Saturday, June 15, 2013


The power is out.  And you know what that means in this day and age:  no internet, no firing up the microphone to do voice over auditions, no getting the car out of the garage, no laundry. No internet – oh, did I say that already?

My first reaction to hearing the power would be out for several hours this morning was relief. A deep sigh, even. What a glorious thought! Now I can get some writing done, I thought.  No checking email for auditions to do, since I can’t do them anyway.  No distractions, I thought.

And then I took a picture of the crane reaching over the house to replace our worn out power pole and posted it on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

And then I checked for comments on Instagram and Facebook until my iPhone battery ran dry. 

Ok, NOW, I can sit down and get some writing done.  What’s that noise?  My senses are bombarded not only by the work going on behind my back yard, but also by the incessant noise of city workers grinding a tree stump at the front of the house.  Then there’s the trash truck coming by.  Maybe I should’ve just fled to Starbucks when I had the chance and could still get my car out of the garage – at least there I’d have the internet and my distractions would be the normal ones.

I have been given a gift of no outside influences and I can’t stop my mind from wandering.  Unnerved at my lack of ability to calm down and focus on the enjoyable task of writing, I think perhaps there IS something to this adult ADHD thing, after all.  And, maybe I have it.  Between gazing out the back window to make sure the telephone pole guy hasn’t fallen to his death, to peering out the front door at the noisy tree grinders across the street, to listening to my growling tummy long for the smoothie I was about to make for breakfast, and now can’t, I am undone.  And a bit disappointed, really. 

I have prided myself on becoming a 50-something tech-savvy modern woman.  My friends and family come to me for answers.  I am the I.T. guy in my house.  My adult kids say things like “you post too much stuff, mom.”  I proudly wear this badge up front and center. 

But now I fear I am a classic connect-aholic.  Am I addicted to the INTERNET? 

I want to be able to have a nice, calm, productive writing day, I really do – but the longing for connecting with others drives my day, especially since I work from home.  Alone in my studio/office all day, it’s somehow comforting to know I can always chat with a fellow voiceover talent via Facebook if I have a pause in my day.  Or I can post a comment in a voiceover group such as “the phrase ‘in perpetuity’ is like kryptonite for me today” and watch the LOL’s and virtual pats on the back come rolling through the comments section.  How pathetic am I?

Part of me wants to force myself to go without power for a week and REALLY get some writing done.  Part of me wants to find a therapist who can rid me of this creeping annoyance I feel at myself.  And part of me just wants my internet back, darnit!  I know, I know - I can see the hashtags now - #firstworldproblems.

An hour later, I am calm. Serene, even.  The tree grinding has stopped. The power pole replacement noise has dulled to just a couple of men chatting while they work.  The trash trucks are infrequent passers-by.  I had a bowl of cereal instead of a smoothie and it did not kill me.  And my power is still out.  It turns out, I can adjust after all! Just give me a minute. Or Sixty.  I have no internet to distract me and 71% battery left on my laptop.

After that, there’s always pen & paper.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Guitar in Hand

Okay, for both of you blog followers out there - YES! I did receive the guitar!  As promised, Green River Ordinance sent it to me after they made it home to Texas.

What I hadn't counted on was their need to autograph the darn thing!  I googled.  Apparently this is about a $30 guitar.... guess I'll have to hold onto it until these guys hit the big time!

So, guitar in hand.... wish I knew what to do with it!  Guess I need to add "guitar lessons" to my New Year's Resolution list!
Really? Was there any doubt??

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Kid is Bad at Sports and Other Lies

Honestly, the things people will do to win stuff! There I was, minding my own business, enjoying the music of Green River Ordinance (the warm-up band for the warm-up band for the Goo Goo Dolls) at the Greek Theatre last night, when one of the band members said something about "we're giving away this guitar" and "send us a tweet and you could win."  So I figured, there's not that many people here yet, how many could possibly be tweeting?  Turned on my phone, looked up @GRO on twitter and found mucho tweets on the page, all saying something lame like "guitar, please" or "will bake brownies for guitar" or "entry for Greek contest" yada yada -- you get the idea.  In between songs, one band member mentioned that they'd been together for 10 years and started playing in high school.   Then he said something about all of them being bad at sports so their parents bought them guitars.  So, I promptly tweeted to @GRO "You guys rock! My kid is bad at sports & needs a guitar!"

Switchfoot was up next, and as they rocked the Greek Theatre, I periodically looked at my phone to see if a response had come in.  Nothing. Huh. Guess I wasn't more clever than all these people after all.  Intermission, then the Goo Goo Dolls are on - the reason we are here in the first place.   Nikki and I conspired to buy the tickets for her daddy's Father's Day gift, then she managed to land a job this summer serving at weddings for the same caterer that services the Greek, so she got us on a VIP list for the hospitality suite.  The Goo Goo Dolls did a great show - and thankfully performed "Better Days" ...which they somehow forgot to do two years ago when they were here...

Meanwhile, no incoming tweets for @tamiromani saying she had won a guitar for her bad-at-sports kid! The next time I checked, my battery had died a final death for the night and the phone had completely given up the ghost.  At 10:30 we were heading for the car and on our way home shortly after that.

Thinking I should probably charge the phone before heading upstairs to bed, I plugged it in and let it power up.  Little noises, little twitter icons - what's this?

"@GRO > @tamiromani:  you win! Come to merch after the goos"


So I start replying things like "phone died..... missed your tweet....any way to redeem?"

Those of you who know me well, are probably guessing (correctly) that if I don't hear back in the next two minutes I am getting in the car and driving 23 miles one way back to the Greek Theatre to get my guitar!

So, I grabbed one of my bad-at-sports kids, hopped in his Scion, and hightailed it back up the 210 to the 134 to the 5 to Los Feliz Blvd. to the right-turn-at-the-big-fountain (hey, I'm a landmark girl, not a street names girl) until I was stopped by the LAPD officer saddled with the job of keeping people out of Griffith Park after its 10pm closing time.

"But officer, I won a guitar by tweeting the band during the concert and I just want to see if they are still there and I can get it and....." With a roll of his eyes (I guess he decided that I wasn't heading up the hill to vandalize the observatory) he let me through.  Now, I'm a woman on a mission.

Can I just say that those Roadies are super-efficient?  Concert over at 10:30, we arrive at 11:54 and the buses are idling and ready to pull out, the last of the equipment is being loaded in the semi-trucks and they are almost ready to ROLL!  Of course, I go to the gate anyway, and the Security Gal (I use the term very loosely, as she was sitting on a bench, winding hair strands around her finger to stay awake), suggested I go in the office to find out about the guitar.  Which, of course, I did.

The 6 people or so getting ready to leave the office at midnight after a VERY long day and trying to decide where to eat on the way home, listened to my story and stared blankly at me.  "Well, I hope you didn't come too far..." When I told them my city, faces blank, they said "where?"  It's clear to me that most people who live in L.A. do not EVER travel east of Pasadena.  If they can help it.  Ditto for me going west of Pasadena, but at least I know what order the cities fly by me on the freeway.  Anyway, the lady with the biggest desk offered to go backstage to "merch" to see if they left the guitar for me.  They didn't.  So, she then offered to contact them next week to see what could be done about getting it to me.  Over and above the call, I say.

I'll let you know what happens....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The REAL Bridge to Nowhere is not in Alaska!

As it turns out, some days I am able to pull off this morning person thing, especially if I have partners in crime.  Leaving the house at 4:45 a.m. to be at the trailhead by 6:00, 8 of us (including 5 and 7 year old kids plus one labrador retriever) embarked on a 10 mile hike to the Bridge to Nowhere.  This being August, it was a good idea to leave at that time.  It was already in the high 70's by 6 a.m., so you know where it goes from there! Our only salvation from the heat was knowing we would be crossing the San Gabriel river at least 8 times each way (maybe more, it was just too much trouble to count.)  At the first crossing, we attempted to keep our feet dry:

By 11:00, on our way back, our river crossings looked more like this:

And this:
And this:

In between, we were treated to a really great hiking experience.  It was long, that's for sure, but the elevation gain was minimal and so was the cardio factor.  Still, my HR monitor managed to show 2,245 calories burned - even though it took almost 7 hours to do it! One foot in front of the other, that's all it takes.  At least I get credit for working out that day.  Well, in TamiLand, I do :)

Along the way, the typical ruggedness of trails in Azusa Canyon treated us to all kinds of visual specialties.  Yes, it was hot and dry - and the occasional cigarette butt on the trail left by the occasional idiot made my blood boil.  Hellooooo?  Can you say fire season?  (yes, that is a real season here in SoCal).

The trail got dicey just a couple of times:

Apparently, there's gold in them thar hills! We saw more than a few prospectors with pans and sluice boxes:

We startled a big horn sheep and it hurried down a hill, across the trail, into a ravine and up the other side in seconds (sorry for the rear view, but it was scurrying up the hill far away from me by the time I saw it.)

Finally, our destination ~ The Bridge to Nowhere ~

Sorry, Sarah Palin, this Bridge to Nowhere was before your time!

Aptly named, this beautiful span of concrete built in 1936 ends at the side of the mountain, and goes nowhere:

According to Wikipedia, the story goes that the bridge was built in anticipation of a road through the mountains that would connect Azusa to Wrightwood.  The bridge was completed in 1936, but in March of 1938 what had been constructed of the road was washed out in "the great flood," and the project was abandoned.  With no cars ever driven across its span, the concrete looks new.  It's a bit spooky to see a bridge some 70+ years old that looks like they finished it last year.  On weekends Bungee America provides the only professionally run bungee jumping operation in California from the bridge.  Although I'd like to go back & witness the fun, you won't see me taking a flying leap off the Bridge to Nowhere anytime soon.  My midlife crisis just isn't that spectacular.

PB & Banana - yum!

Just as we arrived and sat down to eat our lunches, the sun peeked over the mountain and warmed things up pretty quickly.  The blue-green pools below us looked so inviting, but we were hard-pressed to make it back to the cars by noon so some of us could go to work, drive to San Diego, etc.

Yeah, it's BRIGHT!
Of course, the kids had no problem with 10 miles...

This being August and all, the hike out was a bit warm, and the shade we had enjoyed on the way in was like the bridge - NOwhere!  I managed to score a killer headache from the heat -- but in spite of that, I would do this hike again.... any takers?

PS: anyone interested in more info, here's a great review of the hike by a REAL hiker:   Modern Hiker/Bridge to Nowhere

I Don't Do Mornings, Do I?

I really do wish I were a morning person.  I do.  Truth is, I don't do mornings.  I find that late at night is my quiet time to get things done.  The house is still. The air is cool.  I am generally alone with my thoughts.  I can write. Or read. Or pray. Or whatever.

And yet, I really do wish I were a morning person.  Especially on those mornings, like today, when I actually get myself up and out of the house for a walk before 8 a.m.  (Yes, I know all you true morning afficianados are laughing your heads off right now... hey, it's a start!  The 6 a.m. walk just isn't in my vocabulary yet.) I admire those people who can get up before dawn and utilize that quiet time for study and prayer, writing, and exercising.  Perhaps some day that will be me.  On days when I actually pull off accomplishing something of substance before 9:00 a.m. I am so happy!  Like today.  Truth be told, my motivation for climbing out of bed on a Saturday morning was to quietly stand back and make sure my son made it to work by 8.  Turns out, I didn't need to do that - he was right on schedule with getting up and out the door.  But I'm awake now, sooooo. 

Walk the dog.. that's it!  I took Woody for his mile (at 12, that's about all he can do), and he was ecstatic!  I enjoyed the coolness of the morning, the way the flowers turn their heads towards the sun, the lady with the hyper dog who spends her walk avoiding any one with another dog, noticing how many people have silly lawn ornaments (that's another post in itself, I think), and listening to worship tunes on my iPod.  Spectacular!  After Woody's mile, I dropped him off and continued on my way for 2 more.  Yes, I think I would like to be a true morning person someday!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Joy of Olio

Suddenly, it matters where my olive oil comes from.  Really!  It matters from whence my olive oil cometh.  What's up with that?

So, I'm out of olive oil.  Rather than pay $10 for a couple tablespoons of it at the market, I add it to my Sam's Club list and head out the door.  Now, you've gotta understand that I've never given another thought to the origins of my EVOO (with apologies to Rachael Ray) prior to visiting Italy, where I paid 26 Euros for a ghastly small bottle which makes everything it touches taste like heaven! (When IS that little bottle going to get here?)  In fact, I didn't know it existed until I took on a glorious Italian surname by marriage.  No kidding!  Good ol' vegetable oil was all I'd ever seen in the kitchen before that.

Like I said, I'd never given a thought to olive oil origins - I naturally assumed it was from Italy, of course.  Then, on the "oil aisle" of Sam's Club I noticed a sign that said "California Olive Oil" - gasp - whaaaaaaat? There are olive trees in California?  My righteous indignation surprised me and I supposed this is how the Italians and French reacted when they learned that California grew grapes, and not just for eating - if you know what I mean.

I was willing to pay $14 for a 2 liter bottle of Bertolli Olive Oil (which must be Italian - I mean, Bertolli?) instead of the same price for 3 liters of the Sam's Club Member's Mark brand because the store brand label said, "INGREDIENTS:  HIGH QUALITY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL FROM SPAIN, ITALY, GREECE AND TUNISIA."  Are you kidding me?  Now I'm confused.  (Even more so after looking on a map to see where in the heck is Tunisia, anyway?)  How could they cold press fresh olives from the trees of four different countries and bottle it before it goes bad?  Perhaps each bottle holds the oil from a tree in XX country and you never know what you are getting?  I suppose you could just live in TamiLand and assume your particular bottle of oil came from a tree in Italy...

Just for chuckles I looked at the Bertolli bottle, which read,"INGREDIENTS: HIGH QUALITY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL FROM SPAIN, ITALY, GREECE AND TUNISIA."

Guess I'll go for more bang for my buck and get the 3 liter bottle.  Sigh.


P.S. It has come to my attention that Costco has real Italian olive oil.... go figure...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Italy recap (sort of...)

Roma. Colosseum. Ancient ruins. St. Peter's Basilica. Vatican Museum. Walking. Walking. GELATO. Metro rides. Sistene Chapel. Piazzas. Eating. Sleeping. GELATO. Walking. Traffic. Train. Italians arguing. Firenze. Duomo. More Walking. Train to Pisa. Climb the Leaning Tower. Eat. Walking. Bus ride to Lucca.  Rent beat-up bikes. Ride around the Lucca medieval wall. Walking. Train to Florence. Train to Cinque Terre. Very long day. Italian Riviera. Hiking. Walking. Feet in the Mediterranean Sea. GELATO. Long ride home. Climb the stairs to apt. Very tired. Sleeping in. Driver takes us to Tuscan countryside.  Wine tasting. Nonna's lasagne - amazing! Must. Have. Recipe! Villas. Castles. Wealthy Italians. Fiat mini van. Come home to Florence. GELATO.  Hike up the stairs. Packing. Off to Venice.  Vaparetto shuttle boat.  Magical scenery.  Beautiful.  GELATO. I'm so tired - that's it for now!  Will post a couple photos next time....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Travelogue 101 and the quirky \British keyboard...

\well, the first two legs of our journey are complete, and \i find myself sitting in \london \Heathrow airport - in the British Airways lounge to be exact, and I think this may be the only time \i have a few moments to write for awhile.... when we get to Rome, we hit the ground running, so to speak -- as we have only given ourselves a day and half to see the necessary objects before moving on to a little slower pace and five nights in \florence.

I just have one question\:  Why is the \ & | key where the shift key is supposed to be on a |British keyboard?  Along with the necessary £ and € keys, in addition to the $ key -- (how very international of them!) it looks like my keyboard at home, and yet |I seem to be typing just one key removed for some words. For illustration purposes, |I'm going to forgo my usual need for typing perfection just this once, as I am sleep-deprived and it's just too much work, for one thing... for another thing - I think it's funny.

\Now, on to the journey so far:  three trips through security (fyi, in Canada and |Europe you do not have to remove your shoes but you do have to give up the unopened xl bottle of Evian you lifted from the lounge in YVR), and two flights -- waiting for our flight to Rome at the moment, which will leave at 18:30 (and yes, \I've changed my watch to a 24 hour time clock, let's just keep things simple on this trip okay|?)##
(apparently the return key also has a difference of location...)#

We will get a sampling of 4 different airlines by the time we get home, so |I think I may be a good candidate to provide a comparative analysis of |Business/\first class service on each by the end of the month, if anybody cares.  I must say, the sleeper seat in Club World business class on the 9 hour British |AIrways flight from Vancouver was a welcome treat.  I got a whole 4 hours of sleep -- which is a new record for me on an overnight flight.  |Of course, we had a light breakfast before landing and now we are expected to eat lunch in the lounge as it's 15:36 already!  Jet lag - it's a beautiful thing...#

Many thanks go out to L.O., who arranged these flights for us as a thank you for Jim's stellar construction work over the past few years on her behalf. Her arrangements have allowed us to not only fly in style, but relax in comfort in the British Airways Club World lounges in Vancouver and London....

Here in \London, it appears British Airways OWNS Heathrow -- or at least terminal 5.  this is their hub/headquarters and the lounge is cavernous.  The fam is on the other side of the lounge, and they are lounging, of course.  N is stretched out and asleep on a couch, C is undoubtedly checking his Facebook page, and J is reading the Daily Mail or some London newspaper.  I'm sitting at one of about 30 (!!) computer monitors in the taking care of  business section of the facility, with CNN and BBC News on flat screens overhead. Nice.

Think I'll go for a walk downstairs in a minute and check out Harrod's.

Friday, June 4, 2010

My, What Pretty Background You Have...

Well...... for those of you who take a look at this blog even semi-frequently, you'll notice I've changed the background design.  Again.  This whole blogging thing is new to me and I'm finding the endless free gadgets available on the web to be completely distracting.  ADHD level distracting.  I mean... is this cute, or what?  Honestly, it makes me want to create 3 more blogs just so I can be all Cybill-like and have multiple personalities.  (As if having two wasn't bad enough........ahem, blogs, I mean)

So, let me know what'cha think!  If you don't like it, as they say in Texas about the weather, just wait a minute -- it'll change....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Italian in Training

It's not like this Swedish-American-Heinz57 girl hasn't been in training since marrying The Italian in 1983... but I feel like I'm embarking on the ultimate training exercise:  a real-life trip to Italy!!

I really will try to post some updates while we're gone, but seriously, if I can't keep up with my gigantor 27 inch monitor at home, do you think my little Droidy-droid screen is going to suffice in typing all the crazy random information that will be going through my brain while in Italy?  Still, we'll see....

So much planning, preparing, research, etc. etc has been done over the past few weeks - I just hope I can really pull it off and make my family think I'm worthy of an Italian name... no, really!  One of my great hopes is that we will magically run into someone with one of our family heritage names in the little towns of Pisa or Lucca (where we think they are from) and be able to find a distant relative (hopefully one who runs a fabulous restaurant), and bring home some news about the cousins that look just like the hubby and in-laws... heh, heh!

Or, we could just have a great time, see some amazing scenery, eat some delicious food and call it a day.
That would make me happy, too.....