THE SECOND CHANCE (or: Sorry, no co-workers allowed)

Saturday, November 26, 2005
It's been a long time since I've posted, and I've got all the usual excuses that have kept me from the computer -- work's too busy; life's so stressful; the condo has us working every weekend; friends have been in from out of town; I've gotten out of the habit; etc.

But with Thanksgiving this year, I had a few free moments to breathe, and I went back to reading a lot of other friends' blogs and realized how much I had missed them, and how much I missed taking uninvited glimpses into other peoples' lives.

I'm going to try to be a little more frequent -- and a lot less reliable, but we all know how that works.

Happy Thanksgiving. I'll put up a post about Thanksgiving, the unexpected expectations that the holiday brings and my adulation of Jodie Foster's film HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS later on this weekend.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005
It's Your Civic Duty
Today, after months of avoiding it, I made my way downtown to show up for court-appointed Jury Duty.

I seriously don't mind the notion of what Jury Duty stands for -- I've been a case in my time, but it's the timing that always gets things so screwed up. This week happens to be actually OK for me, so I kept the appointment and showed up at 7:45 am...although I have to admit, I had no idea I'd be making a long walk from the Juror Parking Structure to the Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles.

But the biggest perk of them all?

I'm writing to you from a DSL-equipped computer at the back of the jury pool room. Someone suggested they put in a bunch of computers and internet access for the people who were stuck in a room, sitting and waiting (as I am right now...)...and voila! Here I be.

I wish I hadn't rushed and written my Sudoku post so early this morning. If I had known I would've had time to write it from here...I would have something interesting to say.

Well, this will have to suffice: During the lunch break, I walked to the Mall That Time Forgot, also known as the Los Angeles Mall, just steps from the Criminal Courts building on Temple.

The lines were too long for the food places (including a brand-new Quiznos -- obviously keeping jurors and district attorneys satiated into their work days!), so I decided to go to B Dalton's, the same bookstore where I purchased the then-new hardcover of HANNIBAL from Thomas Harris on my LAST full-term jury duty service.

I casually looked at the games section to see if they had any Sudoku books...knowing they probably would -- and was kind of disheartened when there were none to be seen.

But on my last look as I walked out of the shop, I saw a full display with FOUR books.


I bought two of them. And now I'm going to play them.

My obsession lives on.

Sudoku Fever!
I hate trendy things.

If it's trendy, you can almost definitely count me out.

Fortunately for me, Jerry tends to feel the same way.

We incessantly mock those around us who wear the Lance Armstrong yellow wristbands -- sneering at them as we laugh at the comparisons to those jelly bracelets Madonna made so fashionable back in 1985.

Guys with man purses? Well, except for Other Drew, who looks good in a 'murse,' we tend to scoff.

But this past week we got caught up in the latest trend to hit your local newspaper -- SUDOKU!

Sudoku is an insidious little puzzle game that is now on most newspaper crossword pages. It takes a 9x9 grid, broken into 9 smaller grids of 3x3 and poses a simple challenge: to solve the puzzle, each row, column and box has to contain each of the numbers 1 through 9. It starts off easily enough -- kind of like those old fill-in-the-blanks crossword puzzles, but very quickly, you get pulled in...and then it becomes an obligation to try to finish it...almost an obsession.

And if there's one thing Jerry and I like, it's a challenge. So, this past week we decided to start joining the nation -- let's Sodoku, baby!

But last night, after one miserably long, after-work evening with one of the easiest of the Sudoku puzzles (the ones labeled GENTLE, almost mockingly so...), I think our love affair with Sudoku is over.

After 3 long hours of trying to fill in the blanks and crack its almost ingenious code, Jerry and I both tumbled into bed as broken men, doomed to hours of Tetris-like hallucinations...trying to put numbers into boxes instead of twist shapes that fall from the top of a video game screen. It was the moment we realized we were both obsessed...and beaten.

This, my friends, is why I hate trends.

(PS: I have to admit in a moment of honesty -- Jerry actually completed his Sodoku. I was close, but then realized one row had two 3's in it...meaning I had failed miserably, and I had no way of knowing how to fix it. So, I was the failure. But my failure impacted Jerry, as I couldn't put the stupid thing down.)

Saturday, August 06, 2005
You Know You're Getting Old When...
* ...You finally make it back to the gym and nearly die after only 30 minutes on the treadmill -- and not even running the whole time!

* ...Your shrink decides to try another anti-depressant to couple with your current one to help with a recent onslaught of anxiety! Welcome to the wonderful world of Zoloft, I say! (Or, as Jerry calls it, Vitamin Z.)

* ...Your barber (or haircutter, whatever it is one should call the person who cuts your hair) confirms your fear -- that yes, indeed, there are a few gray hairs poking through in there.

* Your barber watches his tip decrease when one makes a self-deprecating remark about one's hair being thin, and he smiles and nods, adding, "Well, long hair is not going to be your friend anymore. It makes your thin hair look stringy."

*...The worst piece of mail you receive is from the Homeowners' Association, announcing that they've determined the puddles of water existing in the shared garage are actually the remnants of a leak coming from...YOUR BATHTUB/SHOWER! Fix it, ASAP. (That one seriously shut me down for days.)

*...The greatest Friday night you can ever imagine is coming straight home from work, eating Papa John's leftover pizza and watching TEACHERS on BBC America with the greatest boyfriend in the world. (And then going to sleep at 10:30 pm.)

*...The best thing that aforementioned greatest boyfriend in the world can do is to figure out how to configure the two Tivos in the condo and link them up so that we can watch a bunch of pointless reality shows in EITHER ROOM...ANYTIME WE WANT TO!!!

*...The fear that Eric/Cappy will make it back into the Big Brother house over Kaysar can keep you awake at night.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005
My Little Sister
My little sister is going through a very rough time.

She's the strongest, smartest, brightest, funniest, most talented girl in the world, and she doesn't deserve an ounce of the pain she's suffering through right now.

Everytime I think about my aggravation with the new condo, upset over a work problem, discomfort from a summer cold, I'm going to think about Susie, and how she's doing.

I love you, Susie. I wish there were something more that I could do.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Home Again (this time with a cold)
We've moved.

The moving cards are being printed; they'll be addressed next week; and we're still living out of boxes.

But, we've moved.

Leaving the old apartment where I spent 12 long years of my life was harder than I even thought it would be (and I was prepared for it to be hard), but once we got the furniture into the new place and I realized how much more room we had, it made the sting a little less painful.

It's still hard for me to drive home from work; my car seeming to automatically drive over to the old place -- and, sentimentally, I sometimes still drive past the parking garage, where I feel like my car gets wistful and wants to turn into it.

We left a few pieces of furniture in the place -- junk that was either too decrepit or too bulky to move on our own. And I wonder if the new people will keep it or be disgusted by it.

I also left a gift pack of CK ONE in the closet, simply because I can't even stand the thought of packing it, let alone wearing it like I used to. And I wonder what the new people will do with that.

In the move and the garage sale (which netted us about $300), a lot of dust was stirred up, which caused a terrible allergy attack -- which, in turn, sparked a nasty summer cold.

And you all know how fun it is to be sick when it's 100 degrees outside.


Saturday, July 09, 2005
Moving Out
With great apologies for the lack of movement around here, I thought I'd just pop in for a moment to explain that the move to the new condo will finally take place this NEXT weekend. So, for lack of a better explanation, we're up to our eyeballs in packing boxes, packing tape, clutter, garbage and an ever-expanding pile for the sure-to-be-a-hit garage sale.

Super huge mad props go to the bf, who spent all of last week packing while I was either covering new TV show shoots, or spending a few days in NY, overseeing a troubled show that features 17 young girls living in a house together.

Having NEVER moved since I arrived in Los Angeles 12 years ago, you can only imagine the things I'm finding. (Jerry actually pointed out that I've spent MORE than 1/3 of my entire life dwelling in this humble wonder it's so hard to think of leaving it.) Unearthing some old photos brought back glorious memories -- and the realization that I'm actually getting old. (Looking at pictures where I could be classified as dangerously Lohan-esque make me pine for those old 29"-waisted pants. And to think I used to think I was fat...If I only knew where 12 years would take me...)

So, say a prayer that my mental faculties will hold up for just 10 more days...just long enough to clean out the old place and get the new place in moderately functioning order.

Goodbye, good old Sweetzer Avenue apartment. The memories you've given me are irreplaceable. Here's to the condo -- a mere 1.2 miles away. May it be filled with calmer, more peaceful memories.

Friday, June 17, 2005
Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream...
It's been such a long time since my last post, it's hardly fair to just jump in and recount the evening of peculiar dreams I had, but I uncovered a most surreal feeling when I sat down to type.

The dream I most want to talk about may be almost identical to a dream I wrote about on my former blog -- a blog I had to remove. And for almost 24 hours, I didn't remember that I basically already had this dream.

Now I need to go back into my printed-out archives (not having been intelligent enough to store them electronically), and hopefully I can uncover my former dream and compare it to the one from Wednesday night.

In order to save time, I won't tell this dream yet, but I'll update you on the status of life.

We have another work screening in Santa Barbara on Tuesday, and -- once again -- it overwhelms each of us at the office in different ways. I'm only presenting two pilots -- one was completed WEEKS in advance (a first for us) and the other will take up much of the upcoming weekend.

The condo is in that state where I finally cracked and called it "A fucking money pit and I wish we hadn't bought it," an exaggeration which was a) petulant; b) caustic; c) melodramatic; and d) enough to push Jerry to turn on his emergency Drew-Attitude-Brake-Alert (tm), a handy tool for those who deal with me frequently. (Sorry, not available for blood relatives.)

It's overwhelming because the place is physically a mess, with paint on the carpet, blinds that need to be ripped out of the walls, floors that need to be done, a kitchen that can't be redone inexpensively enough for us right now, and a kitchen sink that should be scrubbed with more bleach than any countertop in the history of countertops.

On top of that, in my stress mode (which seems to be my primary operating system now), I have been eating WAY more than I've been active. Which means -- I've gained weight, a common occurrence to me, but with the temperature rising, it only brings more discomfort to my slender frame.

Margaret is due to have her baby at ANY MINUTE (poor thing), and the day she does, Chloe will have us spend the night with her, something that considerably outweighs the fact that she'll have a new baby brother. The other day, out of sheer boredom, perhaps, she asked her Mom to have the baby that day, because she'd like Jerry to come over and "bring his video games." Priorities.

I'll write more about those dreams -- and high school friends -- and the disarming comfort of an embrace.

Thank God I see my shrink this morning.


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