----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: August 2008

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Becoming a Curmudgeon

I regret to say that I am well on my way to becoming a neighborhood curmudgeon, at the precocious age (well, precocious for a curmudgeon) of just 32.

Three things happened today to provoke my curmudgeonly response:

1.) My upstairs neighbors continue to run a cabinet refinishing business out of their garage. I actually think that I am justified in being a curmudgeon on this one. They are using a variety of toxic stains and shellacs, and I have seen them rinsing their paintbrushes directly over a drain that leads to the ocean. Also, HOA and city rules prohibit running such a business from a residential neighborhood. And finally, as someone whose lungs have collapsed and who has survived cancer, I don't think I should have to breathe their fumes every time I walk out my front door. However, I am apparently the only one bothered by their activities, so my complaint to the HOA has gone unanswered.

2.) When I came back from a walk today, there was a carpet cleaner working on the apartment upstairs. He had brought a child along with him (his son, perhaps), but the child had strewn a number of plastic toys all over the steps that lead to my unit and was playing on the steps. I had to pick my way around him and his toys. I shot the carpet cleaner a questioning look, but all I got was a hastily mumbled apology. Thankfully, the child cleaned up his toys and left in short order. Still, it annoyed me. Would you let your child play in someone else's front yard? I doubt it. So why let him play on someone else's steps?

3.) It was a warm evening, so we opened up the sliding doors leading to our patio to get some air circulation. I kept hearing hooting and hollering and strange yelps, but I couldn't figure out where they were coming from, and Mr. Pink was out running an errand. Finally, I walked out to the sidewalk that abuts our patio, and I saw four teenagers who had apparently decided that the sidewalk was their new hangout. I felt kind of bad for them because I know what it's like to want to hang out with your friends but have nowhere to go--I grew up in a town nicknamed "Slow-vato," after all--but I still didn't want them making so much noise. So, I told them to move along. To my surprise, they actually listened to me. There's a Starbucks and some other restaurants right across the street...I told them to go hang out there. At least that way, they wouldn't be making a ruckus right outside my patio.

In some ways, I'm sorry to be so crusty and curmudgeonly at such a young age, but at the same time, I just want some peace and quiet. Is that so much to ask?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Picture Time!

Here we are being fabulous waiting for the band to go on at a bar. Note Mr. Pink's heavily bandaged arm. That's what happens when you are in a motorcycle accident and you're wearing a T-shirt instead of your protective leather jacket! Luckily, it's healing up beautifully, and he won't even have a scar. Nice hat, don't you think? Very on trend.
At dinner at Iva Lee's earlier that night. Delicious food...I want to go back just for the beignets! A note about my hair...I was rocking this style long before Katie Holmes got her hair cut.
Me with my friend's baby girl. She is one of the cutest little girls I have ever met, and she has the most adorable dimples!
I got Mr. Pink to hold her, too! Does he look a little bit panicked? He'll have to get used to it, because eventually, we'll have a baby of our own. My brother Esquire has given us 18 months to make it happen: nine months of practice and nine months of pregnancy. I'm happy to stick with the practicing part for now.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Once you hit 30, your age doesn't really matter anymore, right? Well, at least not until the big 4-0 looms. And luckily, I am still quite a ways from that terrifying milestone. As one of my friends would put it, I'm just celebrating my "double sweet 16."

Today is my official birthday (well, at least for two more hours). The party really started on Friday, Aug. 1, when my brother Esquire and his girlfriend came into town. We spent that evening with drinks and appetizers at the Chart House, where we had a great view of the harbor below and the stars above.

On Saturday, we did a little shopping at Fashion Island. (I showed admirable restraint, although Mr. Pink treated himself to a few birthday items...his birthday was yesterday!) Then it was manicures and pedicures for the girls. Mr. Pink stayed home to watch sports, but Esquire joined us for a pedicure--he's post-metrosexual, I guess. That night, it was off to Iva Lee's for a New Orleans-style feast. We met up with another couple there, and the six of us shared incredible food and a couple of delicious bottles of wine from our modest collection. I had beignets for dessert, which were so good that my mouth waters just thinking about them. We hit a club later, and a couple of other friends met us there. Unfortunately, the band we wanted to see didn't take the stage until late (too late for us old folks), but we caught part of their performance.

We all slept in Sunday morning and shared a homemade brunch with bellinis and mimosas. Then, Esquire and Blondie had to leave (hey, she needs a nom de blog of some sort!), but the party wasn't over for Mr. Pink and me. He got to go hit golf balls, and then we went to his favorite red-sauce Italian joint for dinner.

Today was my day. I got to sleep in, and then I met up with Mr. Pink for a delicious barbecue lunch, where I got to open my gorgeous birthday present--a handblown perfume bottle which is just the sort of luxury item I love. Plus, my friends and family showered me with birthday emails and phone calls.

I finished another chapter in my novel this afternoon and attended my online writing class tonight, and then I got to open the rest of my gifts, which were all wonderful. I especially like my pearl cocktail ring from the Blacklabels, and my amethyst ring and spending spree cash from my parents. Mr. Pink was going to cook for me, but I was craving something specific--shabu shabu. We ended up a a great little hole-in-the-wall that was inexpensive and delicious.

Do you get the sense that most of our celebrating revolved around food and drink? You are correct! It's home cooking for the rest of the month, though. Back to real life...although I bet I can squeeze out a little more celebration over the next couple of days. It's a whole new year of my life. Let's hope it's exciting (in good ways, of course)!