Monday, June 30, 2008

Oh my, this is what happens when I don't post for a while. So many things that I've experienced or want to talk about. Especially because lately I've felt like I'm going through a "biding time" period.

There are a couple reasons why, and one is because the jury came in on the new gig. It's always been in, I guess...but I just like to make sure that I give things time and that it gets a fair trial. Now, I said the jury is in, which means that I've come to a verdict on it. I won't say what that is, but you can probably read between the lines.

I also haven't posted because I've been a tad cranky lately and I try not to post when I'm cranky. Several things have contributed to that.

One, is that I've been flirting with getting a new apartment and have even looked at a few. One yesterday in West Hollywood that was built by Paramount Studios in the 1920's to house their starlets. It looked like a fairytale development straight out of yes, a movie. Rudolph Valentino used to live in one of the units. It was a very interesting place but I didn't like the neighborhood. Too many people on top of each other and too many apartment buildings. It also had a super small bedroom, which is something I'm looking to enlarge. The living room was really big and it was flooded with light. It just didn't have everything I'm looking for, even though it was fantastic to tour it. I could tell the landlord really wanted me to take it, something that I got last time when looking for apartments here. Landlords must have to deal with a lot of crappy tenants, because when I flew down to look for places before I moved here, I even had one guy offer to lower the rent for me on the spot. Unfortunately, it was too much for me to take on at the time and they didn't take pets. Those were super nice places, too. Too bad, because I'd look him up now. I happened upon him by chance when looking at another place.

I'm also finding it hard to think of leaving this neighborhood. I love it here. It's quiet yet a lot goes on here. It's also completely safe. It's got all the major studios surrounding it and every convenience because of that. I walk to everything. One of the apartments that I looked at was a half block down the street, just not big enough for me to justify an entire move. I'm torn between really upgrading and just upgrading a little. Two of my neighbors whom I like moved out this week. Both are moving out of state.

Last night I took a walk and pet the cats among the mansions. The people here are very nice. One of the houses has five skunks that like to forage in the yard at night. I was watching them with a couple with a kid, and another couple with a dog when the owner of the huge Tudor house opened her second floor window and said, "Do you like my skunk family?" She was great, in her long nightgown opening her paned window from her giant Tudor. Another night I was on my walk and took a picture of one of them. She opened her window again and introduced herself. Very cool lady. I told her she had one heck of a security system. I love that she just lets the skunks be. There's a mom, dad and three smaller ones. Cute doesn't even come close to describing them. I took this picture of one of the larger ones.

Say hello to my little friend

On another night, I was petting the neighborhood cats and heard a screech above me. I looked up and saw a huge owl flying about twenty feet overhead, its white belly reflected by the street lights. It was a very Harry Potter moment.

I looked at a huge, gorgeous two bedroom today a block from me. I'm seriously considering it though it will be a stretch in the short run. There's that whole security deposit and first month's rent to cough up, not to mention moving expenses. The place is private, quiet and on a tree-lined street. My camera wasn't charged or I'd have taken pictures. However, with the jury having made its ruling on the job, these are uncertain times. I won't do anything rash. It's much more expensive than this apartment, but within my budgeted guidelines. However, it's at the top end of those guidelines. Do I need a two bedroom? Nope. But this one is a good price in a great neighborhood. If it's meant to be, it will happen. If not, there will be more great places.

I'm in the throes of a horrible cold. At least, that's what I think it is. I'm hoping it's not something else. My throat hurts and I'm getting achy along with a stuffed nose that I blasted with Afrin. Add that to the Sudafed I took earlier, Airborne that I took today and soon to be Nyquil that I'm going to take before bed. I hate colds, and felt so crappy I actually left work early. I wouldn't have gone to see the apartment had it not been just a half block walk. I just hope I can sleep tonight. Luckily, due to the holiday we don't have work tomorrow. Of course, I had to get this cold. Sometimes I think our bodies know when we're going to get rest and decide to get sick.

Off to the medicine cabinet.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

I was woken this morning to low buzzing helicopters and sirens.

"Catch the fucker already," I thought, groggy, thinking it was a high speed chase. The noise didn't stop, so I got up. Pissed. It was 6:45 AM. I put on my clothes, opened the door and saw a low-hanging fog bank. When I exited the building I saw the enormous smoke plume that was the source. It was black, twisting and angry.

"Oh my goodness," I said to myself. I walked back in the courtyard and up to the second level. My apartment building is a typical California U-shaped building with all entrances and walkways on the outside.

"It's Universal," a voice said behind me. I looked and saw my 50-something-year-old neighbor standing in his doorway.


Um... Yeah.

"It's on the news, Channel Four," he said, not missing a beat.

I looked at him, having no idea if he'd just not realized he was still naked, or if he just didn't care. My poker face would have impressed even the most cunning Vegas card sharks.

"I'll go turn the TV on," I said, glad for the excuse to walk back downstairs.

After I watched the news that Universal Studios was burning, I went back outside. My now-dressed neighbor joined me and pointed out the ash that was collecting on the ground and in the pool. Large ash clusters, probably embers that had burned out in the air also fell on the ground.

I took this video of the fire, and more pictures on Flickr. I shot the video with my little point and shoot. It was set on a lower res, but I thought did a decent job.

I know almost all of you will be disappointed, but these do not include a picture of my neighbor in the buff.