Check it out: there are still people in this country who don't have phone service.

My favorite part is where one of the residents says that they tried to get the phone company to hook them up in the 70s, but for some reason, the phone company would never "call back." That's like the ultimate catch-22.


I'm Pretty Sure I'm Insulted

My bosses just got back from a long lunch. One of them walked into our room with a styrofoam box, placed it on the floor in the middle of the room, opened it, and left. Inside the box were his lunch leftovers. Thank you for your generous gift of a second-hand slice of pizza and ten potato wedges, Boss. You sure know how to boost team morale. I guess it was supposed to be a joke, but I think you have to know all of your employees' names before you can joke with them.

Sadly, this isn't the first time one of my bosses has wandered into our room and offered us leftovers. It also isn't the first time I haven't been paid on payday due to "technical glitches," so I was pretty happy to have something to eat for lunch, not being able to afford anything myself.


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.


When It Rains, It Pours (In My Soul)

Well, the rain finally stopped and my Tuesday morning commute to work was pleasant and bright.

My Tuesday evening commute from work, however, was a traffic nightmare. A trip that usually takes me a half hour to forty-five minutes took over TWO HOURS, with no apparent explanation.

This happened again on Wednesday. I left work at 5 so I could get home in time to make and eat dinner and then leave for my class at 7.

I arrived at class, directly from work, at 7:45.

Here are my thoughts when it takes me two and a half hours to travel twelve miles:

5:05: Hmm. There sure are a lot of cars on the road today.
5:06: Maybe I shouldn't have had that Diet Coke right before I left...
5:10: There are a lot of cars on the road, and none of them are moving.
5:11: I wish I hadn't chosen the route home that takes me by absolutely no public bathrooms. Oh well, I'm sure this will all clear up soon.
5:34: Uh...I have moved less than 2 miles so far. God, I have to pee.
5:45: "Mom? Mom? Are you there? ... oh, I'm sorry, I forgot that 'Project: Runway' was on now ... well, if you had a Tivo, you could just pause it and talk to me, and then resume ... no, it's just that I've been in traffic for forty-five minutes and I've only gone three miles and I'm hungry and I'm not going to make it to my class in time and I hate this fucking city! ... no, there are no places to stop here ... no, not even a Starbucks ... yes, I'm sure there's no Starbucks, I'm surrounded by mansions ... I don't think any of the mansions have a Starbucks in them ... well, if you read it in 'In Touch' ... it doesn't matter anyway because at this point I'm hoping that my bladder explodes and kills me. I think that would be a more pleasant experience than this right now ... oh, I'm sure 'Project: Runway' is just as, if not more, morbid, but in a different, more subtle, way ... okay, I'm sorry. But there's nothing to be positive about right now ... "
6:10: I have got to stop calling my mom when I'm upset. I'm 23.
6:11: I need to pee.
6:12: I need to pee.
6:13: I need to pee.
6:14: I wonder how much the ticket would cost if I drove on the sidewalk.
6:30: I could just stop the car right here and walk, like in that R.E.M. video. Except that, unlike that R.E.M. video, I feel none of the companionship or situation-bonding with any of the people on this road. I hate them all. If they weren't on this road, I would be home by now and HEY!!! STOP TRYING TO CUT IN FRONT OF ME, MOTHERFUCKER!!! YOU MERGE BEHIND ME! YOU MERGE BEHIND!!!!!
6:32: I wonder how difficult it would be to build special extending legs from my car to my tires, like the Gadget Mobile had in 'Inspector Gadget.' And then when there was traffic I could press a button and my car would raise up above everyone and I could just drive through all this.
6:35: Although, if it was anything like the Gadget Mobile, I would press the leg extension button and, like, rollerskates and a robotic hand holding a flower would come out.
6:36: The rollerskates would make my car careen out of control and off a nearby cliff, and then a hand holding an umbrella would come out of the roof and the umbrella would almost immediately turn inside-out, thus rendering it useless.
6:37: My car would crash to the ground and I would die, but as I died, my bladder would release and then my body would be surrounded by like a lake of pee and that would just be embarassing not to mention unpleasant for the paramedics. So no Gadget Mobile.
6:39: But maybe I can get a motorcycle.

There were other thoughts as well, and right around seven, when my class had started and I was still five miles away from it and still hadn't eaten or peed, there were tears.

I finally got to my class and looked for a place to park on the street that wasn't too far away or in a sketchy area. Since my class is on Hollywood Blvd., this is not possible. I grabbed a slice of pizza on my way to the class and ate it outside the class building. A man begged me for change. As I dug around my purse for money, he sang Christina's Aguilera's "Beautiful" to me. I believe that this is a back-handed compliment, because on one hand, he is telling me that he thinks I'm beautiful, but then the rest of the song's lyrics say that there are a lot of other people who say that I'm not.

So I was forty-five minutes late for my class, but a few other people were later than me for the same reason, and one girl said that she, too, had called her mother and started crying. She also had to go to the bathroom, but said that she was so angry about the traffic that her pee actually retracted up into her uterus so she didn't have to go anymore.

I hope my drive home today is better. The traffic is so demoralizing.


Why I Haven't Posted Lately

It has rained every day since I got back here from Connecticut. It's gray and wet and horrible and not at all like I thought Los Angeles would be.

I want to post something about how awful this rain is, but considering that a TSUNAMI just killed a hundred and fifty thousand people on the other side of the world, I don't feel comfortable complaining about all the water in Los Angeles right now.

But there's nothing else to talk about. So there haven't been any posts lately. And there won't be any until the rain stops, because I'm not even getting out of bed anymore. I'll just be reading the same two books in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series over and over again until I see the sun again.