Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rocking Chair

My Dad gave me this beautiful rocking chair for Christmas. He made one for both me and my sister this year; mine is made out of curly cherry wood. The picture doesn't do it justice -- it is just incredible. And the dork in me is very happy that it matches my floors and my cats. YAY!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Patrick Mimran - Photographer

Rad photos by Patrick Mimran (b. 1956, Paris). RAD. They sort of give off a lonely and spooky vibe, but I'm okay with that!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

New Cologne from Burger King!

Burger King has released a new body scent for men called Flame. WTF?!?! Available for a whopping (pardon the pun!) $4. The perfect gift for that not-so-special someone that wants to smell like flame-broiled meat! Check out the website and turn up the sound -- it is pretty hilarious! firemeetsdesire.com

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chris Burden "Urban Light" Sculpture at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Oooooooooooooooooooooooh. While driving home the other night and passing the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on Wilshire Blvd., I saw this stunningly beautiful and elegant large scale sculptural installation by Chris Burden. Oh it is so gorgeous. So so beautiful.

The installation is comprised of 202 restored and fully operational vintage streetlights. The lamps go on at dusk and stay lit until dawn. If you are in the area, it is definitely worth a visit!

Here is a link for a Los Angeles Times article on the artist and this sculpture: LA Times Chris Burden

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Norwegian Black Metal Isn't Dead Yet

Wow. Booga Booga!!!! I just read an article in the LA Weekly about Norwegian Black Metal. Part of me just laughs when I see these fellas in their goofy get-ups (see the handsome devils above and below), but some of their antics and messages are truly horrifying.

If you have any interest in this topic, I'd recommend reading:

And check out this slideshow. LA Weekly Images of Satan

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Garlic Mushroom Soup

I made this over the weekend. YUM-E! And pretty healthy, too!


20 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1 1/2 lbs fresh mushrooms
4 T olive oil
2 cups toasted bread crumbs
1 bunch fresh parsley, stems removed and chopped fine
10 cups fresh or canned chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash Tobasco sauce*
Dry Sherry wine to taste (optional)

In a food processor or by hand, finely chop garlic and 1 lb mushrooms. Cut remaining 1/2 lb mushrooms in to thin slices. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat 2 T olive oil and saute chopped garlic and all mushrooms for 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Heat remaining 2 T olive oil until hot; saute bread crums in oil. Add garlic and mushroom mixture to crumbs, stir in parsley, and cook 5 minutes. Add broth and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt, pepper, Tabasco* sauce and dry sherry.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Note: If a thicker soup is desiered, stir in a few teaspoons of cornstarch dissolved in a little cold water and cook a few minutes until soup clears and thickens.

Stupidly I forgot to photograph the delicious soup before it was devoured. DOY!

TIP: I didn't have Tabasco on hand, so I used a few giant squirts of that divine hot sauce in asian restaurants called SRIRACHA HOT CHILI SAUCE.

Friday, December 5, 2008

That Damn Iritis

Humph. Went to see Dr. Wang today to get the latest on my bout of iritis that has lasted a whopping 8 weeks. The doctor said there is just a little inflammation in my right eye, and that my left eye looked ok, and that I should keep taking steroid drops for two more weeks and then my eye problem should be cleared up. I guess that is good news, but it is aggravating to keep having the same problem over and over again, and to have to visit the doctor over and over again to try and get it fixed. I know, I know: it could be worse. *Sigh*

Years ago another doctor told me after seeing me for my first, second and third bouts of iritis that I might have arthritis in my eyes. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa? I mentioned this today to Dr. Wang, and also told him that sometimes my hips ached and that I was wondering if I might have arthritis in both my eyes and my hips. He said it was possible and to get a physical to find out if I do indeed have arthritis in my hips. I guess that would show up in a blood test? I have no idea.  *Sigh* I hate going to see the doctor, and might just put this off until next year. *Sigh* I think a fabulous life would be one without the need for doctor visits!

But at least it is Friday night and I get to bust out of here soon. Off to the weekend. Yipee!

OH RIGHT. I learned today that it is spelled O-P-H-T-H-A-L-M-O-L-O-G-Y.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Iritis anyone?

I have this bizarre problem with my eyes called iritis. It is very painful. One of my eyes (sometimes both) becomes very sensitive to light. Movement of the eye can be painful -- almost like the eyeball has rusty gears moving it around slowly and painfully. Or like the eyeball is suspended via an over-stretched rubber band that might just snap at any second. Horrible. If/when iritis goes untreated and it worsens, any type of light feels like a stabbing pain in the eye. It is miserable.

Last December I had a bad case of iritis. I called Kaiser and explained that I was having terrible eye pain. The appointment center person told me I needed to leave work and get over to see a family practitioner right away. So I hurried over to the Kaiser facility in West LA to see the doctor. I was immediately peeved when they wanted to weigh me (why in the hell do you need to weigh me to fix my eyes?!). The nurse was a rather big and pretty lady, so I thought she might be the quiet and sensitive type. Wrong. And of course the scale was right next to two men working on a computer. When I stood on the scale the nurse blurted out my weight. !!! Horror factor eleven!!! And one of the guys muttered, "AMAZON!". $%@#&*!

So the visit was not going so well, but next stop was to see the doctor. As you can imagine, FP's don't have all the equipment that a good eye doctor would. So this FP took a look in my eye for a nanosecond and then prescribed some eye drops for me and told me to see an Ophthalmologist ASAP. I picked up the prescription and used it as directed, hoping for any relief whatsoever from the pain. Then I went back to work.

My eye got worse and worse and worse and worse, until I was in agonizing pain and had to leave work early. I cannot even explain how badly my eye hurt: any sort of light was like a shiv ramming into my eye. When I got in the car to begin my hour-long drive home, it was night-time and all of the on-coming traffic's headlights had me in agony. I had to put sunglasses on OVER my glasses in order to drive home, and I cried in pain the whole way.

Once I got home I did not know what to do. I shut all the lights out in my apartment except ONE and then I went to bed. I woke up shortly thereafter as the ONE LIGHT IN THE HOUSE that was approximately 50 feet away behind several different sets of walls WAS KILLING MY EYE. Horrible pain! Absolutely horrible! So I started bawling and worrying that I could not wait another 12 hours to see the Opthalmologist. I called Kaiser and explained everything. The very sympathetic person on the phone told me to GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM IMMEDIATELY.

Have you ever been to an emergency room? Horrendous. A total madhouse of activity, and a waiting room full of miserable people. The receptionist was singing between phone calls and admissions. Singing. R&B type (AWFUL) music. Full volume. Very disconcerting.

After a bit a nurse called my name and started the fury-inducing process of weighing me and checking my blood pressure. Shortly thereafter a doctor saw me. She could tell I was in agony, and apologized over and over again that she needed to shine a light into my eye. I involuntarily whimpered and tried not to cry from the pain. HUGE-HORRIFIC-GARGANTUAN-MORTAL-WOUND-PAIN!!!!! By then it was nearly 11pm and she telephoned the on-call Ophthalmologist and asked him to get to the hospital to see me, stat.

As the doctor's office and the entire building he worked from were shut down for the evening, I had to get a ride from a Kaiser security guy to the building. VERY SCARY. I was petrified and felt so vulnerable. Alone and in pain with a scary unknown man who was leading me to a dark, vacant, massive hospital building!!! Ack!!!!! He drove me over to the building, and took me up the elevator to the 7th floor. All the lights were out. Panic!!!! He flipped on a few overhead lights in a waiting room and left me alone to wait for the doctor.

Dr. Wang showed up within 15 minutes or so, and by then it was about 12:30am. He looked rather perturbed that he had to trek on over to the hospital to see me. Dr. Wang examined my eyes (again with the lights!), although he had a tough time even getting my eye open, as it was swollen shut in pain. Dr. Wang quietly mentioned that he had never seen such a bad case. He confirmed that I had iritis again and that the problem had been compounded considerably by the eye drops that were prescribed to me earlier in the day. Apparently I was allergic to them. *%^&!##! So he gave me steroid drops and told me to take them every hour on the hour and to return the next day. The nice thing about those drops was that they provided immediate relief, leaving my eye with a cool soothing sensation. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Mind you, not all better, but some better. And when you are in this much pain any relief is welcome! 

So I went back to the doctor the next day, and he said it was getting better but that I needed to wear glasses (grrrr -- i much prefer contacts) for the next several weeks while I continued taking the steroid drops and my eye continued to heal. He also mentioned that he wanted to take several tests and a chest x-ray to make sure I did not have any of the awful diseases that iritis can be symptomatic of, including tuberculosis and lupus (gulp!). Of course that made me worry, as who wants a disease to deal with!

A couple weeks later after all the test results were in, Dr. Wang told me that I checked out ok. Needing further clarification I asked, "So you mean I don't have lupus?" To which he responded "Not at this time." !!!!!!!!  What kind of statement is THAT?!?!?!? Just be happy for me! Tell me I am fine! Grrr!!! Anywhoo, I think it took about 6 weeks and a few follow up appointments, but my eye finally got better.

Well, it is December, and here we go again. The iritis is back. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. This time the iritis has has lasted nearly 8 weeks, and I've been taking steroid drops to treat the pain and wearing glasses instead of contacts to give my eyes a break while they heal (yup, this time I am having pain in BOTH eyes). And even after all this time, all these doctor visits, and all these drops, it doesn't really seem to be getting better. I am not sure if I am becoming immune to the drops or what, but I have yet another doctor appointment tomorrow to have my eyes examined. Hopefully they can fix me up. I am wishing for a magical cure! Will keep my fingers crossed. I have been told that once you get iritis you are likely to get it again and again. And they say stress can play a major factor in recurring bouts of iritis. Great. How does one NOT stress? 

Oh please oh please oh please let him fix my eyes!