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!