the same time, it's kind of fun for us to smile and just say no, we're that great mother-daughter combo that's smart and charming and witty. Okay, we don't say that, but you can see it in our perfect teeth and sparkling eyes :)
Anyway, the Huntington is great! I feel spoiled by all of the museums I've paid tribute to across the world, but they do have a great collection. Among the highlights are pre-Revolution French tapestries, lots of great William Morris stuff, exquisite jasperware, TONS of Gainsborough, and our London study abroad's favorite, Sir Joshua Reynolds. All of the gals that were with me will chuckle in irritated recognition, and will be proud to know that I identified one of his paintings as his before I even saw the placard! Go me, I'd pat myself on the back if it wasn't for my damned arthritis.

Only in California, and How I've Become an Old Woman.

11:15 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
So I saw a few amusing things the other day when I was out in the valley with a client. I thought I'd share those amusing things:
First of all, "SPEED HUMPS"??? Really? Because everywhere else in the world they're speed bumps. It's just so random and hilarious to me. Second of all, if you look at that sign and put the stress on the second syllable of "contract," it sounds like a miracle pill that allows promiscuity. Maybe I'm just sick, but hey that's what I noticed. Of course, it's a cell phone add, but hey seriously.

Another funny thing that I saw out on a walk through the La Cañada Country Club with my dog was a street sign, kid you not, "Star Trek Dr." That was a good one. I should probably take a picture of that one! I mean really, Star Trek Dr. in a ritzy country club?

As for becoming an old lady, I have arthritis! Can you believe that? I have arthritis in my wrist and maybe in my back, and I have to use "Aspercreme" to be able to use my wrist at all. It's a little sickening. How does that possibly happen to a 21-year-old???