Series of Tubes

Fun Busy!

Waterlily This weekend we depart on our southwest road trip and we are really looking forward to it. I haven't been on a proper road trip for ages. I hope this is the start of many to come. I feel like when we have kids we might be total throwback parents -- packing up the car and kid/s and hitting the road, seeing the biggest ball of string and giant frying pan, etc. Can't wait. For now I'll be glad to see the natural wonders of the southwest. Look for blog posts to come on our trip.

Waterlily As some of you LAers know, there is a series on LA Metblogs I run called Classic Eats. Event #5 is scheduled for May 2 and the voting has begun for where we will go. I am really pleased with the turn out and enthusiasm for these events. We've always had at least 12 people at each event, and hopefully that will keep expanding. The last event we did at Pie N Burger in Pasadena and after we ate, we went to another place and sat around talking for two more hours! Great discussions about Los Angeles, Music, movies, etc. I love these events.

Waterlily One of the options to vote on within Classic Eats has been the Hot Dog Death March. One of the other Metblog authors suggested we create a stand alone event and so The Hot Dog Event Of The Year was born. Check out the website for Hot Dog Death March. Please mark June 13 on your calendars and start stocking up on antacids. This is going to be so much fun. We'll have t-shirts and contests and I'm sure much wacky conversation while waiting in line to eat hot dogs!

Waterlily I made time last weekend to do the spring planting: Basil, tomatoes, broccoli, rosemary, and sunflowers. I have other flower seeds to plant, but probably won't get to them until May at this point. I restrained myself from planting too many tomatoes and opted not to have zucchini again this year. I liked having them last year, but they take up so much space. We'll see what happens with the broccoli. It felt good to get my hands dirty, and it always feels good to be that grounded. I look forward to more planting in the next few weeks. 

Here is the main section with all the baby plants snuggling into their new beds.


Spring is springing along!

The Internet Is A Super Cool Place

Within the last few weeks many fun things have happened to me or people I know, owing completely to the the series of tubes, the internest, the interspaces, the information superhighway, the interwebs, well, you get the idea, and it just made me so pleased that I spend time online and what a warm, friendly place it can be.

Someone I met recently described the internet as a cold place. She was complaining that her experiences online had not been very good and so she was skipping the internet and really just wanting to meet people in real life. Boy is she short sighted. Here are a few example of how the internet has personally been so fun and exciting for me and people I know. 

One of my German pen pals who I started writing to in 8th grade found me on Facebook and we have reconnected. We had written to each other for about 20 years, though mostly at christmas toward the latter part of that time. Somehow she moved or I moved or both and we lost touch. I thought of her often and sent letters to the old address but no luck. Then one day about two weeks ago, I get a nice note, asking if I were the Julia who came to visit her in Germany. It's been so nice to reconnect and find out about her family and her life. I met her twice, once in 1989 and again in 1992. I hope to get back to Germany within a few years and see her again. 

I started a series on LA Metblogs last fall called Classic Eats. Once a month I post a poll and the readers vote on where we will go next. #1 was Clifton's Cafeteria and the rotating bar at the top of the Bonaventure. CE #2 was Union Station and Phillipes, #3 was Tiki Ti and Taix and #4 was Pie 'N Burger. Each event has had at least 15 people, sometimes more. There are people I'd met before, like other Metblog writers, but also authors I'd never met. There are people who read and comment and it was nice to meet them in person. Then there are people who just come and want to be social. The first event we had a woman (who's name escapes me! Sorry!) who came on her own, she'd read about it and joined in. #4, last Saturday also had a newcomer, Diana, who had never commented, but often read and joined in. I just love that I've made new friends because they read the blog and wanted to join in the fun. 

Sarah, who writes many blogs, but is most famous for Mar Vista Mom, got a call last week from the Oprah Show. Yes, THAT Oprah. They are doing a show about re-decorating in these recessionary times and how to do it without spending anything or only very little, by swapping stuff out with your neighbors and sprucing up what you do have. They contacted her because they were looking for neighborhoods like hers where it would be a fun group activity on one block. They contacted her because she writes a blog about her neighborhood. At the moment (key phrase there, "at the moment") she some decent traffic, but she put herself out there and guess who came knocking at her door? Dude.

The internet rocks. Seriously, you should try it. Oh wait, here you are!  Enjoy.


Really Lame Marketing

I got this email today:

Dear Julia,

[Company redacted] thinks your Mexico City blog rocks! You provide great tips on city and we'd like to help by providing our travel videos for your site. We're big believers in providing independent voice for travel and would love to be of assistance.

[Redacted] is the leading online travel video website, and we've got thousands of informative and entertaining videos made by real travelers and professionals.  Our new, free embeddable travel video widget gives your site visitors instant access to videos about Mexico City. The widget is customizable to match the color and theme of your site.

We can also help integrate Google In-Video Adsense to help you make money with these videos.

Please visit our [redacted] Widget page at [website redacted] to check out the video player and get the embed codes.  Please let me know if you have any questions.


[Name Redacted]

I don't want to give this lame site any linkage or name recognition which is why I'm leaving their name out, as well as the name of the person who emailed me from the company. After reading it, I immediately wrote them back and said: "Have you actually read my blog? If you had, you would know it has very little to do with Mexico City." Can't wait to see if I get a response. 

Too bad this site doesn't actually take the extra five minutes to, you know, find a sight that is travel related. I could see where in two seconds you might think this sight is about Mexico City. That's why I put the "Where I'm At" box right below my picture (see? right there on the right?). I wanted to clarify so there wouldn't be confusion. I do write about places I travel to, but that's just part of my life, not the main focus of my blog. 

Good luck with your marketing campaign, [Redacted Company]!

Search Engine Referrals

I was just checking my blog stats -- how many visits and the all important referrals. (It's always cool to see where people found my blogs.) I check the stats for Safety Graphic Fun quite a bit to see if I'm linked on other people's blogs. But today I checked this blog for referrals and found a doozy!! The link was for a google search and this blog (Julia's Mexico City) came up #1. The search term?


How frakking awesome is that?

The link provided was to my post about bra shopping.

That just made my night.

Album Cover Meme

My friends Emily and Fraz both did these on Facebook. I decided to load mine up on my own blog, because, well, I have my own blog. 

This cracks me up. I was tempted to use some other picture, but hey, rules are rules.


And the rules are:
1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”
or click here
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click here
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click here
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

You know you want tickets to see this band.

Seabury Memories (Stirred up by Facebook)

Logo_top Facebook has become the defacto Seabury alumni website for me lately. Especially with Sarah Bott (class of 80) and Courtney (my classmate in 85) doing up a list of high school memories, and then other Seabury alum chiming in on the comments about their memories.

Seabury was so small that if you went there all six years (7th through 12th grade when I was there, now there is a middle school and high school, but still very small), you got to know and become friends with people who were five years older and five years younger than you. If you had siblings also attending, your circle was that much wider. Sarah A. and I are bestest friends now, but she was Jen's best friend back then in the class of 80. They knew each other years before I started which means I knew Sarah A. from when I was about 10 or so. Dude.

But it wasn't just the small size, lunch used to be assigned seating so you really got to know everyone. When I started my 7th grade year in the fall of 1979, Seabury had about 180 students. When I graduated in spring of 1985, there were about 220 students. My class had 33 people in it. Lunch was served family style and you sat at an assigned table for two weeks, then you would switch tables. Teachers were heads of each table (and remained constant.) Each table you went to was a mix of grades, if you ended up sitting with a friend, it was a bonus. There were 10 people per table (including the teacher) so each day of that two weeks, one person was the "waiter" and you went to the kitchen to get the tray of food in family style serving bowls. If a bowl was empty you got up and got more. When lunch was done and people were gone, you cleaned the table. It was awesome. One lunch table assignment stands out. I think was in 8th or 9th grade and was assigned to Joe Brocoli's table. When we all sat down that first day, he announced to the nine of us that the last table he had ate nine serving bowls of peas at one lunch sitting and he knew we could beat that record! So we collectively ate 10 bowls of peas! There was no prize other than the joy that Joe had presented us with a challange and we met it. 

Sometime around junior year, I think, they switched to buffet style lunch and you could sit anywhere. I think some part of the Seabury family feeling was lost with that switch.

And the noon-announcements! Ha! Almost forgot about those. There was a pad of paper in the front hall of Cooper House (the school sits on what used to be a private estate with the old mansion (Cooper house) as the main building) and you could write up anything on that pad that you needed to convey to the whole school. It was kind of a daily newspaper, as Lance Anderson pointed out in one of our english classes. Meetings, lost items, birthday wishes, announcements of any kind were written on that pad then xeroxed directly for each table and delivered at lunch. Everyone took turns reading the mishmash of hand writing and info. If there was something that needed announcing last minute, you could stand up with Roger Melrose (the headmaster), or whoever was giving the prayer that day, at the front of the room (near the trash for some reason) and speak into the little microphone/speaker deal he had. Usually it was a last minute meeting, but often it was to announce in public someone's special birthday or if someone had won an award, often that person came to the front and were given leis and lots of applause. New students were welcomed and occasionally sad news of someone's parent's death were told. (There was at least one death every year I was there.)

There is a hazy memory of someone (Matt Kresser I think) getting a dip slip for bending forks during the "don't bend forks" announcement. I only really remember it because that dip slip was published in the yearbook for that year. (Too lazy to go dig out the yearbook.)

With a school that small, school plays were filled with a mix of students (again you became friends with people of all ages), sports teams were well mixed in ages and then there was Winterim. Oh thank the gods for Charlotte Melrose! YOU ONLY GET OUT OF IT WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT! Words to live by, my friends.  

Winterim happened every February for a week. Instead of regular classes you had a week of "outside the box/outside the classroom" education. Each year had a theme and the groups you signed up to be in were specific to that theme. 7th grade was Hawaiiana and I learned how to make leis. (I'm old school, still say "leis" not "lei" like they do now...) Jen (Senior) took Hula, there was canoe paddling and hawaiian history and hawaiian cooking and things like that. Again you signed up for the top three activities and you got assigned with a mix of people. Charlotte and the other organizers made sure you weren't just in a group of your own friends. 8th grade I learned how to silkscreen. 9th=Volcano, 10th=astronomy (which is amazing in hawaii where the night sky is DARK) and 11th=touring military bases (I got to fly a huge hydraulic ride-type helicopter simulator!). Senior year I went to Kauai and it was really a great trip, thanks mostly to Mr. Moragne for being an amazing tour guide. Generally you bonded with your group and at the end of the week there was an assembly and each group had to do a skit about what their experience was like. Songs were written and performed, props were used, hilarity generally ensued. Teachers were also part of each group so you got to know them outside of the classroom too and that made you respect and appreciate them as human beings, not just as "Teachers". 

But Seabury was already different in how you related to teachers. Most lived on campus (Seabury was a day school and boarding school) and so you got to know their kids and pets and parents. Most teachers were called by their first names, though Mr. Melrose was always Mr. Melrose and Fred Rawe was usually always Mr. Rawe. (Until he became Dr. Rawe.)  I'm not sure why (Maybe because I was so square--student body prez after all!) but this never seemed to take away the distinction between teachers and students. It was relaxed, but still a college prep school after all and we were all expected to do well. 

I loved all of the teachers I knew at Seabury. Okay wait, I did get bored to death by Cliff Oje in Pre-Calc, but maybe that was because I hated Pre-Calc...hmmm. Sorry Cliff. I have stayed in touch with a few teachers over the years and have occasionally googled and emailed others out of the blue to say hi and we catch up for a short bit. 

Some people are gone now. Bruce Wilson (my class), Karen (Jai) Roberts ('84), David Melrose (my biology teacher), Mr. Melrose and Snooker. Oh man I cried my eyes out about Snooker. 

It was a special place and I amaze my friends now when I say, sincerely, honestly, I loved high school. Was I happy all the time? Uh, hell no. But I got to have experiences that so few people get to do --- repel off waterfalls, ropes courses through trees, forming human chains of 200 people and walk all over campus holding hands, a school wide water fight!  I hope someday my kids can have something similar. 

25 Things Meme -- STOP! Okay Just One More.

If you have even ONE friend on Facebook, you know what I'm talking about. And if we are friends on Facebook, you've probably tagged me.

I have read a few, but not many of the lists. I thought about doing a list and then thought 1) I already have a blog and 2) what do lemmings look like again?

Then this came along and made me laugh for a 25 thingy:

(It was written by Mike McPhaden)

Wm. Shakespeare's Five and Twenty Random Things Abovt Me

1 Sometimes I Feele so trapp’d by iambic pentameter... Does that make me a Freake?

2 I haue been Knowne to cry at Bear-baiting. 

3 I am not uery ticklish. I am Not. So prithee, do not euen try. Waste. Of. Time.

4 I cannot keep Lice, and know not why. 

5 Sometimes I thinke plays are all Talke, Talke Talke, and wish for a cart-chase scene. I tried one in The Merry Wives, but it looked like Shitte, so I cut it. The men playing the horses were so Pissed at me.

6 I once threw vp on a man's head, from a high Windowe. I was so fvcking Sicke that Daye.

7 I hate to wear a Ruff, for I haue such a pleasing Necke.

8 As a player, I am painful-slow to learn my part. Once whilst playing Edward I, I used the prompter so ouermuch that a groundling yell’d ~Stop interrupting, Will! And it was my Dadde. (Kydding!)

9 Sometimes when I am Stvck for a rhyme, I new-mint a Worde because I jvst want to get the Damned script ovt the fvcking doore.

10 I play the Flute yet poorly, but I can make any crumhorn beg for Mercy.

11 When I am happy I call Anne my Kicky-wicky. When I am cross I call her “Olde Fun Killer Hag-Ass.”

12 I keepe my Stashe hidden in our seconde best bedde. Shhh. Don’t tell the Fyve-Oh.

13 The people that loue my Wordes the best are always the most disappointed vpon meeting me. Is thisse List ouer yet?

14 On the topic of dating, my daughter Susanna loues to remind me: ~Jvliet was only thirteen! And I remind her that i) she was Italian, an impulsive race ii), she was actually played by a middle-aged Eunuch named Ned, and iii) she died. That always shvts her right vp.

15 I deteste it when the Low-Comedians improuise the scenes I writ them… becavse they always make them so mvch fvnnier.

16 I haue, on occasion, thovght abovt hiring a Boy to fixe my Latin.

17 When I was sixe, my Goode-Friend Charles brovght to Schoole a wood-cut of his mother, qvite naked. After that we called him Charles Nudie-Mummy, whiche did make him Crye.

18 I take my eggs ouer-medium. If I get them O’er-Easily, I tell my Porter, ~You may thinke this is what I ordered, but it’s snot. I thinke that one is a real Slap-A-Th’Knee.

19 I work ovt my calues thrice weekly, usvally three pyramid sets of Calf-Rises whilst holding a flagon of Meade. I knowe I should stretch afterwards, but it Bores me so I do it not.

20 As a boy in my Bed, I would shriek i’the night that Witches wovld come to eat me. My Mother (bless her) wovld smooth my Hair and whispr ~ Be not afear’d, the Witches onlie eat the Jews.

21 Whitsuntide has become so commercial.

22 Nobody euer forgets where they were the moment they heard that Thomas Kyd died. I was shopping for codpieces in West Cheape. I came ovt of the Change-room and the proprietress was i’tears. I said ~What is it, now?~Kyd is dead. There was a melancholy qviet, and then she said ~And that Piece is a mite too small on ye.

23 Euery time we do the Taming of the Shrew, some pvnter wants his Money backe, because we don’t actually show a shrew getting tamed. 

24 I do not vnderstand all the Fvss over Currants. Sure, they are both sweet and Small, but must they bee added to EUERY FVCKING MEAL these days? Yestermonth, found I currants in a Tarte of Spinnedge. I meane come on, People. Seriovsly. 

25 When I am feeling Melancholic, I console myselfe with the Knowledge that, aboue all else, I will be remembered for my Musick.

I sent this to Tom who said:
The first 10-12 times I got "tagged" in that 25 things meme, I responded with "suck it" as #1-24 and "suck my balls" as #25.

That sound you heard was me snorting my coffee through my nose.