Sunday, December 28, 2008

I said READ dance bliss. Not eggplant sandwich dance bliss.

I've read about twenty of the 75 books every woman should read list compiled over at (and brought to my attention by editorial ass). I do, however, own at least five more, so I can pretend I'll get to reading those eventually...

Similar to moonrat, I have read about 15 of Esquire's list for men.

I did, however, read quite a few books in 2008, possibly more than my usual 5o-ish-or-on-average-one-a-week. I'll post a little year-end-round-up soon, I think. I can tell you right now that Three Cups of Tea is not going as fast as I might like and that I'm going to give in and read Twilight in the next couple of days - Kenneth and Paige, we do have a movie date, right?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hey now.

Um, shortly after that post about the targeted ad for "Tees for Sarcastic Jews", I got an ad for "Socially Awkward Tees".

Wait, why are you laughing?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Lady brings a new cup of coffee.

So, I've definitely never linked to or posted a picture of myself on this here blog, and for that matter I've pretty much not included any actual personally identifying info at all. Well, but something about this picture of my ghetto israeli dancing self just calls for sharing. Yalla.

Um, I took three separate naps yesterday. THREE. What the hell? I think the cold makes me tired. They were all, like, *deep* sleeps, too. Weird.

Hey listen, I know you've all seen the "Take On Me - literal version" video already, but I just found a friend who hadn't yet so I can't resist mentioning it in case you also live under a rock. How f'n fabulous is this?? Go watch it now.

Happy Chanukah. Merry Christmas. Etc.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

How did they know?

So, on Facebook there are these targeted ads on the sides of the screen. If your status says you're single, you'll get ads for online dating sites, etc. Right now, I have an ad that says:

Tees for Sarcastic Jews

I shit you not. *That's* targeted advertising. Next up:
"Diet Coke for Wonder Woman fans"?

Oh, so, hey out there, blogoworld. I've been busy and not so much making with the posts, huh? Sorry about that. I'm at winter camp now, enjoying a differently-crazed schedule instead of the usual crazy schedule. Yay me. Hope you're doing well, blogging to come when it comes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This about sums it up.

(3:22:59 PM) friend: yo yo
(3:23:13 PM) me: fro yo
(3:23:24 PM) friend: hehe
(3:23:36 PM) friend: im so happy you actually responded. it continues to surprise me when you do. haha
(3:24:18 PM) me: you're welcome :)
(3:24:41 PM) me: it's good to set expectations REALLY low so that when you do what would normally be considered less than the barest minimum, people are surprised and happy

Monday, November 10, 2008

Support the RDB Housing Fund. Send me a check for twenty grand.

See, here's the thing. I've been condo shopping for aaaaaaaaaages now, and prices have been coming down and it's all very exciting (and terrifying) for a first-time buyer who is ready to take the plunge.

I've seen a lot of places and I've learned a lot about the process and about what's out there and what changes I could or would make to various units... etc. And I've been learning about what I like and what I don't, and what I could live with and without, and of course I have my top-10-ideal-attributes list in my head and every condo has some number of these items and the more the better but no one place has it all... etc.

HERE'S THE PROBLEM. I HAVE FOUND MY DREAM CONDO. And it costs about $20,000 more than I was planning to spend.

Want to give me some money? A little bit of money? A lot of money? No really, want to give me some money? Or know someone who does?


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Madonna @ Dodger Stadium

Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna

Reviews tomorrow, perhaps :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

wordle wordle wordle

One of the gazillion wordles of this blog that I've made since finding this fabulous toy. You gotta try it. (Click to embiggen.)

(From Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.)

Here's another one:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I bought a few books lately.

like, in the last seven days.

In the time-honored tradition of Terry's parents' refrigerator, here is an annotated guide. Click to enbiggen.

(Is this a fall winter-coming-on-prepare-to-hibernate instinct? Is it that I've finally had a little room in my schedule to slow down and read and shop and I'm making up for lost time? Perhaps it's just related to the fact that 90% of the people who have been important to me in my life (like, say, my parents) were all born in October? Planning ahead to buy a condo and wanting to make the moving process easier by buying more heavy shit I will have to pay to move? Thinking ahead about having a new condo and therefore room for a new bookcase? Maybe just: had a lot of Dance lately; need more Read (and Bliss.))

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Maybe I shouldn't feel so bad now that I know blogger doesn't even recognize it as a valid word.

I am disappointed in myself for not having figured out on my own what the word dysphemism means.

Although to be fair, if I'd heard it said I might have. Maybe.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"That would be funny, I heard God say."

Wow, I am loving this book, Foreskin's Lament by Shalom Auslander. First of all, I hadn't heard a word about it anywhere, which seems surprising given my general surroundings, until a friend recommended it to me last month. I didn't notice it in any stores, I didn't know who the author was, I just sort of filed away the recommendation in the back of my mind, intending to check it out eventually, because the guy who mentioned it is a cool guy and, you know, read dance bliss.

So then I am reading my weekly email from Book Soup listing all the great author events they have coming up, which events I always want to go to and which events I have never yet made it to even one of, and there is a book signing of this book by the author, and I think that's cool and I forward the info to the recommender and jot the reading down on my own calendar, but with no intention to actually go since I've never even seen the book in the flesh. Um, in the paper?

And so but then last night, which is to say, the day before the reading, which is today, I'm at Costco with a friend and lo and behold, there's the very book, in paperback (which I MUCH prefer), at a lovely low Costco price, and it's smaller than I had imagined and looked like a quick read, like maybe a one-lazy-Saturday kind of read, and I am totally psyched and I buy the book and I finish the other book I was reading later that evening and read the first few pages of this one and it is already clear that I love this book and will love this reading.

So today is one of those kind of Perfect Days, the kind where I wake up earlier than my alarm goes off, where I lie in bed reading more of this bitingly funny book until it is time to get dressed for yoga, where I actually go to yoga for the first time in six months (THANK GOD, I NEEDED THAT SOOOOOOOO MUCH), and then I go eat outside in the sun, reading my book, at my favorite bagel place/cafe where they know me and my "usual", and then I take a walk around the neighborhood and look in some shops and buy (almost) nothing and then I come home and will probably, in the next couple of hours, finish or nearly finish the book and then go to my first reading at Book Soup and how fanTAStic is all of that?? Yay.

Meet me there, if you like, but hurry - it's in an hour and a half. I'll write more about the book itself later on. For now, I give you this (pg136):

I thought again about Moses, and I realized what had troubled me about that whole damn story; it wasn't simply that God had crushed his life dream because of one lousy sin, though granted that would be sick enough--it was that He knew, God knew He'd never let Moses into the Promised Land... but He still let him wander around the desert like a schmuck for forty years searching for it. --Warmer, warmer, you're getting warmer, you're dead. God loves that joke.

Wherefore art thy so scarce, ye Eggplant Sandwich?

I recently wrote this whole post on how I have three favorite sandwiches in LA and I went to get one the other day and it turned out this cafe that I loved is CLOSED FOREVER, which really sucks, and so now I only have two favorite sandwiches in LA and then I went on with this whole thing about how I love roasted vegetable sandwiches and grilled vegetable sandwiches and ESPECIALLY eggplant sandwiches but they're so hard to find and BLAH BLAH BLAH. WHO COULD POSSIBLY CARE ABOUT MY THOUGHTS ON THESE SUBJECTS?

But I liked the title, so I'm keeping it and posting this meta-post instead. Enjoy.

PS yes, if you know of a vegetable or eggplant sandwich in LA that you think I'd enjoy that isn't the one at Cheesecake Factory (too greasy, too fall-aparty, not delicious), please let me know.

PPS Yes, I also have trouble with LA being used to mean "Los Angeles" because it properly means "Louisiana", which is why I usually take the time to type L.A. instead, but no one else does and I don't feel like it, so there. The end.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I still haven't read _Howard's End_, though.

I recently read, as mentioned before, Zadie Smith's On Beauty. Here's page 69:

Mozart's Requiem begins with you walking towards a huge pit. The pit is on the other side of a precipice, which you cannot see over until you are right at its edge. Your death is awaiting you in that pit. You don't know what it looks like or sounds like or smells like. You don't know whether it will be good or bad. You just walk towards it. Your will is a clarinet and your footsteps are attended by all the violins. The closer you get to the pit, the more you begin to have the sense that what awaits you there will be terrifying. Yet you experience this terror as a kind of blessing, a gift. Your long walk would have had no meaning were it not for this pit at the end of it. You peer over the precipice: a burst of ethereal noise crashes over you. In the pit is a great choir, like the one you joined for two months in Wellington in which you were the only black woman. This choir is the heavenly host and simultaneously the devil's army. It is also every person who has changed you during your time on this earth: your many lovers; your family; your enemies, the nameless, faceless woman who slept with your husband; the man you thought you were going to marry; the man you did. The job of this choir is judgement. The men sing first, and their judgement is very severe. And when the women join in there is no respite, the debate only grows louder and sterner. For it is a debate - you realize that now. The judgement is not yet decided. It is surprising how dramatic the fight for your measly soul turns out to be. Also surprising are the mermaids and the apes that persist on dancing around each other and sliding down an ornate staircase during the Kyrie, which, according to the programme notes, features no such action, even in the metaphorical sense.

"fox-testicle ice cream" ??

So, someone bought me a very beautiful orchid, a single orchid, in a small pot. Which is a lovely, lovely thing to do, only what the hell do I do with a single very tall orchid in a small pot and a one-bedroom apartment? Will a single orchid live in a very small pot indoors? How the hell do I take care of it? How do I even stop it from falling over, since it's very tall?

Yeah, of course I googled "care and feeding orchid"; I'm not a total idiot. But I got all these very complicated websites that are serious about growing and breeding and all kinds of crazy shit. I just want the thing to last a few weeks before it dies.

Have I mentioned that it's very tall? It is. It's beautiful, but very weird.

In other news, I'm addicted to "Californication". First of all, I watch no TV at all, save what I rent or borrow on DVD, and I've literally watched fewer than ten hours of TV in the last two years: I watched the third season of "Weeds" and the second season of "nip/tuck". That is it. That's about as much TV as I think many people (my parentals, even?) watch in ONE WEEK. Anyway, I'm sick, and I've already read like three books, and I'm getting sick of myself, so I watched the first six minutes of "Californication" because a friend emailed it to me and now I'm hooked. I rented the first five episodes yesterday and watched them all. I rented the second five today and have so far watched three of them (that's it for today). Here's the thing - it's good. I mean, I kind of hate Mia and I don't really like Karen's acting all that much, but I apparently love David Duchovny and the daughter Becca and the agent (who I feel as if I know - do I KNOW that guy??) and the goddamned literary allusions. Have you noticed how many literary allusions there are? Yeah, I watch a Showtime series about fucking for the literature references; that's the kind of girl I am. Anyway, here's the crazy thing: there are people I know on that show!!
No really; now I understand how it felt for all these random people who've gotten in touch with me over the last three years freaking out because they saw 15 seconds of me dancing on Weeds. Seriously, three of my students/campers are Becca's band, Kill Jill. And at first I flipped out and was jealous, but I chilled out because, after all, I was on WEEDS, right? ONLY, I'VE SEEN THEM ON TWO EPISODES SO FAR. NO FAIR, I ONLY GOT ONE.

Yeah, those are my fever-induced thoughts for the night. Why can't I sleep? I'm sick, I should be sleeping.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm sick in bed, and on my fifth "just one more" episode of Californication. Thanks, JJD.

OG: What's your latest obsession?

Hank: Just the fact that people seem to be getting dumber and dumber. You know, I mean we have all this amazing technology and yet computers have turned into basically four figure wank machines. The internet was supposed to set us free, democratize us, but all it's really given us is Howard Dean's aborted candidacy and 24 hour a day access to kiddie porn. People... they don't write anymore, they blog. Instead of talking, they text, no punctuation, no grammar: LOL this and LMFAO that. You know, it just seems to me it's just a bunch of stupid people pseudo-communicating with a bunch of other stupid people at a proto- language that resembles more what cavemen used to speak than the King's English.

OG: Yet you're part of the problem, I mean you're out there blogging with the best of them.

Hank: Hence my self-loathing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No, you never get any fun/out of things you haven't done...

I've spent a bit of my day today doing what I love to do best, which is sit around and read (and eat) and another bit of it doing something else I love to do best, wandering around in a dustymustysmellslikedistintegratingpaper used book store. I passed over a whole stack of classics that I always pass over, thinking that there are many books there I should read and many that I will probably actually read eventually, but not now. Why do I pass them by if I think both of those things?
The answer to that isn't clear to me, but I quite like how this article makes it ok. The writer writes, "I have not read Wordsworth’s “The Prelude” six times. The first time I did not read it was in an undergraduate class on Romantic literature..."

I certainly can name books I have not read numerous times. Did you know that I also have never seen the movie "Titanic"? And just because I'm the only living American over the age of ten who can honestly claim that, now I'm pretty committed to keeping it that way. If it were playing in a room I entered, I'd likely turn around and walk back out. But it appears I'm not alone - here's Ms Buchanan again:

"By contrast, there’s something beautifully specific about the things we might just as well do but repeatedly and purposefully avoid.... I have never watched “The Tonight Show.” If I walk into a room where it is playing I will walk right out to preserve my perfect record."

Perhaps we'd leave together, and go not read some Wordsworth together.

The title of this post is from one of my favorite poems, "Portrait of the Artist as a Prematurely Old Man" by Ogden Nash. Read the text here or let me email you the mp3 of the man himself reading it; it's fantastic. Also a good option: ask me to recite my impression of the man himself reading it. Also fantastic :)


Is it still a secret wish if everyone knows it? My secret wish is to be an English teacher.

I love good metaphors and I hate that they teach metaphors in school with such boring examples as "the clouds are pillows." They (you know who They are, don't you?) should use passages like the ones I collect. Like this one, from Broken For You by Stephanie Kallos. Teens would get it:

"The kiss started out the way she wanted--aggressive, muscular, businesslike; but he turned it into something else--a beach vacation, a Mediterranean cruise--and made it last much longer than she'd intended."

I like this one too, from A Man Without A Country by Kurt Vonnegut:

"Then I go outside and there is a mailbox. And I feed the pages [of my manuscript] to the giant blue bullfrog. And it says, "Ribbit." p61

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Israeli dancer to the staaaaaaaaaaahs.

Remember that big performance I had a few weeks ago at Paramount Studios, the one where Shimon Peres, the president of Israel, spoke, and Subliminal and Momi Levy both sang and it was this huge event and I think the only thing I actually said about it on here on the blog was that tickets were $1000 each?

Yeah, that one. So, check out this write-up of the event, and check out the little slideshow of the "Main Event". In every picture in which there is a group of people all wearing the same thing, except for the ones that look like boy scout uniforms, there is me! That's the dance company I dance with (and choreograph for! ok, occasionally choreograph for. ok, choreographed once so far for :), Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble.


(It says on that page that "Serena Williams, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Seal, Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Alexander, David Foster, Bar Rafaeli, Noa Tishbi are among the celebrities who participated". Don't you know *my* eyes bugged out of my head on that "David Foster"... but it's not David Foster Wallace, silly!)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Summary: Southwest rules; Spirit sucks. The End.

So I flew Spirit Airlines last week to Florida. The weary wayfarer on Spirit has to pay to check even one bag. Our sad sojourner has to pay to select her seat online, and to pay extra for a good seat. Our poor parched passenger has to pay not only for any food at all on the flight but even for a drink, any drink. Yes, my friends, $3 for water.

So, I flew Southwest Airlines last night to San Jose. In contrast with the above flight, this one was one hour long, not six-plus hours, and yet, they found the time to serve me a FREE BEVERAGE AND PEANUTS. I mean, I could have bought myself a snack in the airport, seeing as how I didn't have to pay to check my damn bag or reserve my seat or BREATHE.

And seriously, on the Spirit flight, my knees touched the seat in front of me when I was sitting normally in my chair. And I'm tall but I'm not that tall; I'm only 5'10" in shoes... what does your average 6' man do? My knees touched the whole way there and the whole way back. I tried watching a video on my computer, and couldn't, because there wasn't enough room on my lap to open the screen to 90 degrees because the person in front of me had tilted her seat back and was therefore lying in my lap. And my knees touched when she was in the fulluprightandlocked position, so imagine it after she leaned back. Ouch.

Southwest, you rule. Spirit, you suck. That's my story.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Running: a healthy alternative to lying down.

So I am lonely and miserable and unhappy, and I am on vacation and somehow unable to relax and enjoy myself, and I hate my skin and I need a shower but I can't summon the will to go take one. So I decide to go for a run, to get away from the constant noise in my mother's house, to work up a sweat that I'll have to shower off, to see if I can outrun some of the noise in my head. I set out. It is South Florida September; it is unbelievably hot and muggy and humid, a humid I forgot even existed, living as I now do in the dry dusty South California desert. It starts to drizzle just as I set foot out the door and I am shocked at how welcome the rain is, how I have missed it, how it feels necessary and cleansing and how I am suddenly fervently hoping for a thunderstorm, something we don't get in L.A. even when we do get rain. I set out. I go a few short blocks, I turn a few corners. I start to sweat, start to breathe heavily, start to walk instead. My thoughts haven't changed; nothing is uplifted. As I near a corner, a car turns in front of me and slows, a beautiful black head pokes out and says hi. I say hi. This sexy face turns out to belong to 25-year-old Akio who chats me up and tries to pick me up. I've told him I'm heading back home to Los Angeles on Tuesday and he asks, twice, if he can see me before then. I say no and I finish up the chat and I hit the road again, but I'm not jogging anymore; I am flying. I set out.

(In all honesty, this is literally The. First. Time. any random hot guy has tried to pick me up. I have good dates, I have good boyfriends, I have good long relationships... but I don't get unsolicited attention in public places. Ever. And I am sure this particular hot guy wouldn't have given me the time of day had anyone else been around, had we been in a bar or something with any typical girls-wearing-makeup in the vicinity, had I even been close enough for him to get a good look at before leaning out the window. But still. Thank you, Akio.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy New Year, 5769

Well, here I am, typing into nothingness again.

I'm at LAX, and my flight is delayed one hour so far. I'm feeling uncomfortably bloated in my too-tight jeans; I'm on a diet and failing at it. I'm listening, but not attentively anymore, to the first presidential debate between Obama and McCain; I am struck by how little they can say when they speak so very much. I'm reading Zadie Smith's On Beauty; I am only on page 25 and not fully drawn in yet, having just begun the book this afternoon. I am vaguely aware of slightly cold feet (is it ever a good idea to wear sandals on a flight? Good for security, goodness mitigated by the chill factor), of increasingly frizzy hair (how is it that it seems I can *feel* my hair frizzing? It is an actual physical sensation, my ever-widening halo), of passing exhaust fumes from both upper and lower passageways (I have eaten too much, probably; I have eaten too many fruits and vegetables, definitely). I am sort of content in being about to be on vacation, about to be in the home of the person who unquestionably loves me most in the world; I am sort of inspired, by the reading I've done this week, which reading has reminded me of my sometimes dormant utter love for great prose. Aside from the Zadie Smith, who has just given me this small gift - is never really very cold in England. It is drizzly, and the wind will blow; hail happens, and there is a breed of Tuesday in January in which time creeps and no light comes and the air is full of water and nobody really loves anybody, but still a decent jumper and a waxen jacket lined with wool is sufficient for every weather England's got to give.

- I have also just read David Foster Wallace's essay collection Consider the Lobster. Let's digress a little, please, in good DFW fashion, to Consider the Author. David Foster Wallace is one of my all-time favorite writers. One of my many online networking site profiles[0] reads, in response to the "Who I'd Like To Meet" prompt, "People to hang out with now that I've moved to California (yikes!). And David Foster Wallace." His name appears again, actually, under the variously-named "Favorite Books" prompts as well, and this is true of my profile on each site, not just the one. David Foster Wallace killed himself last week, and a part of my brain and soul and psyche are still reeling from the loss.

Both the usage essay, which essay I've read before, and the families in the Smith book make me wish a little bit that I was a certain kind of person, which kind I am not, with a certain kind of family, which kind I don't have. And then everything gets all mixed up with what I want for my future and what kind of home life / family / parents my own children will have... and that leads us down a long dark hallway to the beat of a loudly ticking clock. Let's talk about that another time.

It is felicitous that I have read this particular collection of essays of his just now, which collection includes "Up, Simba", the long version of DFW's article for Rolling Stone about his days on the campaign trail with John McCain in 2000. I had not realized such an article existed; I was pleasantly surprised to find it at just this moment, mere weeks away from the election. I do not like this man, John McCain. I do not like him at all.

I didn't love the lobster essay itself, all that much, but it was ok; the essay I very nearly refrained from finishing (is that even possible?) is the final one in the book, "Host". It did, however, cause me to listen to the radio station KFI on my way to and from work today, and I kind of enjoyed that experience with all the expository background on the station and conservative talk radio still fresh in my mind. Here's my take on the "Fair and Balanced" Fox News and "Mainstream Media Liberal Bias" thing - mainstream media does present a fair and balanced picture, in actuality, and is also in fact liberal - BECAUSE PRESENTING A FAIR AND BALANCED PICTURE IS A LIBERAL IDEA.

God, get me on this plane quick, before I eat again. How is it that my lips are chapped and my throat is parched? It has been a 100-degree week in late summer in Southern California and I have been drinking and peeing all day. What the hell? Man I hate this diet.

[0] Why many? Isn't it integral to the very word _networking_ that things will be connected to one another? Then why are there all these different sites; moreover, why do I have profiles on so many of them; furthermoreover, why is my profile slightly different on each?

[1] APPlicable, people, not aPLICable. I get to care about this; DFW points out that people are pronouncing satyr as "satter"[*] in his essay on the porn industry.

[*] without explaining how it is properly to be pronounced, of course, unlike the case of applicable and me. I had to go to and listen to the little recording to be convinced that it's properly done "SATE-er". Weird.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The shape of your days becomes the shape of your life? Something like that.

The dance party last Monday was great; thanks for asking.

Sorry for not posting; it's been a busy busy time for me.

My facebook status currently reads: RDB does not have even one spare moment this week. She will begin breathing again on Saturday; do not attempt to interact with her before then.

I have a show on Thursday night; if you'd like to come see it, tickets are only $1000 each.

So there's your update and your apology and your post for now. I hope you're doing well.
RDB, queen of semi-colons.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


So, I run this Monday night "mostly-couples" Israeli dance session in Westwood. We dance there every Monday night from 8 to midnight and you should come check it out.


Admission is half price (which means $5 instead of $10 general and only $3 for students) and it will be an extra-energetic and fun and wonderful night. Come with a bunch of people and you can all switch off partnering and trying a million fun dances. We're talking catered desserts here, friends. COME DANCE!!!!!

It's at the Liberal Arts Masonic Lodge at 2244 Westwood Blvd, between Olympic and Pico.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Heye Chazak Vetitgaber

I'm kind of having a nervous breakdown. Here are some tidbits from the inside.

I kind of really kind of a little bit want this.

I have not yet started packing for my 4-day weekend dance camp 3,000 miles away, and I am going straight to the airport from work tomorrow. Oh, ha, it's not tomorrow anymore; it's today. Yay me.

It really annoys me that the pilot light on my stove goes out like every 5 minutes. Certainly every time I use the stove, which we all know is not very often (screw you) but it does happen. Like tonight, to boil water to make hot chocolate. That's cooking, right? So what annoys me most is that after I turn off the burner I'm using, I'm tempted to re-light the pilot light at that moment so I won't forget until two days later when my whole house smells like gas. BUT I'VE JUST BEEN USING THE BURNER, SO IT'S HOT. DON'T PICK IT UP TO MOVE IT OUT OF THE WAY TO GET TO THE PILOT LIGHT OR YOU MIGHT BURN YOURSELF. That didn't happen tonight, thanks. But it did happen once. (Apparently, I am still able to learn things.)

It's a good thing I don't do drugs. When I get wacked-out-stressed-out (like right now), I like to go on little self-destructive binges. No, really. The good news (I guess) is that I don't really have any real destructive materials at hand, so a binge for me consists of doing things like *watching four episodes of WEEDS instead of packing* and *eating microwave popcorn AND sugar-free jello AND fat-free yogurt instead of just one of those things*. I might, might, might, have a beer. But not always.


I really really REALLY need to buy a new sound system, like, right now. Really, like two weeks ago, but my wayback machine isn't working so I'll settle for getting one before Monday. Too bad I go out of town tomorrow and don't get back to L.A. until Monday morning. I need sound advice. On sound. Advice on sound. Sound advice on sound. Get it? Yeah. So, think portable PA system (not Pennsylvania, you dope, public address). I currently have this and I'm trying to decide between something like the Fender Passport, the Peavey Messenger, the Yamaha Stagepass 300, or the JBL Eon System10. I need it to be light enough and small enough that I can carry it up the stairs to my apartment; I need it to be strong enough to play music for a room of 100 dancers for four hours straight every week; I need it to not cost more than I can afford. Do I want powered speakers so I have more power? Or do I just want a powered amp because a) that'll give me more flexibility in speaker positioning, not having to worry about outlets everywhere and b) I already freaking bought 150 feet of speaker cable that carries a charge because my current speakers are not powered.

By watching a few more episodes of WEEDS, clearly, and maybe eating (gasp) a granola bar.

Monday, August 25, 2008

So Owl wrote . . . and this is what he wrote:


Pooh looked on admiringly.

"I'm just saying 'A Happy Birthday'," said Owl

"It's a nice long one," said Pooh, very much impressed
by it.

"Well, actually, of course, I'm saying 'A Very Happy
Birthday with love from Pooh.' Naturally it takes a good deal
of pencil to say a long thing like that."

"Oh, I see," said Pooh.

I love you, Alexis.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Things We Might Have Done

Home from camp, summer's over, depression sets in.
And so, a report:

Things I Did:

Hike to Nipple Rock at 5:30am
Hike somewhere else at 5:30am another time
Go for a scary but fantastic horseback ride
Walk 2+ miles each way to Coldstone's
Bike 2+ miles each way to Coldstone's
See Mamma Mia, Wall-e, and Dark Knight
Improve my Hebrew. A lot.
Go to Vegas and 600 other touristy LA things, on breaks
Jog the High Road a few times
Receive lots of fabulous notes and cards and letters and packages from my amazing friends.

Things I Didn't:
Make anything in the art room
Climb the Alpine Tower again or the Wall for the first time
Get into the batting cage or play other random sports
Jog the High Road more than a few times
Sleep, much
Send lots of fabulous notes and cards and letters and packages TO my amazing friends.

And since that accounting is not really so illuminating for you and was more for my own personal use, here's a little something for you... the long-awaited, eagerly-anticipated, critically-acclaimed Princess Story.

So, every session at camp we have a "Camp Mom", a woman who comes and stays at camp, usually with her family, to do the specific job of giving hugs to campers who need them. She also answers calls from parents asking about their kids, she deals with all problems of homesickness, she even, if she's good, bakes the essential Staff Snack on Thursday nights, so she is beloved not just by the campers but by everyone in a 3,000-acre radius.

First session this summer one of the camp moms was a woman who has done the job before and who is a very lovely lady. She has an Israeli firefighter husband and two unbelievably cute kids - one an insanely mischievous and rambunctious 3-year-old boy and the other a little girl of the so-cute-you-kind-of-want-to-eat-them variety. The girl is older, maybe 6 or 7 years old. She says to her mom one day, in their room, "Mommy, I think you should wear your hair curly."

"Why?", asks her mom.

"You know, don't straighten it, make it all curly."

"Ok," says her mom, trying to figure out where this is coming from. "Why do you think I should do that?"

"Then you could be on the microphone and dance around a lot."

"What??" says Mom, now utterly baffled, since this is completely out of context.

"Well, you know that girl with really curly hair who is on the microphone all the time and dances around a lot and IS A PRINCESS? Well, if you wear your hair curly, maybe you could be like her."

OH. MY. GOD. This UNDENIABLY ADORABLE child has summed up my looks and my job at camp by calling me that girl with really curly hair who is on the microphone all the time and dances around a lot and IS A PRINCESS.

I am in love.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

You will take my complaints on the chin and think, "It's only Amnon."

I recently read The Genizah at the House of Shepher by Tamar Yellin, another free book sent to me as an early reviewer at Library Thing. It was the second book in two months to employ the expression "chalk and cheese" which I had hitherto never heard. But that's not why I'm mentioning it here. I'm mentioning it here because of this paragraph, from page 32. Aside from the bit about reading at speed, I have to say... well, ouch.

He had his books spread ostentatiously on the table when his guest arrived, to create the impression of a great scholar, though in fact he was nothing of the kind. Raphaelovitch had read a great many books in his time, but was hampered by his inability to remember any of them. All he could recall were the titles, of which he kept a careful list tucked inside his sleeve for emergencies. He read at speed, believing that the mind could retain more that way. Apart from the standard texts he never went over a book twice, since anything of importance must have been stored in his brain the way sedimentary rocks are laid down by time. On the other hand, any book, once read, became his possession, and he could not bear to part with it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Camp is Camp is Here Again.

Well, the reason I haven't been posting in a while is that I'm back at my summer job, the Dance Director of a sleepaway camp that is obsessed with Israeli dance. I know you wouldn't have thought such a thing existed, but you would have been wrong. I have three assistants working just for me and all four of us are busy non-stop all day every day.

However, it was last summer when I was at camp that this whole blog thing actually got going, so it doesn't seem right to be silent all summer this year. Perhaps more blogging will come soon after my performance next week at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, rehearsals for which are making me extra-double-tired after already being camp-exhausted because I have to leave my dance job to drive 25 miles to dance really hard at rehearsal for 2-5 hours and then drive back to camp. Starting Wednesday everything will be easier, right?? Right.

Um, adding to the tiredness is the fact that after leading dancing last night for 300ish people from 9pm to 2am, approximately, I met some friends at 5:30am to go on a hike up to Nipple Rock, which was gorgeous and wonderful (and completely out of character for RDB, except when she's at camp), and we got back in time to shower and make it to breakfast at 9, so it's been kind of an intense day. In an utterly camp kind of way. I love it.

AAAAAaand, I know it's never a good or interesting idea to do this, but: I owe you the Princess Story. It's fabutastic.

Friday, June 13, 2008

One-way mirrors, aka two-way mirrors. (Flammable/inflammable, anyone?)

So, there are things in movies that you wish existed in real life, and there are things in movies that you kinda wish didn't exist. I mean, if you're me. So I've always been a little fascinated (by which I mean terrified) of the one-way mirror. Without getting too deep into the dark recesses of my psyche, let me just say that, as a child, before undressing in clothing store dressing rooms, I would occasionally (always) check the edges of the mirrors, trying to determine what sort of mirrors they were, and leave it at that. Ok, maybe one more step - I would occasionally address the person supposedly watching from the other side of the one-way mirror to let them know they weren't fooling anyone, even though I had no choice but to go ahead and try on the clothes even though I knew they were there. I had an active imagination (and extreme self-consciousness).

As I was saying, I've always found the one-way mirror thing to be intriguing and a little bit scary, and I'd count it as one of things I'd just as soon not have exist. Are they used outside of psychology experiments and police interrogation rooms? Are they used in actual police interrogation rooms or just in Hollywood ones? I am here to tell you that they really exist and they are really out there - just this week in my own small life I've encountered two of them.

I was about to describe each and start out by saying that the first isn't that freaky, but come on. It's a one-way mirror; it's freaky.

So, there is a dance studio in the Valley where my dance company sometimes rehearses (as do some of the contestants on Dancing With The Stars! Yes, I met Mario. Yes, these are the perks of living in Los Angeles.). The large studio at the back has one stretch of mirror that is actually a one-way mirror, and there is a small sitting room on the other side of it. It's great - when you arrive early for your class or rehearsal, you get to sit and watch without disturbing anyone. Except, that whole idea is disturbing!

And just now, I am actually sitting in a cafe (in San Diego today, not LA, more on this later[0] if you care...) with some grad student friends. While they type away at their dissertations, I'm surfing and blogging and being otherwise unproductive, yay me! So I just went to the restroom, and in the space over the sink where a mirror should be, there is a one-way mirror. Ok, to be very clear, it's set in such a way that the pee'er can look through the window side and see the patrons of the cafe at their tables, NOT the other way 'round. But freaaaaaaaky! You walk in there and realize there's a window, and you fight the overwhelming urge to walk right back out and look in the window... and you lose that battle, so you do walk right back out and around the corner and there is the same plant you just saw through the window, but it's in front of a mirror, not a window. Allow me to say it again: Fuh-Reak-EE.
(Click the pic to biggen.)

[0] So, on Thursday afternoon I met someone for ice cream, and from there I met another couple of friends that were out to dinner, and from there we went dancing, and when that ended at midnight I went to another friend's house and played Guitar Hero for four hours (I LOVE Guitar Hero. Make no mistake. If you were in the mood to buy me a little something to brighten my day, that would be an excellent choice. But then, I may never leave my house again). After that, at 4:30am, I drove down to San Diego, I arrived at 6:30 or so and crawled into bed with my bestest friend. You'd think I was trying to get in a whole summer vacation in the three days before I go off to work at sleepaway camp or something. That is how I ended up in this cafe with the one-way mirror in the bathroom, this lovely cafe that has as many laptops in it as people and has free wi-fi and yet apparently no website. It's in South Park and it's called Urban Grind, if you care. The turkey-and-brie panini is fabulous. The grilled veggie sandwich less so (even if you get it with pesto instead of hummus (which, speaking of which, are like the two most anti-social foods ever. Either it's green specks in the teeth or terrible garlic-breath, yeesh. Who invented these things?) but if you're going to try to pick the little green pesto bits out of your teeth, don't use the mirror behind the plant... someone is probably looking right at you from the other side!).

OMG UPDATE: Since not everyone will read the comments or follow links from there, I had to update to include this link to these public toilets with one-way mirrors - I will tell you the truth; I do not think I could do it. Thanks, jjd!


Most amazing review ever.

Dude, I wasn't going for any contests; I was just being narcissistic. WOW. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What They're Saying - where "they" = "this one guy I have never actually met"

Nonsportsmanlike Conduct! says
" Funny.Short.Brilliant!"

The Best of Everything says "Writes and thinks the way I would write and think if I was good at writing and thinking."

Thinking The Lions says " For once, a title that captures the essence of the writing."

AfterDark says "like poetry, only fun to read."

Have I mentioned how much I like this guy?

Also, thewunderblog used to call me "opinionated" but doesn't anymore, and back when it was at its old home, my blog was described as "The most defenestrate blog out there." I can't argue with that. Any other descriptions of my blog out there that I haven't seen?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Another day in L.A.

So, this morning I had a gig in Claremont, which is near Pomona, which is where the County Fair is held. I explain it in this way because it is the only way I know how - my internal map has one thing situated in Pomona and that is the fairground, and under "Claremont" the entry in its entirety reads "near Pomona". As for how far away these are, these locations all read "about an hour". Thanks for visiting the inside of RDB's brain.

As I was saying, this morning I had a gig in Claremont, and on my way home I passed signs for the L.A. Arboretum, which signs I have passed before (probably on my way home from the County Fair - which is in Pomona, have I mentioned that? I love County Fairs). I didn't have anywhere to be for a while and I had a book with me, so of course I got off the highway and followed the signs and decided to explore. This is what I do, what I love to do.

I may have snuck in without paying. I say "may have" because I'm not actually sure that's what I did and it's certainly not what I meant to do, but when I got there I reallllly needed to pee, so I sort of ran into the visitor center and asked where the restrooms were, and when the girl pointed the way I just went. I never really stopped to take note of the ticket prices, but it did register that there were ticket prices posted... maybe they were just for tram rides and things. If I accidentally used this ruse to slip in without paying, I hereby apologize. My mistake.

As I was saying, the first view of these unbelievably beautiful grounds (after the restrooms) was breathtaking: a peacock in full spread. Now, I have lived with peacocks for months on end, and either the ones I know are never in the mood or I was never around during the right week or I don't know what, but I have never seen even one tail display like the one that greeted me in the Arboretum today and in fact, as I walked around, I saw peacock after peacock all fully laid out. It was amazing. For example, here is my friend in a little back-side-front action (click to biggen, of course):

This may be my favorite shot of him (pretty good for cellphone pics, no?):

I had a lovely time wandering around and checking out the waterfall, the rose garden, the ponds and trees...

...the sun's rays warming the ducks:

and on my way out, yet another peacock in full regalia, but a mini-version:

Lovely, lovely, lovely.

Friday, June 6, 2008


I've just read The Discomfort Zone, a memoir by Jonathan Franzen (previously mentioned on my blog here) that I believed, until page 30 or so, to be a novel. Once the realization hit that it was actually non-fiction, I felt a deep disappointment, though if I had been enjoying the read, and I had, what did it matter? It mattered because I had been expecting all the bits of life I'd been ingesting to ultimately Lead To Something, the way they invariably will in a good piece of genre fiction, narrative fiction. A good Tolstoy, where all those different lives would ultimately been seen to be inextricably intertwined, a good Dickens in which the handsome stranger in part two is later proven to be the son of the widow of the powerful landowner sent to jail in part one, a good John Irving in which the beating begins in the first paragraph and doesn't ease up the slightest bit for the next 250 pages. I'd already read The Corrections, after all; I knew what to expect.
No, it's a memoir, and I still enjoyed it and read it to its finish, but without the expectations of It All Coming Together, and of course, it didn't. It wasn't fiction, it was Life. And the realization that accompanied all of this, that Life is actually life and that my own too, will be a memoir and not a novel, well, out of this hole I have not yet climbed.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Um, open your mail sooner, loser. You almost missed it.

Wasn't I just talking about this? I've been a little overwhelmed with crap to do lately, so today I finally got around to opening the stack of non-urgent mail I had piled up on my desk. Look what was in it:

(And, unrelated to the above and as behind the curve as I may be, you might be interested to know (but why would you?) that I am currently obsessed with this song.)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Just wondering.

If it is true, as it sometimes seems to me to be, that I identify to a ridiculous degree with whatever novel or memoir I am currently reading, that I become so truly lost in a good book that the real emotions of my real life are felt less keenly than those absorbed through the fingertips, if indeed I am what I read, for the duration of the reading it, then why, well why, for what possible reason, do I read so many lonely and depressing books?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Look, up in the sky, it's...

How can you go wrong with an event called "Balloon Fiesta"? I am going to this.

(By the way, why haven't I been to any real fireworks festivals or competitions yet? I love fireworks. And how about that Northern Lights thing? When do I get to see that?)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


See, the funny thing about this video is that the place it shows, particularly the building in the beginning, is in Simi Valley, CA, not Pebble Beach. I mean, I used to *live* there. (And I will again, for 10 or so weeks, starting mid-June...) Pebble Beach is, like, somewhere else.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I am a winner.

No, I mean literally; I win shit. Like, on the radio, in magazine mail-us-a-postcard drawings, all that kind of stuff. Especially on the radio: I've won tickets to see at least four different shows by being the correct caller to KPCC here in LA and Mix98.5 in Boston. Once, after I had been living in LA for a while already, I got a call from Mix that I had won something in a random drawing and I didn't even live in Boston anymore! It was awesome.

In fact, I have seen three shows so far at UCLA's lovely Royce Hall, and for none of them did I pay for a ticket: for two of them I won the tix on KPCC and for the third, my date had won the tix on K-Mozart.

I won a Ben Folds DVD by calling in to the fabulous UCLA radio show "Automatic Stapler". I was caller number one. And two. And three.

Here's the best one: about a month ago, I was at a fundraising event for which Jack FM was a sponsor. They were there with their "Bus-stache" (oh boy) playing host and playing music, and they had a little booth set up too. At one point I wandered over to the booth and overheard the guy there asking the crowd a random question about the station, so I yelled out the answer... and won a Steve Miller double-CD-and-DVD set. I win shit on the radio when it's not even on the radio!

The moral is: call. send the postcard. I think I win because everyone thinks that no one ever wins, so they don't try. Put the damn number in your cellphone and keep hitting Send while you drive.

Or rather, don't, so I can keep winning.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Just try.

Go on, tell me this isn't a funny headline:

GA man executed, ending 7-month moratorium

Thank you, Yahoo news.

That is all.

(Yes, Virginia, a moratorium on executions is egg salad.)

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's "like a little prayer" because your name is MADONNA, woman.

Madonna in concert in LA at Dodger Stadium, November 6th.

I am not ashamed: I really really really wanna go.

Buy tickets with me?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oh crap. Now I'll never get to bed.

P.S. How goddamned good was Iron Man? How much do I LOVE Robert Downey Jr? And Super Heroes? And therefore RDJ AS A SUPER HERO?? OMG. When is the sequel, tomorrow? Please??

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"I am 31 years older than Israel."

So, on Saturday night I performed in this amazing show at the Kodak Theatre, which show included Kirk Douglas among its performers and presenters.

And... tonight I went to see a show at the Kirk Douglas Theater. Ha!

It was two (unrelated) one-act plays by David Mamet, and one of the one-acts starred Ed O'Neill (you know, Al Bundy). Clearly next week I'll need to see something at the Ed O'Neill Theater...

(Yeah yeah... file this under "Things That Are Interesting Only To Me". I know.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sexism in the City, Part One: I object.

So, you're gonna get to read a lot of my random thoughts about the jury system, now that I've spent an incredibly long and frustrating time getting to know it (and now that my AMAZING SHOW AT THE KODAK is over and I can begin to breathe again). We're gonna start with something that happened during the first two days of my service, the voir dire days. (Ahhh, the voir dire days.)

Now, overall, I quite liked the presiding judge in my courtroom, and found him even-handed and kind and he got lots of points with me for apologizing very sincerely one time when he thought he had reacted over-harshly to a mistake a lawyer made. However, he did one or two things that really pissed me off, one being to kind of humiliate me, but we'll talk about that another time. The thing I want to describe here didn't particularly piss me off, but I did notice it and think about it a bit. I'm pretty sure that it is unintentional and that if it were pointed out to him, he'd fix it, but who knows. Here's the deal.

Every potential juror had to start by introducing themselves and answering a certain set of questions that were posted at the front of the room. You had to state details like your name and your occupation, your marital status and number of children, the occupation of any other adults living in your household, whether you'd been on a jury before, and whether you'd be a victim of or a witness to any crimes. Then the judge would ask you some further questions, sometimes details about something you'd said in the first bit and then some additional questions that related to the trial at hand, like whether you rented or owned your home.

Here are some sample conversations. Can you spot my complaint?

Potential Juror: I am a librarian for an elementary school and I have two kids. I am divorced.
Judge KF: How old are your children?
Juror: 9 and 12
Judge: What does your ex-husband do?
Juror: He is a history professor at UCLA.

Potential Juror: I am a real estate agent and I live in Glendale with my wife and 5-year-old son.
Judge KF: Does your wife work outside the home?
Juror: Yes, she is a nurse.

Potential Juror: My name is Potential Juror. I live in West LA. I work at Smart & Final. I am a widow.
Judge KF: I'm sorry to hear that. What did your husband do?
Juror: He worked in construction.

Potential Juror: My name is Potential Juror. I live in West LA. I work at Ralph's. I am a widower.
Judge KF: I'm sorry to hear that. Did your wife work outside the home?
Juror: No, she was a stay-at-home mom.

Did I make it clear enough in those last two examples? To every man he'd use the very politically correct phrase, "Does your wife work outside the home?". To every woman he'd say, "What does your husband do?". I think he loses the political correctness that way - he wouldn't dream of saying, "Does your husband work outside the home?"

Perhaps I should note that I'm not normally on the lookout for slights, to my sex or my ethnicity or anything. I am not easily offended and this didn't offend me, but I certainly found it interesting and was very curious to hear how the judge would react if it were pointed out to him.

What do you think? Am I over-reacting by having noticed it at all? Is it perfectly reasonable, given that it's still much more common for married women to not have jobs than it is for married men? Is it one of those subtle things that undermines progress toward equality and needs to be rooted out? Is gender equality a big ball of crap? Was I really bored enough during jury questioning to have noticed this? Am I still typing questions?


P.S. This post was originally titled:
Q: How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?
and its first line was:
A: That's not funny.

PPS Just found this and was a little amazed, having just said, "I mean, I'm not like a raving Femi-Nazi or anything," like, two paragraphs ago.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Israel at 60 - Unbelievable show. AND I'M IN IT!!







The most amazing show ever!!
The Kodak Theatre, May 10 2008, 8:45pm.
You only turn 60 once.

My friends, let me make something clear: I am not just performing in this show, with all these amazing performers, at the Kodak Theatre. I actually CHOREOGRAPHED PART OF THE DANCE!!! Please come. Please come.

Only a few more days - tickets still available as of this posting so hurry up and get in touch to buy some!!!! If you go through me rather than Ticketmaster, you save a lot of money in fees.

Click here to see more details including prices and seating.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Happy Birthday G'pa!

So, here's the thing: I have a really cool family. I actually kind of like them, believe it or not - they're smart and funny and, well, loud, but so am I. Occasionally :)

The only real flaw they have is that they all live on the East Coast. And that's about 3,000 miles too far away from me. Ok, maybe it's only 2970 miles too far away.

So, here's an example of how fabulous and smart my family is: my GRANDFATHER is web-savvy enough that he reads my blog. Hi Grandpa!! And really, really, here is the point:

I'm sorry I missed your birthday the other day but I hope it was great and I love you A LOT and I miss you A LOT and I hope I will see you soon.


Friday, May 2, 2008

Welcome to The Oneness-Heart-Tears and Smiles International

I find the whole Sri Chinmoy thing kind of fascinating. I've read the article on him and his ultramarathon in Harper's and I've eaten at the Sri Chinmoy restaurant Jyoti Bihanga in San Diego.

Sri Chinmoy
But here's the question: why isn't there a Sri Chinmoy restaurant in Los Angeles? And where can I buy some of his bird drawings or other art? I really want both of these things.

But it's probably about not-wanting, isn't it?

bird drawing

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, neatloaf.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Things I Occur More Often Than, a partial list

* anger (4)
* travel (4)
* Portland (3)
* ice cream (3)
* kcrw (3)
* politics (3)
* clothes (2)
* newspapers (2)
* plants (2)
* rain (2)
* rat (2)
* vocab (2)
* GROSS (1)
* bus (1)
* cement (1)
* david sedaris (1)
* donkey kong (1)
* eyeballs (1)
* graffiti (1)
* grammar (1)
* grandmother (1)
* hebrew (1)
* hipsters (1)
* monocle (1)
* moustache (1)
* mouthwash (1)
* sailors (1)
* scandinavia (1)
* sculpture (1)
* smells (1)
* stamps (1)
* transportation (1)

I also occur just as frequently as
* Colorado (5)
* apartment (5)
* shoes (5)

and of course, less often than the really important things, like
* music (32)
* movies (19)
* photos (19)
* celebz (18)
* school (16)
* food (15)
* concert (13)
* law and order (13)
* television (8)
* holidays (6)

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.

So, today someone accidentally called me (in writing): ReadDanceBills. Ha! Even more appropriate just now, coming off my lucrative month-long stint as professional juror at a whopping $15 a day - yeah! ReadDanceBills it is.

What could be better than getting paid to dance?

Getting paid to read, of course.

Well, so far I don't get paid to read, but I do get some free books. I am a proud Library Thing Early Reviewer.

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Yay, me! So far I've gotten advance copies of two books to read, The Break-Up Diet by Annette Fix and Imagine Me and You by Billy Mernit. Neither was spectacular, but they were both just the sort of book I would read. Hooray for free books!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Nude Descending A Suitcase

So, did you read my post about the adorable Kate Micucci? Before I wrote it, I was trying to describe her to someone and couldn't remember Kimya Dawson's name, so I said something like: You know, the Juno soundtrack? The Rotten Apples or something?

Yeah, RDB, it's The Moldy Peaches. Close, though. A for Effort.

And so, the last boy I dated was a few (six) years younger than I am, and someone jokingly accused me of, I kid you not, "stealing the carriage".

I totally knew what she meant, knew it was totally wrong, and yet could not come up with "robbing the cradle" for a full five minutes because I was laughing too hard.

Um, that's all. Ha.

Ok, that's not really all. How great are the designs at Glennz Tees? Hysterical, right?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Let's go to the movies, Annie.

I want to see Then She Found Me because I read the book by Elinor Lipman, who I also met and loved, and because I also love Helen Hunt. But I haven't met her.


Friday, April 25, 2008

It's Transportation Day in RDB's Neighborhood

So, yesterday I brought over my (cheap-shit) bicycle to the bike shop near my house, and I left it there so they could fix it up for the summer (I pretty much only use it during the summer, so it sits outside and cries most of the rest of the year, and so every almost-summer I spend $25 or so, nearly as much as the bike cost me in the first place (told you it was a cheap-shit bike), and have the nice guys on Ventura clean it up for me).

And then today, I drove my car to the shop and left it there so they could fix my brakes. Then I leisurely walked from the mechanic's to the bike shop (which took me about an hour), dropped off the bike at home, and walked back to the mechanic's to get my car (another hour? I'm not sure, because I didn't pay attention).

And now, thanks to all the click-to-add-destination-drag-to-change-route goodness over at google maps, I can tell you that I walked six miles today. Yay me.

But I still don't have anyone to accompany me to Says You tonight (except for one friend who lives 3000 miles away (too far even for me to walk) and one who is 13 and is going tomorrow with his parents. Love you both, though!). Sad, lonely, sweaty RDB.

Oh man: said 13-year-old boy just informed me that walking 6 miles is equivalent to running 1.5 miles. And that yesterday, while I sat around and read a bunch of dumb blogs, he ran a half-marathon. Sheesh.

The soundtrack for this post is Kate Micucci's "Walking in Los Angeles". But who does it?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Says You

I'd really, really like to go to this. But you know, with someone.

(For completeness, I kinda want to go to this too, also Friday night. But I won't.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Egg Salad, take ∞

Really busy entertaining my mom who is visiting (yay!), STILL performing my civic duty, and pretending to have a spring break during all of it (ha ha), so today, just a few fabulous examples of egg salad from our friends around the web.

0. Simple and sweet: the Wikipedia article on... Wikipedia from NeoCorTEXT.

1. Dear Lord, how have we missed this? C-vahn points out the extremely obvious: FALAFEL AND HUMMUS! Duh.

2. Infinite flickr isn't so much egg salady, but I do love that it is a thing.

3. okbye.

Monday, April 14, 2008

"Think of it as 'the unfortunate meeting of accountants with pop culture'."

Have you contracted this meme yet, this songs-in-other-forms thing?

It started way back when with the sometimes-ridiculously-funnygeeky songs in outline form.

It progressed to the "song chart meme" on flickr, some of which are awesome.

And now, to curate for us the best ones, we have culturegraph, which is not just songs but all kinds of pop culture, graphiphied.

The best thing about this page is the following exchange I had with a friend:
ME: Check out culturegraph la la la
HIM: I really like this one: [link to great one]
ME: Thank you.
HIM: Ohmigod, you made that one! I didn't even realize!

Yeah, dude. Now another friend or two of mine have submissions up there. Enjoy.

This one is for CC, in particular.

And for thread collapse &c, this is so goddamned good.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Proof I live in Los Angeles, item #57

Cholula is fantastic, even necessary, for many foods. Tapatío is a reasonable second-best. Tabasco is completely unacceptable.

(Yes, I know there is no hot sauce in that picture, but I took it on a weekend trip to Mexico with my friends who live in San Diego, so that's maybe Proof #42. Plus, I have a special fondness for the name of that little store.)

Friday, April 11, 2008

That College Life

I'm not gonna lie: these are fucking hysterical. Go watch This College Life on [the] facebook or on youtube.

Oh and by the way, walking around downtown yesterday, I kind of turned a corner fast and scraped my arm on some metal something, but I didn't really notice what it was, like a newspaper dispenser thingy or some guy's farmer's market cart or what, exactly... but later I did really notice that I have, like, an actual cut on my arm, like, it broke the skin and there's this like tiny little gash... so, like, I don't actually have to go, like, get, like, a tetanus shot or anything, right?


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

360; Or, the View from Stanley Mosk

So, here's the kind of girl I am: every day during the trial, we get a few breaks. As I've mentioned, I'm LOVING the part of this ordeal that I get to spend running around exploring downtown, and that is pretty much what happens every day at lunch time. I've gone to a new amazing place almost every single day at lunch so far and it is fabulous and more blog posts will come about those. But that's not the point of this post.

This post is about how we also get these small mid-afternoon recesses and other little breaks like that, and generally if we only have 15 minutes or so I don't leave the building but I also don't sit directly outside the courtroom door and wait like many of the jurors do. What do I do? I take the elevator to a random floor and walk around, of course! One of the first days I took the elevator (or escalator, to be precise) (or to be even more precise, escalators) to the top floor, the ninth. Turns out there is a cafeteria up there, and an outside patio from which you can look out all over downtown. From the Southwest side you can see the Walt Disney Concert Hall (above picture, right), where I park every day: From the Northwest, the Music Center (Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Mark Taper Forum, etc) (picture to left). From the Northeast side... OHMIGOD I JUST REALIZED MY PHONE DOES VIDEOS!! LOOK:

What a day.

(Those little photos aren't great when you blow 'em up, but they're pretty good for phone pix, no? I love my Treo, Dad, thank you! And Adar :)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Part 3a-c of Many

So, remember “Read.Dance.Bliss: The Day” ? Here’s the story of items 3) a, b, and c from the handy outline, from my first full trial day, last Monday (and, I think, the first time ever that someone (me) posted "more on this later" or similar and then actually wrote more on this later.)

The background is this: at one of my many jobs, I teach dance in an elementary school. One of the administrators told me recently that she’d signed up our fifth graders to participate in this Children’s Music Festival that would be happening on April 1st, and that part of the festival included taking the children to see a dance performance and that after the performance, all the students who had come (many thousands of them) would all go out to a big plaza and do a little dance together. The Music Center people had sent along detailed instructions on how to do this dance, along with a CD of the music and a DVD demonstrating the dance. All the dance teachers at all the schools were asked to teach the kids the dance ahead of time, so that they’d be able to recognize some of the steps in the professional dance performance they were going to see and so they’d be ready to perform the dance after the show along with everyone else. A lovely idea, well-explained in the instructions and the DVD, etc. I happily learned the dance and taught it to my students. The only problem for me was that I really wanted to accompany the school to the event on April 1st, but it was a Tuesday, a day that I teach at a different school.

Well, as time got closer to the festival, I realized I’d really only have to get a sub for one of my classes and maybe I could go with the fifth-graders and then go straight to the high school to teach for the rest of the day… kind of a crazy plan, but maybe it would work. On the other hand, maybe it wasn’t really fair to miss a class just because I wanted to go to this thing… I wasn’t sure what to do.

Well, then it turns out I have jury duty. All my schedules are thrown into disarray and I’m getting substitutes and canceling classes left and right anyway; I certainly can’t lose any more teaching time than I absolutely have to.

Well, then it turns out that I have to be in court at 10:30am on April 1st, the day of the festival. So I’m missing all my classes that day anyway. And it seems that the show is supposed to begin at 9:45. Which is all interesting, but it obviously won’t help me be there unless the festival were, like, in the courthouse parking lot. I mean, I have to be ready to walk into my courtroom on the sixth floor at 10:30.

It’s super inconvenient anyway that I’ve been assigned to jury duty downtown. I mean, of course because I am who I am, I’m thrilled that I get to spend some time downtown that I wouldn’t have done on my own, but I talk to other people and they’re all like, “Oh, yeah, I had jury duty in Van Nuys,” (ten minutes from my house) or “I had to go to Encino,” (halfway between my work and my home) but for reasons unknown, I’d been summonsed to go all the way downtown, to the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

Which is directly across the street from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Which is where the Children’s Music Festival is.


So: that day, I drive myself downtown and meet the kids at the theater. The other teachers have saved me a seat on the aisle, so that I can leave whenever I need to in order to be in court on time. The show starts at around 10am and I get to see about two and a half numbers before I have to run across the street to arrive, perfectly on time, for court. Plus, my students all get to see me there and feel that I am a part of this experience I have been telling them about. I go to court, and we get some instructions from the judge, and then he tells us that opening statements are going to be postponed until after lunch because they have some more things to take care of first, so we are dismissed at about 11:00. 11! I rush out of the courtroom and dial my cell:
“I’m on a break already, are you guys still there?”
“We’re on the courtyard, about to do the dance. Come!”
I run across the street and see all 3,000 fifth graders and their teachers reviewing the dance. I hear my name called, but it is not my school; it’s a teacher from another school in the Valley who has brought her students to this huge event also. Wow! A couple hundred kids over I spot my own crowd and run over to them (heels in hand!). My students see me coming and cheer for me! We do the dance all together and I walk them to the buses and see them off. How utterly fantastic.

I wish I’d gotten to see the whole thing, but the Festival seems pretty awesome. You can see the official information about it here at the Music Center website. Yay!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"We'll wave like we're pretty."

If you took some of the things I love best, and you mixed them all together, like let's say:

Aimee Mann + FRENTE! + "The Science of Sleep" + Regina Spektor + Kimya Dawson + Ani DiFranco + "Amelie" + Erin McKeown + Feist + Jenny Owen Youngs + Sharpie markers + Sia + Dar Williams...

You might end up with Kate Micucci. Go now to (or her myspace page) and bask in her adorableness.

And come with me to see "Playin with Micucci" every last Monday of the month at the Steve Allen Theater.

Here's something I love about her lyrics that does *not* have to do with her utter adorability: she does this internal rhyme thing that I've always loved and found fascinating, where it isn't exactly the ends of lines that always rhyme, sometimes the rhyme is in the middle, or the rhymes come where you don't necessarily expect them. Also she doesn't settle for the easy ones... like in "Just Begun", she sings:
Can't you see that
You're not 63 yet?

instead of just going with the easier and more obvious:
Can't you see
You're not 63?

But of course, you just gotta listen or see her. Wow.

[Yes, of course I also love Tori Amos. No, I never got into Kate Bush. If you want to recommend or send me a specific song, I will try again.]

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Part One of Many; Or, Is it "empaneled", "empanelled", or "impaneled"?

This is going to be a post in installments, a multi-part message. I have so many things fighting for space in my brain and my fingertips right now! My post of last week was part zero. This is part one. First, Department 64-style, a brief outline of what is to follow:
    0. Introduction; Background reading
    1. RDB gets empanelled after a looooooooooong jury-selection process which she finds fascinating.
    2. Trial starts; RDB is endlessly fascinated.
    3. Read.Dance.Bliss: The Day.
      a. Dance; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
      b. Trial begins, is prematurely recessed.
      c. Dance; Music Center Plaza
      d. Read; RDB explores downtown and falls in Love.
      e. Trial continues, is endlessly fascinating and again, is shortly thereafter recessed.
      f. RDB explores the courthouse.
      g. Trial continues; is endlessly fascinating and is, once again, prematurely recessed.
      h. RDB explores USC.
      i. RDB explores WeHo and finds The Perfect Café in which to sit and blog. Happiness persists.

Ok, now: Jury Selection. The whole voir dire process was really interesting for me, both externally in listening to what the judge and the lawyers asked and how people responded and acted but also internally in the sense that I was very much torn about whether I wanted to get chosen or excused. On the one hand, of course I knew I'd enjoy being on a jury and watching this whole process and ya-dah ya-dah and on the other hand, it is disruptive enough to one's life to have jury duty for a day, never mind getting empaneled on a trial that may last until April 22! So I fought with myself. On the one hand, I would lose money and have to cancel a lot of classes at two of my jobs and I'd have to impose on other teachers to get subs for many of my classes at another job.
On the other hand... I certainly don't qualify for a financial hardship like some others, like the women with small children at home or the cashier at Smart & Final or anyone else in a much worse situation than me. They deserve to get excused much more than I.
On the other hand... my missing the specific days of school that I'd miss would mean a need to re-think THE big show I put together every year for Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) at the elementary school. That kind of sucks.
On the other hand... I get to not work without it being my fault, really, and spend all these lovely spring days in beautiful downtown LA with an hour-and-a-half lunch break every day during which time I'd walk like mad and explore the world - yay!

I came in during jury questioning day two. I listened to 16 people answer the same questions and have the same conversations, and then I saw about half of them get excused by one or the other of the lawyers. I saw this process repeated with the new 8 or so potential jurors, slightly shorter this time. The next day I have to go back (but this time at 10:30 instead of 7:30am, so I'm already happier), and I watch as 4 or so are asked to leave and 4 new names are called. Still not mine. I'm just sitting in the audience, trying to stay awake. These iterations continue and the numbers get smaller (Zeno?) until finally only one seat is empty and they call one name: mine.

They ask me approximately one question; they are so tired of this long process. Everyone accepts me and we go home. That was day two, last Wednesday.

Magically, the court happened to be not in session on Thursday or Friday, the two days I had doctor's appointments I would have had to cancel had I needed to be in court. Thank you, cosmic-scheduler. Similarly, I was in court all day today and will be tomorrow, not the worst days for me, and then we're off again Thursday and Friday, days which I am supposed to be away on the ultra-important annual all-school retreat. Thank you again, omniscient scheduler-in-the-sky. Next week, in court Monday through Thursday, days on which I have no special extra appointments that would conflict. As inconvenient as this can be, it's being pretty convenient.

And just wait until you hear about the magical scheduling issue that happened today, the cause of the all the "Dance" (items 3a and 3c, above)!! But this post is long enough. More to come and please stay tuned!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I've been empaneled! Details to come.

If you love me, if you truly love me, you'll make me this.

(No, I know you love me, don't spend 14 months of your life. Seriously.)

(Unless you really really want to.)

(Of course, my birthday is 14 months from now, incidentally.)

(No, don't. Really.)

(I wear a size large.)