Time To Build An Ark

The other day, several more inches of rain were added to Los Angeles's amount of percipitation this year, bringing the total to 7,093,929 inches.* I don't know about you guys, but when a desert climate suffers from almost weekly torrential downpours, I start to get a little nervous.

My car hydroplaned all the way home from work, but I made it into the parking garage safely, only to find this waiting for me:

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The entire garage was flooded. It's hard to tell in this picture, but there are actually several electric wires running from the ceiling into the puddle. Slightly easier to spot is an old man (by the dumpsters). He was very sad to see that, in order to get to the laundry machines, he would have to cross Lake Electrocution. This picture was taken, I believe, at the moment he realized that his laundry wasn't going to get done tonight. You can see almost see the resignation in his slumped shoulders.

The worst of the flooding was, of course, contained entirely within my parking spot:

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The Red Arrow of Fate, Cruel Fate points to my submerged parking spot. All was not lost, however, as I was able construct a crude raft out of all the waste paper in my car that would get me from my car to the apartment entrance without getting my cute shoes wet. With the help of an Indian Guide (for price of 2 sets of clothing -- quite a deal!) I then caulked up my wagon and floated it across:

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My party did eventually make it to Willammette Valley, but not before losing Mary Jane to dysentery and Tom to a snakebite. But it was all okay, because my occupation was farmer, so my points were tripled!

Anyway, back at the apartment, I was shocked to find that, even though the place was in the middle of the movie that ruined Kevin Costner's career, management was spending its time and energy on other, seemingly less pressing, maintanance needs, such as:

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Repainting the laundry room door for the fifth time in two weeks.


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Placing redundant "caution: wet floor" signs in the courtyard and, as seen above, in the middle of the parking lot lake.

With all this rain, not to mention the upcoming anniversary of the death/resurrection of Someone Else's Lord Jesus Christ, I'm starting to reconsider my religious affiliations. Evil Roommate and I, a gay and a half-Jew respectively, figure we're as likely to be Chosen People as anyone else, have started building an ark in the living room. We figure our Ikea wood laminate furniture will be quite buoyant, and we don't think it'll be too hard to round up a pair of every animal on the planet once it's finished. After all, Evil Roommate works at a ranch, so he can easily get two horses. And I'm sure Pam and Stee will give up two of their cats once they see what a good cause this is. And Gwen has a dog. That's two and a half pairs right there without even trying!

*not an exact figure



My domicile is finally clean and mold-free. I ended up using the spray bleach, even though there were some very helpful suggestions in the comments of other cleaning products to use. Your efforts were not in vain, Comments People! I only used the bleach because it was in my apartment, as opposed to the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, which were in the store. But Evil Roommate seems determined to live in squalor, so I'm sure I will need to buy some new cleaning products soon, and then your advice will come in quite handy.

Of course, as soon as my apartment is livable and sterile and clean, Los Angeles remembers that it is disgusting. All the rain we had in the last two months, while annoying, dreary, and, for a few, fatal, had one big positive effect: it, combined with the cooler "winter" weather, took the smog away. So we had clear, clean air and I realized that Los Angeles is actually surrounded by hills and mountains, which were not visible in the smog. Oh, but it was beautiful!

This week, the smog returned. I hadn't realized how thick and dirty it was until I had something to compare it to. You can compare it, too! Here are two pictures of the Hollywood sign, before and after the smog, taken from the same distance:

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In related news, here's a picture of my lungs, also before and after the smog:

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How did I get a picture of my lungs, you ask? With SCIENCE, of course!

So those are some ugly pictures, I know. But they're beauty queens when compared to this picture I found on Pamie's site:

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Someone once said in my comments thread that English people traditionally don't photograph well. I guess this picture can serve as evidence of that. While Rebecca looks as stunningly beautiful as she always does, my incredible paleness, combined with the camera flash, has given me a complexion not unlike that of a KKK member...'s sheet. A sheet with a burgeoning double chin and jowls (where the hell did those come from? I never noticed them before, and I'm pretty sure I don't have them now). Lighting, my hunched sitting position, and the fact that I'm wearing at least two layers of clothing, the topmost of which has that huge collar, have combined to give me what appears to be both a humpback AND back fat. As for my hair, I'll let that slide because it was probably two in the morning when this picture was taken and I've gotten it done since then besides. I just want to remind everyone that I usually look FABULOUS, as to which this picture, taken a few months before the other one, can attest:

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I look so awesome in this picture that even Great Aunt Muriel is shocked. That's especially impressive when you consider the fact that Muriel lived in London during World War Two, during which London was bombed by the Nazi Blitz:

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Actually, Muriel and my grandmother were evacuated during the Blitz, like those kids in the Chronicles of Narnia. They had to go live in the Welsh countryside for a couple years while my great-grandparents stayed in London and hoped they didn't die. They claim not to have found any magic wardrobes during their time in Wales.

You know, as bad as the Los Angeles smog is, it's a lot better than the black smoke of Nazi bombs.


My Bathroom Is Probably Lethal Now

I've never been a very clean person. I don't like to live in dirt and squalor, so I'll take measures to prevent this, like occasionally vacuuming and washing dishes, but other than that, I'm okay with letting things go.

But then I moved in with Evil Roommate, whose incredible powers of dirtiness have forced me to reach almost Marc Summers-ian levels of cleanliness so that our apartment can continue to maintain its socially acceptable level of dirty. Evil Roommate wasn't always like this; when we agreed to move in together, I knew him as the "clean" roommate in his college apartment. He was the one who always cleaned up after the keg parties and frowned at the dirty spots behind the staircase. And for a while after we moved in, he was great and dishes got done and random brown spots weren't showing up on our carpets and I wasn't finding horse hair in my couch upholstery and nothing smelled like horse piss. And then he started working at the ranch where his co-workers had names like "Dutch" and "Nacho," who lead fairly transient lifestyles where you don't need to worry about keeping things clean because there aren't any consequences to leaving them dirty. After all, by the time the mold bloom you caused by leaving your wet towels in the corner of the closet is in full effect, you'll have already moved on to your next friend's couch. So Evil Roommate picked up their habits and adopted this laissez-faire attitude about cleaning that it didn't need to be done because eventually, things will just take care of themselves. Kind of like some people I knew in college who decided to stop using deodorant because they said our bodies are all equipped with stink-fighting measures that will go into effect once they aren't suppressed by those Secret chemicals.

Evil Roommate was right though, in that things would take care of themselves if he waited long enough. Because eventually, I'll spend my weekend cleaning our entire kitchen and living room. That's what I did last week after odd smells started emanating from somewhere in our kitchen even after I took the three accumulated bags full of garbage out and did the dishes. It was time for some Spring Cleaning. I bought some spray cleaner with bleach, because I wasn't messing around and bleach pretty much screams "I'm not messing around," doesn't it? So I bleached the shit out of the kitchen counters and the stove and swept and mopped the floor and vacuumed the living room. I did not clean the inside of the microwave or the toaster oven because those things belong to Evil Roommate, and I'll be damned if I'm going to clean any more of his mess than I already do. And things were good, and everything was clean and fresh and new. And then I went out for a while and Evil Roommate came home and cooked something and I think some of the bleach got on the stove burners because when I got back, the entire apartment smelled like burnt. Burnt what, I couldn't say, but burnt. It was inescapable and had invaded all sections of the apartment. I asked Evil Roommate what the hell had happened when I was gone, but he hadn't noticed anything because he has a sinus infection and can't smell anything. People in Kansas were sitting around going "what is that burnt smell?" but Evil Roommate was sitting on the couch, getting horse hair and crumbs everywhere, pleased as could be that his weird tuna-noodle-olive oil-random-weed-that-he-found-growing-near-the-trail casserole had turned out okay. Fortunately, our apartment came with windows, so I opened them and the smell was evacuated soon enough.

I had some free time yesterday, so I decided to spend it cleaning my own room, which wasn't nasty like our kitchen but could use a going-over. I bleached the shit out of my bathroom (Evil Roommate and I have our own private bathrooms, which may make us sound spoiled to you but it is absolutely essential for the well-being of both my mind and body to not share a bathroom with Evil Roommate, whose personal toilet has turned from white to black and whose shower curtain has turned from green to pink). I then turned on the fan and left my bathroom to ventilate, as instructed on the bleach bottle.

It turns out that I can't do anything right. My bathroom doesn't have windows, but I thought the fan would be enough to get the bleach smell out of there. This morning, I killed approximately five million brain cells while taking a shower in bleach steam. And then I went to get a towel from my in-bathroom linen closet, my old towel having been thrown into the laundry basket, and found that everything in my linen closet was damp and smelled like mildew. How did this happen? Well, the linen closet has no ventilation, so I guess every time I took a shower, the steam made its way into the closet and just stayed there, wreaking havoc. A closer inspection of the area revealed that the black spots on the wall, which I originally thought were some weird painting scheme left over from the previous owners, had both grown in size and quantity. So now I have to air out my bathroom of the smells of too much cleanliness and too much dirtiness at the same time. And my bathroom, due to what turns out to be a crucial design flaw in the structure of our apartment, has no windows. So it's going to take a while, if it happens at all.

Until then, I'll be breathing in a combination of bleach and raging mold bloom that is probably going to kill me. And then my corpse will decompose on the bathroom floor and that will be gross and smell bad, but no one will ever clean it up.


Exciting New Neighbor!

I shared an elevator with someone I have never seen in our apartment before. She was extremely tall, made even moreso by the very high heels she was wearing (I will never understand why women who are already tall wear giant heels. They are not comfortable. I only wear them because I'm short and sometimes the pain is worth it to feel tall). She towered over me in the elevator, but I liked this because it meant that if the elevator were to ever get stuck, she would be easily able to hoist me up and out through the ceiling panel, well before the emergency brakes gave out and the elevator plummeted down the shaft. That is reassuring to me. Anyway, I was eye-level with, like, her waist, and noticed that she was holding a huge bottle of Maker's Mark whiskey and her car keys. And that was it. The Maker's Mark wasn't even in a bag. "I think this lady might have a drinking problem," I thought to myself. My suspicions were confirmed when she suddenly tipped her head back, smacking it hard against the elevator wall. It made a loud sound, and she said "ow."

It's rude to laugh at people when they hurt themselves, but sometimes I can't help it. But she didn't seem to mind, probably because she was plastered. Drunk Gigantess is now the most likely candidate to be the best replacement for the much-missed Tennessee Girls, but the real test is still to come, when the weather gets warmer and people start hanging out by the pool again. If Drunk Gigantess starts throwing pool furniture into the water, we will have a winner!

Updates have been few and far between lately, I know. But I have a new job, where my work seems to be considered important and is actually looked at and used, so I don't have quite as much leisure time as I used to. It's not an unwelcome change at this point; being able to routinely stroll into work two hours late was fun for a while, but the pointlessness of it all really started to get to me. So I like the new job. For now, anyway.