My Traffic Sucks Worse than Yours

Last week, word came down from “on high” (whoever that is) that traffic in Los Angeles is the worst in America.

gomer-surpriseSurprise, surprise.

I am here to attest that the worst specific area for that worst traffic is in Hollywood during afternoon rush hour.

After leaving a commercial audition the other day the only way to get home was to travel through Hollywood. To drive 1.7 miles, it took me… wait for it… forty minutes!

Now while the traffic sucked, the weather was beautiful. So what did I do while literally sitting in the most iconic (if congested) part of America? I rolled down the window and took pictures, of course.

Hollywood Traffic 002

Above is the mural “Portrait of Hollywood” painted on the auditorium wall of Hollywood High School. Famous alums include such Golden Age stars as Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Carole Lombard, Lana Turner, and Lon Chaney, Jr. up to more recent stars like Carol Burnett, Lawrence Fishburne, John Ritter, Valerie Bertinelli, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Hollywood Traffic 005

Next up on our tour through traffic is the Hollywood Museum, which is housed in the historic old Max Factor building. AgingGalThis is where Max Factor, Hollywood’s Makeup King, helped beautify such stars as Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Jean Harlow, and Marilyn Monroe. Needless to say, Mr. Factor never got his hands on me.

At the corner of Hollywood and Highland, this giant billboard of Sophia Vergara drinking a Pepsi makes me want a soda… and an appointment with her plastic surgeon.

Hollywood Traffic 003

This vision of the Hollywood United Methodist church at the corner of Highland and Franklin is like a mirage in a desert. The freeway is now so close, yet still so far away. Jesus, give me strength!

Hollywood Traffic 007

And then, like a starving man spotting an In ‘N Out cheeseburger, I see it… The freeway…

Hollywood Traffic 008

Remember when I said it took me forty minutes to go fewer than two miles? Well, the good news is that by the time I do get on the 101, it takes me only thirty minutes to go thirty-five miles.

And that, class, is a lesson in the unpredictability of Los Angeles traffic.

Dismissed.

 

 

 

McDictionary

Thanksgiving. The name says it all. A time to give thanks. Well, that’s what we’ll all do on Thursday.

Today, I’m going to rant.

In honor of America’s foremost fast food haunt (and the restaurant where I’ll dine too often during this frenetic week), I’ve lovingly compiled my observations into a McDictionary of sorts.

McDanger’s — Bitty’s name for the McDonald’s just off the 405 freeway that I stop at when en route to LAX. My feeling is, Why pay $10 for an Egg McMuffin in the airport terminal when I can get one for a dollar at McDanger’s? Bitty’s take is that she’d rather avoid — at all costs — the zombie-like creatures who hang out (or perhaps live) at this fine establishment.

McDillweed – the lazy soccer mom who, instead of getting out of her car, orders breakfast for the entire soccer team in the drive-thru, forcing the waiting line of cars to pile up past the parking lot, through the traffic light, and into the street.

McDummy — the name for the manager who doesn’t have McDillweed pull over into the parking lot during the 20 minutes she (and the rest of us) wait for her order to be filled.

McDangle — my upper arm flab. Due more to middle age than my visits to Mickey D’s.

McDelight — watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

McDefense – what the Dallas Cowboys will need to combat RG3 during the Thanksgiving day game.

McD-Day — my 50th birthday. Exactly ten days and counting. Yikes…

Gym “Assets”

I’d like to welcome back Aging Gal’s resident gym rat and etiquette correspondent, our friend Q. Ever diligent about going to the gym, she has some courtesy tips for the rest of us:

The word for the week is “assets.” To the numerous ladies who think it’s okay to sit their “assets,” showered or sweaty, on public domain (gym benches and spa area furniture), it is not. That is where I sit and place my belongings. Please invest in a towel and use it! To the ladies who wear bathing suits in the public areas but have no intentions of swimming, please stay home because you’re just thirsty for attention. Just for confirmation, everyone does see your assets (and other areas that should be left to the imagination; see “camel toe”).

“Ass-ets”

Last but not least, because the seasons are changing, I think it’s important for women to know there’s a difference between workout attire, tights, and hosiery. The latter two should only be used for ballet, when wearing shorts, or, even better, left at home. Yes, they may look dark and dense in the packaging, but once you are wearing them they become diaphanous. We all still see the colors of the rainbow underneath and sometimes quite vividly the crack of your “assets” when you workout. Thank you for these visions now seared into my brain that no amount of therapy will erase. I’ll be sending you all my therapist’s bill.

Once again, Q, thank you for our etiquette lesson of the week. Personally, I’ll be placing my “assets” firmly on the couch…

Hooray for Hollyweird

Lately, I’ve been driving into Hollywood quite regularly for auditions (thank you, new agent).

Of course, there is the occasional fun “star” sighting…

A true star’s hands and feet prints…

And then there is this:

Not something you see driving around in the Midwest…

If only I had this many Oscars…

God, I love this town…

The AARP Right of Passage

It’s a right of passage experienced by every person in their 49th year: the AARP membership push.

I receive regular e-mails from Betty White, that eternal Golden Girl, beaming at me from the other side of my computer screen. “Join AARP and receive a free ‘Insulated Travel Bag’.” The implication is that, if I join AARP, maybe one day I’ll be as hip as Betty (whom I have met and, as does everyone, adore).

But should I never reach Betty’s level of hipness (and, let’s face it, who could?), I can always give up walking and start running people over in my scooter…

Hell, yeah, I’m trading in my truck for one of these right now.

Maxine and I are free-wheeling rebels… in every sense of the word…

I Hate My Hair

You know the Nora Ephron book I Hate My Neck?

Yeah, well, for me it’s I Hate My Hair.

My hair looks better than these clown’s… really, it does…

Loyal readers know that I am cheap and will only pay Supercuts to cut my hair, and that I have a bald spot and a subsequent comb-over that Bitty calls my “Zero Mostel.”

I am quite the beauty.

And, since I only get my balding hair cut every couple of months, I am prone to split ends.

So, you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to find that Dove® had delivered a free tube of Intensive Repair conditioner to my home. (Whoop! Whoop! Oh yeah, my cheap and handicapped-hair self did the happy dance!)

Then I tried the conditioner. Not only do I love the fragrance (fruity aroma with an oaky after-taste… no wait, that’s my chardonnay), but I also love how smooth and soft it makes my hair. (And that, truly, is saying something. Usually, it looks like I’m wearing a frizzy fright-wig.)

Perhaps my hair finally relaxed because Dove® Intensive Repair Daily Treatment Conditioner contains all this fancy stuff that (specifically MICROMOISTURE Serum and Fiber Actives) that prevents split ends and breakage. I also learned that conditioners mainly repair surface damage, but some damage lies deep inside the hair fiber.

And, let’s face it, whose hair couldn’t benefit from a little Fiber Actives and Serum?

After all, look what Dove can do for Marge Simpson’s hair…

After all, summer may be winding down, but our fun in the sun and the water has wreaked havoc on our hair. It’s time to nourish it back to beautification.

Visit dovehair.com and find the conditioner that will bring your hair back amongst the living. After all, it’s still two months until Halloween… we don’t need those fright wigs yet.

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Lord of the Flies

Was Goliath secretly afraid of David?

Michael Jordan towering over Muggsy Bogues

Did the legendary Michael Jordan dread the short, yet speedy Muggsy Bogues?

Can a Labrador Retriever really be petrified of a common house fly?

I can’t answer the first question, suspect Jordan was at least annoyed by Bogues’ defensive skill, but, as for the third question, I tell you definitively: yes.

Jack T. Dog is so afraid of flies that a single fly in the house causes him to cower and hide. Under the coffee table, tucked next to the toilet in the small half-bathroom… this is where Jack goes to protect himself from his nemesis.

Perhaps this makes me a bad mommy, but his histrionic panic at the presence of one innocuous fly just makes me… laugh.

Jack T. Dog’s nemesis — the fly

Because there is something in his (admittedly) OCD doggy brain that sends him scurrying for cover when he spots one of these six-legged insects, finally I had to wonder: Is his reaction metaphorical for our lives?

Aren’t we sometimes simply beaten into an irrational fear by all the “flies” (literal and figurative) buzzing around in our brains?

Life is hard, yes, and I know sometimes my own thoughts make it that much harder. (“So-and-So looked at me funny; does she hate me?” “I didn’t get the part after that audition; do they hate me?” “That driver didn’t let me merge even though I signaled; does he hate me?”)

Jack T. Dog in happier, fly-free times

My dog’s phobia is no less real; he’s just chronically afraid of a winged, germ-carrying, bizarrely ugly arthropod. Jeez, put like that, the fly does sound pretty gross. I think I’ve just developed a new fear myself.

At least a fly can’t hate me.

Tri-Focals

Last week, I went for my annual eye exam. Now, I’ve never been strong in the eyesight department (think Mr. Magoo meets Scooby Doo‘s Velma), but nearing the big 5-0 has put me in a club I did not want to be a member of.

I need tri-focals.

Progressive lenses, here I come. (At least I can say I’m getting more progressive as I age.)

Certainly, I am not the only middle-aged person to go through changing eyesight… along with changing other things.

Anyone else look everywhere for their glasses… only to find them on top of your head?

Or have readers in every room of the house as well as in your purse and car glove compartment… yet you can never find any of them?

Or try to unlock a car… only to realize it’s not yours? (Yeah, I’m not sure that all these issues have to do with purely my vision either.)

Of course, single Aging Gals and Guys can always follow Garry Shandling’s advice and look on the bright side: “I have such poor vision, I can date anybody.”

And nobody’s take on diminishing vision as we near 50 is funnier than Bill Cosby’s. Check it out:

Let’s Talk Menopause

Recently Bitty and I met a woman in her 60s who said she was one of merely a few thousand who never had menopausal symptoms. Never a single hot flash. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

We hated her.

Bitty is in menopause, and I am peri-menopausal. We are two women living together and hot flashing with a fever meant for Beelzebub himself. In other words, we are in Hell.

But aside from that rare braggart disclosing her lack of hot flashes, forgetfulness, and weight gain, how do women have this later in life “birds and bees” discussion? We all had that first (pre-menstrual) talk with our moms and girlfriends, but where do we turn for the “second” talk?

Ladies, look to our friends at Poise. (Think of them as your teenaged girlfriends but 30 years later and without the boyfriend jealousy.)

Hot flashes? Poise has not one, but two products for those unwelcome “personal summers”:

  • Roll-On Cooling Gel helps you feel comfortable and refreshed when a hot flash strikes. Squeeze the tube and gently roll the cooling gel on wrists, chest, or neck for a cooling sensation that lasts up to 10 minutes.
  • Body Cooling Towelettes offer instant cooling and refreshment when you experience a hot flash. Gently wipe the towelette on wrists, chest, or neck to feel cool and comfortable. Featuring a portable, re-sealable package, these towelettes are easy to use anywhere you go.

I don’t know about you, but when I had the “first” talk with my mom, I was young, sheltered, and innocent. While I feared changes in my body, I didn’t want to talk about them. And then, when I got my period at school in white pants (think severed horse’s head from The Godfather), I was terrified.

Today, I am older, worldly, and jaded, but I can still feel terror as my body changes. [What are those clots falling out of my vagina? If I sweat so much at night, how come I'm still gaining weight? How come one minute I'm laughing hysterically and the next I'm crying (other than my usual bipolarity)?] I may not have been willing to talk as a thirteen year old, but you can’t shut me up now.

Poise is counting on getting one million women to not-shut-up about menopause before October 18th: World Menopause Day. Come over to The2ndTalk and take the pledge to talk about it!

So, ladies, to borrow a phrase from Joan Rivers: “Can we talk?” With a little help from Poise, yes, you bet we can!

Aging Gals, be sure and leave a comment answering the question, “When do you feel most confident?”

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Rules

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Only unique Entries will be counted; duplicates will not be considered as an additional entry.

You may receive entries on this post by selecting from the following entry methods starting on July 26, 2012 at 9 a.m. PT and ending on August 24, 2012 at 5 p.m. PT:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion, including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#sweepstakesentry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.

d) To enter without posting comments, see official rules.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail and will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected. Void where prohibited.

Be sure to visit Poise’s brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

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