Disappointment soup with a side of pig meat violation

This is not the actual soup, but a pretty close visual. Photo by: snowpea&bokchoiCC BY 2.0

In a VERY RARE occurrence that guy I married and I found ourselves with a Saturday night with no plans. Aaron used it as an excuse to take me out to a surprise dinner — also a VERY RARE occurrence!

See, we don’t really go out to dinner because we can’t ever agree on a place that we both love on the same level — not since Kate Mantilini‘s. Discovered while we were in couples therapy, Kate Mantilini’s was the first restaurant both of us could find our very favorite things, and we made it a ritual to go every Tuesday, post-therapy. We went so often that we got to know the staff and they us, we got special desserts, and comped wines. It was awesome. We were left restaurant-less after it closed.

Unbeknownst to me, Aaron had discovered that there was in fact ANOTHER Kate Mantilini’s in Woodland Hills (deeeeeeep in the Valley), and he kept it a secret from me so that one evening he could surprise me. That was this evening! He told me to get dressed up, we were going on a date.

My heart fluttered, and my black dress came out of the closet. I was stoked. This was special. Read More

Home lust on a budget in Los Angeles

This is just one of the amazing sights you see when you're house hunting in Panorama City.

This is just one of the amazing sights you see when you’re house hunting in Panorama City.

Every Sunday I go shopping for a home I can’t ever buy. It’s like this my own sisyphean tale: Girl wants house, girl finds house, girl falls in love with house, girl can’t afford house, girl watches someone else buy house… girl still wants house, girl finds another house, girl falls in love with house, girl can’t afford house, girl watches someone else buy house… and on and on every week. Always ending on a Sunday after open houses end, and starting up again on Monday morning when I start obsessively checking my Redfin app for new homes to look at, fall in love with, and leave behind.

Why do I do this to myself? (Good question, I should bring that up in therapy.) Well, it didn’t start as personal torture… Read More

Of ice buckets, ALS, and missing grandmothers

My father Allen Tharpe took the “ALS ice bucket challenge” today. While it was hilarious, it was also sad…

His mother, my grandmother whom I never got to meet (but apparently very much resemble) died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. That, in short, FUCKING SUCKS. June Tharpe was — from what I’ve learned over the years — a bad-ass. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to meet her just once, let alone to have gotten to deeply know and be shaped by her, as I have with my other wonderful grandmother.

I admit, I’ve been confused by the challenge. So… every time someone dumps water on their head ALS doesn’t get money? (Thankfully, like my father, people have been doing both.) And I’ve cringed watching people from California waste gallons of water during a drought. (So I made sure my father didn’t challenge anyone from Cali.)

But what can not be confused, what doesn’t make me cringe, is that ALS research just received something like 11 MILLION dollars. That is amazing. That is wonderful.

That gives me hope that one day another girl won’t have to cry every time she’s reminded of the bad-ass grandma she so much resembles that she never got to even meet. It gives me hope that another child won’t have to, not just watch, but nurse his dying mother whose body is giving out way before her time. Because with all these ice buckets and donations, one day, hopefully soon, we may be that much closer to finding a cure to this shitty no good disease.

Anyway, all this to say, I just skipped the ice bucket and donated money to ALS research, and if you want to do so as well, here’s the link: http://alsa.org/donate

Turning 33 and trying a different kind of birthday celebration

My favorite photo from my birthday weekend.

My favorite photo from my birthday weekend.

My 33rd birthday is tomorrow. I don’t have any “big plans.” Last year, post-disappointing-turn-out-birthday-party, I decided that I was not going to attempt any big birthday party plans again until I turn 42 (the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life).

But I have been having mini celebrations with friends throughout the weekend. This will be a boring round-up of activities that will probably only be interesting to me. But it’s mah burfday so indulge me… Read More

Because… internet, costumes, drinks, and HODOR!

because costumesRemember last year when I went to an internet-themed party and paid tribute to my favorite expression on the interwebs “X ALL THE Y!” I use that phrasing all the time in my writing, so it made sense that I should celebrate by cosplaying as Ali Brosh’s comic of herself. Well, this past weekend was round two of the “Children of the Internet” — the birthday party for my friend Brittany. And I had to stop and think “which internet expression do I want to celebrate this year?”

Of course! My favorite thing to happen to grammar, because internet.

because internet costume

But I couldn’t chose which word I would use as the noun… because internet? Because Brittany? Because nerds? Because party? So I decided to just write “because” and bring a flipbook of options. Which came in handy when I met one huge nerd celebrity… Read More

Why I’m never taking my dogs to the vet again

He's wearing this muzzle because I can't control MY behavior.

He’s wearing this muzzle because I can’t control MY behavior.

There’s no better testament to how much owners influence the behavior of their dogs than the vastly different experiences Aaron and I have taking Jackson to the vet.

Aaron is the default parent (yes, I’m using the term “parent” because “owner” sounds so sterile) to take the dogs to the vet during emergency situations because I am NOT good with blood and panic-y situations.

But I started taking the dogs to the vet for non-emergency purposes because I’m the parent who works at home. In theory, it’s easier for me to be the vet person.

Now, Aaron always reported perfect behavior from Jackson during his vet visits. But the last few times I took Jackson, he’d get panic-y in the waiting room, cowered from vet employees, and bared his teeth at our usual vet!

WTF, Aaron, you liar!? Our baby is a god damn monster. And he really hates our vet. I have no idea why — she’s a totally sweet lady who always speaks gently to him and treats him well. And he’s NEVER been one to hate people. Other dogs while on a walk, yes. But people? No. (Well, except for that one crazy guy once… thank gawd.)

So this time, when Jackson’s weird neck wounds from two months ago refused to heal up completely and seemed to get worse, I begged Aaron to resume his role as “the vet person.” Jackson behavior and my anxiety was making the visits way to stressful for me. And I suspected that my anxiety may even be triggering Jackson’s mood.

Aaron obliged, and took off work to be a good parent. I wished him luck today as he left the house, even suggested he take the muzzle that had come in handy last time.

Guess what… Read More