Thursday, December 29, 2011

Arcade Ragamuffins

I went mini-golfing yesterday, and it was fabulous as mini-golf tends to be. After the main event, we stuck around to play games at the castle-themed arcade (sidebar, why are mini-golf places always shaped like castles? Did they used to play mini-golf in medieval times? Were knights lining up to put brightly colored balls into holes in astroturf?). I was never big on video games, but I loves me some skeeball. Skeeball is, as they say, The Shit.

Castles and mini-golf. What's the connection?

But the point of this story is not to recount our nostalgic evening trying recapture our childhood. I bring this up because I witnessed something very disturbing at Sherman Oaks Castle Park. Not one child, but TWO children came up to us and asked us for spare tokens! Like friggin' orphans from Oliver Twist all strung out on Dance Dance Revolution and Cruisin' USA (that's a thing, right?). "Please sir, I'd like some more...tokens!!!!" The nerve of these children! One of which couldn't have been more than five or six. Who taught him that it was ok to go up to total strangers, looking all cute and pathetic and panhandle for another round of Buckshot Something-or-Other?

Ya greedy bastard!

My first thought was, where are their parents? Did they just dump them off at the arcade so they could go have grown-up time (meaning intravenous drug abuse and unprotected sex?) But then it occurred to me that if they had such parents, these children were probably never taught that it was wrong to beg. I just wanted to shake this poor little boy and say, "You want tokens? Get a job and buy your own damn tokens! Because this is Amer'ca, goddammit!" But then I would be the one kicked out and not this charming little vagrant.

I just really love skeeball.

One kid even tried to get into our good graces by offering color commentary as we played a very confusing safari game consisting of shooting at giant spiders and flies (for no particular reason). I was like, dude, occupado! After the game was over, he asked for spare tokens again! This just went against everything I stood for! Especially because those tokens were not cheap. (Even though we got a half-off coupon...)

So the point is, this could potentially be an epidemic! Are America's youth being taught that if you bat your eyes and stick out your lower lip, people will just drop hours of free video game play in your lap? I say NO! Not in my backyard!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Without Hope or Agenda

The day before Christmas Eve, a vase full of beautiful red roses was delivered to my office. For a brief moment, I entertained the fantasy that they were for me (because I’m a girl and couldn’t help it). Sadly, the envelope was addressed to one of our residents. I dutifully notified her via phone and e-mail of her special delivery. We would be closing early on Christmas Eve, so I wanted to make sure that she received them before the holiday.

These particular roses cost $115. What a waste.
A very beautiful, heart-rending waste.

But the resident never came. The flowers were still sitting on the table when I returned from my mini-vacation four days later. By then they were all wilted and sad looking. I’ve always thought that in theory, flowers are a terrible gift. They inevitably die (plus they’re way overpriced and I don’t believe in wasting money). I still love getting them, though! It’s the thought that counts more than anything, right?


When the roses died for real, the office housekeeper threw them away and washed out the vase. She put the card on my desk to give to the resident if she ever came to pick it up. It turns out that the resident had called to see who they were from. She authorized my co-worker to open the card and read it over the phone.

This is what it said:

“_____ Just wanted to say, without hope or agenda, just because it’s Christmas (and at Christmas you tell the truth), to me, you are perfect. Thinking of you and wishing you a Merry Christmas : ) _____”

My cold, crusty heart just melted at that! And if you are a complete loon and didn’t recognize the reference, this guy was quoting a famously heartbreaking scene from the greatest Christmas movie/romantic comedy/anytime movie ever, Love, Actually. I was shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU, that none of my co-workers were familiar with it. Once I explained the significance (it basically means that this poor sod is in love with a girl he knows he can never have, but still feels compelled to spill his ever-loving guts out to in one of the sweetest ways possible), they nearly died from estrogen-overload as well! The girl's response to this note was, and I quote, "Oh." Could she be less enthused?

The notoriously frustrating yet sweet scene in question.

The fact that this biznatch must have totally shot him down got me all up in arms. I mean, I don't know this girl or her situation. Maybe she's also married to the guy's best friend like in Love, Actually. Maybe she's a lesbian. Or perhaps she really just doesn't have those feelings for him no matter how much she wishes she did. I also don't particularly care if the guy is a screamingly hideous, soul-sucking bastard (though I highly doubt it if he's willing to quote an uber-chick flick and send roses). All I know is, if I had received those flowers, I would have bolted past airport security with sweeping, epic string music in the background and a crowd of Portuguese townsfolk following me, only to bang on the window of the gate where the guy (who inevitably looks like Sexy Jesus) is getting on the last plane out to America, and start belting, "All I want for Christmas is you!"

Unintentionally stole this from my friend Jess.
The other most frustrating scene in Love, Actually.

Who knows if the resident will ever stop by to claim her empty vase and love note. On second thought, she better not. Otherwise she'll get a punch on the nose from me, having imagined this grand and tragic love story that never was.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Very Long-Winded Update

Yes I am aware of how much time has passed and I have multiple bruises from the amount of times I have kicked myself for being lazy and not writing when I really had no excuse because I had plenty of time, energy, and topics and I am now writing this uber-sentence to prove how many words have been bottled up inside of me because I suck at writing even lame little blog entries even though they're really the only writing project I've stuck with because I can't finish anything to save my life and even starting something takes a Herculean effort on my part and I've never been a big fan of Hercules.

Unless he's played by Kevin Sorbo.


So what has Hutch been up to these last several weeks? Well I will update you all in the form of a list: The things I meant to blog about but never got around to!

1. My painful inability to keep anything to myself, especially when it comes to boys I take a shine to. Namely, Sexy Jesus (no, it's not his legal name, but it damn well should be. He's the most attractive man I've ever seen in real life and he bears a striking resemblance to our lord and savior. If our lord and savior moonlighted as a latin-flavored Chippendale's dancer. Now that I would pay big money to see... Sorry I was waiting to see if I was going to be struck with lightening just then. All clear! But seriously, he's like the ridiculously attractive Carl in Love Actually that Laura Linney could totally have tapped and was like, no I have to go hang out with my brother who looks like a lumpy John Cusack and tries to hit me even though I'm trying to get the Pope and/or Bon Jovi to exorcise him, the ungrateful loon!)

"Rock me, rock me, rock me Sexy Jesus!" ~Hamlet 2
Holy Sacrilege...

Long story short, every single one of my co-workers, including the Big Boss Man knows that I am head over heels in love with Sexy Jesus (even though he's married and his wife is going to have a baby. Now I'm really going to Hell). I have got to learn to not blush, giggle, fawn, and in all other ways swoon over this man and any other attractive menfolk that walk through my door. But it's just not possible. Sigh. There's also the Nutcracker (so named because he could crack many-a-walnut with that ass. Not that anyone would want to eat an ass-cracked walnut. But still, impressive, right?), but he has since moved out, much to my chagrin. But everyone knew I had the hots for him too. Why can't I play it cool like Don Draper? Why do I lack any sort of mystery whatsoever?

2. The Downtown Pub Crawl with my UC Irvine/Bordeaux Study Abroad/Vegas Shenanigans girls. We discovered the second greatest Irish pub, called Casey's (A-MAZING, but still not quite as good as Maeve's), and the Library Bar (which is exactly what it sounds like. Super pretentious and hipster-y which we celebrated by drinking grapefruitinis and reading aloud Shakespearean sonnets to complete strangers.) We also unearthed a libation entitled the Pickle Back, which is a shot of Jameson followed by a pickle juice chaser. This made my friend Jessica who did it on a dare, promptly vomit moments later.

Have I mentioned how much I love Irish pubs?

The Pickle Back is not to be confused with the band Nickleback, which sometimes can have the same effect. This night was also momentous because I discovered that I could resolve my hatred of Downtown (most of which stems from difficult and expensive driving, parking, and navigating) by taking the Metro. Who knew? Of course the night ended when we decided to skip the expensive taxi and take the bus back to my friend's place. I must have been pretty drunk if I willingly agreed to take a bus, because not only did we trek super-far to the bus stop, but I did it walking barefoot on the nasty-ass Downtown streets in lieu of wearing my painful heels. Who knows what gnarly things have oozed, splattered, died, or crawled on those sidewalks....Not the smartest thing I've ever done, but at least I wasn't driving!

3. I finally went to an LA Kings Hockey game! I scored a deal on Living Social and it was glorious! Again, I took the Metro, which proved to be an excellent decision. Only we weren't sure exactly where the Staples Center was, so we just followed a group of burly guys in jerseys until we found the place. For a girl from Sacramento, it was super weird to root for the LA Kings. (I've been bred to loathe all Los Angeles-based sports teams, especially those that have the same mascot as my sometimes-beloved basketball team.) I consider myself a Ducks fan, though it's mostly because I love the Mighty Ducks trilogy, and that was the first (and only) game I ever went to.

It's a beautiful thing.

It. Rocked. My. World. I love Canadians. I love big burly Canadians. I love big burly Canadians beating the crap out of each other on ice. Hockey really is the greatest thing ever. Only we lost by three in a shut-out which was kind of embarrassing. Plus, there were no fights. LAME!! But it made for a great date, which was followed by a second visit to Casey's (conveniently within walking distance of the Staples Center!). Yes, I was dating someone for about three weeks (who knew that Plentyoffish would work out after all?), but it just kind of fizzled. No one's fault, but if the chemistry isn't there, you can't force it. But the point is, yay hockey!

4. My 24th birthday on October 15th! (Technically my birthday is October 16th, but since I spent the entire anniversary of my birth regurgitating bile in my very understanding friend's toilet, I'm gonna stick with the 15th). We celebrated with another one of our legendary Sally Tomatoes' visits to Gabe's, the karaoke dive bar extraordinaire since that tradition began on my birthday last year. You should know that I have very strict rules when it comes to drinking. These are my rules and a description of how I broke most of them (here comes a list within a list. Blow your mind just now, did I?):

a) Always eat a big carb-y dinner. I am currently on the South Beach Diet and carbs are in short supply. I didn't have time to grab real food, so I wolfed down a salami sandwich on that thin, round bread that resembles a whole grain hockey puck. It was not enough. And for some reason, I was trying to be good and refused to eat any greasy, starchy french fries that might have absorbed some of the booze and prevented me from tossing my non- existent cookies. (It occurs to me that I talk about vomit way too much on this blog. My apologies.)

b) Make sure you have a ride home. Thankfully my friend Eric took over designated driver duties and drove Stan and myself back to his place to crash. Not literally, because then he wouldn't be a very good designated driver.

c) Never drink sugary drinks. For one thing, they're bad for you. For another, the sugar is what makes you super-hungover. Every single one of my drinks, excluding the tequila shot, was a delicious, sugary catastrophe.

d) Speaking of tequila shots, Never never never ever mix liquors. Pick your poison and stick with it! I learned this lesson the hard way at my brother's wedding where I sample shots of every kind of liquor available at the open bar. But I ended up paying for it in vomit for hours on end afterwards. But since my friends were paying for the drinks, they insisted that I mix an AMF with a White Russian, with a Long Beach Iced Tea, etc. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Drinking anything this color is never a good idea.
Audios Motherfucker indeed.

e) Know your limit. I am usually very good at this. I know exactly how much I can handle to feel pleasant, but to avoid getting sick and/or sloppy. No one likes a sloppy drunk girl, even if it is her birthday. I was done, but the DJ who quickly became my best friend after high-fiving me for choosing "18 and Life" by Skid Row, bought me a vodka tonic. I'm a sucker for free drinks, but I should have 'Just Said No.'

f) Drink tons of water before, during, and after drinking booze. This one I actually followed faithfully, but I still was hurting so bad I could barely get out of bed until 5pm on the 16th. Not the best way to spend a birthday.

So that was my birthday. It was totally worth it too, so thanks ladies (and Eric) for the serenades and for not judging me for christening the toilet at Gabe's with low-carb stomach butter!

5. Speaking of my birthday, I got Target gift cards for gifts (always acceptable!) I finally bought myself a real dresser, since I had been using plastic and fabric storage containers for the past 6 years. I had picked it out and put it back for months before finally pulling the trigger. I put it together almost all by myself, a fact that I was super proud of. One month later, the damn thing is completely falling apart. It was expensive too, even with my gift cards. Stupid crappy Target furniture. One day, I'll own things that aren't terrible...

I was so proud when I took this picture.
Future Me laughs derisively at past Me.

6. Halloween and the Monster Massive that Wasn't. My big brother Scott flew all the way down here from Northern California to see Armin Van Buuren ("The World's Number One DJ" according to him as I shrugged in ignorance) perform at Monster Massive in Orange County. My friends have gone to Monster Massive in years past and from what I understand, it's a massive concert/rave/spectacular filled with tens of thousands of bedazzled club kids in crazy/slutty costumes. I was down, even though I didn't know crap about techno music. We were about to leave when we decided to check the website one last time. Monster Massive had been cancelled a few weeks before. Seriously. They never sent an e-mail, they just refunded the money without a word.

See, World's Number One DJ!
Which to me is like being the World's Number One Pole Vaulter.
It's certainly impressive, but it's still not really my thing.
He is rather attractive though, isn't he? No Kevin Sorbo, but still...

So we had to find something to do on a Saturday Halloween Eve in Los Angeles. Seems easy enough, but while there were a myriad of parties, costume balls, and other events of debauchery, all were either sold out, super lame, or really expensive. We ended up going with our back-up plan which was to see DJ Sasha (like the Number Seven DJ in the World, don'tcha know) spin at Club Avalon in Hollywood. I had never been before, but apparently Avalon is, like, super famous. It took us two hours and forty bucks each to get in and from the moment we walked through the door, our ears were assaulted with the loudest, most obnoxious music ever. Did you ever see that episode of How I Met Your Mother with subtitles? It was like that, only worse. There were costumes. And Asian tourists who push you around. I hate to be pushed around, especially when the floor is vibrating so hard my esophagus was shaking. But we had a good time nonetheless. After a while, we walked down Hollywood Boulevard and saw all the crazies out and about at 2am. Many of which were entranced by my shiny, silver, satin, sequined dress (that I bought for South Pacific in 10th grade. Nothing goes to waste in my closet!). That weekend, we fit in trips to the Hollywood Overlook, the Santa Monica Pier and Promenade, The Getty Center, and The Griffith Park and Observatory. Pretty damn good considering Scott was barely here more than 24 hours. It's nice having someone come to visit so you have an excuse to do all the touristy things you never get around to doing when you live here. Plus, Scott and I hadn't hung out just the two of us since I was 13 and he was 23 and he took me to an N Sync concert in San Francisco (what a stellar brother!). By the way, the Getty is the coolest place ever. Go.

7. Thanksgiving Vacation in Foresthill. I actually scored 6 days off in a row and had my first real time off in about a year. I got to go home to Foresthill and jammed literally 10 pounds of fun in a 5 pound bag. There was the Mountain Mandarin Festival (like the orange, not the Chinese), where I saw about eight people I used to know, most of which I tried to avoid, including the mythical Skank who stole my man in high school, that bitch. Then the reunion with my friends I've known since 5th grade and that I haven't hung out with altogether in about 5 and a half years (they have kids now! Weird!) There was also our annual visit to Apple Hill, which is this awesome apple orchard with delicious pies, beautiful views, and cheesy crafts for sale. It's the best way to celebrate my favorite season.

Post-Soggy Turkey Trot.

The morning of Thanksgiving itself, my friend Jenna and I decided randomly to do the Roseville Turkey Trot 5K for charity. Not sure why, since I usually hate running, doing good works, missing the Macy's Parade, and being outside in the rain, but overall it was a fabulous experience that I totally want to do next year! I came in 812th out of 997, badass! The meal afterwards was epic, and pie at my grandma's was even better. I loved being surrounded by the adorable mini-mafia that is my nieces and nephew. We started decorating for Christmas the next morning, before I visited with more of my best friends that I never get to see. Then I flew home and it was back to reality. Or as real as Studio City can get.

8. I guess I'll go ahead and toot my own horn too and announce that I have lost about 36 pounds since August 16th! Toot toot! Turns out that eating healthy and powerwalking every morning is a potent combination. I even survived the terrifying obstacles of my birthday and Thanksgiving, and managed to come out unscathed.

One of these days, I'm hoping to take the iconic,
"Look at how big my pants used to be!" picture.

Normally when I lose momentum, I can't get back on that proverbial horse for another 8 or 9 months. But I refuse to beat myself up about eating pie on Thanksgiving, because you can't deny yourself everything. You can't indulge every craving either. I'm striving for balance and so far it's working. But ask me again in a few months. We'll see. December is going to be a bitch.

9. Oh I almost forgot! I also survived the freaking delicious Sally Tomatoes Formal Dinner Pah-ty (you have to say it with a hoity-toity accent)! Survived as in I was strong enough to eat Dana's monumentally amazing food without going crazy on it. You can read more details and get recipes on her delightful cooking blog here!

So that brings us back to today when I had to fit in nine days worth of work into one since it is now my regular weekend. But at least I got to spend a good hour showing potential transfer apartments to Sexy Jesus (and his pregnant wife who is annoyingly delightful and normal looking so I can't even hate her). If you are still reading this, congratulations! You must have even less to do than me!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hutch's Vision of the Newsies on Broadway

The Newsies always has been and will always be my favorite movie of all time. It is my rainy day movie, my bad day movie, my celebratory movie, my any and all occasions movie. It is what made me fall in love with Christian Bale before he became Christian Bale (read: talented but crazy). I love the pelvic thrusts, the bad New York accents, the rousing chorale numbers, (and the moment where one of the Brooklyn newsies climbs out of the river and you can totally see his you-know-what.) My friends and I have even made up a Newsies drinking game, though we have yet to actually play it.

Pre-rage Christian was so saxy

I am not alone in my obsession with this 1992 failed Disney musical. There are dozens of us out there who belt along in our living rooms to Santa Fe whilst wearing a cowboy hat, who have tried to jump over our own right leg, who have wondered if the newsie who spins on the ceiling fan puked afterwards. We have been teased with a stage version of our favorite movie for almost two decades now, but it always seemed like a distant dream. Like the flying car or chocolate that doesn't make you fat. Finally, a few years ago, I learned that a project was in the works to bring the joy of the Newsies to a whole new generation of snobby theater geeks. I thought, yeah yeah, I'll believe it when I see it. But it seems like it's finally going to be a reality, according to this article.

While I am glad that it's finally happening, (even though I'd have to go to friggin' New Jersey to see it), I have a few bones to pick with the adaptation. First of all, why are they getting rid of the cowboy element? I don't like cowboys myself, but that was Jack's whole dream! He wore that stupid hat proudly. Cowboy was his nickname, and the driving force behind Santa Fe (arguably the best song in the whole damn thing). It was where he claimed his mom and dad were, instead of dead and in jail respectively. Not cool, guys. Also, I happened to like "High Times, Hard Times" even if it did win a Razzie. It was classic Vaudeville which was a big part of newsie culture. Plus, they're getting rid of Medda! Granted she was kind of useless, but she did add some much needed female presence in a borderline sausage-fest. And what's with getting rid of Denton? I loves me some Bill Pullman.

"To our man Denton!"

I think the biggest reason I'm bitter is because when I was a Freshman in high school, I was planning my own version. It would be true to the heart of the story, but with a few improvements:

Unrequited love

1. Brooklyn Newsie Kingpin Spot Conlon would be a girl. Sure Spot is a badass, especially with his wicked cane and slingshot acumen. But think how much more badass Spot would be if he was a girl! Plus, I had imagined a whole secondary love plotline with girl-Spot and Dave The Walkin' Mouth (because he kind of comes off as a little bit hopelessly in love with Jack.) I also wanted a musical number with just the Brooklyn Newsies, but it seems like the new musical felt the same way.

I do not take credit for this sweet Spot collage. But isn't he just a pimp?

2. Speaking of female love interests, David's sister/Jack's lady friend Sarah would have a much bigger part. There would be an awesome duet with Jack and Sarah while they're on the rooftop. Plus, when the Delancey bruddahs try something with Sarah, she would kick their asses instead of stupidly bruising her hand on the wall and needing Jack to come save her. Also, their kiss at the end would be stellar instead of the worst screen kiss ever (seriously, when Jack snorts a bunch of snot up his nose right before slobbering all over Sarah, I just want to puke).

Oh Ele Keats. You're just useless.

3. I always had this theory that Racetrack was secretly either Medda's son or her boy toy (not both). Mostly because in the riot scene when Racetrack gets punched, Medda freaks out and screams "RACETRACK!!!!" So either she's a fake Swedish Mrs. Robinson and Racetrack is a pimp with a taste for older ladies, or Medda gave Racetrack up for adoption to pursue her Vaudeville career and this was her way of keeping tabs on him. Whichever one I decided to go with, that subplot would be fleshed out.

Medda, the fake Swedish Mrs. Robinson

4. I'd also like to see Pulitzer sing some great Disney villain song like "Poor Unfortunate Souls" or "Be Prepared." I think he could pull it off. But I understand that in the movie Robert Duvall wasn't up for belting showtunes or tripping the light fantastic.

I may look intense, but inside I'm singing Gypsy

5. I wouldn't be surprised if Kid Blink and Mush had their own thing going on behind the scenes, but it might be pushing the limits of Disney to have underage boys hooking up on stage.

You can feel the sexual tension between these two.

6. Refuge Warden Snyder seems like an even more evil character than he is portrayed in the movie. I see him as a physically abusive pedophile rather than just a mean embezzler. (The pedophile aspect would just be faintly hinted at since if we can't have a gay love story, we definitely can't have child molestation.) Making the Refuge even more of a scary, terrible place would create a greater sense of relief when Snyder is thrown in jail at the end and all the kids are freed. Or maybe my mind is just dark and twisted after watching too much Law and Order: SVU.

One creepy-ass mother. I honestly wouldn't be surprised.
He did go on to steal John Locke's kidney after all.

I'm sure I have more notes on my Newsies dream musical, but for now that's all I can remember. So, anyone want to go to Jersey with me to see how the real thing turns out???

UPDATE: Watching the Newsies now. I'd definitely axe the ridiculous cowboy solo dance that Jack does in the middle of Santa Fe, almost ruining it. I'd also have more of a rebellion in the Refuge before Snyder gets thrown in the pokey.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why I Keep Watching Felicity (Even Though I Kind of Hate It)

'Obsession' seems like the wrong word to describe this latest Netflix kick I've been on. 'Obsession' implies some sort of affection for its object. I guess 'rut' would be more accurate in the case of my recent on-going marathon of the late 90s post-adolescent drama Felicity. It's on and I don't feel like searching for something else. Am I really so lazy that I'm not even up to the idea of searching for a new, better show to watch unhealthy amounts of? The answer to that is yes. Yes I am. But there are other reasons I kind of secretly dig this horrible show:

Pictured: Playdough Man

1. Scott Speedman, or Ben Covington. Not to be confused with Scott Foley (Noel. What kind of a stupid late 90s name is Noel? Besides, he's just like a lumpy blob of playdough. Not off-putting, but by no means enticing.) Ben is also kind of a bland character (as are the rest of them), and he's not traditionally attractive. But he's got this crinkly-eyed smile that is pretty goddamn dreamy. I can almost understand why Felicity was such a stupid, girly, stalker, moron and gave up her entire life plan to follow him across the country.

Ok, I kind of get it. But still, have some self-respect, Felicity! Dammit.

2. Every week is an ugly sweater party. Seriously. Homegirl has a major bulky woolen cable-knit fetish. I find it hard to believe that a girl who resembles a sheep for most of her screen time gets so much play.

Standard Felicity Wardrobe.
Stacy and Clinton would have a field day in this girl's closet.

3. A little part of me wishes I could go back and do college over again. This gives me a bit of nostalgia for the college experience I never had.

4. An even smaller part of me wishes I lived in New York. Which is silly, because the majority of my personalities despise New York. It's cold in the winter, humid in the summer, smelly, dirty, dangerous, overcrowded, overpriced, and everyone is nuts and really arrogant about the fact that they live in New York. BFD. But I still found myself idly looking at apartments for rent in the Manhattan area. (And I thought my apartment complex I work for was expensive! Jesus!)

What a stupid, wannabe moody opening sequence. What is the theme song even saying? Is it just gibberish? And what's with the black and white still photographs of the characters looking like they're in pain while trying to look thoughtful and/or like they are having fun?

5. It's weird seeing actors who are now famous in bit parts. So far I've spotted Jennifer Garner (Pre-Alias. Which I have never seen, but have heard good things. Maybe I'll try that and give JJ Abrams a second chance at writing a believable, non-infuriating female protagonist), John Cho, and one of the guys in American Pie. I've also seen Christopher Sarandon (better known as Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride. Though I suppose that would be after he was famous...).

Have some self-respect, Humperdinck.
Frankly, this is beneath even you.

6. I genuinely loved Felicity's prime time counterpart, Dawson's Creek. That was the shit. I don't care that the dialogue was completely unrealistic and that all the characters were absurdly self-aware. Why should we fault a show for striving not to be dumbed down, even if the result is somewhat silly? I keep hoping that at some point, Felicity will be one-tenth as good as Dawson's Creek was. Or maybe I'm just killing time until they finally put Dawson's Creek on Netflix. (Get your crap together, Netflix! You owe me this one!)

God this show was good. Don't even try to hate. 'Cause I'll slap you. Through the internet.

7. While I don't love her character (holy hot mess, batman!) I was so excited when I saw that Amy Jo Johnson plays Felicity's best friend, Julie. I was all about the Power Rangers in elementary school and the Pink Ranger was my favorite! (Though I was always relegated to playing the Yellow Ranger at recess because I wasn't as pretty as the other girls.) One of my (only) favorite moments in the show so far (and that's about 13 episodes in) was when an extra dressed up as the Pink Ranger at a Halloween party and Ben makes out with her! Wink wink, nudge nudge! See what they did there?

HI-YAH! Badass.

8. I feel kind of obligated to watch it, since I am attempting to become a dubious expert on all things teen-oriented. Just in case that knowledge ever comes in handy in a future game of Trivial Pursuit with the Grim Reaper and knowing that Felicity's ever-so-slightly offensive gay and vaguely ethnic stereotype boss at Dean and Deluca was named Javier just might save my soul.

But for reals, y'all, this is a terrible show. I do NOT recommend it. Really just a waste of time. But since that's all I'm interested in at the moment, I guess it does the trick. But it does raise my hackles every time Felicity acts like a lovesick puppy with really low self-esteem, Noel gets walked over like a proverbial doormat, and Julie is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and Ben just doesn't give a shit. Which is basically the entire show in a nutshell.

Now I'm off to bed to watch it some more.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Keys in Strange Places

One of the services my office provides is to unlock people's apartments when they lose their keys/get locked out of their apartment. Usually I dread someone coming in saying, "Can someone open my door for me?" First of all, I revile these people for being so stupid/unorganized/lazy and losing their keys in the first place. Secondly, this usually happens five minutes before closing and we have to rush maintenance to cut another one (which is very stressful and difficult not to mention we all just want to go home.)


And finally, it means I have to drop however many hundreds of balls I happen to be juggling at the moment (tee hee balls), get the keys from the box, and escort them all the way to their apartment. Depending on where their apartment is located, this could mean quite the trek. Especially if it is 100 degrees like the other day and I'm wearing a full suit. Then I secretly chant makeshift voodoo curses in my head while making cheery small talk.

But sometimes, I enjoy rescuing people because they often have hilarious or unusual stories about how they came to be without their keys. Here are the top five:

1. Guy who lost his keys several months ago in The Body Shop, a strip club off Sunset. To this day he still has not paid the $5 fee to cut a new key. He simply locks his front door from the inside, then goes out his patio door and jumps over some bushes. This is someone who pays at least $1200 for rent every month, (and god knows how many thousands on strippers), and he won't fork out five bucks for a key. I hope she was worth it, buddy.

My favorite part is "18 Years OK!" Classy joint.

2. Guy who left his keys in Israel. God knows how expensive it must have been to overnight a package from a place where the local post office is probably getting bombed constantly. Reliable courier services must be hard to come by there.

3. Guy(s) who left their keys in Vegas. From one type of pilgrimage to another. This one happens quite frequently. I just chuckle at them and ask them if they had a good time. They tend to respond with a sheepish grin.

4. Guy(s) who pissed off their crazy girlfriends who are now holding their keys hostage until they grovel. Seriously, I encountered this with two different residents, one of which not only stayed with the girl, but she did this twice! I don't know what they did to piss them off, but it sure is a brilliant way to get revenge.

Bitches, man. Bitches.

5. Guy whose keys are at the police impound lot. I asked him if he had had a rough night, and he replied, "Not as rough as some." Badass. But it turns out that it was his friend who was caught smuggling something nefarious unbeknownst to our hero, and his car was impounded because of it. Doesn't that suck? Anyway, the guy told me that now anyone who enters his car will be subjected to a strip search in case they too may be holding. I thought he was joking until he exclaimed, "If you don't want my finger up your rectum, then you won't be getting in my car." True story. Needless to say, I will be avoiding this person for several reasons from now on.

If you've noticed that this list is comprised of entirely male residents, then you would be spot-on. Girls get locked out all the time too, but they don't have nearly as good stories. (Usually it's because they went to the gym and their roommate locked the door. Yawn) I will update the list if I get any more good ones. Just so you know, the curse I put on these people is less severe depending on how entertained I am by their excuse.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pretty Much the Cutest Thing Ever

I'm tired and still semi-cranky so I'll make this one short and ridiculously sweet. You know when you have a bad day and all you want to do is call your mom and vent about it? (Because you're a hopeless mama's girl/boy like me?) Well when I called my mom tonight after what I call a classic example of Clusterfuck Friday (where everyone is terrible and everything goes wrong and for some reason it usually happens on Fridays) she was babysitting my kickass little nephew Ayvind.

Ayvind is about 18ish months old now and smart as a whip. (Though how whips have any sort of intelligence is beyond me.) He's quiet and contemplative for a baby, taking in the world and forming his own tacit opinions of it. But he can still giggle and peek-a-boo like a boss. He's a man of few words, though he possesses great understanding. He knows exactly what you're saying, he just chooses to communicate back via sign language. According to my sister-in-law, he can speak about 50 words, but can sign up to 230.

Pictured: Baby genius.
Also I'm not sure what he's signing here,
but it is probably something like
"Holy crap, I'm friggin' awesome!"

Anyway, so my mom was giving Ayvind a bath while she talked to me on speakerphone. The whole time Ayvind kept shouting "Pooe! Pooe!" (Which is my brother's nickname for me -long story-, so now I'm 'Aunt Pooe' which also prevents confusion since his other aunt and I have very similar first names). Ayvind knew exactly who I was, although we haven't spend nearly as much time together as I wish we could.

According to my mom, (who could have been lying since she was also trying to cheer me up) he signed "I love you," and tried to kiss the phone. Then he tried to give the phone a rock to play with, all the while saying "Pooe! Pooe!" Since he doesn't talk much, it was an honor to hear him say my name. Especially since I had such a crappy day. He also loves rocks, (which is a bizarre family trait I thankfully did not inherit) so giving me a rock was a symbol of great sacrifice and love.

The point of this is that you can't stay upset and frustrated when you have an adorable little guy 450 miles away who adores you right back. (Though I still find it hard to believe he remembers me even after not seeing me for at least 4 months. That's roughly a quarter of his life!) You pretty much made my day, Little Ayvind. Aunt Pooe loves you too!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Creepster Fish

It's been a few weeks now that I've been on So far I've had one date (a rather uneventful trip to the Sherman Oaks Starbucks where we didn't really have anything to say to each other and it was terribly uncomfortable). Other than that, I've just been e-mailing or chatting with a few blokes. Nothing to write home about, that's for sure.

"I have a grande chai tea latte with
a shot of stilted conversation for Hutch?"

I was online today when I got a chat request from this guy without a picture. I don't trust profiles without pictures because a) the guy is either too lazy/stupid to upload one or b) he's ashamed of the way he looks. If I have to upload one, you do too. However, I decided to give him a chance because he mentioned in his profile the fact that he actually is familiar with English grammar and if he doesn't know how to spell a word, he looks it up on I think I've said before that guys who can't spell worth a crap or prefer ridiculous abbreviations are a major NOPE for me. And since I do the same thing (google a word before making a fool of myself), I thought maybe that's enough to build a relationship upon.

We went through the usual, "Hi, how's it going, what do you do, blah blah blah." Then he asks,

"Would you mind if I had a fetish?"

All I could think about was this episode of Sex and the City,
which is (almost) every girl's worst nightmare.

Um... I resisted the urge to block him because my interest was piqued. Here was a guy who was completely upfront about what makes him a weirdo. And we're all weird in some way, (like me with my correct spelling fetish), we just usually try to hide it. You have to respect him for that. Why waste time when you know there's something that's important to you that might be a dealbreaker? Curious, I responded,

"Depends... what kind?"

It took him a few moments before he wrote, "I'm really into it, so I'm looking for a girl who can accommodate." Now he was really starting to freak me out. I replied, "Are you going to tell me what it is?"

Finally he said, "I like girls in pantyhose, the ones that go all the way up."

I don't get it. But I guess the point is that it's irrational.

I guess as far as fetishes go, it's not as disturbing as others. And like I said, I appreciate his honesty. But seeing as I loathe pantyhose (they're scratchy, expensive, inconvenient, time-consuming, they rip easily, and they just get in the way. I also despise the word 'panty'), I'm thinking this is a big fat NOPE. More importantly, when you've been talking to someone for about three minutes and don't even know what they look like, much less if they're a decent person or not, it's a little soon to be talking about specific plans for the bedroom.

Maybe I'm just old fashioned that way.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

How "The Help" Helped Me

Tonight I made a rare trip to the theater to see the film adaptation of "The Help." I read the book not too long ago. I didn't love it, but it was very nice. I mostly went because I adore Emma Stone and wish we could be best friends in real life. The film was pretty great, but what resonated most with me was just one of the end credits: "Based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett." This whole movie was made because one day a woman sat at her computer and began to type.

I started writing a novel almost exactly one year ago. It wasn't my first attempt. There are drafts written in pencil on college ruled notebook paper going back as far as second grade. And for my fifth grade yearbook ambition, I wrote that I wanted to be an author. In high school and college I cultivated my love for writing through creative writing classes, screenwriting classes, and other studies of what makes for a great story well-told. Once I got my first real job though, writing sort of took a back burner to bill paying and mindless TV watching.

While I was pretty much unemployed during the first part of 2010, I was finally able to exercise my long lost creativity. I started working on a script with a good friend of mine. We made it two-thirds of the way through a promising coming of age adventure story inspired in part by the Goonies before we hit a wall. Plot-wise we were stuck. And it was time for me to go back to work where I actually got paid. And so the story sat unfinished in the dark recesses of my aging laptop.

Since it was looking like that would never again see the light, I decided to once again try my hand at novel-writing. Screenwriting has so many rules. Relentless formatting, keeping descriptions succinct, letting directors and actors decide how a line should be delivered instead of instructing them, and what pitfalls to avoid lest your script appear juvenile. All that for little pay, less credit, and the joy of seeing your baby be torn apart by people who don't know a good script from their Aunt Mildred. With a novel, you can pretty much do whatever you want. Sure you have to keep to a basic story structure if you want it to be successful. But there is so much more you can do with tone, setting, and characters. You can really develop where you'd have to hold back in a script.

With this somewhat bitter attitude, I began my novel. It was semi-autobiographical even though the concept of a writer writing about themselves as if they are the most fascinating subject in the world irritates me. But you have to write what you know and just hope that others can relate. (That is, if you hate doing any kind of strenuous research, like me.)

I went back just now and read the first 11 pages. I only read 11 because that's as far as I got last September. But as I read those few pages, I was pretty damn proud of myself. Normally I go back and read something I wrote and cringe ever so slightly. But I made my future self laugh out loud! So now I'm inspired to go back and if not finish this book, at least keep heading in the right direction. Any progress is better than none.

Because some day I want to see "Based on the novel by C-------- H--------" on the big screen just like Kathryn Stockett. (Not that she's my new hero or anything. Tina Fey will always be number one. But I figure if she can do it, why can't I?)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Canada's Bad Seed

The other day, I was an oblivious witness to this "car accident." I use air quotes, which normally I despise only because it was more of a love tap than an actual collision. I also say oblivious, because I watched the whole thing happen and didn't even realize until 10 minutes later that it happened to be Justin Bieber whose Ferrari was nudged while he was blocking traffic.

Evil demon spawn

Now, unlike most people I know, I didn't have particularly strong feelings one way or the other regarding the Biebs. He was just this silly little boy that made crappy music and pre-teen girls squeal. I can't judge those girls too harshly since I too was a victim of expertly marketed and well-groomed young boys who made crappy music. Though I maintain that it was way less crappy than the piffle they dare to call music these days. That's right, PIFFLE.

Pictured: Not Piffle

Because he was barely on my radar, other than an adorable sketch on SNL with Tina Fey, I just didn't care. That was until the other day when I saw a 16 year old kid test driving a car worth more than I will ever make in my lifetime. That pissed me off to begin with. But once I heard the conversation that took place after the accident, I was livid!

Biebs started going off about how this poor lady hit him on purpose because she knew who he was (paranoid with delusions of grandeur???) Then when she started speaking in Spanish to someone nearby, he started ranting and raving about how "This is America," and she needs to speak English. Finally, he demanded to see her green card. Really dude? First of all, you sound like an ignorant, racist prick. Secondly, your own girlfriend is latina. You are soooo not getting laid for at least a week. And thirdly...

Shania is watching you, Bieber. Always watching.

YOU'RE CANADIAN FOR SHANIA TWAIN'S SAKE!! If it wasn't for your crappy music, you would be the illegal alien. And speaking of illegal aliens, the woman speaking Spanish happens to work at the Spanish Embassy. So good luck ever trying to play a concert in Spain again. She probably has mad connections and can shut down your visa quicker than your fan's attention spans. You're welcome Spain!

Next up, Justin Bieber!

It has been a well-documented fact that I love Canada and Canadians with all my heart and soul. Every Canadian I have ever met, and I've met quite a few, has been exceedingly kind, generous, hilarious, and awesome overall. Now I know it's not right to generalize. But when you've met many fantastic people from a certain country, you start to get a feel for the values they tend to espouse as a nation.

Pictured: Canada

So you can imagine how betrayed Canada must have felt by the actions of this one bad apple-faced goon. Maybe he's just a kid who got too famous, too fast, and spent too much time on the mean streets of LA. But that's no excuse. I think he needs to take a serious time out back in his mother country to refocus on not being a jackass hoser.

It was hilarious how this minor, and I can't stress minor enough, collision (bumper cars have more violent impact) became such a big story. The police showed up and agreed that there wasn't even enough damage to take a report. I saw myself that there wasn't even a scratch on either bumper. But the Biebs had insisted on calling the cops and what the Biebs wants, the Biebs gets. Douche.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Plenty of Awkward

The past few weeks have been filled with awkwardness of the most acute variety. Mainly from two sources which I will now proceed to break down like a late 80s neon-clad subway busker on a cardboard dance floor:

PART ONE: Here fishy fishy!

I have mentioned before that I have twice dipped my toe into the proverbial ocean of online dating via First, I just looked around, was disappointed in the kind of menfolk that were available, and ran away screaming. The second time, I gave it some more thought and actually tried to fill out a profile. This just made me depressed and caused hours of tipsy self-analysis. Since then I hadn't really given plenty o' fish another though. My life is complicated and stressful enough without adding some guy's baggage to it.
My own baggage is already full enough.

But a few weeks ago I was clearing out spam from my personal e-mail, already bored with my weekend. I noticed an e-mail with the headline "Hutch, you have 17 new matches!" Woop-de-doo. Doesn't mean jack. But still, it piqued my interest. Why the hell not take a look? So I finished my profile (queasy the whole time) and started fishing for real. It seemed like every guy listed 'working out' or 'going to the gym' as one of his interests. Whether he really is a gym rat, or thinks that by saying he is, he will get more girls, I don't know. But anyone who views exercise as fun and not a necessary evil is clearly someone who will not be interested in me (who works out faithfully for months at a time, only to go months without working out at all.) Not that staying healthy and active isn't important. But if you spend over twelve hours a week in the gym running in circles and lifting heavy things, your priorities are out of order. Or they just aren't in sync with mine.

Just seems rather pointless, doesn't it?

I also noticed an inordinate amount of guys with pictures of themselves in the bathroom mirror taken with their iPhone. Whether they were fully clothed, shirtless, or lifting up their Ed Hardy shirt Situation-style, this was a major turnoff (*salutes* "Major Turnoff!"). I don't know why it bothers me so much. Some guys may just not have a good picture of themselves, but can't they have their friend or mom or cat take two seconds to snap a photo that doesn't have a toilet seat in the background that clearly hasn't been cleaned in years? Nothing says sexy like seeing which kind of deodorant and shaving cream a guy uses while he throws up some lame peace sign. Of course I'm judging these guys, but I'm sure my profile is just as lame in other ways. Because as I observed previously, it's impossible to create these things and not come off as some type of tool.

Typical. And just silly. Stop it, boys.

Within a few minutes with my face permanently fixed in stinkeye position, I already had a couple guys interested in meeting me (meaning they probably just pushed the 'yes' button while scanning my picture for .5 seconds without actually reading my profile. Not really flattering, but I'll take what I can get). I also had a message from one guy. It wasn't much, but it was a start. So I started e-mailing back and forth with this one guy, as well as a couple others. The problem is, what on earth do you talk about with a complete stranger?

The basic theme of the conversations seemed to be "Hi, how are you today?" Me, being the witty conversationalist that I am, always tried to throw them off with something adorable and quirky, but they didn't seem to really appreciate my sense of humor. Many of them just wanted to get my phone number so we could text. Like I'm going to give out my number to someone who could be an axe murderer. (Which could conceivably happen in a bar or other socially acceptable arena, but at least then I would know what he was really like in person first and if it was worth the risk). Plus, and more importantly, I don't have unlimited texting and this could get expensive.

This kind of messaging went on for a few days until one night when I got a chat request from some guy I had never heard of. He was kind of cute, and had a profile I would actually consider. (The ratio seems to be one in twenty-four profiles is not completely abhorrent to me. That sounds like I'm really picky, but I just don't want to waste my time with Douches. Note the capital 'D.') So we're chatting away, which seems to be slightly less stilted than e-mailing back and forth. Discussing relationships, men and women, even sex (but in a general, philosophical sense). Then he started getting dirty. Like really dirty. Which freaked me out big time. Aaaah! What the heck? Am I here just for some cyber one-night stand? Plus he still lives with his parents at 26 and uses 'u' instead of 'you'. NOPE!

"Well as far as I'm concerned, the internet is just another way of being rejected by a woman."
-George from "You've Got Mail"

So that put me off the whole process for a while, but there were a few nice guys I was still talking to. I like that you can sort of get to know each other first before giving out any personal information lest they turn out to be an uber-creeper like the aforementioned. And you can always block a guy if he says something really random but cruel like one guy did. I won't repeat what he said, but it didn't warrant a response. Just a swift click of the 'block user' button. I got that message, another chat request from dirty perv boy, and made a connection with one of the good guys all within about 10 seconds of each other. A little overwhelming ride of emotions, from pain to disgust to delight. I'm meeting one of the guys for the first time in a few hours (in a public place in mid-day). We'll see how that goes...

PART TWO So when did you get saved?

Yesterday I was invited to my neighbor's birthday party. He's a nice guy that I've talked to a few times since moving in in March. I always kind of got the feeling he dug me. Which put this whole fantasy in my head a la Friends or Big Bang Theory of falling in love with the guy across the hall. Not that I was that into him, but that's a pretty powerful pop culture image. Plus, it sure would be convenient seeing as it's the complete opposite of a long distance relationship.

I miss "Friends" a lot.

I stopped by about 30-45 minutes late because I thought it would be awkward to be the first one there. Hah. Also I was watching Friday Night Lights which is my new favorite thing in the world. (Sorry Desperate Housewives, you've been replaced. I don't give a crap about high school football, but this show is riveting and so well-done! Plus I met one of the actors and wanted to get more familiar with his oeuvre of work. Tee hee, oeuvre sounds dirty doesn't it? Anyway, back to my story.)

Hell yes!!

I walked across the way to my neighbor's apartment where several people had already crammed in the tiny one-bedroom. Picture this, a room full of nicely dressed though slightly douchey looking dudes sitting in silence around a veggie tray watching a subtitled kung fu movie. There was one other girl, but she didn't seem to have anything to say other than "Are you sure you don't want any potato chips?" Maybe she was just as bored as I was. I could tell something was off about this party. But not wanting to sit awkwardly much longer, I asked, "So, how do you guys all know each other?"

"Oh, we all go to the same church."


I should have suspected this when I noticed the cutesy angel sign reading 'God Bless This House' over the bedroom. Not that there's anything wrong with going to church. By all means, if it makes you feel good and provides the social atmosphere that people crave, that's fantastic. I just knew I was even more out of place than I thought (besides being underdressed in just jeans and a t-shirt). So more awkward silence persisted while the kung fu movie gave us something to look at besides our shoes.

Hell no!

Then one of the guys turns to the guy to his right and asks, "So when did you get saved?" The guy responded, "Once when I was seventeen, then again when I was twenty-six and gave my life to god to be a pastor."

It was at that moment that I knew I had to get out of there. Luckily, I had a good and true excuse that I had to go meet up with a friend. But our host was hiding in his room talking on the phone and folding laundry. I didn't want to leave without saying goodbye. Because we were all sitting silently, I couldn't just slip out unnoticed. So I counted the minutes until my neighbor was done with his laundry so I could say "Happy Birthday" and take off. He gave me a hug, (which I am not a hugger, but whatevs) and said to stop by when I got back.

Finally I was free!!!! I drove off like I had the devil after me (tee hee). I went to my friend Eric's house for our Sunday tradition of quiche and True Blood (which is a whole lot more satisfying than church in my opinion.) Why quiche you may ask? Because it's effing delicious for one thing. And for another, Eric and I have been making quiche ever since his 21st birthday almost exactly five years ago when we got drunk and were craving quiche even though we had never made it before and ended up making the best quiche ever even without any recipe or soberness and proceeded to eat it on the floor of my kitchen with two random girls we met at the supermarket at midnight after work. So that's my quiche story which I've probably told a million times, but it was such an awesome memory I don't care.

After True Blood, I headed back from Koreatown to NoHo only to find an ambush waiting for me in the parking lot. My neighbor's "party" had turned into a late night bible discussion. My neighbor called me over and I couldn't very well say no even though it was late at night and I was tired. True Blood takes a lot out of you, you know. He asked me about my faith, which I tried to sum up succinctly. "I believe in something, but I'm not a fan of organized religion." Of course, my religious history is a hell of a lot more complicated than that, but it was too late to get into it.

But he kept goading me in the polite, well-meaning way Christians often do. And I just couldn't deny my Hutch heritage to debate circles around an opponent. Normally I hate debating, but he wouldn't let it go. So I let him have it. And I explained how many horrible things I have witnessed under the guise of religion. How I don't believe in the bible, so don't use that to support your arguments. How my biggest political believe is that religion has no business in politics. How I don't agree with a large majority of what is considered to be a sin. How pretentious, insincere and commercial religion has become. How religion has mistreated a large number of my friends who happen to be gay and caused them so much pain and heartbreak. For all the good things religion does, it destroys and divides just as much.

It was a calm, respectful discussion for the most part, but it did raise my hackles quite a bit. Especially when an older gentleman got involved and tried to convince me that people aren't born gay. I tried to make him understand that why would someone choose to be estranged from their family, bullied and beaten at school, not given equal rights under the law, and suffer so much derision from people like him if they weren't being true to themselves?

Anyway, so now it's going to be suuuuper awkward whenever I see my neighbor. I used to think he wanted in my pants, but now I know he just wants to save my soul. Which is kind of hurtful to my ego, but whatevs.