an important goal

I dream of a time when I have JUST ONE streamlined password to everything.  

One user name : My name, first and last, no caps

One password : Something easy to remember and spell yet not guess-able that meets the rules of whoever governs passwords.

I used to have just one, but then time went by and I signed up for a bunch of new membershippy things for my Realtor life and now for the most part I just have slight variations of the same password.  And these days you have to have like 8 digits, at least one number, and a capital letter.  BARF.  And then I'll get an email from one of them telling me my account has been compromised and that I need to change it to something new and then it's hard to log into Netflix or my bank or Spotify or whatever for like a month because I keep forgetting I changed it.

So my goal is to create one new password and take a whole day and just log into all of my shit and change it one by one.  This will take forever.  I made a quick list on the Notes in my phone and I have 35 different accounts, so far, and that's just off the top of my head.

It's really annoying to log in and have to try with four different user names and four different passwords and even by then you havent guessed and you're like WHY DID I CHOSE THIS IF IT WASN'T EASY and WHY DONT I HAVE ALL THIS STORED SOMEWHERE and finally WHO CARES I DON'T EVEN REMEMBER WHY I'M LOGGING ON I NEED A NAP.

And I've got news, it's not looking like we won't be using passwords any time soon.  My prediction is that computers and the internet are here to stay.  That's just me, though, I'm no expert.  I'm not like a "technology scientist" or anything, but this whole online thing seems to be a pretty big to-do for the whole entire world.

Can it not just be our social security number?  Every individual has theirs memorized, wouldn't that be easy to remember but hard to hack?  Can it be my birthday?

And then sometimes it's not a password, it's a four digit PIN.  Can't there be a law that all passwords have to have the same criteria??  I don't have time for another set of numbers to remember.

And then there are sites or networks that will chose a password for you and not let you change it, and its usually just a random string of nonsensical letters in all caps.  HOUTBSL6JJJ8.  Excuse me, asshole, that is MY PASSWORD, what on earth did you do to it?

Anyway, here's what I'm thinking, but not really because that would be so dumb to post:

This is a pretty good goal, right?


i will always hate cranberry juice

First of all, cranberry juice tastes gross.  Who the hell wants to drink something tart??  I've tried many juices in my day, and I can confidently announce that cranberry juice or any cran-cocktail white cran wtf ocean spray whatever is my dead last choice of beverage based on the unpleasant taste alone.  I'd probably drink a soda before a cranberry juice, and I really strongly dislike and am against soda.

Maybe if I had to choose between grapefruit juice or cranberry, I would reluctantly pick cran.  Maybe I'd water it down so it didn't taste as strong, but then I'd ultimately have more of it to drink.  UGH.  And who is this twisted person who's making me do a Sophie's choice of beverages anyway?

But the main reason has to do with my bladder history.  Who wants to hear about that?

No one?


Everyone?  Okay!

I'll keep the medical talk brief.  You can read about UTIs and the symptoms here.

I've had constant UTI symptoms for like half my life.  I did all the right things, google-ing (maybe back then I asked Jeeves?) how to prevent it / how to alleviate it / how to medicate it, drank about ten gallons of water each day, peed all the time, took cranberry pills multiple times a day, and yes, drank cranberry juice. 

Lots of cranberry juice.  I've tried every brand and possible fruit juice combo to make it more palatable.  Did you know that you can get cran/blueberry juice at Trader Joes?  It costs about $7 for a pint that you choke down, thinking the whole time about how those blueberries aren't doing shit to cover the foul cranberry flavor.  It's also available with apple and raspberry, which are just as gross

Still, I had UTI symptoms all the time.  I've peed my pants, full-on, in public, sober, TWICE.  Think about that.  My friends would periodically text me to tell me that they had a bladder infection and it made them think of me (which was sweet).  James commuted by a building with a large UTI company sign and said that building reminded him of me (also sort of sweet).  I'd dream of the day when I'd have a hefty reserve of antibiotics so that I wouldn't have to go to the doctor every time I was burning from the loins.  I'd stay home for days on the couch, wearing sweatpants and constantly chugging an arsenal of water - tea - cranberry juice, dreading anytime I had to leave the house for fear of getting stuck in traffic and urgently feeling like I was about to pee my pants.  I spent vacations in a haze of Klonopin (which I dislike but was prescribed for a while) in order to not feel constantly about-to-pee around friends.

After about ten years of this, my general practitioner got sick of seeing me in her office asking for Cipro-max and referred me a urologist.  Let me tell you, if you go to a urology office in your twenties, you will be the youngest patient there by about sixty years.  You will inevitably ask yourself if the waiting room armchair in which you sit has been peed on.  Anyway, after a few visits, my urologist (wtf, I "have" a urologist) determined that I had a strange un-diagnosable condition called Interstitial Cystitis, or IC, which is kind of a lurking-in-the-shadows UTI of which severity is mostly determined by diet and can't be treated by antibiotics.

Basic prevention for this is to chill out on tart, vinegary, acidic, salty, processed foods.

You know what doesn't help?  You know what actually makes IC worse?

Mother.  Fucking. CRANBERRY JUICE!!!!!

I will seriously never touch that stuff again. 

*Happy Ending*
I'm doing a lot better now that I don't take cranberry supplements or drink cranberry juice.  I also stay away from heavy red wine consumption, more than a reasonable amount of coffee, hard liquor, soy products, and tomato sauce.  I mean "stay away from" in its loosest form, because it's become more of a natural choice than a conscious decision.  It's also recommended to not eat smoked salmon, blue cheese, pickles, and cantaloupe, but screw that because I love those things and I gotta live.  I used to be on a pill called imiprimine but it was really expensive, not totally effective, and hard to remember to take three times a day an hour before and two hours after eating (plus I hated going to the refill check-up every few months) so I stopped taking it.  I get UTI symptoms / IC flare-ups maybe once a year.  Its still an inconvenient and uncomfortable few days, but it's a lot better now that I don't chug cranberries to the dome.

IC is lame.  UTI's are horrible.  And cranberry juice can suck it.



People knock Yelp a lot -  for not being able to trust the Dumb Public's opinion, for the reviews basically just being a lot of bloviating crap about one's own life (uh, guilty!), and for the phenomena of people taking photos of their food*.

*I don't mind this.  Why does it cause great rage amongst large segments of the population?

I like Yelp, though.  Here's why... Because a quick Yelp search on the way up to Solvang a few months ago led us to an ostrich farm.  An ostrich farm.  

Could we have found this without Yelp?  Well, yes.  It's right on the main drag of town and there are signs everywhere.  But by the time we were leaving the Pasadena vicinity, I had found it on my phone, talked James into stopping once we were there, and then we got to spend the whole two hour drive up being excited to see some weird-ass animals.

You park in a dirt lot and pay a few bucks each for a bowl of food, then read about how to feed them without getting pecked to death.

Feeding the big crazy looking birds is no joke.
That's me demonstrating how to hold the bowl.

Once they see you approach, they run from the far reaches of their land to come hang out. 
We absolutely started cracking up once we saw them.  They're like these alien dino birds with absurdly long necks and legs and gigantically disproportionate mid sections. 

They are pretty aggressive for the kibble and will get each others' necks in a twist over a bite.

I think it would be fun to wear an ostrich costume for a day and have that big feathery butt to wield around.

Oh and also, isn't Santa Barbara pretty? I miss living up there.
There are separate enclosures for ostriches and emus.  Emus are like ostrich-lite.

Emu friends

Last stop was the souvenir shop/lobby.  I really do like to get souvenirs whenever possible, and I picked up some emu oil.  Although I don't understand how an emu produces oil, I will slather it on my skin.

Oh, we also got a stick of ostrich jerky and I thought it was better than beef jerky because it was easier to chew.

I actually use this on my eczema.
 Let me list the things I learned from this trip:

1. Always visit places that feature animals, even if it seems like it's more for ten year old kids.

2. I'm sorry but I just don't care about wineries that much. The Ostrich Farm was the total highlight of the trip.  Let me buy some $10 bottles of wine from Ralph's and some sandwiches and we can go on a sunny picnic without feeling like we have to discuss what we're drinking.

3. Dinosaurs were definitely birds.  No question.


five types of girlfriends


By Chelsea Fagan

1. The “Doesn’t Know She’s Beautiful” Girlfriend
The theory behind this girl, immortalized in the One Direction song, is that she is absolutely gorgeous (makeup and hair styling-free, of course, because she is also the epitome of ~natural beauty~) without being aware of it in the slightest. Because being aware that she is attractive, or being generally confident in her looks, is the secret ingredient to turning even the most tolerable girl into a raving harpy, the Doesn’t Know Girlfriend remains blissfully ignorant. She is the Taylor Swift of aesthetic appeal, always slack-jawed and utterly shocked at the positive attention she receives. It is for the Good Guy Boyfriend to remind her at regular intervals that she is so much more appealing than all of those other wenches who spackle on the foundation with a rusty putty knife, and it is for her to laugh naively and forget all about it.

2. The “One of the Guys” Girlfriend
This girl drinks beer, JUST LIKE A DUDE. She enjoys watching sports, JUST LIKE A DUDE. She plays video games, JUST LIKE A DUDE. Of course, because she is a woman, she remains perfectly attractive and physically feminine while carrying out said activities, as a woman who actually displays traces of deeper masculinity is gRoCe! (Umm, hello, they’re not trying to date a lesbian! #eww) She participates in these manly activities — and supports all of her boyfriend’s friends unequivocally, regardless of behavior — because she “gets it” and is down to just be “one of the guys.” Bear in mind, though, that should her interest in any of these activities be questioned, she is liable to be labeled a “gamer girl” or “geek girl” who is doing this for attention because she has nothing better to do with her time than seek the approval of greasy manchildren. If this fate befalls her, she will have brought it on herself. Shouldn’t have been such a fake bitch.

3. The “Chill As Hell” Girlfriend
This girlfriend doesn’t care if you wanna go to a strip club on a weekly basis! She doesn’t care if you don’t call her back within 48 hours! She doesn’t care if you show up when you say you’re going to! She doesn’t care if you are flirting with other women in front of her! She’s chill, man, she’s not like all of those other uptight bitches with “personal standards” or “reasonable expectations of another human being.” She’s not here to get all in your face about minor shit like meeting her family after two years or being honest with her. She’s got better things to do, such as laugh at your jokes.

4. The “Betty Crocker” Girlfriend
The ability to cook and clean and really take care of the house has been plummeting amongst females since, wow, forever. It’s really refreshing to see a girlfriend like this, one who is dedicated to providing a perfect domestic environment for her boyfriend. She is the true wifey material, not like all of those other hoes who eat ramen noodles and let forks chill in their sink, unwashed, for days at a time. She is the future mother of your well-fed children. Her ability to keep things right on the home front should be the cause for endless mockery of her peers who cannot achieve the same, as it universally falls on the woman to run a home, and any woman who cannot fulfill her destiny may as well just resign herself to a life of cats and vibrators. #duh

5. The “Lady In The Streets, Freak In The Sheets” Girlfriend
Do you want a girl who is going to acquiesce to all of your more depraved sexual demands? Do you want someone who is as discreet as she is smoking hot? Do you want her to wear nothing but demure skirt suits with classy La Perla lingerie underneath, revealing her onion-like layers of increasingly sexual femininity? Well then this is the girl for you! She is here to fulfill all of your fantasies, all while remaining perfectly silent about said sexuality when in public. She doesn’t talk to friends about her sex life, she doesn’t make blue jokes, she doesn’t have an open attitude towards the subject when in mixed company — she is a lady. She has the Madonna/Whore dichotomy down to a finely-tuned science, and she is here to charm your parents at dinner whilst giving you a zesty handy under the table.


i feel uninspired to write.

i feel that the stuff i usually discuss is trite.

though i claim for the future a boundless might.

i will most likely drink again tonight.

being in close proximity to dogs has made me feel better.

all i want to do is lay on the couch and eat an entire block of cheddar.

and listen to sad songs by eddie veddar.

while scribbling long raging unsent letters.

poetry sux.


stats for baja trip


11 - Nights spent

8ish - Days spent driving an hour plus to discover new places

4 - Number of Kanye albums listened to in their entirety from James' iTunes on said trips

13 - Number of Steely Dan songs on James' iTunes

$1 US dollar = $12.50 MX pesos - Exchange rate

$11 pesos - Cost of large water bottle from Oxxo (the ubiquitous 7/11 equivalent in Mexico)

$25-$50 pesos - Cost of a Pacifico from a bar or restaurant, depending on hoighty-toightyness of locale

Zero - Amount of times I spoke Spanish at our resort in San Jose del Cabo

11 - Packs of Marlboro Lights smoked

2 - Number of people on trip who never want to smoke again (out of two)

3 - Times eating at a street taco stand (not enough!)

2.5 hours - Duration of direct flight from LAX to SJD

8 - Number of beaches visited 

4 - Number of bumpy dirt roads we traversed in our econo-rental car, not sure if we'd make it around rocks and up hills

One billion - Average beers per day

1 - Number of people on trip who could go for some time without alcohol (me*)
*revised a day later after a Korean BBQ dinner with beer and soju - zero

95 degrees - Average outside temperature

80% - Average humidity

8 - Nights spent without AC in Todos Santos rental house

500? - Average distance in meters from our neighbors in T.S...  I dunno, a lot.

100 - Percent of the time we showered in cold water to combat the heat

75-80 degrees - Average ocean / sea water temperature 

Two hours - Duration of painful timeshare presentation we attended in Cabo San Lucas

Two hours - Duration of free ATV tour we got in return for sitting through above presentation

5 - Number of Cabo rock formations that our boat tour guide insisted on comparing to animals and body parts, a peculiar Mexican sightseeing trait that annoyed James and made me feel strangely nostalgic for my 2007 travels.  They were Scooby Doo, an eagle, two faces, and a bat with wings, and the guide wouldn't let it go until we claimed to see the resemblance with an embarrassing fake astonishment.

2 - Pairs of Ray Ban sunglasses that James lost in the ocean

About 8 - Number of thunder/lightning storms witnessed

Zero, apparently - Number of bathing suits I have that stay put in ocean waves

NONE - Time spent checking social media

ALL - Time spent with my cell phone off, buried in my suitcase

25 - Percentage of our parental units who want to hear from us when we're abroad to make sure we're safe, even though we are, by most definitions, full-on adults, and furthermore adults who are physically fit (kinda), travel-savvy, and fluent in Spanish... (it was my mom)

$900 pesos - Cost to rent a jet ski in the Sea of Cortez for one hour

5 - Books read by me

2 - Number of white linen guayabera shirts repeatedly worn by James (with matching pants!)

$30 pesos - Cost of a large cup of sliced mango with chili and lime, sold off the back of a pickup truck at a beach in La Paz

6, at least - Amount of times over the course of an afternoon that we were offered marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy for sale in Cabo San Lucas

2.5 - Number of ounces of Don Julio tequila in our favorite margarita in Todos Santos

ZERO - Number of times I wore pants on the trip


snack journal 7/10/14

One can garbanzo beans

One avocado, sliced

Two refrigerated chicken strips from last night, chopped

Splotch of Sriracha
Smattering of Cholula
Dash of soy sauce
Swirl of olive oil
Two cracks of sea salt
Fresh ground pepper



Bananas are the best.  I'll tell you why.

1. They make a decent breakfast.  I eat a banana every day when I get out of bed.  Eating breakfast will improve your day and bananas are the easiest breakfast in the world.

2. They have loads of potassium (whatever that is).

3. They are not messy, unlike citrus fruits.  No juice dribbling down your hands.

4. You don't have to wash them first.

5.  It's easy to tell when they're ripe or going bad.  Watermelon?  It's just blind luck when you chop open that thing.

6.  They are so cheap.

7. They do not require any eating utensils or napkins.

8. They are quite versatile and add a pleasant taste to any fruit salad or smoothie.

9. You can fry them.  Anything can be fried, you say?  Try frying an orange.

10. They don't get stuck in your teeth.

11. They are phallic-shaped.  Penises are always funny.

12. They are portable.

13. A banana is a great snack when you're ravenously hungry but planning to eat soon.  If you don't want to be a total cranky bitch, but you also don't want to snack too much and ruin your fancy dinner, eat a banana.

14. They are also a perfect pre-exercise snack.  Substantial enough to give you energy, healthy enough to make you feel good.

15. They are sold everywhere.  Show me a supermarket without bananas and I'll... well wait you can't, because that doesn't exist in the US.  Also sold at coffee shops and gas stations.

16. They do not have an offensive smell.

This isn't a reason to like them, but did you know that for the last fifteen years I've softly sung the "bananas in pajamas" jingle everytime the following simultaneously occurs?
1. wearing pajama pants
2. using the stairs
3. going to get a banana or eating one

This happens more often than you'd think.  It's sort of nightmarish.

Bananas, in pajamas, they're coming down the stairs...


a life hack from james

If you're into cold drinks on the go, this is for you...

When you go to Starbucks/Coffee Bean/Daily Grind/Wherever, get a cardboard sleeve to go over your iced coffee/iced tea.

This is a stock image.  The cup that James gets holds three times as much black coffee.

The sleeve is supposed to be for hot drinks, but it's also fantastic for cold drinks because it stops your cup from condensating all over the place and turning your desk into a little puddle.

In case you wanted to know, James has his whole iced coffee routine on lockdown.  In addition to the efficiency of the sleeve thing:
-He gets an iced coffee (unsweetened, no room) from Starbucks every single weekday, in venti, the biggest size. 
-He goes to the one on Willow and Long Beach Blvd, and usually arrives before 8am.  He has frequented that location for eight years.
-He enjoys leaving his car running in the lot in order to 1) save time and 2) appreciate his car's keyless start system. 
-The employees there know his name and his drink, so sometimes he walks in and doesn't even have to talk to anyone or wait in line. 
-He occasionally gets peeved if he has to go to a different Starbucks because it always takes longer.  -He has the Starbucks app on his iPhone and keeps it charged with credit so that his wallet isn't necessary. 

Half the time I see him with his iced coffee, he pauses and says, "This sleeve is so great," then takes a contemplative sip and nods to himself.