Thursday, December 28, 2006

vanity fare

so long, twenty-nine. you were a very...interesting year for me.

hello thirty.

gasp. cough. sputter.

oh, hell... i'm fine, actually.

today is my 30th birthday, and i'm pretty stoked. i've already fielded some calls and texts and emails from well-wishers, and i've had the traditional birthday shower. (well, not so much tradition as necessity, but i plan on putting the "traditional birthday" clause in front of everything today, so may as well start off with hygeine.) i've got plans to see my darling boy and to have supper with my folks, (that would be "traditional birthday" canoodling and "traditional birthday" dinner-eating, for those of you playing along with the home game) and am anticipating the eventual opening of the "traditional birthday" gifts. i'm doing my damndest to not get all philosophical about the big three-oh; i just want to keep doing what i'm doing (teaching, writing, etc.) and to continue learning, exploring, discovering, laughing, loving, and creating.

so move me up an age bracket to check off on your forms--today i'm 30! happy birthday to me!

birthdays past:


Friday, December 22, 2006

food-celeb bloggy coup

i have been m.i.a. here, i know... mostly enjoying my time off, and mostly getting ready for the holiday festivities. i'm also eagerly anticipating the darling boy's fulfillment of his oath to fix my friggin' bed frame, but if i held my breath for it i'd be sitting here dead at the keyboard. anyhow, i'm in fine spirits because today i am all a-twitter over what i consider a coup in the world of l.a. food and blogging.

to explain: over on LAist we've been running a series of lists from local names in a variety of categories, and since i'm in charge of the edibles, i got up the cajones to email out some requests to folks who might be able to whip something up for the site. i started big, with the food guru of the l.a. weekly, jonathan gold of "counter intelligence" (et al.) fame. and, zoinks! he said yes! then, this morning, greeting my in my inbox was his list for the site.

so here is his list, called "Manifold Gifts of the Pig."

whew. that's enough for one day. a girl can only handle so much in the realm of coups.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

vote for me, please!

go here to see one of my favorite pictures that i've ever taken. then vote YES on it so that it can be published. hurry. do it now! it's here. and, if you're still reading (why are you?) go here. i mean it. go here. now.


Monday, December 04, 2006

go ask yourself, part one

since my life is, for the most part, humming along nicely these days, i thought perhaps i'd delve into me from the outside in and provide answers to all those burning questions that so often get thrown my way. of course, since no one has asked to interview me, i figured who better than me to interview me? and so the "go ask yourself" series of interviews was born. and, if by any small chance you do have a question you'd like me to answer, send me an email (sassylittlepunkin[at] and just maybe i'll answer it!

okay, here goes. we'll kick things off with some basics today.

(laughs) oh dear... i'm just about three weeks away from the big three-oh. you know, now that you mention it, the other day the darling boy randomly stated "you're almost 30!" but then couldn't seem to extract the exact date from the files of his mind. so, for the record, my birthday is december 28th. (sighs) yes, right smack in the no-man's land between christmas and new year's. i've heard every excuse in the book. i've tried celebrating my half-birthday, with somewhat disastrous results. i think i've resigned myself to it. it's about time, i suppose.

i'm not sure if technically i can call myself a professor (what are the rules for that?) but i teach english to college freshman at a university. i most often teach 101 & 102 (the two required comp courses) and sometimes i pitch in and sub for beginning creative writing and an understanding literature course designed for non-english majors. and i guess you could also say i'm writer. ha ha, ijust did! i'm a writer, too.

what are your life's ambitions?
wow, a lofty, large-scale question with just a little warm up. i see how you roll here... well, honestly, i'd like to have a life that, work-wise, revolves around teaching and writing. i love my job right now, and i'd love it even more if it had just a soupcon more security. i would love to be publishing regularly as well. teaching is so immensely rewarding. it's sort of afforded me a very small-scale fame that i think i enjoyed when i was acting. i've digressed... what was i saying?

i asked you about ambitions.
right. i'm a talker, i hope you knew that coming in to this gig. so, anyhow. ambitions. to teach and write. to keep learning about all sorts of things. to do more traveling. i'd love to be a food writer--like a sort of love child of ruth reichl and anthony bourdain. and to be surrounded by love from my family and friends and...well, yes. love and such.

i sense you're evading something...
really? (raises eyebrows) are you analyzing me? just don't ask me where i see myself five years from now. that's like the lamest job interview type question ever invented. "i see myself toiling away happily for sub-standard wages, praying for my annual vacation and smiling through clenched teeth during every staff meeting, at (insert name here) company."

well, there goes that question. so, let's a kid, what did you think you wanted to be?
a ballerina. (laughs) then an actress. ideally one who got to sing a lot as a part of the acting gig. showtunes. i never wanted to be a vet or astronaut or school teacher or archaologist like the other kids. i was so terribly impractical. i think really what i wanted to be was a famous performer from decades earlier. i'm still mourning the death of musical comedy.

favorite musical?
ah, tricky one. i have several, actually: gypsy, a chorus line, my fair lady, the sound of music, annie... i know there's more, but i can't think of them.

(laughs uproariously) for the record, i loathe with unbridled passion the work of andrew lloyd weber. i'm a big time a.l.w. hater. i also am not overly impressed with the "best" musicals of the last decade or so, like les miz, the lion king, rent, wicked, etc. although i was thoroughly delighted by spamalot, which i saw earlier this year on broadway.

where do you live? and where did you live before that?
hello, stalker! okay, seriously... i live in los angeles. i was born in vancouver, i grew up in toronto. i moved to the l.a. area in 1990, which is when i started high school. after graduating, i lived in new york city for about 7 months with one of my best friends, laurie. then i moved back in with my parents in l.a. for a few months, then got my own place in the hollywood hills. then it was up towards a shadier part of the east valley, and then down to where i am now. i've lived here for seven years, as of this's the longest i've lived in one place.

who do you live with?
i live with two really amazing ladies, l.q.t. and angel bunny. we've been roomies for almost four years now.

do you wish you lived alone?
not really, actually. we have this really good balance of time together and time alone. the past year has been a really challenging one for me, and i've really been grateful for the fact that i have two built-in companions to lean on and to, more importantly, make me laugh and keep me company--in addition to my awesome friends. i would really like to have a little house someday, but i don't think right now is the time. i get a little wistful thinking about it. ideally i'd like to not go on to that part of my life alone, if you know what i mean. i'd like to share that with someone.

anyone in particular?
yes. (pause) several people, really, if you count the guy who plays detective stabler on law & order: special victims unit.

you're deflecting with humor...
you betcha. did it work?

for now. i'll get to the hard-hitting personal stuff later.
i see. this is just foreplay.

right. just a couple more and i'll let you get back to what you need to do today.
no, please! that means i'll have to do laundry and take the recycling in, and empty the dishwasher.

what would you rather be doing?
good question. getting a massage. wandering the streets of new york with an empty stomach and a full wallet and really comfortable shoes. lying in bed with the darling boy, and all that goes with that. cooking in a roomy, well-equipped pro kitchen. watching a marathon of the "winner's circle" bonus-round part of the $100, 000 pyramid.

what's your favorite liquid?
you mean to drink, or to immerse myself in?

well, i do like water. it's so multi-purpose. and, with the right addition, it becomes coffee. which i cannot live without. believe me, you don't want to hang around me on a day when my morning coffee intake has been delayed or ignored. i book hotels based on accessibility to coffee first thing in the morning. i would rather be late to teaching because i had to stop for coffee than go the day without it and be on time. it is probably my biggest vice.

what else can't you live without?
well, besides the essentials of survival, what i would like to not have to live without would be--and in no particular order: the internet and olivia (my imac), my digital camera, chapstick, lola (my car, a black toyota prius), flip-flops, mani-pedis, the darling boy, books, a good pen to write with, my glasses, my phone, my friends and family, good options for dining out, television, sushi, flowers, my itunes, and a good shoulder bag to carry all my crap in.

thanks! i think that's plenty for today. we'll get to things like blogging, sex, and food another time.
three things i can't live without!


Friday, December 01, 2006

a little sentimental

it's the time of year when i find my eyes misting over with just the slightest provocation. i want to reach out and give a hug or two, or to confess to those around me that they hold a very special place in my heart. i'm wishing i had the time to bake everyone a batch of cookies. but it's not the impending holiday season that has me all sentimental; i choke--not choke up--over those sappy "i'm a total shit for a husband 364 days a year so i'm giving you this ugly ass diamond necklace i bought at the mall to make up for all my shortcomings queue the violins" commercials. i'm all warm and fuzzy because the quarter is coming to an end, and my nests are emptying themselves of about seventy-five students--my kids. for two of my goodbye days last week i did get a hug, tons of thank yous, a handshake, a pinky swear, and an "i love you!" of questionable sincerity. i've been making last minute deals with those who need to play catch-up, and wielding those elusive "participation" points as leverage. i got a little teary-eyed when i skimmed two sets of final exams wherein it seems those darn kids actually demonstrated that they learned something in the last ten weeks. i'm a proud teacher this week. proud, and also relieved. during a phone call with the head of the department to wrangle me to sub a couple of soph level lit and creative writing classes on the fly the news that i'm on the books for a couple of classes next quarter (which precise ones are as yet unclear) was dropped. thank god i'm going to have a job come the new year. i certainly didn't want to trade my lectures on outside source-quoting "sandwiches" for serving sandwiches. i said i'm sentimental. not mental. vive la difference!


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