And safety comes first.

Wednesday, October 29

What should I be?

I was thinking for Halloween I’d just be myself. What do you think? Too boring? At least I won’t look like a cheap costume for Halloween. At least I won’t be screaming, “Hey, I shopped at the makeshift Halloween Costume Depot with the rest of the loser adults who want to look either clever or theatrically slutty on Friday!” I’m going to be myself for Halloween. I’m going to be a candy-pitching bitch who will walk around in her normal corner-whore clothes and tell the cops, “Hey, you can’t arrest me! This is my theatrically slutty costume for Halloween!”

Tuesday, October 7

Friends > 20

After several years of dismissing Internet-based social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, calling them petri dishes for the social bacteria of high school and college cultures, Sylvia signed up for an account on Facebook, inspired only by her younger brother's tasteless, yet hilarious urinal photograph. In just days, Sylvia accepted 20 "friendships" from people she stopped talking to for one reason or another.

One Reason: She is related to them.
Another: She is no longer in high school with them.

What she learned from this isn't that it was a bad idea to sign up for an open-to-anyone social networking site. What she learned was what breeders her classmates turned out to be!

Please note that I have wised up and changed my privacy settings on Facebook, so don't bother trying to become my friend. I already have over 20.

Friday, September 19

Looking to the Future

Earlier this week I flew to Seattle in search of "Gayway" (see pictured). A place that promised gayness and bold use of lighting couldn't have been more welcomed after a tumultuous week at work. I walked around all afternoon, asking if Gayway was anywhere near the Space Needle. Finally, someone was nice enough to inform me that Gayway was a thing of the past, specifically of the 1962 Seattle's World Fair. I said, "No, it's not a thing of the past, as you say. It's a thing of the future--always was--and the future is where I want to go. I've had a rough week at work, and I want to get beyond it--and soon!" The jeans-wearing guy rolled his eyes and said cynically, "It was just an amusement park, lady." That I was in fact not amused, emphasized further my need to be in Gayway.

Wednesday, August 13

On the Rebound

Disappointed about the dog adoption thing, I turned my attention to ponies. I found this guy on the web, much the way I found Harley. In fact, his butterscotch and cream fur reminds me a bit of Harley. Ponies aren't therapeutic after all.

ADOPTED (but not by me)

Harley was not in his kennel today. A family with three kids took him home with them this morning to have a Harley-happy life.

Hmph! Did I mention they also adopted a puppy? Dog hoarders.

Tuesday, July 29

Rock You Like a Hurricane and/or Earthquake!

What, me? Panic? I continued to leave my voice message, continued to sound professional, despite the earthquake's steadfast attempt to rattle me. A magnitude 5.4 quake hit the Los Angeles area just before noon today. Though I recognized the natural hazard immediately, my reaction was a delayed and nonchalant one--one that would bring shame to those who spent so much time ensuring my earthquake safety inculcation. Stop, drop, and roll!

"What the hell are you doing?," shouted a nearby co-worker from under her desk.

"C'mon, Marilyn, I know the drill! I was born and raised in California!," I shouted back.

"You're supposed to take cover under your desk and cover your neck!," she exclaimed.

"That's old school! Too many spinal injuries. Stop, drop, and roll is where it's at these days!," I yelled back.

"You're crazy! That's for fires!," she said.

"Fire extinguishers are for fires. I'm rolling to avoid falling objects in an earthquake!," I explained.

The conversation lasted long after the earthquake stopped. Ol' Marilyn later huddled around the water cooler with some other office workers and laughed about my earthquake preparedness. Whatever. I know what I'm doing.

Monday, June 16

And all I got was a lousy candy cane...

When I was a kid, I knew another kid who peeled dried glue off his fingers and kept the scraps in a stolen interoffice envelope that said "Property of Robert Elementary School".

I also knew a girl who didn't know what Single File Line meant.

I knew a kid who stole caterpillars from the classroom science station and tried to grow 'em in his own room. When they died, he returned them to the classroom and none of us kids were ever able to believe that butterflies could emerge miraculously from a pile of dead worms.

I knew a bunch of undeserving brats who got a boatload of cool shit during the holidays, and it sucked. All I ever got from Santa was a boot in the face and a ride down a red slide at the mall. Oh, and a freakin' candy cane if my parents bought 5" x 7"s from the pimply elves!

Wednesday, May 14

Doing Stuff on my Birthday

Happy Birthday to me. This year, no cake--only a freshly ironed shirt. I had to do the ironing myself last night when I could have been baking a celebratory cake. Goddamn, do I have to do everything around here?

Wednesday, April 16

SAVE the historic South Pasadena Rialto Theater

The South Pasadena Downtown Revitalization Project website still features a fine black & white photo of the historic Rialto Theater, but the restoration of the endangered building, which closed last summer after nearly 82 years of business, has been eliminated from the final redevelopment plan. Where have the funds been redirected? What has happened to the preservation ethic this town is known for?

As a preservationist, I wanted to bring to your attention the unfortunate situation with the National Register listed Rialto theater in South Pasadena. The theater is located in a redevelopment zone on Fair Oaks in downtown.

The restoration of the now closed Rialto theater was included as the centerpiece of the initial project proposed for revitalization of the redevelopment zone. It has been eliminated from the final plan which is before the South Pasadena Planning Commission tonight, April 16, 6:30 PM at 1414 Mission Street in South Pasadena, CA.

I am asking for your help to communicate support, by attending the meeting and speaking or emailing the South Pasadena City Clerk at, that the cherished landmark Rialto MUST be included in any plans for revitalization of the downtown redevelopment area. Thank you so much for your interest.

Joanne Nuckols

Founding member and former Chairman of the Board of the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation

Tuesday, April 15

April is National Poetry Month

The new campaign for poetry awareness, "Woo or Woe on the Go", must be one of the most admirable initiatives I've seen in years (screw you, helpless pandas and illiterate children). Mobile poetry addresses the serious, but nonexistent problem of poetry's loss of popularity through the decades due to its tragic inaccessibility and inconvenience in modern life. "Woo or Woe on the Go" makes the irrrefutable statement that poetry is not simply a foolish catalogue of blather featuring whiny wooers and woeful wimps. Doesn't the title make that clear to you, dull prose readers, damn it?

Friday, April 11

Pansy Rock Station Replaces Cool R&B Station in Los Angeles

Read this embarrassingly sycophantic message, stinking of corporate weenie fake-cool, which I extracted from the website of new Los Angeles radio station The Sound:

The Sound Mission

First off, welcome to The Sound. We're glad you found us and that you're interested enough to find and read this page; it shows you're like us and music is important to you. While you've probably already heard us and know what you've heard, thanks for giving us this opportunity to elaborate on what we've set out to do.

The Sound is about simply one thing, it's about the best "rock" music made to date. Notice the quotes around the word rock, because our definition of rock is a lot broader than most and it knows virtually no time frame. On The Sound you'll hear everything from the geniuses that gave birth to the seminal rock of the '60s and '70s to the ever evolving offspring of that music, including great stuff that came out last year...or even last week.

If we do it right, you'll find us surprising you every once in a while; sometimes with a great song that you haven't heard in a long time, or a new song you haven't heard elsewhere, maybe even sometimes with a song you didn't think of as "rock". Our goal is to provide music that's comfortably hip. To be familiar without being stale, new without being obscure.

And, whatever we do, everything we do will be with respect for the music. You know, just like we know, others might think we're a little silly to feel this strongly about music...after all, it's only music. While rock and roll isn't the only important thing in the world, it's still important nonetheless and it makes everything else a little more enjoyable. And along the way, we'll help you stay informed and give you opportunities to get involved in making things better in your community. After all, that's what music is best at, bringing people together and standing for something.
We invite you to join us in our mission of ongoing musical discovery and hope you'll invite your own friends into our Sound village.


Bonneville International

Friday, April 4


I've got a

1. Joy
2. Joy
3. Joy
4. Joy

down in my heart, because that's what they told me to sing at church.

Sunday, March 9

The Book of Barnacles

Before heading to class last week, I remembered to stop at the bookstore to pick up a copy of the school's creative writing publication, which features the winners of last year's writing contest. A friend from last year's creative writing class asked me if I received a rejection email from the judging committee (we were all required to submit a story for the contest). I said no, I didn't get a rejection note, and figured perhaps my precious story about pony girl Joanne had made it into the final rounds. My eyes hurried up and down the index, anticipating the glorious moment where they would stop at the name Sylvia. When I saw the name Susan and a different story published, I knew it was a mistake.

I decided to write to my former creative writing instructor, who oversaw the contest.

Dear Mr. H,

Please know that I shed no tears as I formulate this letter to discuss my lack of mention in the campus publication. I believe that it was an oversight by your committee, excluding me in the publication. My exclusion in your publication is like an aquarium without the cool shark. No, it is like an aquarium with nothing but barnacles in it.

I have reviewed the work of this "Susan" chosen for publication, and I feel that your committee has made a mistake of planet-sized proportions. Again, my name is Sylvia, and my story is far, far more entertaining than the one you decided to publish. I mean, how many stories about visiting grandparents in nursing homes can we bear? Wouldn't the student body prefer a story about a girl who lost a friend by sitting on the friend's cat? What's done is done, I suppose. It would be too expensive to recall all the publications and correctly feature my story in place of Susan's.

Perhaps you'll know who's the better writer next year, when you actually read all the entries. In the meantime, may we all marvel at the awesome barnacle chosen for publication instead of me.

No hard feelings.


Thursday, February 28

The Tender Lives of Shrimp

This morning a new feeling woke with me. It was Inspiration, for it stung my heart and raced through my veins (leaving, oddly, my brain completely unaffected).

Inspiration told me to start writing: Hell, Sylvia, start with children, the bottom of the totem pole, if you need to. Just start writing! For a moment I disagreed with its suggestion that chidren were easy to write for, but I urged myself to be prudent, to follow instructions from this supreme being, however out of touch with reality it is, what with its own laurel-laced lifestyle.

With Inspiration behind me, nagging me toward creative expression, I will write a medium-length book for attentive and well-behaved children. The book will be called The Tender Lives of Shrimp. Countless and nameless shrimp will be featured in colorful illustrations throughout the book, following my narrative about the brave disinterest which the shrimp possess, especially in the know-it-all face of Inspiration. They have eyes, but they refuse to see much.

Sunday, February 24

Words Are a Waste...Unless You Use 'Em in a Song

For years, I wanted to be a photojournalist. Writing is overrated. A picture is worth a thousand words, they say.

They? Who's they?

Pipe down. I'm trying to paint a picture.

Painting? I thought you were a photographer.

I'm not a photographer...yet. I said I would like to be a photographer. Stop interrupting.

Do you even own a camera?

No, but I have friends who have cameras.

That doesn't show much commitment.

What are you, my coach?

And work for almost nothing? Ha!

I wish my subconscious would stop butting in when I'm trying to get my photojournalist career going.

If only I'd gotten a clean shot of Barry that night in 1977, I'd be a real photographer by now!

Sunday, February 10

Good for nothing.

During the wintry months in December and January, I was trapped under a foot of snow, rendered immobile and unable to post anything on this blog. A foot of snow, and I survived, I survived!, I shouted at the other Angelenos driving along the Angeles Crest Highway.

Those days I spent paralyzed in the snow-lined embankment, I thought of you only, my faithful readers, wondering if I'd ever return to the warmth of the foothills. As I lay there, I thought not of death, but of dipping my frostbitten fingers into lukewarm water just to get enough feeling back to type a blog entry.

Nursed back to health by a young stray kitten -- precociously maternal one she is -- I regained enough strength to press my fingers on the keys of my notebook computer. I never felt more alive when I saw all the activity on the blog I'd missed so much. These are true fans! I thought to myself, tears welling in my defrosting eyeballs.

And all I saw were complaints.

Friday, February 1

Nice to be Chinese...for once.

Finally, a perk. The one other Chinese staff member in the office gave me a box of Ferrero Rocher (which has become the Chinese New Year tradition among Chinese, at least in L.A. County). I'm so glad for this new tradition because authentic Chinese New Year candy quite sucks. See the cough drop correllation pictured.