Monday, April 28, 2008

Burn Baby Burn

If you see a news report that says something near Pasadena is on fire, it's not me.

We are, however, blanketed under a layer of smoke and ash and it smells like a campfire. Fortunately, I live in the middle of town so unless we start it ourselves, my house probably isn't going to catch on fire.

Also: my graduation attire arrived today. Who knew a hood was so hard to figure out? I'm so confused by it. Evidently, I'm smart enough to get a Masters but not smart enough to figure out how to dress myself.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Where I'm Going for Happy Hour Tonight


Over in a dark corner, at the end of the bar at Champagnes Cafe, there's a little memorial. It's for John L. "Marty" Martinez. He managed Champagnes for seven years, moving from San Diego in '93 to help transition the place from The Old Inner Circle. According to the current staff, Marty worked seven nights a week, trying to make the freestanding bar across from the Boulevard mall one of the friendliest little joints around. He passed away May 1, 2000.

So, as an homage to Marty, Champagnes Cafe has set a permanent place for him. There's a bottle of liqueur, a snifter full of booze, a half-cup of coffee and an unlit cigarette. A shirt is over the bar stool, and a bulletin board is carefully hung on the wall. If you believe the photos hanging on the board, Marty was a bit of a lady's man -- he has a hot babe on his arm in every picture.

But it seems fitting that Marty should have his own eternal stool. Champagnes Cafe isn't the kind of place that quickly forgets anything. It's a throwback to Old Vegas. Not the velvety, 20-umbrella kind of Old Vegas that the Peppermill holds on to tighter than Dean Martin choking a martini glass. No, Champagnes is more classic Vegas -- little seedier, darker and intimate. Maybe it's the photos of a few boxing matches and celebs from days gone by draped on the walls. Or the jukebox that sports more Bing, Frank and Louie than anything recorded in the past decade. More likely it's the plush wallpaper that looks as though it was pulled off some casino's floor -- Liberace would have loved this stuff. The whole place feels as comfortable and lived-in as that swinging coat you bought at the Salvation Army.

Of course, Champagnes isn't immune to the modern age: beer signs and football memorabilia litter the bar -- namely, Bears and Raiders stuff. It's a reminder that even the coolest places have to cater to the "Monday Night Football" crowd to make a profit.

And Champagnes needs people. Even at its busiest moment, the Cafe isn't some hopping hangout. Not that it's as empty as George Dubya's soul. There's always a few regulars popping quarters in the slot machines or kicking back in one of the booths. Let's just say you'll never have to worry about finding a seat.

But that's what's great about the place: The only thing you can really do at Champagnes is indulge in vices and talk with friends. There are no darts, pool, video games, cage dancers or lion tamers. This is a place to either get serious about your drinking or have a serious conversation, something you can't really do when 2 million decibels of bass are slamming like a pickax into your head. I mean, imagine having to talk to people rather than just rub up against them? What an antiquated thought.

Sure, some of the kids who still consider polyester flames cool won't understand that. You can almost hear some girl in an outfit even porn stars would be embarrassed to wear asking, "What, no Red Bull?"

Champagnes Cafe couldn't care less. This is a bar, dammit, something that will still be around long after people start regretting glow sticks and DJ Skribble. And over in the corner, Marty will be taking another hit of brandy, pulling a puff of his cig and laughing his ass off at the whole thing.

Oh Vegas, I love you so much.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


(I'm pretty sure that isn't a word)

Why do they call it regalia anyway? It's a cap and gown for pity's sake. Anyhow, mine is on its way and I can't believe I'm actually going to be walking in a few weeks.

You know what I forgot to share?

My graduation present:

Picture them in black. And yes, they are Jimmy Choos. I should get a degree more often, I think. Or a really high-paying job, because I found three other pairs that I would've walked out with as well. Fortunately, I have some sense. So, if you're in the market, the store in Caesar's Forum shops is lovely and the staff is nice.

It will probably be the last time I ever go there...unless I become the millionaire librarian. And we all know that isn't going to happen.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I'd marry Andrew Bird if I weren't already married to a violinist.

Things are suddenly very quiet here, except for the fact that I'm traveling every weekend. This is not exciting, really. Last week I was in Vegas where I just sat around and/or worked, this week I'm going to my sister's baby shower, and next week it's back to Vegas...

TO SEE THE VERVE. I have to admit that I was so dismayed when they broke up because I had never seen them live. And then! My chance to ogle Richard Ashcroft in person returned!

I have an unhealthy fascination with emaciated dark-haired musicians, evidently.

So yeah, that's exciting. Much more than spending quality time with the crazy half of my family this weekend in Northern California. My husband opted out of going with me, as he had a choice. He hasn't seen my father since we got married. Over seven years ago.

That, my dears, is love.

And maybe I wish I didn't have to go, either. It's not that I don't like my family. They just take an awful lot of work and it's not the most desirable way to spend two days of my life when I could stay home and watch hours of TruTV instead. Oh Forensic Files, I can't quit you.

Besides the fact that I spent a half hour at 5am coughing up whatever is rattling around in my lungs, which may never go away if I don't get some freaking rest. I like to pretend I have TB and that I'm developing a laudanum addiction. It's more romantic than bronchitis.

I have promised that I will stay home for the month of May. At which point I'll complain that I'm NOT traveling anywhere instead of complaining that I'm gone every weekend.

And when that's the biggest of my concerns? Life is good.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

She's Leaving on the One After 909...

...not really. I just saw that my last post was 909 and it made me think of the Beatles song.

So yesterday I thought I had asthma. But hey! Good news! I don't think so anymore - because my cold came back.

In other news, I'm tired. Just tired in general, not "I need to experience the sleep of the dead" tired. I'm tired of school, tired of work, tired of the every day monotony of life. I just want to walk away from it all. But we all know that's not possible.

Or is it?

Friday, April 04, 2008

You Weren't Going to Work Today Anyway

So, here's this thing instead.

Ms. NPW over at Musings of a Semi-Coherent Mind organized a Choose Your Own Blogventure, based on Choose Your Own Adventure books.

I have to figure out someone else's timesheets this afternoon, but you have fun.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Why yes, thank you.

I finished my e-portfolio last night. I was shaking when I opened up the email, but then I saw the "Congratulations" and I think I quit reading until the "But you are done". Then I had to go to the airport. It has been a pretty anti-climatic experience and I was tired and sad last night so it wasn't as thrilling as it could've been.

But this morning I'm breathing again, and the importance of that email is sinking into my tired, tired brain. I really did it - two and a half years of work in a neat little package that proves I can be a librarian.

And HAHA I'm the first of everyone I've been talking to that's finished. Just under three weeks ahead of the due date.

Now I have no excuse to ignore my research project, which is all I really want to do anyway.

Does this mean I have to change the name of my blog?