I'm Young. I'm Old.

I was at a bar the other night and a friend of mine said "I was thinking about it the other day, and I would never do my twenties over again." And I said that I could understand that, being as my first years out of college have been filled with terror and uncertainty and just looking at the rest of my life in front of me and having no idea what the hell is going to happen. And then the bartender asked me for my ID and I said to my friend that I hadn't been asked for that since I cut my hair and she said she had a hard time believing that since I looked so young. And then the bartender asked for her ID, too, and I said "see? He asks everyone for ID. It's not because I look young. (pause) Wait. I didn't mean that the way it sounded."

Work feels like high school again. This morning, I woke up and couldn't get out of bed. I came into work late. In high school, I was almost never at my first class on time. When I actually got to work, I felt unmotivated and angry and like no one understood me and all I wanted to do was go home. And then I remembered a time in geometry class when our teacher was talking about how to figure out all the angles of a triangle just by knowing the complementary angle of a square next to the triangle or whatever and before I slipped into the wonderful world of sleep, I stared at a yellowjacket circling the teacher's head and just hoped that it would sting him so that something exciting would happen and also because he took twelve points off my last test because I missed, like, one step of work in one of the problems. I came home from work and fell asleep almost immediately, without having dinner or doing my laundry and only waking up sometime after midnight when Evil Roommate came home from work and turned my light off for me. He's sweet sometimes, but he's also loud and his fumbling around my desk woke me up. In school, I used to come home every day and fall asleep on the couch until my mom called me for dinner. Lately I've been listening to the same songs that I used to listen to in high school, thanks to MusicMatch Jukebox, which gives me a free hour of artist match radio every day. By the way does anyone else find that no matter what band they submit, MusicMatch ALWAYS matches it with some band called "!!! (Chk Chk Chk)?" And that no matter what song they play by !!! (Chk Chk Chk), that the first ten seconds sound exactly the same, but the first ten seconds is all you hear before you find the "skip" icon and click it? Shut up, !!! (Chk Chk Chk). If I wanted to hear a band that thinks it's Ethiopian, I'd drive down to the Little Ethiopia section of Los Angeles, wouldn't I? Little Ethiopia is famed for its reportedly delicious Ethiopian restaurants. That's ironic, when you think about it.

But I digress. I hated high school. Why do I feel like I'm repeating it? And at the same time, I've never felt so damn old. I joined a municipal soccer team a few weeks ago because I used to love soccer when I was a kid and I figured it would be a fun way to stay in shape. What I didn't realize was that to stay IN shape, one must currently BE in shape. And I'm not. The week after the first practice, I have never felt so sore except for maybe the time Evil Roommate took me on a three-hour horseback ride and didn't tell me why I may want to wear a sportsbra. I don't remember being this sore and this tired after soccer games or practice when I was a kid. In fact, I wasn't ever sore or tired. I ran around for a solid hour then. I can't even do twenty minutes right now. What the hell happened? My body aged ten years. Oh, and I grew boobs. Those things do tend to make movement more difficult.

My back hurts. You know who else's backs hurt? Old people's, that's who. Everyone at work complains that I keep the room temperature too low, but sometimes I have hot flashes so I like the keep the room cooler. Hot flashes? I'm going through menopause. It won't be long before the osteoporosis sets in and I get a humpback and I start wearing half-stockings that are always bunched around my ankles.

My grandma has a poster on her hobby room wall. There's a girl sitting on some steps and she's wearing a backpack. You don't see the girl's face. For a long time, I thought the poster was a picture of my mother when she was the same age I am now. They had the same hairstyle. At the top corner of the poster is says "I don't know where I'm going, but I'm about to find out." That used to seem so cool to me. It's terrifying now. Actually, now that I think about it, the girl had a little kitten poking out of her backpack, and it was the kitten who was saying s/he didn't know where s/he was going. That means that I was once inspired by an Inspirational Cat Poster. Dude, I hate those.



Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. I will be celebrating by learning how to cook. If anyone can tell me what the difference between a casserole dish (which I don't own, and don't really want to buy) and a loaf pan (which I do own) is before I put the green bean and french fried onions in the oven, that would be awesome.

Thanksgiving Success!


The More Things Change

Life in my apartment complex is different these days. Two of its fixtures have left recently, and they were the two I knew best: Creepy Landlord and The Tennessee Girls.

Creepy Landlord will not be missed. He was offered a "better job" somewhere in Mexico. He sold off his Jesus Bus van (so named because it featured not one, but two "Jesus Es El Dio, Lea El Biblio" bumper stickers, both on the front and back of the van, neither of which were actually on the bumper) in favor of a shitty white pick-up truck, which both me and Evil Roommate are trying to figure out how his many, many children will all fit into. We're just glad that, come pool season, the little brats will be GONE. Plus, his abscence leaves the parking spot next to our tandem space vacant, and we have many wonderful plans about how to claim it as our own.

I'm sadder to see The Tennessee Girls go. D and J lived right below us, and moved in about the same time as we did (they actually took the apartment we were promised by the Creepy Landlord). They hated Los Angeles so much that they're leaving even though they still have three months left on their lease. They said it wasn't "friendly." One Friday night, I came home from work, and heard screaming outside. I looked down to see The Tennessee Girls in the pool, along with every single deck chair and three plastic cups full of magarita goodness. "Come on down!" they shouted to me, "we've got an extra magarita for you!" So I went downstairs and jumped in the pool, and we sat on submerged deck chairs and then D started almost-flashing the men on various apartment balconies and all the men came downstairs and stood around the pool and then J and D said that they were cold and getting out of the pool in five minutes so I had to drink my margarita RIGHT NOW, and I did, and then we got out of the pool and said good-bye to the men and I told them I would be right downstairs to watch a DVD with them, but then I passed out on my bed and they passed out on their beds too, and the next morning the deck chairs were back on the deck. Good memories, but I don't know how much longer we could have been friends. First of all, they were proud Bush supporters, but more importantly, D was totally racist. At first I thought she was like my own private Real World-style Ignorant Girl From a Small Town, and that once I opened her eyes and mind to other cultures, she would realize the err of her ways. But after a few months of mind- and eye-opening experiences, J and I still had to explain to her why outside Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles was NOT the best place to loudly talk about how her dad used to participate in lynchings. And by "used to," I'm pretty sure she meant "last week."

So who is left in our apartment building's Cast of Characters?

-Apparently Unemployed Alcoholic Guy by the Pool

-Depresso Man: always wears black motorcycle boots despite not owning a motorcycle and always greets me in the elevator or hallway with a glum "hi."

-Old Gay Men with Dog: they are always walking their annoying little yappy dog. But they'll only go a few feet away from the building so I usually see them on the grass near the parking garage gate or in the actual parking garage.

-Actor Guy: he received positive reviews for his guest appearance on Malcolm in the Middle, but he still has to sell insurance to stay out of debt.

-Man Who Leaves His Front Door Open Every Night With A Plastic Gargoyle Figure Poking Out To Warn Away Intruders: actually, I think him and Depresso Man are the same person.

-Possible Serial Killer: has a permanent sign on his/her/its door that reads "DO NOT ENTER THIS APARTMENT UNLESS I AM PRESENT. PLEASE SEE MANAGER FOR DETAILS." What could he/she/it be hiding? Could it be ... BODIES????

-Guy Whose Mail I Accidentally Stole: hey, it's not my fault that the postman put your issue of "Entertainment Weekly" in my mailbox, is it? By the time I read the address label, I had already gotten it dirty and I couldn't return it to you after that, could I? I really don't think the sign you put on the Community Announcements Board with a (too blurry for identification, ha ha ha!) FREEZE-FRAME from the security camera with a "do you recognize this person? Stealing from mailboxes is a FEDERAL CRIME!" was really necessary. That's why I stole a second issue from you, to teach you a lesson and because Jake Gyllenhaal was on the cover.

-GothHouse: a seemingly limitless number of goth kids pour out of this apartment on weekend nights. They haven't been very friendly to us since Evil Roommate, D, J, and I took turns shooting their giant rotting pumpkin balcony deocration with Evil Roommate's BB gun.

-Whoever This Guy: Is.

- Minnie the Quadraplegic: the reason why we don't have a hot tub.

-Guy Who Didn't Pay Rent on Time And So There Was A Hilarious "Notice To Evict" Sign On His Door For Two Days.

-Whoever Stole All of My Clothes Out Of the Dryers: those clothes were all I came to this town with, and you stole all of them except my delicates and chances are they don't even FIT you, you greedy bastard! You know what? KEEP the underwear! I don't care! JUST GIVE ME BACK THOSE JEANS THAT MADE MY ASS LOOK AWESOME! Please!

-Man Who Always Wears the Same Pants: he probably did not steal my clothes.

-Crazy Old Guy: the remaining population of the building.

Surely, somewhere on this list of Colorful Characters, there's a new friend for me!

How Much Fun Did I Have At Jake's Birthday Party?

...I had so much fun that I managed to misplace my digital camera in not one, but TWO separate locations. Thankfully, in the last case, the wonderful and honest staff of Dennys at the corner of Sunset and Gower turned my camera into the lost and found and I got it back. After having something like a thousand dollars worth of my stuff stolen since I got to Los Angeles, it was refreshing and unexpected to actually have something returned to me.

Lessons Learned:

1. Don't bring expensive camera to party where drinking will take place.

2. Don't sing karaoke unless I know the lyrics really well, esepcially if drinking will take place.

3. Dennys' new "Country Scrambler" may very well be the most delicious thing on the face of this Earth, or at the very least, west of the "Waffle House" line.

In this, the Gayest Picture Ever, Jake and Guillermo perform a duet.

Oh no wait, I'm sorry, THIS is the gayest picture ever. A few minutes later, Jake, too, would learn a lesson about not drinking so much that you puke and have to leave your own party early.

All this, and I had time to write a recap, too!


Our Lady of Fatima

At some point in the distant past, someone named Lazaria Chinchilla lived in our apartment. Or, at the very least, had our phone number. She doesn't anymore, but that doesn't mean we don't get calls for her all the damn time. Usually it's from someone called "the ADC" who are "about to make a decision concerning" us, and if we would like to be part of this decision, we should call some number back. When they started calling every day and leaving the same damn message on our machine, I actually called the number back and told them that we did not know who they were or what decision they could possibly be making concerning us and to leave us alone, thank you.

Yesterday, when Evil Roommate came home, I told him to check out the newest message on our machine:

Geneve: Hello, Mrs. Chinchilla. This is Geneve from the America [inaudible] Fatima, and I'm calling to let you know that the [inaudible] Statue of Our Lady of Fatima is going to be in your area visiting homes. If you would like the honor of having the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima in your home, please call toll-free, 1-888-460-7371. Do give me a call as soon as possible. Thank you, and God bless you.

When Geneve stated the phone number, I heard the beeping of our phone being dialed.

Sara: What are you doing?!
Evil Roommate: I want the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima to visit our home. Oh, but what if it they charge us for it?
Sara: They won't charge us, they'll charge that bitch Mrs. Chinchilla, which is just what she deserves for not notifying everyone of her phone number change.

So Evil Roommate called America [inaudible] Fatima and left the following message, in which he made his voice sound like a cross between Miss Piggy and the Jennifer Lopez hand puppet Cartman had on South Park:

Evil Roommate: Hello, this is Mrs. Chinchilla. I would very much like the honor of having the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima in my home. Please deliver it soon. My address is (and here he said our address, which I'm not going to reveal). Thank you so much, and God bless you. I voted for Bush!

He started laughing about five seconds into leaving the message, but I'm pretty sure all the pertinent information got through. It was a brilliant of Evil Roommate to say that he voted for Bush; a proclamation of piety like that is sure to put us on the "Preferred Statue Host" list.

We can't wait for the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima to arrive! We don't know how big she'll be, so we're making sure we have space to accomodate any size Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. If she's a life-size statue, we'll move the loveseat and put her against the living room wall. But if she's smaller than that, we'll put her on the entertainment center next to the TV. If she's bigger than life-size, but is still shorter than the ceiling, we'll move the dining table and put her in the dining room, in front of the window. And if she's taller than our ceilings, we'll put her on the balcony.

We wondered what she would look like; I thought she would resemble the lady who holds the scales of Justice. Evil Roommate thought she would be on some sort of dais. If she's really pretty, we might just have to put her in the center of the living room, as long as she isn't blocking the TV. One place she won't go is where the treadmill is, because I just started getting back into exercising and even the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima won't stop me from getting fit.

I found a picture of what our Our Lady of Fatima might look like:

Click on the picture to see some of the awesome things we can do when our Our Lady of Fatima arrives!

Geneve hasn't called us back yet, but we'll give her another day.


En Fuego!

This happened last week, and is reason #3,453,098,958 why I no longer take the 101 to work:

I have to admit that the sight of my enemy, the MTA Bus, burning to the ground is not an unwelcome one. And since no one was hurt in the fire, I can even laugh long and heartily. HA! HA! HA!

Apparently the cause of the fire was some sort of mechanical error. I wonder if the MTA called Mr. Accidentes about their legal options?

The news story can be found here, which includes a slideshow of bus fire pictures, and notes that although the fire was on the southbound side of the highway, traffic on the northbound side was also affected due, in part, to "spectator traffic." Jesus Christ people, have you never seen a burning bus before? Don't you have to be at work in a timely fashion? BECAUSE I DO. MOVE IT.



City buses often sport ads for various legal services one can contact if one should get in a car accident.


I heard that someone actually dressed as the Accidentes! 222-2222 guy for Halloween. Everyone who saw it almost immediately knew who he was supposed to be, and thought it was the best costume ever.

This is effective advertising, akin to putting a Little Ceasar's billboard opposite a Weight Watchers. Because if you're going to get in a car accident in this city, chances are very good that the accident will somehow involve a bus. A bus is not the LA motorist's friend or road compatriot. They are evil, black-smoke-spewing, ineffective mass transit vehicles of doom. They are like New York City taxis, except that taxis aren't three times the size, in height and length, of your car. Buses go wherever the hell they want, whenever they want. If they want to be in your lane, they will be in your lane, regardless of whether or not you're currently occupying it. And they will pull over to pick up passengers, but not enough so that you can pass them. And even if you can, you shouldn't try, as the bus will most likely pull out at the exact second you're halfway past it, and then you will die. But if you don't die, and you're wondering what the hell you're supposed to do now that your car has been totaled by the Metro Transit Authority, well, attached to your assailant is a number for you to call!

I've had several close calls with the buses since I moved here. It's a miracle that my car and I have managed to remain unscathed. Although...maybe not. Perhaps the buses target the Spanish-speaking population of this city, and them alone. That would explain why those Accidentes signs are always in Spanish. I think someone should launch an investigation into the MTA, and why it hates Spanish speakers so much.


Not My Goodies

Starting this past Monday, (f)unemployment is over. I'm back at Survivor, which is great for two reasons:

1. I am getting paid.

2. It's not The Apprentice.

On my way home tonight I discovered yet a third reason: I SAW A CRACKWHORE GET SOLICITED!!!

This calls for some playing with text color and size:


Here's what happened: I saw a woman walking down the street. She looked exactly like Reno 911!'s Jackie the Crackwhore, down to the hair, hat, and "I'm totally not sober" walk.
Jackie the Crackwhore

And then! The car in front of me suddenly pulled over, which pissed me off because he didn't quite get out of my lane so I couldn't get around him and had to stay there until the left lane was clear. But then Jackie walked up to the passenger window and started talking to the guy and that's when I realized that she was a crackwhore AND she was being solicited by a scumbag guy (I knew he was a scumbag because of how he didn't pull over to the curb enough for me to be able to drive around him. That's what scumbags do).

This calls for some more celebration music, which will be performed by Ciara, featuring Petey Pablo with their hit single "Goodies," which was playing on my radio when this all happened. The site of a crackwhore and her John was so shocking to me that I didn't even think to change the station. I hate this song. It is the worst song in the history of songs.

Ciara: My goodies, my goodies, my goodies, not my goodies!

Petey Pablo: I got a sick reputation for handlin broads
All I need is me a few seconds or more.
And in my rap
Tell valet to bring my 'Lac
And I ain't comin back
So you can put a car right there.
I'm the truth
And ain't got nothin' to prove.
An' you can ask anybody
Cuz they seen me do it.
Barracades, I run right through 'em
I'm used to 'em.
Throw all the dirt you want it's no use.
You still won't have a pinup in a fabulous room
On her back pickin' out baskets of fruit.
(I love you boo)
Yeah freaky petey love you too.
Ha Ha
You know how I do.

Ciara: You may look at me and think that I'm
Just a young girl
But I'm not just a young girl.
Baby this is what I'm lookin' for:
Sexy, independent, down to spend it type that's gettin' his dough
I'm not bein too dramatic that's the way I gotta have it.

"CHORUS": I bet you want the goodies.
Bet you thought about it.
Got you all hot and bothered.
Mad cause I talk about them.
Lookin for the goodies
Keep on lookin' cuz they stay in the jar
Oh-oh Oh-oh Oh-oh Oh-oh

Ciara: Just because you drive a Benz
I'm not goin home with you.
You won't get no nookie or the cookies
I'm no rookie.
And still I'm
Sexy, independent I ain't wit' it so you already know.
I'm not bein too dramatic that's the way
I gotta have it
You think you're slick
Tryna hit
But I'm not dumb
I'm not bein too dramatic it's just how I gotta have it


Petey Pablo:So damn hot but so young.
Still got milk on ya tongue
Slow down lil one
And you ain't got it all
Hey shawty
You think you bad
but you ain't bad
I'll show you what bad is.
Bad is when you capable of beatin' the baddest.
I been workin' at it since I came to this planet
And I ain't quite there yet but I'm gettin' better at it.
Matter of fact,
Lemme tell it to you one mo' again
All I got to do is tell a girl who I am
Ain't naa chick in here dat I can't have
Bada boom bada bam ba bam!

Ciara: You're insinuating that I'm hot
But these goodies boy are not
Just for any of the many men that's tryna get on top.
No you can't call me later
And I don't want your number.
I'm not changin' stories
Just respect the play I'm callin'.


Uh...Yeah...Uh...Yeah Uh Uh Uh

Really, this song is freaking horrible. It has NO TUNE. The main "instrument" in the song, besides, of course, the stunning voice of Ciara (a.k.a. "Ashanti but even less talented if such a thing is possible") is the piercing whine of feedback noise, which alternates its pitch throughout the song. And then there's that stupid "crunk" thing that I can only describe as the sound you get when you make a song with Super Nintendo's Mario Paint and you put a Yoshi in the middle of two geese. Oh no wait, I have another description for those of you who don't know Mario Paint: it sounds like ass.

But even though I hate the ass-crunk-music, I have to admit there's a special place in my heart for Petey Pablo's "Freak-a-Leek," solely because of its chorus:

(Do you like it daddy?)
(Do you like it daddy?)
(Do you like it daddy?)
(Do you like it daddy?)
(Do you like it daddy?)
(Do you like it daddy?)
(Do you like it daddy?)
(Do you like it daddy?)

He just lists a bunch of names! And what the hell is "Sharon" doing in between "Falicia" and "Shameka?" And I don't even think "Shonda" and "Daronda" are real names; he just wanted to rhyme them with "Yolanda." Awesome.


National Guard: Called Off

The grandparents have been located.

Time to play celebration music! Take it, Gwen Stefani!

What an amazing time
What a family
How did the years go by
Now it's only me

Tick-tock, tick-tock
Tick-tock, tick-tock
Tick-tock, tick-tock
Tick-tock, tick-tock
La, la, la, la, la, la, la

Like a cat in heat, stuck in a moving car
A scary conversation, shut my eyes, can't find the brake
What if they say that you're a climber
Naturally, I'm worried if I do it alone
Who really cares, cause it's your life
You never know, it could be great
Take a chance cause you might grow

CHORUS: What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting for
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting for

Tick-tock, tick-tock
Tick-tock, tick-tock
Take a chance you stupid ho

Like an echo pedal, you're repeating yourself
You know it all by heart
Why are you standing in one place (uh-huh)
Born to blossom, bloom to perish
Your moment will run out
Cause of your sex chromosome
I know it's so messed up, how our society all thinks (for sure)
Life is short, you're capable (uh-huh)

Look at your watch now
You're still a super hot female
You got your million-dollar contract
And they're all waiting for your hot track


I can't wait to go back into Japan
Gimme lots of brand new fans
Osaka, Tokyo
You Harajuku girls
Damn, you've got some wicked style

Look at your watch now
You're still a super hot female
You got your million dollar contract
And they're all waiting for your hot track


(What you waiting for
What you waiting for)
Take a chance you stupid ho
Take a chance you stupid ho
(What you waiting for
What you waiting for
What you waiting for)
Take a chance you stupid ho
Take a chance you stupid ho

Seriously, I love that song. I would have played it whether I found my grandparents or not.


I lost my grandparents.

Not lost as in "they died," but lost as in "I can't find them."

They're visting me in LA this weekend, and they went on one of those Hollywood tours this morning. They said they would give me a call when it was done and we would do something with the rest of the day.

That was five hours ago.

Their cell phone is off and they aren't in their hotel room. My mom is going to kill me. I am the worst grandchild ever.

If you live in the Hollywood area, and come across a Jewish couple trying to figure out how to work a Canon Powershot A75 digital camera who respond to "Steve" and "Shirley" and appear to be in their 60s or early 70s, please tell them to call their very worried granddaughter.

Meanwhile, I'll call all the local Dennys and IHOPs and ask if they've seen anyone fitting that description.


This Is Not A Blog About Politics

...but I have spent the greater part of today researching how to claim my British citizenship and leave this country. It's something I've considered doing my entire life and there's no better time than now.