Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shout Outs

it’s been a weird few weeks when everyone i know who was going to have a baby had their baby. sometimes the baby was early, other times late, but mostly they arrived on time. there must have been a lot of fucking going on last november. and now the fruits of all that fucking have emerged as ridiculously cute babies that i just want to put in my mouth and devour with one swallow. i have this compulsion with dogs as well, where i just want to chew on their rubbery noses. with babies, i’m more prone to chewing on their hands and feet, which remind me of soft shell crab.

to all my friends who’ve had babies, please don’t call the authorities on me. i promise i will not eat your child when i’m babysitting. but i will smell it and kiss it and cuddle it and tickle it and sit it on my lap for an hour in a vain attempt to make its first word “milla.” i will say, “come on, little one, you can say it even though you’re just hours old, say meeeee-lah.” and they will say it and i will be overjoyed, though you might cry since the first word wasn’t “mama,” but you’ll get over it. my sister did.

so yes, send me your babies to eat. and if you have a puppy, also send it my way so i may spend hours smelling its warm belly and getting drunk off its puppy breath. just make sure you send them to me after their bowels have been emptied and their bodies have been bathed, because i don’t change diapers or scoop up foreign dog poop. no thanks. oh, and no toddlers please. i don’t do tantrums or terrible twos and threes.

you can handle that because you are brave, fearless and infinitely patient souls who are embarking on the hardest job in the world. for this, The Milla Times salutes you! both to the new moms and dads and the old ones, good job on having the kid you just had. one day, i hope to join your ranks, but for now my dogs will have to bear the brunt of my impatience and neglect.

here’s a rundown of the new child army:
  • Allison Rona and Nick Stevens spawned Rhys Rona Stevens. apparently Rhys is pronounced Reece, which i didn’t know until i looked it up. Rhys is the first kid for Nick and Ali and my guess is that i’m gonna get to know him pretty well, despite the fact that his parents live in san francisco. maybe this will be prompt them to move back to LA, closer to family.

  • Jeremy and Heather Nisen brought out second son Gram to play with his big brother Judah. Jeremy is a longstanding friend, former coworker and frequent commenter who lives in Santa Barbara with his beautiful, dark-haired family. Heather is a super mom and all around saint.

  • Mo’s brother Brandon (Bo?) and his lovely, yet surely tired wife Christy, welcomed their third child, a girl, to join her older siblings in their quest of depriving their parents of sleep.

  • friends i know mostly through facebook nowadays: Randy and Melody Johnson: Grace Hope joins big bro Randall; Nathalie and Jason JosephLynch: Anais joins bro Ettiene.

  • even fellow blogger Heather "Dooce" Armstrong birthed her second daughter in the past few weeks, Marlo, who joins older sister Leta. for the uninitiated, Heather is only the most famous personal blogger on the internet. she’s also a former neighbor of mine whose dog Chuck had a torrid love affair with Juice when they were puppies.

honorable shout out to Miguel and Tara Collins whose baby Micaela is already a few months old but she’s remarkably cute so she deserves mention. there are a few more babies baking in the oven who are due to pop out in the coming months: Doug and Christina Segovia’s spawn among them. good luck to all the parents! and welcome to this cruel world, babies!

i also want to send a special shout out to my future baby daddy, Mo, who has quit smoking recently. next to parenting, quitting smoking is up there with the Most Difficult Things Ever, so congratulations to Mo for the progress he’s made. i also need to thank him for doing the bulk of the cooking and household chores in the past few weeks while i’ve spent weeknights and weekends getting through freelance work.

oh yeah, i need to thank the kind universe for that, who’s apparently still a reader of Milla Times. thanks, universe, for sending me money by way of an overwhelming amount of freelance work, and thanks for those few good nights of sleep you also sent my way. thanks, everyone else too. thanksgiving must have come early this year, because i’m feeling appreciative and giddy with this whole miracle of life thing. babies for everyone! i’ll take mine with a side of ranch.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Still Counting

right after i blogged about my seasonal battle with insomnia — an entry the universe surely read — i was subject to a string of restful nights of sleep, plus a weekend full of naps. yes, you read that right: NAPS! they weren’t particularly long naps, averaging maybe half an hour, but they did plenty to replenish my sleepy self. so yay for NAPS! my new band name is NAPS! did i mention i took NAPS! over the weekend?

these restful nights lasted exactly one week before evaporating, so if you’re still reading this, universe, please come back and perform the insomnia exorcism again. we didn’t expunge the demon all the way last time. he’s still lingering in my bed, eating crackers unapologetically and demanding that we watch all-night marathons of Tales From the Crypt together. i think he’s even possessed Mo, who now also complains each morning of “sleeping like shit last night.” i see some midnight scrabble tournaments in our future.

but this insomnia is different and doubly antagonistic because it has as much to do with anxiety as it does with the weather. this is not unusual for me, as stress has ruined many a night of sleep for me in the past. and thankfully this time isn’t as bad as that one winter i spent “being a freelancer” (read: unemployed), when i was grinding my teeth each night and had to get a mouth guard. so no need to cart me off to the sleep clinic just yet.

but there are a few things occupying that usually empty space three feet above my ass, and because the universe has proved itself to be a Milla Times reader in the recent past, i’m hoping that disclosing my list of stressors here might invite another exorcism, one that brings satisfying sleep to my bed and bags of money to my doorstep. here’s hoping:

  • money: duh! this is an obvious, enduring concern for me, as it is for almost everyone, but it’s been more bothersome lately for a multitude of reasons. home loan notwithstanding, this was supposed to be the Year of Paying Down Debt, which i have indeed done, but not to the point of eradicating it as i had hoped, only reducing. i realize that reducing is better than nothing, certainly better than accruing, but the dent should have been much bigger. though given the fact that my company fell on hard times and forwent raises this year, it couldn’t be.

  • home repairs: this goes hand-in-hand with money worries and has the unfortunate side effect of accruing debt instead of eradicating it, but i’m comfortable with this because 1) home improvements typically increase a home’s value, which will come in handy when i sell many years from now; 2) many of these improvements will increase the house’s energy efficiency, which will ultimately save me money and also qualify for all sorts of tax credits and consumer rebates; and 3) a pleasant home environment will impact my mental health in positive ways. when i try to explain all this to the myriad lenders i’ve called in search of a HELOC, i’m met with testy brokers who say, “if you bought your house last year, you’re probably ‘underwater,’ so unless the house appraises for more than you paid for it, you’ll never qualify for a loan. call us once the market turns around.”

  • work: just days after last month’s layoff came to decimate 10% of my company’s staff, the rumor mill starting churning again, predicting evil tidings for the fall. as with all rumors, i take these with a grain of salt, whatever that means. seriously, though, why would we take uncertain news with a grain of salt? vicodin and cocktails i can understand, but why salt? i don’t get it. in any case, i’m too sleepy to react in any meaningful way to these rumors, but because i’m not dead, i can’t say that they haven’t unnerved me.

  • technology: now five years old, my iBook is beginning to act like a menopausal woman with hot flashes who overheats when three applications are running. and whenever i try to watch a video online, out comes a curmudgeonly old man who’s apparently never heard of streaming video and says, “what is this YouTube website you kids like? i don’t have the bandwidth for that. let’s freeze up your screen instead and maybe you’ll use this time to call your mother.”

  • ants: please spare me the obvious advice because i’ve tried everything: ant traps filled with poison, spray bottles filled with vinegar, sealing the openings with caulk, dousing the area with cinnamon and cayenne, eliminating all food and water from the premises and so on. these methods have been effective and i haven’t seen an adult ant in weeks, but now the babies have hatched and come for revenge. these are so tiny that they managed to wiggle into the (supposedly) air-tight container i bought to store the dog food, which now makes TWO 40-lbs bags of dog food ruined by ants. even my dreams are populated by ants lately. when i open my tired eyes each morning, ants are my first thought and usually the first thing i see when i step into the kitchen. i wonder if they can be trained to make me a cup of coffee. it’s the least they could do.

okay, universe. your turn.

Monday, July 20, 2009

One-Hit Wonders: July 2009

  • tug of war nipple

  • 38ddd breasts are awesome

  • i caught my sister fucking our dog

  • i had sex now i'm always coughing and feeling sick

  • hives after consuming ecstasy

  • my high school sucks my lactating tits

  • milla jovovich mouth stretch

  • drunken night wife stories

  • i'm 40 and suddenly single

  • outgrow college boyfriend

  • where are the prostitutes in highland park california

  • straight man fucking othere man for money for mobile phone

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Countdown to Fall

i thought i was ready for the summery weather, even excited for it as it meant my pasty white skin could turn a healthy pink, but now i find myself making peace (again) with a fundamental truth of my life: the sun and i are not friends. at best, we’re frenemies who get catty with each other the longer we hang out. plus, that bitch has got some fat ankles. i could never be friends with a sun like that.

the worst part about this heat is how it totally obliterates my sleep. it’s been several weeks now since i’ve had a satisfying night of slumber. when i go to bed each night, the first thing i can count on is a fun-filled hour of shifting from one uncomfortable position to another. then when sleep finally does come, it’s light and fleeting, punctuated by more tosses and turns, frequent pee breaks and sometimes nightmares.

i’m not normally prone to insomnia — i’ve always fancied myself a Champion Napper — but every summer it finds me like a collection agency finds a debtor. and when the calls start coming, they disrupt EVERYTHING, including otherwise calm moments when the phone isn’t ringing, like during the day when sleep is neither a priority nor a possibility but is still tormenting me with weary eyes and gnawing fatigue. i’m exhausted all the time. focusing is difficult. sometimes i forget my own name.

night times are even worse. around 3am, i’ll find myself wandering aimlessly around the house, trying not to wake up Mo by tripping over furniture in the dark. often i’ll step onto the deck to take in some fresh air, which has the cruel side effect of waking me up even more. at this point, one or both dogs will join me and stretch across my feet, yawning.

i’ll sit there for minute or two and look around nervously. it’s eerily quiet at 3am, the type of quiet that exists right before a meteor hits the earth or a dirty bomb incinerates los angeles. at these moments, i’ll begin thinking that something dreadfully awful is about to happen and that i’m going to be the only one awake to witness it.

in fact, i’m convinced that the only reason i woke up in the middle of the night is because i alone saw The End coming, and i needed to be awake to do something about it. though i’m never really should what i should do, so i don’t do anything and instead stand on my deck just waiting and waiting for something to happen. and when it doesn’t i crawl back into bed, annoyed that the sleep deprivation is now making me incredibly paranoid.

on other nights, i feel more mystical than paranoid. i’ll stare up at the big summer sky while contemplating the twinkly stars and mysterious universe. i’ll think about the earth spinning on its axis, with me as just a tiny speck among many that amount to both nothing and everything, and how the stars and i are made of the same organic matter, and wouldn’t it be cool to be a star in the sky with a view of the earth. it’s like being a bird but better because you don’t have to worry about foraging for food when you’re a star. you can just sit, twinkle and wait for people to pin their wishes on you.

i’ll make a few wishes of my own while sitting in the almost twilight, which provides the perfect backdrop for thinking Really Deep Thoughts, original thoughts i always want to write down because i’m sure they’ve unearthed some previously unknown truth about the inner workings of the human soul. but that sounds like too much effort to make in the middle of the night, so i end up crawling back into bed, annoyed that the sleep deprivation is now making me incredibly pretentious.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The 12th Time I Turned 21

Morning Love Note
birthday, bitches! i’m a little late on this, but my 33rd birthday came and went recently, leaving me a year older, none the wiser and a little more wrinkly. this may come as a shocker, but this is the oldest i’ve ever been and what’s more shocking is that i’m OK with it.

French Toast with Preserves
birthday breakfast: the morning of my birthday, Mo asked what i wanted to eat, saying he would make it for me. in true toddler fashion i yelled, “i want birthday cake for breakfast!” so he whipped up some french toast and drenched it in syrup and strawberry preserves. and with a candle and birthday song, my big day was underway.

Mo in the Kitchen
what i came home to: the big day, which fell on a friday this year, was spent off of work and out of the house, indulging in whatever decadence my aging heart desired. this meant a steam room visit, hour-long massage and shopping spree in which i bought many cute tops. when i came home, dinner was on the table.

The Birthday Menu
Chef Mo: i’ve always dreamed of having a personal chef and Mo made it happen this year by gifting me his kitchen skills for the day, which produced impressive food that tasted even better than it looked.

Dinner Is Served
the starter: we began with some lovely cold cream of avocado soup that, surprisingly, tasted nothing like guacamole and more like delicious.

Red Snapper with Brabant Potatoes, courtesy of Mo
the main event: then came the red snapper fillet, which was dusted with cajun seasonings for a little kick, served over brabant potatoes, also kicky.

Sugar on the Rice Fritters
more cake! dessert was Mo’s mom’s amazing rice fritters recipe, deep fried and sprinkled with sugar, which made for one fat and happy birthday girl.

Tequila Shots
time for refuel: after dinner, i desperately needed to nap, but Mo and i had a party to go to, so we down some red bull and brought out the tequila.

Raidis Toasts
not really: as a russian, i prefer vodka to tequila, so Raidis had to do my shot for me, which she perfected many times over. she also had to host our combined annual birthday party, as my house still isn’t ready for primetime.

Raid and Me
we’re not pregnant: we’re just hiding rice fritters under our tops.

Deo and Ali
however, Ali is pregnant: and here’s Deo kindly providing her unborn child an initiation into the life he can look forward to living. lucky kid.

Jessica, Juan, Buck
kitchen antics: Jessica, Juan and Joe confirm that the alcohol was in the kitchen.

Group Shot
meanwhile: people with drinks also made it outdoors, where they laughed and socialized and had a good time that didn’t result in the police showing up.

no, my forehead! Zee is under the mistaken impression that her forehead is too imposing, to which i say, “tyra.”

another one: apparently, Marina does not like her profile, to which i say, “oprah.”

Raidis and Cassie
this is how you do it: Raidis and Cassie, who hadn’t seen each other for many years, provided the miles of smiles.

Buck and Ann
Buck and Ann also ham: there are a few more party photos here.

Mo and Me
the sexy chef and i: we stayed at the party far too late, wrapping up the night after 3am before heading home and collapsing into bed with a belly full of rice fritters. in short, a delicious day in every way.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Let Me Count the Ways

oh july! how i love thee eternally, for you always remind of summer vacations, even though i’m a working stiff now who can’t take summers off anymore like i could when i was middle-school-aged and carefree, and spent days at the mall with my friends, hanging out in arcades and making eyes at boys — “he was totally checking me out!!” — while wearing blue-and-yellow eye shadow stolen from my mom’s makeup kit, applied haphazardly and looking quite garish, though it didn’t matter because it was eye shadow that i considered myself old enough to wear, forget what my mom had to say. plus she would never find out anyway because i would lick my palm and remove all traces of the color on my way home in time for dinner.

oh july! how you and i go way back, way way back, almost as far as the stone age, or maybe it was 1988, the same summer i turned 12, got my first period and became obsessed with “Days of Our Lives” and man, wasn’t Bo the most handsome man ever with that beard? he had a boat on the show that he named The Fancy Face and i was sure he meant me despite the fact that my face was fancy with pimples at the time, but i knew he would still love me unconditionally because he still loved his girlfriend on the show who one day woke up to find herself deaf and even forgave his mother for not telling him that his archnemesis across town was actually his father from a tryst his mother had 30 years back during a hot Salem summer, i’m sure it was in july.

oh july! do you remember that one time we were hanging out with my cousin Gitella, i was probably 9, and we were giggling and trying to see who could fart the loudest, and she accidentally fell off a bar stool and onto the floor, which somehow caused a giant wall mirror to fall on top of her and shatter into a million little pieces, pieces that wedged into her skin and made her bleed like something out of a horror film, streaks and streaks of blood down her freckled face. she was crying and i was crying, worried about those seven years of bad luck we would surely have. then a neighbor came to our rescue and helped clean up our mess and reassured us that everything would be ok, though i knew it wouldn’t be ok because my father was going to kill me when he got home, but my mom came home first and i begged her on hands and knees, crying hysterically, not to say anything to my dad. and she was a champ and didn’t say anything and instead took the blame for the whole thing, saying she closed the screen door too hard and the mirror fell because of that, nevermind all the bandages on my cousin’s face, they were because of something else. and he bought it.

oh july, do you remember me? because i remember you.