Oh, The Things I Have Seen

Take heed, dear readers, for this entry comes to you from someone who has spent ONE FULL YEAR on the tough streets of Los Angeles. And when I say "streets," I mean, "comfortable apartment." And when I say "tough," I mean, "I stay away from those areas because I'm a petite woman and that is dangerous." But whatever. One year ago, at the end of a week-long road trip that included a TERRIFYING shortcut through West Virgina, a HORRIFYING look at middle America and a tour of our nation's SCARIEST Red Roof Inns, Evil Roommate and I finally made it to This Fucking City in search of fame and fortune. And I have gained ... neither of these things. But I did get some other stuff, some of which I didn't even know I needed, for instance:

- friends who are awesome
- a wavering, yet mostly intact, sense of independence
- a wavering, yet mostly intact, knowledge of car mechanics
- a couch
- credit cards
- and, of course, my Tivo

Evil Roommate and I celebrated the occasion in our usual style, which would be us making plans to go out to dinner and him telling me that he was going on a short horseback ride and would call at 7, and then me waiting for him to call until 8:30. He brought back some dinner from one of our favorite restaurants and we ate it while watching the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Captain Picard wears his casual uniform and he and his crew are trying to communicate with this alien species, but they can't figure out the aliens' language, so then the alien captain beams himself and Picard down to a planet with some weird electric monster on it because working together against a common enemy will help them learn each other's language, or rather, it will help Picard learn the alien language, since the aliens didn't seem all that keen on learning English. And the plan works except for the fact that the alien captain gets killed by the monster. Also, without Captain Picard around to tell them what to do, the entire Enterprise crew is rendered completely useless and they're about to get destroyed by the alien ship when Picard is beamed back on the Enterprise and he makes everything okay. Also, the alien's language is based entirely on references to other things that are similar to whatever they're trying to convey. Like Picard is supposed to know that when the alien says "Darmok at Tanagra" (which he does, many, many times), he's talking about some guy in the alien history who teamed up with some other guy to defeat a monster and that's what the alien and Picard have to do. How the hell does a civilization with that language even manage to feed itself, let alone build spaceships?

We were going to light a candle in honor of our first Los Angeles birthday, but it turns out all of the candles in our house were burned down when we lost power last week, a night we like to call "The Time We Realized That We Don't Own A Flashlight, And We Probably Should," or, alternately, "The Time We Realized That Our Apartment's Electric Garage Door Doesn't Have a Manual Override, And It Definitely Should." Or even its third, lesser used name, "The Night We Subsisted On A Half A Green Pepper, And Made Many Mental Notes To Go Grocery Shopping More Often, Which We Totally Didn't." A fourth name, "Darmok At Tanagra, His Arms Open, When The Walls Fell," isn't actually used at all and will only be understood by my nerdier readers.