Friday, May 31, 2013

Red Faced and Broke

There is no way to soft-pedal this so I'll just spit it out: I sold the brooch and spent the money (plus some) on fractal laser treatments.That sleazy UPS driver-slash-MLM wrinkle cream huckster really rattled my cage. I stewed about it for days then finally grabbed the pin out of the safe deposit box and hightailed it to Aram, the Armenian jeweler. He's got an elegant little shop off Melrose where he sells estate pieces, makes custom jewelry for exclusive clients and, on occasion, buys baubles off desperate old ladies. He and my father go way back, I mean waaaay back - all the way to Yerevan, in the old country. He was pretty generous, I think, and gave me a more-than-fair price for the aquamarine brooch. I should have put it in the bank, or paid my rent through next month, or paid off the credit card. Anything but have my skin blasted off with a ray gun. I mean, no matter how dewy my face looks I can't change the fact that I'm still thirty-six. That's about fifty-eight in Hollywood years. I must have been temporarily insane.

Nadia, god bless her, gave me a deal on two sessions - $3800. I got $2900 for the brooch and cleaned out the bank account to come up with the rest. So now I'm hiding out in my apartment for a few more days while the swelling goes down. I started another project - a decorated box for my bathroom counter. I found the box in the alley. It's really a drawer from an old dresser. I painted it with the last of the white shoe polish and painted big roses on it with nail varnish. I glued some rhinestones on it then decopaged the inside with a paper party napkin printed in an allover rose pattern. I think it looks pretty cool.

Recipes and Household Tips for the Recently Impoverished #6
Look at everything with new eyes. People throw out the most useful junk. That beat-up wooden drawer can have new life as a bathroom oragnizer.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nip and Tuck...STAT!! I don't even know where to start. Ok, so I went out for coffee with Larry, the UPS driver. He was so sweet. We talked about how much we both love animals, working out, and skating along the strand. He's also from the Central Valley so we had similar childhoods in common too. Things were going along just swimmingly for about twenty minutes then, out of the blue, he asks me about my skincare regime.

Skin care regime? Really? The guy whips out his business card and a sample of a wrinkle cream he's selling via some cheesy MLM scheme...scam, whatever. He started blathering on about peri-menopausal skin care. "You know, as women age you really need to protect against the effects of reduced hormone production. Especially you blondes." He actually used the term 'peri-menopausal'. I'm thirty-six, not forty-six! I didn't know whether to slug him or sink throught the floor. I was actually speechless. I grabbed my keys, jumped up out of the chair, and left him sitting there with his big, dumb mouth hanging open. Before he could even say a word I'd hit the door and was sprinting for home. At least I was smart enough not to tell him where I live!

Wrinkle cream. I want to cry. I miss Nadia (my cosmetic surgeon) so much I can barely stand it. She's wonderful and we were just about to do another fractal laser treatment when Barney kicked me to the curb. Two grand for beauty treaments used to be nothing - chump change. Now it's miles beyond my reach.

I've got to get a real job. The canvassing continues but it's getting old quick. People are so rude! I've been holding on to one last piece of jewelry, sort of as an insurance policy. It's a beautiful old pin - they used to call it a 'brooch' - that my great aunt left me. It's in a stylized flower shape, made of three colors of gold, and has a large aquamarine in the center. I think it was made in the 1920's. My good angel keeps telling me to leave it in the safe deposit box for a rainy day. My bad angel says "It's raining cats and dogs, girl! Go ahead, cash that sucker in! It will just about pay for the fractal treatments. Think about how good you skin will look! So creamy, so flawless! It's an investment, really. You can lie about your age and pass for 25...27, tops!"

I need chocolate.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

White Noise

My mind has been a blank lately. Nothing but white noise. I used to be so proactive and efficient - a real little problem-solver. Nothing got me down. Now I feel like I'm just treading water in the sea of life, waiting for something to happen. Either I'll get rescued, drown, or become shark food. The canvassing job has another few weeks to go and, quite frankly, it's kicking my butt. I've lost a little weight but it seems to be slow going, even though I'm eating next to nothing and walking miles each day.

Aurora told me that Harmony is sporting a big, honking diamond. Apparently she's planning a wedding. We're not even legally divorced yet and Barney can't wait to tie the knot. Again. This makes number four. I almost feel sorry for her.

But all is not  tears and sorrow chez Alexis, because...(wait for it)...I'm going on a real, live date! I went to an art opening tonite at Christopher Grimes Gallery in Santa Monica. The installation was interesting, although I didn't quite get it. Something to do with spaces, and windows, and the spaces between windows...whatever. It was free and included tapas.

So I started making small talk with this guy. He's cute, has a nice personality, and - bonus - he drives a truck for UPS. I mean, it's a pre-req that all UPS drivers are hotties. Anyhow, we're meeting for coffee next Wednesday. Good thing, too, because I was beginning to wonder what might be wrong with me. Do I have 'Desperate Divorcee' scrawled across my forehead in red Sharpie, or something? Maybe I've just been giving off touch-me-not vibes. I'm going to go facebook-stalk him now.

P.S. No recipes or tips tonight - I just can't muster the energy.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Muffin Top

I'm depressed beyond belief. My butt is carrying four extra pounds of lard, compliments of all the cheap carbs I've been eating from the 99-cent store. I'm not generally a compulsive eater but the combination of relative inactivity and processed pasta dinners has caught up with me. This is why every woman should wear her skinny jeans at least once a week. Muffin top won't show up in a pair of Juicy track pants. Not until it's too late, anyhow.

I know I must be getting boring vis-a-vis the 99-cent store but, really, it can't be experienced in one visit. Sort of like the Smithsonian. Today's haul included lean sliced ham, cabbage, garlic chili sauce, mozzarella cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, assorted spices and my favorite find - Crystal Light drink mix in grape favor. What makes it so awesome is that it uses just a smidge of sugar and stevia, no artifical sweetners. So, you can eat healthy even from the dollar store. My neighbor suggested Smart&Final for bulk purchases like coffee or whatever. I've never been there either.

It's funny, I've never had to think about grocery shopping. I mean, when I did go shopping I just trotted down the aisles and tossed stuff in the cart. I never looked at prices. Now it's a major feat of engineering to get the money and the food to both last until the next check.

I haven't gotten a call-back on the Universal City job but I did get part-time gig canvassing for the Republican Silverlake, no less. I thought they'd ran the last republican out of there in 1979. Apparently I was wrong. There were a few sighted last year and now It's my job to trudge up and down all those damn hills and flush them out. I need a dog that can sniff out guns and bibles. I really shouldn't be bitching about it - I'll knock off the extra pounds by next week.

Recipes and Household Tips for the Recently Impoverished #5
This week's recipe continues the theme of dollar store dining but is designed to reduce the circumference of your ass, not increase it. Ham Roll Ups are a classic dieter's lunch.

Start by placing several slices of lean ham side-by-side on a plate. Spread each slice with plain Greek yogurt. If you must use mayo, don't use the diet variety, you won't be satisfied and use no more than a half teaspoon for each roll up. Trust me, you'll taste it. Shred half a cabbage and put a generous heap on each ham slice. Reserve the rest of the cabbage for another meal. Top with sundried tomato slices - two per rollup - and a few cubes of cheese. Rule of thumb - use only a total of one ounce of cheese per meal. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Roll up and eat, preferably while standing at the sink so you can immediately wash up your plate, fill your water bottle. and get outside for a long, fat-fighting walk.