Friday, August 29, 2008
Once in my car and on our way to the bar, we quibbled for a bit and I tried to mock her urgency.
"He's not going to start speaking exactly at 7...and besides, it's just going to be the same old shit anyway." I said in my typical cynical fashion.
"Georgia, this could be a historical speech! I don't want to miss it!"
"There's no such thing as a historical speech anymore!" I quipped back.
"What about Martin Luther King?" she asked indignantly.
"That was a long time ago."
She concurred, disappointed.
We settled into a bench seat at La Poubelle. Birds was our first venue of choice, but the hostess had seemed befuddled when we enquired as to whether the football game playing in the bar would be switched to the Democratic National Convention at 7. She had mumbled something about closed captioning, and after a glance at the bar, which was filed with thirty-something singles flirting with the same, we left.
At La Poubelle (a cozy little French restaurant/bar in Los Feliz) balloons lined the ceiling, and hipsters lined the bar. Armed with a pint of beer (me) and a vanilla vodka/diet (Alie), we settled in just as the opening montage began.
My cynicism is palpable these days. I've convinced myself that it doesn't matter, that we're too far gone, and that the game of politics is played by people who don't care about greater good. I voted for Obama in the primaries, and I'd vote for him in November, of course...but it was all just going through the motions for me.
Deep down I wanted to be proven wrong. The girl who fought with her mother over dinner at her favorite restaurant a few weeks back, about why the Republican party was so horribly off the mark...well I think it's obvious that someone who heatedly claims she will never respect her mother because of her Republican allegiance isn't someone who doesn't care, despite her claims to apathy.
By the time Obama took the stage, after watching the short montage glossing over the details of his life, I already had tears in my eyes. I looked over at Alie, and she did too. I made a few jokes throughout, my sarcasm not able to be reigned in at even the most heartfelt events, but my heart swelled more often than my quips came.
I guess the weird thing about it, the thing that makes my reaction so uniquely mine, is that I kept imagining Obama being shot on stage. As he delivered his speech, and it dawned on me how different he was, how different our world would be if he were our President, and my sceptismn faded, I was suddenly able to understand the loss the country had felt when Kennedy was shot.
I had never really understood it before, I realized last night. My mom had told me about it when I was a kid, and I had seen the sadness in her eyes when she tried to describe how she felt when he was killed. But I never realized before that I had seen Kennedy as just a man, and last night I realized that, like Obama, he was so much more than that. He represented what people wanted to believe so badly; in the greater good of humanity.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
There were a couple bands I would have liked to see, and I'm nothing if not a sucker for fair food, but I just don't have it in me anymore. The throngs of people meandering down the street, the heat, the strollers, the guys who wear sunglasses despite the fact that the sun set hours before...or worse, the guys who wear their sunglasses on the back of their heads.
I'd rather go to a house party and drink copious amounts of alcohol, unwisely eat nothing but pizza rolls for dinner, and raucously dance with equally inebriated friends in an empty living room, which is how my night turned out.
Sunset Junction - 2001
I was 21 years-old and had recently been unceremoniously handed my heart on a silver platter. It was painfully hot...much hotter than it is this year. I was wearing my light green "big E" Levi's stay-pressed pants which I had turned into capri's, with a black top that I eventually traded for a thin white tank top bought from one of the shops along Sunset Blvd. It was too hot for black.
Annie and I slowly strolled passed carnival rides and stands selling edibles on sticks and sugary lemonade. We sat down against a wall that housed El Cid, trying to escape the heat under the shade of an awning. The guy sitting next to me started a conversation, and before long we had made friends with him and his companions. They were visiting from somewhere...I don't remember where, Ohio? He was cute. He seemed to think the same of me.
Elliot Smith took the stage before the sun began to set, but it had already started to cool down. It was tragic. Stumbling through his songs and teetering on the stool which he had been perched atop with the help of some stagehands. The only noise the audience made came from those who attempted to remind him of the next words to whatever song he had started. Everyone else stared in stunned silence. He couldn't get through one song without fading off into a drugged daze.
Annie climbed the side of the stage to get a better look at the man whom she loved and admired. She had no way of knowing she'd be playing that exact same stage, on the exact same spot where he was currently playing, only three years later. When she found her way back to me, she looked like her heart had been broken.
We went with our new friends to Brass Monkey for karaoke, although I think Annie stayed behind, if I remember correctly. He was leaving the next day, and when we said goodnight in the parking lot, he kissed me very sweetly. There was a spark. There was something there, something that drew me closer. I never heard from him again, but part of me didn't want to ruin it, anyway.
Friday, August 22, 2008
At 28 years old, I don't feel finished...I don't feel like I'm done acquiring experiences and having those moments that shift the way I view the world. Lately I'm starting to see that this was an underlying reason why I left a comfortable, five year long relationship in San Francisco and moved back to Los Angeles. I didn't feel finished. I wasn't ready, and I didn't feel like I was having those moments of profoundness anymore...those moments that askew your view of the world just slightly.
Here are some things that blew my mind when I was younger:
Aside from his every-other-weekend stint, my dad would have us a couple weeks each summer, and we'd always drive for hours and hours to some beautiful forest, where we'd camp. During those long drives up winding mountain roads which had no radio reception, we had a choice between listening to the cassette of bagpipe music my dad brought, or Paul Simon's Graceland. I loved this album with all my heart. I still do.
My first crush. This show will always have a special place in my heart.
Roald Dahl was the author who shaped my obsession with books. After my mom read these to me before bed, I started reading and rereading them on my own. It wasn't just the stories I loved - I felt like I knew the characters. I think a lot of my personality, and how I view the world, is based on a handful of books I loved when I was a child.
Anything I could possibly say about Kurt Vonnegut would be a cliche. I know I'm not unique in my love for his books, but when I was in high school, and no one else I knew had heard of him, I felt like I had found a buried treasure.
There was a year or so during my adolescence where I read every single book by Steven King. When I'd finish the last line of a book, I'd peel the paperback cover off and hang it on my wall with a thumbtack. I think I had about 13 when I gave it up. His books scared the shit out of me. It was wonderful fuel for my insomnia.
Loved. Just loved.
So many great songs and bands that I wouldn't have known about otherwise. Agent Orange, Minutemen, Twisted Roots, Redd Kross, Little Girls. Oof...I loved this album.
Sitting on the edge of my brother's bed after he insisted that I listen to a new album he got. A few seconds into the first song, Little Birdy, and I was floored. I'd never heard anything like it before.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
-I'm wearing knee-high fishnets today and I'm so worried about getting in trouble for that at work. I work in a really nice office so I have to cover the tattoo on my leg but I'm SO SICK of wearing tights everyday. So. Sick.
-Items I have checked out at the library:
Oren, Michael B.
Six days of war: June 1967 and the making of the of the modern Middle East
A Thousand Splendid Suns
-Last night, in lieu of catching up on previous seasons of Mad Men and Weeds (which has been my usual weeknight happenings lately), I filled my night with all sorts of lovely people and things.
As soon as I heard Anh's keys turn in the door I ran downstairs and sat on the bottom step . We talked for a bit and when I excitedly suggested we jam (we have my drum kit and a guitar and amp set up in my bedroom), he quickly concurred. He taught me a couple new beats, and then played along on guitar.
We only played for a bit, as I had plans to meet Alie at the mall at 7:30. I didn't have anything to buy at the mall (in fact, I've vowed lately to stay far away from the damn place) but I Alie and I haven't had a chance to hang out much lately, so I followed her around the mall while we talked and solved each other's problems.
I left her as she was searching for a birthday gift for her new boyfriend (what the hell do you get a new boyfriend, anyway?) and headed to Micah's house. After a glass of wine, some yummy tacos from the nearby taco truck, and a couple shared Twix, we got down to cases. Micah set up a little insulated fort in his living room, surrounding myself, a microphone, and his couch (with another glass of wine thrown in for good measure), and recorded a monologue I wrote.
I intend to submit it to a radio show whose title starts with the word "this" and end with the word "life" and has the name of a country thrown in the middle for good measure. Why not, right? It's a play on my original post for This Recording, which you can read here. I added a few things, including an ending based on my mother's response to the post, which was simply, "I resent that you said I was bitter."
We still have some editing to do...and by "we" I mean "Micah", all I did was sit on the floor and criticize him, and make a lot of inappropriate jokes. My voice sounds very uncharacteristically smooth. Not at all like my lispy, everyday voice. Plus I've been listening to that radio show long enough that I know when to throw in those dramatic pauses and self-reflective rhetorical questions. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I'm extremely trepidacious about joining Facebook, and feel it's a little late in the game for me anyway. It was hard enough deciding to participate with Myspace, and even now I don't really use it for much. I guess I want to be sold on Facebook, so someone please tell me why I should or should not join.
This seems like a stupid thing to be worried about, doesn't it? Other stupid things I worry about:
-Having too many books I need to finish, even though three fourths of them are being read just for fun.
-When I buy a lot of food from the grocery store, I always worry it'll go bad before I have a chance to eat or cook it. I hate throwing away food, in fact I'm one of those annoying people who always takes home whatever they don't finish at a restaurant. Contrary to this, I buy bananas almost every time I go to the store, even though they always get thrown away when they inevitably go bad. I hate bananas.
I leave you with this totally unrelated anecdote:
A few years ago I was working at this big, important job in San Francisco. Late one afternoon someone noticed that a laptop was missing, but no one could figure out what happened to it...it just vanished. A couple suspicious days later building security emailed us this screen shot from their surveillance tape:
Notice the laptop-shaped bulge underneath that man's clothes? I used this photo as my screen saver for a while, because it made me laugh. The fact that this guy walked into an office, six floors up, took a laptop without being noticed, and walked out with it under his clothes...well I think he deserves the damn laptop.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Alissa was two years older than me, and ten years more mature. I had a huge platonic crush on her, and I would take the bus to University Park to hang out with her on the weekends. She was friends with the gutter punks, and had recently had a tumultuous relationship with the coolest of them, so I was privy to all the secrets and gossip about them.
She was tall and beautiful. She had dyed black hair and a little stud in her nose, and I mimed her 20-hole docs which she would wear over ripped tights. Even back then, as a naive kid, I could still sense the underlying sadness in Alissa, but I never really figured out the reasons for it.
Her best friend was Nancy, and I had never met anyone like them before. They were fun and silly, dramatic and deep, and it was exciting just to be around them. The fact that they seemed to like me, to take me under their wing, was an exhilarating feeling.
Her mom was out of town that Friday night, so after Alissa cooked us dinner, we swiped a bottle of vodka from her mother's stash, and headed out into the night. Between drinking the vodka, and throwing up the disgusting mixture of alcohol and pasta a few hours later, the events of that night are lost somewhere in my memory.
I do remember Alissa holding my hair as I puked, and stroking my back soothingly. She sat down on a park bench after I was done, and had me lay down with my head in her lap. The quiet park swayed woozily around me, and I vowed never to drink again. I was about 98% faithful to that vow until I was in my 20's, and to this day, vodka still makes me a little ill.
I have no idea what happened to Alissa. Last I heard, she shaved her head and moved out of California.
Read about my first cigarette.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
*If you don't mind me using an annoying term for a moment; I'm a beauty school drop-out. My main reason for dropping out is directly related to the job I had for three days while in beauty school. I thought I wanted to be a hair stylist, so when I was offered a job as a salon assistant, I quit my boring office job. I spent the next three days washing people's hair, getting yelled at for washing people's hair incorrectly, constantly rolling my eyes to myself by all the stupid shit the stylists said and did, pretending to be friendly and chipper all the fucking time, and realizing I wasn't cut out for this business. During my lunch break on the third day, I sat in my car and cried. I called my boss at the boring office job and she offered me my job back. I took it.
*My unemployment had just run out and my income from waitressing wasn't going to pay the bills without my monthly unemployment check. I was really excited when I got offered the receptionist position at a huge mortgage company, the kind that had ads running on the radio. I was to field all the calls from said radio ads and direct them to the 50-or-so guys that worked as lenders. The idea was that when the guys came in that morning, they wrote their names on a list, and that list would determine what order the calls were distributed. If they missed their call, too bad, they would have to wait for the list to come around again, which sometimes didn't happen if it was a slow day.
This meant that every two minutes or so, a guy who was not unlike the Pete Campbell character from Mad Men would approach my desk and either try to get their name moved up, or tell me that so-and-so said they could take his turn (which wasn't allowed), or yell at me because they [were just out having a cigarette, eating lunch, going to the bathroom, etc] and they had missed their call. This coupled with the fact that the volume of calls necessitated at least three receptionists, not just little old me, as well as the fact that I would be emailed a chart every hour showing how many calls I had missed, caused me to start bawling to the office manager a week into the job. She was a total dick about it, so at lunch, I went home and never looked back.
If there's one character trait I possess that I'm proud of, it's knowing when to cut my losses and move on. Okay, your turn: What's job have you held on for the least amount of time?
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I stayed in the bathtub for a long time, and was surprised to find myself laughing, despite my gloomy mood, as the cats amused themselves with my bathwater. Fascinated, they poked and sniffed, taking a few tentative laps every now and then, one loosing his balance and almost tumbling in at one point. Afterward, I tucked into bed with the first season of Weeds on dvd, intent on making up for the lack of sleep from the previous night.
That's when my dad called and frantically told me to take down the post I had written yesterday about "the incident". I said okay and once we hung up, rushed to remove the post, my computer taking painfully slow. Once the post was down, I called my dad back and he explained to me why it was foolish to give out so much information about "the incident" publicly (even though I don't have much information on it to begin with). I was scared, and I called Alie first, hoping she would talk me down. She agreed with my dad though, and after two more phone calls, I finally got the soothing reassurance I was looking for.
That doesn't mean I slept, though. It was one of those "lay on the covers and jump at every noise" kinda nights. If it weren't for Elvis sleeping against my stomach, tucking himself into the curve of my body, I wouldn't have gotten any sleep at all. He's the most easily frightened cat ever, so as long as he was sleeping soundly, I knew everything was okay.
It was a bad night. I'm having a bad week so far, not just emotionally speaking, but I've somehow injured my foot and it's painful to walk. Walking funny is causing my entire leg to hurt, and as for my nerves? Well they're just shot to hell. I did it all without a Xanax, though, I'm proud to report.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I waited a few moments after the loud pops that rang through my house, sending the cats scurrying under the bed. Deep down, I knew they were gunshots, but I waited for the sound of laughter, hoping they were firecrackers. I only heard male voices yelling angrily. It was steps from my house, maybe halfway down the block. It was almost definitely gang-related. When I went to the LAPD crime maps website this morning, there it was, as plain as day..."homicide".
Hours before, while driving home, I was thinking about how happy I was and how all the stressors in my life had sorted themselves out. At the top of my list, above my new car, the nice laptop that had just been given to me, the writing I had been doing, was the adorable new townhouse that I lived in with a roommate that I genuinely care about.
I keep trying to think of ways I could get around moving out. Something I could tell myself so I stop feeling the overwhelming urge to move to a shitty apartment in a better neighborhood. My landlord already told me that he has "other priorities for the property" when I requested bars be put on the windows, and the small alarms I got for the windows are band-aids, really. Those things don't keep bullets out. What would you do? I know the answer, I just don't think I can deal with it at the moment.
Monday, August 11, 2008
I guess I've kinda been waiting for a chance to take it, in order to see if my initial reactions were merely luck or some sort of placebo affect. The first time I took it I was kinda just in a bad mood and maybe let it escalate a little in order to feel justified in taking Xanax. I don't think I needed it though, as it had the affect that Alie later told me was tell-tale of just that: sleepy and silly...almost like you were drunk. It wasn't horrible at the time, as Preston and I were just hanging out at home. We made a big yummy dinner of chili cheese dogs and then hung out on the couch for a bit...it was nice, although I was being a bit silly.
From there, we went to see a friend's band play, which was a mistake on my part. I was tired and would have been happy staying in, but I went to appease Preston, which is a bad reason to go out. I was crabby the entire night.
The second time I took it (both times I only took half of a 25 mg pill) was on Saturday afternoon, before I picked Preston up for a family barbecue/pool party. I don't know why, but I always get nervous before I hang out with my family (extended, in this case) even though it always turns out fun and goes relatively smoothly. I guess I was nervous about him meeting all the aunts and cousins for the first time...nervous for him, mostly. When I get that way, any little thing that happens, stuff that wouldn't usually bother me, just adds to it and makes my anxiousness that much worse.
So after I got off the phone with my mom, who yelled at me for not having left the house yet, I swallowed half a tablet on my way out the door, and hoped for the best. About 20 minutes into our drive, after a bit of an argument, everything was suddenly fine. We didn't even need the This American Life I had downloaded for the long drive, we just drove and talked...and I was fine. The rest of the day was quite lovely, and after the party we spooned on his couch and watched t.v.
I think I need to find a happy in-between when it comes to knowing when to take a pill. Sometimes my anxiety escalates rather quickly, and when you're right in the middle of it, it's hard to realize you're being irrational. My ability to differentiate between the stuff I'm validly upset about, and that which is just my psyche getting the better of me, gets diluted.
Friday, August 8, 2008
This sounds like I'm bragging, like when I say to my roommate Anh, who has the smaller bedroom, "My bedroom is just so huge! I don't know where to put everything!"...but I'm not bragging, it's a curse, really. You'd think that, having so much time to yourself between the hours of 7:45 am and 5 pm, you would accomplish a lot. Well, maybe you would, but me?...I'm a bit of a procrastinator.
I have been writing a bit, and reading, and planning, and making lists. It's easy to waste time when you know you'll have the same amount the next day...and the day after that...and the day after that, to infinity.
Here are the books that I'm either reading now, or will be reading shortly:
Although I thought it had a slow start, I'm really into this book now. It's one of those books that you look forward to reading, and could happily spend an evening in with. This is the first book that Meghan and I chose for our new book club. She and I are the only members at the moment, and the theme of our book club is to motivate and direct us in writing stories for "young adults".
I bought this book on Amazon for $0.16 (+S&H) after finding a fuzzy colony of mold spores in a neglected Tupperware and thinking to myself, "I wonder if there's a "history of mold" book?". Despite the fact that I'm grossed out by shower walls and have been known to wear sandals in unfamiliar showers (or showers belonging to guys, because, ew), I'm endlessly fascinated with mold. I can't wait to get this book. The first line of the first review on Amazon was this: "If Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) were reincarnated as a mycologist, he would have written this book." Uhhh, fucking perfect for me, much?
The second book in mine and Meghan's book club...cause, ya know, doesn't hurt to add a little knowledge (to the absolutely none I currently have on the subject).
Other things I occupy my day with:
Cracked.com - This website is an endless source of entertaining, thought provoking, or amusing material for those of us who have low-level responsibility jobs. Start with:
5 Scientific Theories That Will Make Your Head Explode, 5 Tiny Mistakes That Led To Huge Catastrophes, 6 People Who Just Fucking Disappeared and their hilarious photoshop contests, such as The 40 Most Inappropriate Children's Book Covers.
Here's my list of blogs I've added to my Google Reader. If yours isn't on there, don't worry, I still haven't added everyone (yell at me in the comments if yours didn't make the list).
Adventures of a Book Thief
And if you have five seconds to spare... - read this post, it's beautiful
Diary of Why
Matter vs. Space
Moose in the Kitchen
Nothing But Bonfires
Other People Exist
The Bloggess - this is possibly my favorite post ever written
The Daily Coyote - and her grandmother's blog Svensto (seriously amazing stuff)
The Hollywood Librarian
two L's please
[witty blog title]
Wow...that was a pain in the ass. No wonder I don't have a blog roll. I also don't have one because I'm terrified of leaving someone off and hurting their feelings. This blog business is stressful! Can I point out that 7 of those are "mom blogs"? WTF?
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Before we even got to the campsite, while we were a good two hours into the four hour bus ride to the camp, I realized I had made a dire mistake by choosing to attend this camp. Although we had been excited about it for months, and talked about it with great frequency and enthusiasm, somewhere along the lines I believe Laurie began to see my presence at this camp as more of a hindrance to her than a commodity. When I told her that I hoped she and I were in a cabin together during our bus ride, she casually stated that she had decided to request that I not be in her cabin, as she wanted to make new friends and be in a cabin with friends from years past.
I was dumbfounded, as one of the soul reasons I was even going to this camp was because of her insistence a couple months earlier, and her promises of how much fun we'd have together. By the time we reached camp, her icy demeanour made it clear to me that I was on my own in this mess.
Later that afternoon while at the swimming pool, amidst a huge pack of girls who were screaming with glee and enjoying themselves immensely, I submerged myself underwater so no one would notice I was crying. I still remember what it looked like down there. Blurry bodies from the chest down, while my tears mixed with the overly chlorinated pool.
That night, after settling myself in a cabin of girls who were complete strangers to me, and would remain such the entire two weeks, we went to the cafeteria for dinner. I felt alone and empty. I missed my mom and my family and would have done anything to go home. It was stiflingly hot and dusty, and I hadn't made one friend. While walking the cafeteria line, a tray in my hand with a plate of increasingly disgusting looking food being heaped on by angry looking women, a gruff lady with a hairnet and clear plastic gloves held up the most inedible looking thing I'd ever seen, and asked me in an impatient voice "hamburger pie?". I feverishly shook my head "no", and walked off to sit by myself at a picnic table.
"Hamburger pie" was the most disgusting sounding two words strung together I had ever heard. Something about it, the fact that I would not only never have had to eat it back at home, but would never have even known such a thing existed, not in my home where my mom made the best-ever pancakes-for-dinner, matzo ball soup, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (using fancy wheat bread, natural peanut butter, and jam) made me heartwrentchingly homesick. At that moment, I felt more alone and far away than I've ever felt, before or since.
Monday, August 4, 2008
as well as deep fried pickles *drool* and yam fries...
but quickly turned heated when the topic of politics came up. It didn't end very well. Also, I somehow agreed to let her read this blog. I don't know how that happened. Mother's can be very persuasive, I guess. I had vowed to take a photo of everything I ate over the weekend, so I could finally post a "Every Single Thing I Ate This Weekend" post, which I've been wanting to do for ages, but somewhere around Saturday evening, I forgot. I got as far as breakfast on Friday morning:
That's what I call a "hole in one", as that's what my family has called it all my life. But you may know it as an "egg in the hole", "egg in the basket", or "one eyed jack".
Fried chicken at the beach. Yes please!
On Sunday I got together with a few friends for a little relaxation by the pool. We made way too much food, and even though I laid out for at least two hours, I barely got a tan. Boo.
Last night I met my very first hairless cat. He was so adorable and sweet.
Tomorrow: find out why the words "hamburger pie" made me cry once.