Jessielah!

adventures in awesomeness…

Carmageddon, a Love Story

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The worst of it.

I fiddled around for over a week debating whether or not to drive down to the OC to see Tainted Love at the Galexy theater Saturday night. Why? Because it landed smack dab in the middle of “Carmageddon” the nightmare cluster-fuck traffic nightmare that was supposed to clog and congest the highways & byways more than usual – which is almost hard to believe since LA traffic is almost always a nightmare cluster-fuck.

But the greater LA transit system is no Bay Area transit system so I decided to brave the roads and drive.

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Flying over the Cahuenga Pass on the 101.

The roads were empty. The only time the freeways look this empty are at the wee hours of a weekend morning.

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65 mph through the downtown tangle? Impressive!

Bottom Line: The 405 should close more often.

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How to Beat a Nasty Hangover.

1. Don’t drink so much in the first place — too late.

2. Drink a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you drank — ugh, that would be like… a lot of water.

3. Sleep it off — ha, ha, ha. What is sleep?

4. Take a Tylenol and head down to Inglewood to Lesa-Marie’s Women of Color Salon for a press & curl — Yay! What a good idea! Let’s hope there’s no traffic!

Well there was traffic. Lots. But I managed to squeeze in before the 10 minute mark so she was able to see me. Nothing beats having your hair washed by a professional. I am fairly certain that the thorough scrubbing of my scalp is half the reason my hair turns out so light, silky, and fabulous. I was there for almost 3 1/2 hours but with my iPhone and some fascinating conversation, the time flew by and the next thing I knew I was in the back, sucked into the latest Lifetime movie (they’re quite addicting!)

Photo by Ernese of Paula Young Photography

Lesa-Marie is like Rumpelstiltskin, turning my straw-hair into gold. However, she doesn’t take first-born children as payment. Check out the professional “after” photos here: http://www.facebook.com/extensionsbylesa

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Date Night!

Thanks to our awesome babysitter, Matt and I were able to explore our little neighborhood of NoHo. After pre-partying with a few cans of Keith Stone, we set out on foot to Lankershim to see what was happening.

A few pints in at Skinny’s.

We ended up at Skinny’s Lounge and had a blast. Clean and trendy without the attitude — awesome bouncers & bartenders. Although the drinks were pricey in my “haven’t-yet-embraced-inflation” mind ($7 vodka tonic which was mostly tonic), the beer was cheap and good. The music was even better and before long, even Matt was on the dance floor (don’t let him tell you he can’t dance either – because he can!)

I felt like Tina Fey and Steve Carell in Date Night — minus the whole running into crooked cops and Marky Mark. Great way to start the first weekend of summer!

 

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Power Kegels or: How I Found My Way Home While Hating the Garmin

It began so innocently.

I had the rage, all I needed was the Geto Boys

After almost 6 months of procrastinating, I was finally taking my iPod touch to be repaired. I grabbed my coffee, Mylo, and my shattered iPod and hopped on the road. The repair shop was located 11 miles away. Google estimated 27 minutes. When I typed the address into the Garmin GPS, it tells me it can get me there in 20. Nice. I had planned to drop off my iPod, stop by the mall to get my glasses fixed and buy a gift for Matt’s birthday, pick up my (hopefully) repaired iPod and be home in time to pick Jaxon up from school at noon.

We drive a total of 2 miles before the shit hits the fan. Instead of taking a route that utilizes freeways, the Garmin decides it would be faster to take the streets through Hollywood and Beverly Hills. The Garmin was WRONG. 45 minutes later we arrive and I have to pee.

I drop off my iPod (more about that experience in another post) and rush back to the car. It’s 11:28am. So much for getting my glasses fixed and going to the mall. Doing the pee-pee dance, I tell the Garmin to take the fastest route home. I pull onto the road, squeezing my Detrusor muscles every time the car hits one of the millions of Los Angeles city street pot holes. Surely, I thought, the Garmin would surely direct me to the 405 N, which was much closer than trucking back across town.

WRONG. It wants me to go back through that horrible mess of congested, single lane streets. I try to pull up a map to see if I am actually close to the freeway. The Garmin won’t let me see a map. I try to find out where it’s planning on taking me. It doesn’t feel like telling me. I can feel my anger level rising and like the Hulk, I’m about to explode. But not into a mash of green muscles, but a burst of pee! I throw the Garmin aside and turn left. “RECALCULATING…. TURN RIGHT AT….”

Oh shut up stupid Garmin. I am not going that way. I see the freeway. EFF. YEAH. I groan, squeeze, and turn up the bumpy on-ramp. “RECALCULATING…. EXIT IN POINT FIVE MILES…”

I am not exiting! I am not spending the next 45 minutes weaving up and down everybody’s back alley! I make it over the mountains and down into the valley.

“IN ONE POINT FOUR MILES, EXIT ON VENTURA BLVD.”

WHAT?? Why is this stupid thing trying to put me on the streets instead of taking the freeway? I asked for FASTEST ROUTE! The 101 S runs parallel to Ventura!?!!! I am very angry now. Angry at the Garmin and angry at the idiots on the road. Doesn’t anyone know that I have to PEE??!!??!! Today must have been Leave Your Brain At Home Day because no one was doing any thinking. You would have thought there was massive traffic considering how slow everyone was going. Nope, no traffic. God just blew a nasty snot wad on the road and we were all stuck. Stuck behind stupid.

Since I did not get the brain-removal memo, I managed to unstick myself from the annoying wad of traffic and get home. Too late to pick up my son, though. Luckily Matt was able to get him.

And I peed for one minute and two seconds. I timed it.

The Garmin. Great for finding an ATM in a jam, but sometimes you need to rely on your own brain to get you home.

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Flashback: Books!

As much as I love music, I’ve never shown up at midnight at Borders to wait in line for the first few copies of a CD. I can’t say the same thing about books. I can still remember how bent out of shape I was when Ruby and Kim wouldn’t drive an extra 2 hours north up to Eureka so we could get the Harry Potter book at midnight and I was forced to wait like a whole weekend before gobbling it up in a day.

I will let a good book totally eff over my sleep and take over my life… I remember swearing off books (like they were a hard core drug) after the Twilight series stole almost three full days of sleep. Thank goodness Jaxon was still too little to climb over the baby gate!

The other night Matt & I are watching Family Guy and Peter is reading a Choose Your Own Adventure book — rapidly flipping back when he gets to an end he doesn’t like. I am instantly transfered back to Franklin Elementary’s library, where I read every single Choose Your Own Adventure story that we had. I was obsessed.

I almost began laughing out loud when I found the cover art for the books. I could remember all of the stories as well as smell the rough, yellowing paper of the books that you had to turn oh-so carefully to keep the pages from popping out. A glutton for 80s adventure, I’d flip back and flip back, hoping to read as many of the story lines as possible. It was so frustrating, though, when you would choose totally different things, and still die. It’s probably why when I happened upon this Comedy Goldmine a few years back, I was wiping away tears by the end.

Following are a few of my favorites:

Choose Your Own AdventureYes, no matter how much you back pedal, you can’t escape your fate…

Choose Your Own AdventureI remember this one — wtf, though, how did vampires get in space?

Choose Your Own AdvetureFor a split second, I thought the disco ball was part of the original work…

And what’s with the pick-pocket co-pilot?

Choose Your Own AdventureScary-glasses android with giant yellow cell phone, floating midget, stairs from nowhere… Who designed this?!?

If you need to waste some time on the internet, check out the rest at somethingawful.com.

Ah, the good old days of bad cover art paper back books. Being 10 was awesome.

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On the Sixth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me…

… Six Super Strikes, FIVE MOMENTS OF PEACE!!!!! Four Yummy Chocolate Crinkles, Three Rock-hard Sugar Cookies, Two Chocolate Melting Moments and some fabulously delicious Checkerboard Coook-kiiiees!

It was bowling night with Elizabeth and Tommy down at the Parkway Bowl. Adelle couldn’t make it due to a nasty cold that I did not envy (I could feel the achy, sore throat, throbbing nostril-ness when we spoke on the phone) but we still managed to have a rip-roaring time. It all started out at On the Boarder where we got to have a good time discussing The Gates’ Family cat, Lilypop, being in heat while enjoying 18 ounce goblets of BudLight and one of the best mango margaritas I’ve ever tasted. Then we hopped across Fletcher Parkway to get our bowl on. We opted out of “Cosmic Bowling” (which actually looked really cool, but I think being in an indie folk-emo-rock-pop band was required, or at least wearing the standard plaid shirt and forgoing hair cuts for at least 6 months) Instead we did regular bowl for an hour and were lucky enough to have a lane right next to the bar and the bathroom!! The Gates had “prepped” us through out dinner about how “bad they were at bowling and even tried at first to psych us out. Tommy points out that we are in the 4th frame and that there were 10 pins in each frame, and Elizabeth only managed to hit 9 of them. We laughed, thinking Team Cox had this one in the bag…. until the Lizinator rolled like 4 strikes, 2 spares, and won the game 25 points ahead of the next person.

The next game, however, the Lizinator wasn’t so lucky because I found Orange Ball Medium Eight and rolled two strikes in a row. I guess I must have bragged too much because I then rolled a 3, a 6, and then a 4 or something horrible. I never got to six strikes by myself, but called upon the skills of my fellow players to bowl for the blog. Matt threw the sixth strike and then we had a round of “speed bowling” to play out the remaining 4 minutes of time we had left. Tommy started bowling in the lane next to us and threw a two ball grand finale.

 

Pins everywhere felt the pain as Tommy goes in for the kill.

It was a great night with good friends, good bowling, and Christmas Karaoke?!? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, nothing finishes a night of six strikes than Have a Happy Christmas, Row Row Row Your Boat (made popular by “Children”), Kansas, and the Spice Girls.

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The Beach, the Beach!

Well it’s official. I can return my boxes to Costco because we’re staying put in NoHo!! Matt’s un-ex-coworkers got a new deal together with more money, better benefits, bonuses (bonus!) aaaaand we don’t have to pack up and move again. Effing awesome. I had gotten all psyched about moving to SF but… moving sucks.

And so do foggy beaches. (And while I have been known to bring the sun with me everywhere I go, I don’t think my sun-drawing powers are any match for a San Francisco summer.)

A long walk down, but oh-so worth it.

Jaxon preparing for his swimwear photo shoot.

Playing together in the sun.

The beach! The beach!

Some lucky bastard stole my dream home!!

Mylo the sand-faced glorious one.

Babies and boobies.

Bottom Line: Sorry San Francisco, the beach has put me under it’s magic spell.

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It’s Friday….

… you ain’t got no job and you ain’t got shit to do! Because it’s a three day weekend!!!!

Actually, I do have shit to do… lots of shit to do. It’s called unpacking the closet. Sigh. But first, a little photo road trip I like to call…. the FRIDAY FIVE!!!

5.So long Texas heat! So long Mesquite!!

How does he still look so good after driving through the night?!?

4. New Mexico, Land of Enchantment… and little shacks. Oh, no wait. That is old Mexico.

Ouch… dangerous beauty.

Danger lurks around every corner in New Mexico.

3.Arizona, you are beautiful, despite your dry heat and John McCain billboards.

My swollen ankles. Nice.

Proof without a doubt that this boy is mine.

2. Welcome to California! Gotta love that 70 degree weather!

1.Tanning in traffic! Welcome to Hollywood (um, don’t you mean North Hollywood?)

Mylo prepares for his close-up.

Here’s to no longer walking into an 80 degree house and thinking that it’s “refreshing”, California size bugs (they’re longer and have smaller belt buckles), and our new life in North Hollywood. I will actually miss Mesquite and Texas (but not the Balch Springs Walmart) but it’s good to be back home. =)

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Home Again.

Day Twenty of Twenty.

I had to be at Oakland at 6am to fly to Salt Lake City (what is that?!?) and then to Dallas. Another sleepless night, totally jet-lagged, but at least the shuttle guy was friendly. We talked about Paris. He was planning to go in March of next year. I was envious.

It was all worth it though, to come home to my three favorite boys, roses, and animal crackers. Even the house wasn’t as messy as I had imagined. Although the floor hadn’t been mopped. Back to work, mom. Back to work.

Day Twenty of Twenty. Adventure over. Time to kiss the boys goodnight and watch Teeth with Matt.

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Adieu Paris.

Day Nineteen of Twenty.

It was too early. We had too much stuff. How could we possibly make it to the Metro with our feet cut, bruised, and blistered so? I attempted to abandon my luggage several times that morning.

We flew from Paris to London in the Air France Airbus A380.

Now that is massive.

I guess it was special because everyone was shooting photos and then we got a certificate of flight afterward. Oh. Thanks. Maybe the pilot should concentrate on keeping that big ass thing in the air instead of autographing certificates.

Three hours in London Heathrow. I spent most of it asleep on the toilet.

Me… dying slowly inside.

Robert prepares for his last foreign meal.

We board. I passed out over Iceland and didn’t wake until we hit the U.S./Canadian border. Yay, we’re home! Four hours later we landed in SFO. My luggage and I are reunited. Luckily they don’t charge us for trolleys. I guess the don’t want disillusioned Americans to flee back abroad where the luggage trolleys are always free. Heh.

Roshani met us at baggage claim with a big smile and a warm hug. It was sunny outside. It was good to be home.

Day Nineteen of Twenty. An American accent never sounded so good.

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