Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When I used to have to go into the office, I had to set the alarm clock for 6:30 am (when I was in Manhattan Beach, it was 5:30 am). While I'm in no way a "night person," I'm not an early morning person, either. One of the best things about getting to work from home is not having to be in at an exact time, so I never set an alarm clock. I absolutely LOVE waking up on my own without the annoyance of a buzzer. Since I got Grace, I have not been able to wake up on my own. She likes to wake me up between 6:30 and 7 am, usually by standing above me on the bed and licking my face relentlessly until I either get up, or push her off to go annoy Wally so I can sleep for another 15 minutes. Once she gets tired of Wally, she jumps back on the bed, I try to get her to lay down and pet her, but once the petting stops, the craziness starts back up again. I was so tired this morning that I put a pillow over my head so she couldn't lick me. Soon, I felt her back up on the bed, nearly on top of me. In fact, it seemed like there was more dog on the bed because the next thing I knew, they were both playing and wrestling practically right on top of me. I gave in and got out of bed. After I fed them and took them outside...they both promptly fell asleep on the couches. Sigh.

Monday, September 29, 2008

When I woke up this morning, it was cold in my bedroom and I could hear the sound of car tires speeding down a wet freeway through my open window. I couldn't believe it had rained, and it continued to thunder and come down lightly all morning. By the afternoon, it was hot and humid. There is nothing worse than humidity. While I want it to be a cold wet winter so there will be snow in the mountains, I want it to be...you know...a DRY wet.

I had a great hockey game last night - two goals (in the men's league) which pretty much never happens. Now I have Grace in her crate (even though I had to carry her all the way up the stairs to put her there, she's trying to suck frozen peanut butter out of her Kong, I've left an 80s playlist going for her on the iTunes, and I'm off to a game with another league across town. I'm sure it will feel just wonderful to walk from the hot humidity of the valley into the ice rink.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I had a lot of work on my plate for this weekend and planned on working all day yesterday and today. I got a late start yesterday, and was interrupted throughout the day with stupid Home Owner's Association meetings. (As an aside, I will NEVER own a shared property again). As a result of all the distractions, I didn't get much done. Additionally, the project I was working on ended up being much more time consuming than first anticipated, and instead of finishing it in the middle of the day yesterday, it didn't get done until mid day today. So much for the second project. I went down to veg in front of the TV for awhile and ended up crashing for a couple of hours. I came to in the middle of a phone conversation with someone. It's always weird when that happens. I actually, answered the phone and started talking before I was really awake. Am I the only person this happens to?

With the death of Paul Newman yesterday, some friends and I were discussing the end of an era that will happen when Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford eventually pass. It made me think we really don't have actors like that anymore. Then today, I was watching a George Clooney movie and I thought, if there was one guy who resembled that old-time Hollywood good guy, good looking actor, talented director and philanthropist, he would be it. Can you guys think of any others? Brad Pitt, perhaps? (By the way, I think this photo may be my new screen saver).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I was so sad to read in the news that Paul Newman had died. He was 83, so he lived a long, fantastic life, but there are just some people you expect to be around forever. I've long been a fan of his films (even the older ones, and I don't usually like old films). He's an actor who has grown old gracefully (his good looks never faded) and has continued to take on challenging roles. He was nominated for an Academy Award as recently as 2002 for his role in "Road to Perdition." He has directed, produced, raced cars, became the branding face of his own line of food, given endlessly to charities. Fellow "Absence of Malice" star Sally Field said of him after his passing, "Sometimes God makes perfect people, and he was one of them."

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just some random thoughts from the day:

  • Why do noisy teenage neighbors always have to play loud crappy music? Was it that loud and crappy when I was a teenage neighbor?
  • Why is there a big sale on Pepsi but not one on Coke? I drink Coke!
  • Did anyone else watch the cry fest known as the ER season premiere?
  • The line at In and Out is always way too long when I really want to stop there.
  • Time code! Time code! Time code! Why is it so hard to understand?!
Now you all know how wasted my days are.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's a sad state of affairs when, not only am I having problems forgetting to blog, I can't even remember Wally Wednesdays. I know it's Thursday but here are some photos.

I was going to take a picture of Wally getting a brief respite from Gracie, but of course you can see Gracie edging into the corner of the photo:

The next photo, she's right in the middle of things:

Finally, a moment of peace:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In the comments section from yesterday, Diane asked whatever happened to Ray Charles, the blind pit bull. Ray has officially been adopted by my friend who works with Karma. Unfortunately, the surgery to try to regain sight in his one "good" eye turned out unsuccessfully and they had to remove the eye. So he is now Ray Charles the blind one-eyed pit bull. Not only that, but he has had some sort of problem with the joints in his rear legs coming basically out of the socket and laming him. He had to have surgery for that and has been away from home at rehab. He comes home this week and we're told he can fully walk and is good to go (aside from the blindness). In spite of everything bad that has ever happened to Ray, he continues to be the happiest dog in the world. He is also the spokes-dog in the video my friend is cutting for Karma. It may not make it for the party, but it will eventually end up on the web. Here's the video from last year's fund raiser:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A friend of mine who is also an editor is working on a project and needed some music for it. I happened to have some on a drive and told her to come over with her own drive and I'd copy it over for her. Her project is due in just a few days. It's for an organization called Karma Rescue that helps rescue dogs (mostly Pitbulls). She does a lot of work with them and has done a lot of work on this video piece for a big shindig they're having. She's been stressed out she wouldn't get it finished in time.

So she comes over with her $300 drive, I plug it in, start to copy music over, and before I know it - BANG! The drive crashes to the floor. Gracie had been playing with Wally in my cramped office and yanked the cord of the drive, pulling it to the floor. I tried and tried to get the drive to remount to no avail. Now, my friend has to buy a new drive and redigitize over 40 hours of footage for her project, which is now not likely to get finished on time. I felt horrible. We did find it ironic, though, that a rescued dog was the one who did the damage. At least she's one of those friends who totally understands when things get destroyed by dogs. Grace was trying to be in her cutest mode, too. She's lucky she IS cute.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I had tickets for the Kings pre-season opener this evening. It was sort of a lame game, since there were hardly any regular rostered Kings playing. There were, however, five big fights in the first 15 minutes of the game. I ended up having to leave in the 3rd period to get to my own game across town and it was tied at 4-4. I heard the Kings won, but I don't know what the final score was. All in all, not a very eventful game, but it was good to see some NHL hockey after the off season.

On a side note, I went with an old friend from high school. The two of us had reconnected on Facebook and he lives out in Ventura. He happened to have some free tickets for the game so I joined he and his brother in law. It was good to catch up and see that his life had turned out well. I also ran into an ex-boyfriend at the game - that part was not so fun. It always sucks to run into people you would never dream of running into at a certain place. At least the liklihood of it ever happening again is about one in a million.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My mom reminded me yesterday that they're making a movie of the book "Marley and Me." The book was written by John Grogan about his experiences with his exuberant, larger than life yellow Labrador named Marley. I really, really enjoyed the book because Marley reminded me so much of Wally, especially when he was destruct-o-puppy. There's not much of a trailer yet, but I still think it's very cute.

I accidentally discovered a new trick on my iPhone yesterday. For those of you who have one, if you hold down the thumb button, then click on the power button at the top, it will snap a photo of whatever is on your screen. Handy if you want to remember something on a web site, or part of a chat in progress, I suppose. That's your Mac trick for the day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's been a long and productive day. I got a lot more done than I thought I would so I'm about ready to feed the dogs and settle in for a DVD (I think I have "21" with Kevin Spacey downstairs).

Grace got her first bath post shelter today. I would have taken pictures but was way too busy trying to hold her down. Unlike her big brother, the water dog, Gracie doesn't apparently enjoy getting hosed down in the driveway. Still, she smells much better now and is nice and soft. My friend had given me some dog shampoo a while back, but I haven't had a chance to use it since Wally has special non-itchy shampoo. Grace had a choice between cherries and green apples. We went with the apples. She now smells like apples (sort of) and dog (definitely). Once I got her dried off and let her back in the house, she ran upstairs and crawled into the bed - still wet. Ugh. Now it's time to wash the sheets...

I hope everyone else had a good Saturday, too. And Happy Birthday, Mom!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My dog Wally, being a retriever, loves to retrieve things. Well...not just any things. He only retrieves tennis balls. I had a hunting friend remark once that the only way he'd ever be able to get Wally to retrieve a bird for him would be if the bird was coated in bright yellow felt. A couple of years ago, a guy I worked with at BL who also had a Lab brought in two cans of squeaking tennis balls for Wally. They're regular tennis balls, but they have one of those squeaky things in the middle (they're called Squeakers). I tried to give them to Wally to chew on at work, but it annoyed everyone in the office so I kept them away from him. They ended up in my box of belongings when I left that job and came home with me.

I mixed them in with his regular tennis balls for fetch sessions and over time, they've disappeared one by one. Lately, more often than not, I find Wally bringing a Squeaker to me out of the garage, despite the other 10 or so balls laying around. Now, the squeaking balls are the only ones he wants to play fetch with. They squeak when they hit the pavement and every time he chews on one. Suddenly, there is only one Squeaker left, and Wally now refuses to play fetch with a regular ball. If I can't find the Squeaker and try to throw him a regular ball, he'll pick it up then spit it right out and look up at me asking, "Where's the real ball?"

Now Grace has begun to retrieve. She's following her big brother's lead. Like him, she also only wants to play with the Squeaker. (I'm not sure if it's the squeakiness or the fact that it's the only one Wally is interested in). The thing is, Grace is much faster than Wally and can usually beat him to the ball. Once she has it, she's not so likely to bring it back to me. Instead, she likes to run off with it, and tonight in the dark, she lost it. Wally was not pleased.

My errand for tomorrow - find a place to buy more Squeakers.
I hereby rename the Glendale soccer fields "Wounded Knee."

And yes, that's the same knee as last time. It had just healed and had new, clean, pink flesh on it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Welcome to Wally Wednesday! Here's the look you can expect from the little man if you're in the kitchen and call out the word "treats!"

It's been a pretty slow week. I was supposed to play hockey Monday night, but didn't because I wasn't feeling very well. I had a four day headache that finally went away yesterday. Mostly, I've just been mired down in work, doing one project or another pretty much all the time, with brief breaks to play with the dogs. Tomorrow, I get to start my first episode of the international version of the show I work on. It takes place in Milan. This is where I'm expecting to get a note like, "Do we have a SIGN showing it's the Tower of Pisa? We're not sure people will get it." (And yes, I know it's not in Milan).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I watched the series premiere of Fringe tonight. It was slow going at first, but then I totally got into it. The series is brought to you by J.J. Abrams (Lost) and is a government secret agency paranormal conspiracy type show. I do love me some eerie X-Files type shows, so I've already got this on my season pass. It stars some virtual unknowns, such as Australian Anna Torv as FBI Agent Dunham, as well as some television veterans like character actor John Noble as Dr. Walter Bishop, and Joshua Jackson as Peter Bishop. It was nice to see Mark Valley (Boston Legal) until he turned into a transparent skinned bad guy. One thing I will say, as an editor and graphic geek, is that I loved the way the show chose to title new locations - with 3D letters floating in the air. Very cool. I like the way Heroes does that, too.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm home from Washington and back to the usual grind. It never fails that even if I spend only a couple of days in the Pacific Northwest, I don't want to leave. It's ironic, because when I was growing up there, I couldn't wait to leave, and now I just want to go back. I miss the greenery and buildings made out of brick. It was nice to see Puget Sound again.

I'm also in the midst of reading the Twilight Series (I'm on book 3 right now), and since the books take place on the Olympic Peninsula, my mind has already been rooted in Washington for the past several weeks. I hadn't heard of the books until someone mentioned them in passing, and then I started to see information on them everywhere. If you're unfamiliar with the books, written by Stephanie Meyer, about teenage vampires, they seem to be taking young readers by storm. I do find them rather juvenile, and the romance involved is quite unmotivated and unrealistic (but hey - the books ARE about vampires - and werewolves). Still, I can't stop reading them. It might be because the last book I read was over 1,000 pages long and pretty heady and these are a relaxing romp, but they're entertaining enough that I'll read the 4th (and last) book as well.

Anyone else reading anything good?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's been nice being in Seattle over the weekend and the weather has been great. I think it was actually nicer when I got here than it was in Los Angeles when I left. It's too bad I don't have more time to get out in the mountains or go hiking or anything like that. Rob has had to go in to work today (a the FOX affiliate here in Seattle) so he and I are hanging out at the studio. It feels...a lot...like going to work. Except I don't have to do anything other than surf the internet. Hopefully, he'll be done soon and we can get back out into the city before I have to catch a plane back home.

I'd like to mention as an aside that I saw about half of the Fantastic Four movie on cable at Rob's place this morning. I had no interest in seeing it when it came out because comic book movies are so not my thing. I would just like to say...worst movie ever.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's been a long day and I'm pretty tired, so I'm going to make this short. Let's see...went into Downtown Seattle for awhile today with Rob to just walk around, then met with our old friend, Reid, for lunch in Capital Hill. I usually only see Reid at Christmastime when Rob and I are both home for the holidays, so it was nice to be able to see his place and his neighborhood.

Rob and I then headed over to Kent to watch an exhibition team between the Portland and Seattle junior hockey teams. Portland was up 2-0 in the first, but gave up 4 goals in the first 4 minutes of the 2nd period. They also racked up a ton of penalty minutes and Seattle went on to win 4-2.

This evening, we've just been hanging out around the house. No concrete plans yet for tomorrow, and then I fly home tomorrow night. A quick trip. In the meantime, my friend who has been watching the dogs keeps e-mailing me cute pictures of both Wally and Gracie and I miss them both. Having dogs really does make it harder to go away from home.

Friday, September 12, 2008

After being awoken around 6:30 by a wide awake puppy, I started my day with about 1,000 things to do before I left for the airport after 1. Since I needed to leave early, of course, a bunch of work came down the pipe at the last minute and I was rushing to get everything done while also getting everything packed.

I actually saved myself gas and parking by taking the Gold Line into downtown and then catching the Flyaway from Union Station. Total cost to get to the airport: $5.25. Unfortunately, I get back so late on Sunday night that the train won't still be running, though I can still take the Flyaway back to downtown and get picked up from there.

I flew Virgin America today. I'd really been looking forward to it because it's been touted as a "giant iPod in the sky." I have to admit - I really liked the mood lighting inside the cabin. It made it feel much less like public transportation even though I was still cramped into coach. At least all the seats were leather, and there were 110v and USB plugs at each seat. You could order movies on the touch screen at your seat, or snacks, or even chat with other people on the plane (though that seemed sort of odd).

Now, I'm in Seattle for the weekend and Rob and I just ate pizza at some place that was really good. I'm completely stuffed. I'm told the kids are sad but fine without me at home. Tomorrow - off to see the Portland Winterhawks take on their rival Seattle Thunderbirds (that's junior hockey), and whatever else Robert has in store.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's been a busy day. I'm leaving town for Seattle tomorrow in the middle of the day, so of course, I've had a ton of work dumped on me this afternoon. So much that it's late and I've forgotten to blog. Time to go to bed and try not to think about all I have to do tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Wally Wednesday! Here's the new big brother showing his little sister what's what:

And a bonus photo of Gracie. As you can see, she's really having a hard time settling in here.

Today was one of those days. I was doing notes on a show, and it seemed like the further I got into the notes, the stupider they got. As if the shows we do aren't dumbed down enough for the viewer (if you say it, you better see it, or they won't know what you're talking about) I kept getting notes to put signs in. For instance, this show was in Nashville. In the city setup, they said something about it being known for the Country Music Hall of Fame...at which point in the show, I showed the CMHF building. The note I got was, "Don't we have a shot of the sign for the museum?" Later, at the mention of Nashville, I showed the city. The note? "Do we have a sign?" I honestly felt that if the episode took place in Greece, and they said "The Parthenon" and I showed them "The Parthenon" the note would be "Don't we have a shot of the sign for The Parthenon? They're not going to know what it is!!"

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A co-worker pointed me to this article in Sports Illustrated today. I thought I'd reprint it in its entirety here.


BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) -- With more goals than minutes in the game, Slovakia's women's ice hockey team claimed an amazing 82-0 victory over Bulgaria in Olympic qualifying.

Slovakia outshot the Bulgarians 139-0 during the 60-minute game, played in Latvia. The margin of victory is a record for a women's International Ice Hockey Federation-sanctioned event.

"We took it as training," Slovakia coach Miroslav Karafiat said after Saturday's game.

Janka Culikova led Slovakia with 10 goals, while Martina Velickova scored nine. Fourteen different players scored at least one goal.

Slovakia, which also beat Croatia, Latvia and Italy, advanced to another qualifying group with Germany, Kazakhstan and France. The winner will secure a spot at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Bulgaria was eliminated after scoring one goal and conceding 192 in the tournament.

The Slovakian men's team clinched its biggest ever victory against the Bulgarians 14 years ago when they won 20-0."

If you're familiar at all with hockey, you know it's similar to soccer - generally a very low scoring game, unless there's a rout. I can tell you I was on the losing end of a 9-1 game last night with my new/old co-ed team that I'm playing with again, and it was a pretty long game. I once experienced a 16-0 loss and that was agonizing. 82-0, I can't even imagine.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Anyone besides me watch True Blood last night on HBO? It's a new series from Alan Ball (Six Feet Under, American Beauty) about Vampires (and Humans) in a small town on the Louisiana Bayou. The setup is that since a Japanese company invented synthetic blood, Vampires have "come out of the coffin" to the world to live among society. In theory, because of the synthetic blood ("true blood"), the Vampires can now buy their blood in a bottle and not have to suck a Human to death. I'm not one of those people who is super into Vampires (hi, SaladBats!), but I do like Alan Ball so I thought I'd give this show a try. I found it oddly entertaining in a super dark, sick, campy, there's-something-wrong-with-this way. My friend who watched it with me was disappointed, because she has read the books the series is based on, but I liked it and will probably watch again.

What new series is everyone else looking forward to?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

My day started out in the vet's office. Gracie needed to have her stitches taken out from being spayed, and Wally needed to have his senior wellness exam. (I can't believe my little boy is a senior now!) I love the vets at the office I go to, but they are horrible about getting their appointments going on time. I had an 11am appt, and when I showed up, the waiting room was filled with pets - really not fun, considering I had both dogs on leashes pulling in both directions. Then Wally discovered the kitties up for adoption and wanted to play with them. Nearly an hour later, we still had not been shown to a room. Finally, we got in, and once the vet finished Wally's wellness exam, I had her look at his numerous hot-spots. Allergy season is going full bore and he is one itchy dog. He scratched his neck so badly that he ripped all the fur off in one area. He also had a big spot on his butt. They shaved the raw areas so they could be cleaned (he now has a nice bald spot on his ass), gave him a steroid shot and sent him home with some anti-biotics...all for only $288. Mental note - buy pet insurance for Gracie.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I think it was a nice day out. It's hard to tell. First thing this morning, I went to the dentist for a routing cleaning to find out I have four cavities. FOUR!! What the hell?

Then, I went home and worked inside for the remainder of the day on this indie film I've been editing for what seems like forever. I just finally went outside a half hour ago and went for a run in the dark. It was actually the perfect temperature for it.

I have a weekend trip to Seattle planned in a week and just found out that the Portland Winterhawks (Junior hockey) have an exhibition game that weekend against the Seattle Thunderbirds, and my friend, Rob, went and got us tickets. Woo-hoo! Hockey season begins!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Another week has come to its end. I've felt off kilter all week. I'm not sure if it's because we had Monday off, because I spent Tuesday at the courthouse in fear of being called as a juror, or because I've spent the rest of the week having problems concentrating with work while trying to keep one wary eye on a puppy that can't be trusted. I was nearly going to write that we had a successfully Gracie-free day as far as anything being destroyed...until I went downstairs 5 minutes ago to find her chewing on the non-skid mat that goes under the carpet. Man, she loves chewing on that! Half the time she's doing something wrong, that's what she's doing.

I'm not sure if I mentioned my car repair from a couple of weeks ago. I'd been having problems with my brakes and it turns out they needed to be replaced. Plus the rotors, or whatever that is. AND...I had forgotten to take my car in for its last service (an expensive one). $1000 was the grand total for that day. Then two days ago, I start to get a warning on my car that "Anti-Skid Service Is Required." I took it in today...for another $650. Sigh. This car has generally run well and not been expensive. I guess when it rains it pours. Maybe I should just let Gracie have at the car.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

OK...I've clearly become the person whose blog is being overrun by her dogs. I know there are other things going on in the world, like John McCain's ridiculous choice for his Vice Presidential running mate, David Duchovny's sex addiction rehab, and many other things that would make for much more interesting blog fodder. But to be honest, my dogs have overrun my life, too, so I haven't had much time to pay attention to anything other than what Wally is itching, and what Gracie is destroying. At least there are moments like these that make it all worth it:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Welcome to Wally Wednesday! Here he is earlier this week, after I swept the floor. It's shedding season, and Wally is going at it with full force! By the way, that's just what came off the hard floors - it doesn't count all the hair in the carpets. Eew!

Since Grace ate the power cable to my DSL modem and I can't be without the internet because of work, I had to go out and find a new power cable today. I did, at Best Buy, for $28. I came in and plugged it in and was good to go...for about two hours, when I noticed my internet was down again. When I went downstairs to check the modem, I couldn't believe it when I found she had bitten through the power cord AGAIN!! I think Gracie has 9 lives. I must admit, I spent some time wondering how long it would take to get the smell of burnt dog out of your house.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

When I woke up at 6am this morning for Jury Duty, this is what Gracie looked like laying in bed. Doesn't she look like a sweet little angel?

This is the first time since adopting Grace that I've been gone for a whole day. I put up the baby gate to keep her (and unfortunately for him, Wally too) in the kitchen/dining room area. Wally had always been very respectful of boundaries. You can lean a plastic baby gate up at a door opening and he won't go near it. I later found out from my next door neighbor who let them out several times today that every time she came over, the dogs were running loose in the house.

When I got home from the courthouse at a little after 5, the gate had been knocked over and they were out and about. Here's what else I discovered - the non-slip mat under my area rug chewed up, a baseball cap (I don't even know where she got it from) chewed up in the middle of the floor, one BL computer bag chewed up, the blinds for the dining room window destroyed, the plastic plate for the power outlet broken and chewed, and finally, the piece de résistance...she had chewed completely through the power cord for my DSL/WiFi box - WHILE IT WAS PLUGGED IN! Clearly, it's time to go back to the crate, no matter how much Grace doesn't like it.

I seem to have forgotten somewhere over the last several years what having a puppy is like. And since I got Gracie as a 1-year-old, I pictured her in my mind as being more of an adult - but she is in fact just a puppy in a 1-year-old's body. I forgot how much Wally left in his wake in his first two years...books, wallets, shoes, feather pillows, hockey gloves.

On the up side, my neighbor did report that when she let the dogs out, she let Stryder come out, too, and after a little growling on both sides, the dogs were able to be out together without any attacks.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Aargh! I have to report for stupid jury duty tomorrow. I hope to god I don't get selected for actual service. Just missing one day of work is going to be a problem for me. I also hadn't taken into consideration what to do with a questionably house broken dog in the house for a long period of time while I'm gone. Thankfully, my neighbor will be around to let them out, even though Stryder and Gracie are STILL not getting along. We tried taking them for a walk together today and didn't accomplish much. It's rough when Wally's BFF doesn't get along with his new little sister. To top things off, Wally has a nasty hot spot on his neck and I've finally resorted to coning him this evening. He's pulled off nearly all his fur around it, poor guy. And if Gracie keeps licking at her incision spot from her spaying, she may get coned tomorrow, too. Sigh. I'm off to bed. I have to be in freaking downtown Los Angeles at 7:30 in the morning. Grrr....