Archive | December, 2011

Wanted: Cheap Lobotomy.

20 Dec

Hey guys,

I miss you! I am about to do a bunch of traveling all over the country and I realized I won’t have time to write until January. I just wanted to thank you all for reading and following and sharing and just generally making it really fun to write a blog that cool people read (I speak for all of us!).

These are pics from a giant coffee table photography book (I know my weaknesses) called Zeitgeist & Glamour – full up on photography from the 60s and 70s. I love the big doll-eyes, the kicky fashion and jet-set locations. But this top photo precisely portrays my current state of “I am so tired. What am I doing with my life. Ugh, I’m tired of doing stuff. What am I even doing…” If I had carpeting, I might never leave my apartment.

I’ve been hard at work on my two jobs (why didn’t anyone tell me how magical “retail” jobs are this time of year!! With a broken credit card machine and a line out the door, why wouldn’t I wanna gift wrap all your stocking stuffers for you, Customer!). My food delivery job has its own moments of grandeur. Like when I’m asked to “take the elevator on the left” in the hi-rise Beverly Hills condo, and I realize it’s the service elevator. For us servants, of course. Even though I’m trying to dress like I could go out in Bev Hills, and that I’m carrying $150 of upscale dinner. That time, because I was already feeling dumb about myself, I started crying a little bit until I remembered — oh RIGHT — there are people watching me on security cameras. Get it together!

Last night I woke up at 4am with a new friend, Acid Reflux. My thoughts were:

1. I’m dying.
2. I’m dying on the bathroom floor alone and no one will find me for days.
3. I might have overdone it on the Sriracha right before bed.

I am not a practical thinker immediately upon waking mid-sleep. I didn’t understand what was happening, so I took my comforter and a pillow into the bathroom and slept on the floor. It has always made me feel better to lie by the toilet, when I feel sick. Before my thoughts drifted to “when’s the last time I cleaned the bathroom?”, I spent some time feeling sorry for myself. Feeling lonely, frustrated, exhausted, sad. Not “blessed”, “grateful”, “happy”. More like homicidal. Depressed. At least quite blue.

Last year, my only New Years resolution was to stop swallowing gum. At that, I have failed spectacularly. But I want to set my sights on something different. My stomach might be filled with Wintermint Orbit, but I want this year to be a little bit more about feeling good about myself. Even if I’m not doing what I want to be doing with acting – yet. Even if I often feel alone. Even if I wish I had someone to hold my hand. Even if I feel like the odd man out in this town. Even if I don’t have a career/partner/bank account to show for it. Even if things are really f****** hard.

At least, my hair goes pretty good. Most of the time.

I hope that this next year brings us all every happiness. True joy. And unexpected pleasure.

Til next time…

(Well that looks a little more fun…!)

XX,

L

How To Make An Ass Of Yourself In Beverly Hills. Again.

9 Dec

This is how I keep myself entertained in the elevator ride to the 18th floor of a Beverly Hills condo, to deliver food. I love these mirrors that make it look like you’re a one-man team of reject Rockettes! I gave up on trying to get a good photo, and just did a bunch of posing, big arm waving and semi-high-ish kicks. It was right after that, that I noticed the camera in the upper corner of the elevator.

The walk back out of the building – past the front desk guards – was awkward. When I had come in, there was one sleepy guard. When I walked out, there were 3 guards, laughing and waving goodnite.

But that’s not my story.

I worked a lunch delivery shift that I had carefully orchestrated into my schedule. I would wake up early, go to the gym, bring a change of clothes, go right to work. If everything went perfectly, I would seamlessly arrive in Beverly Hills with my chin up, wearing my happy-hat.

Things quickly fell apart in the gym locker room when I discovered there were no towels and I had to dry off with my NorthFace jacket. THEN, I realized I had forgotten a bra. With only a T-shirt for my topside, I quickly brainstormed. (1: Use an ace bandage? 2: Wear a bunch of shirts? 3: Get a cheap-o Walgreens bra?) I picked option 3. But when Walgreens had nothing but jock straps and tighty whities (which I considered cutting apart and fashioning into something), I just went bra-less in Beverly Hills. I don’t own jugs. It wasn’t horrible. Just mildly inappropriate for jogging. (For the record, Rite Aid has “As Seen On TV” bras. Wish I had known that…)

But that’s not my story either.

My story took place on an evening delivery pick up from Piccolo Paradiso on Beverly Drive. It was super windy that night and cold and I was enjoying a moment of cozy warmth inside the restaurant while the order was being put together. The clientele was predominantly gray-haired, dripping with tasteful diamonds and pearls. It smelled like garlicky, fresh-baked-Italy in there. I drooled a little.

The valet guy came in to use the bathroom, then he was back out on the sidewalk in front of Piccolo’s windows, in a puffy black jacket, his arms wrapped tightly together. I got my order, and was out the door. And I thought I’d say something to him as I left.

Me: “Goodnite! Stay bundled up!” The wind was becoming ridiculous.

Valet: “You too! Have a nice evening!”

Me: “Thank y–” AND THEN my boot laces caught onto each other in a cat’s cradle of death and I slammed into the concrete so hard I skinned both my knees, my elbows, my hands. My pants ripped, as did my sweater. And my ego broke into pieces.

While I was falling, I somehow remembered two things. 1. Don’t let anything happen to the food 2. Don’t smash your cell phone again.

So I fell in this weird arms-out dive (Italian food bag in one hand, my cell phone lifted up to Heaven – in the other), landing on my knees/elbows/chest with a horrible grunting pig sound.

I could feel the stink-eyes glaring at me from inside the restaurant. “Look at that lazy thing…napping on the sidewalk like that.” The valet came over to ask if everything was alright. We both checked to see that the food was ok. (We know our place.) I was bleeding and my knees were killing me, but the food was pristine.

As I sat in traffic, popping Advil, with my legs painfully shaking against the clutch in my car, I began to think… Oh my god. If I would sacrifice my skin and clothes for an order of lasagna, what else would I do for this food!

I pictured flinging my body into traffic for steak frite. Taking a bullet for tiramisu. Promising my first born for roasted brussels sprout medley.

My devotion to the protection of this food is terrifyingly limitless. This is my gift to you, Beverly Hills.

XX,

L

Dirty {Fig & Vanilla} Vodka.

8 Dec

You guys, suffice it to say I was humbled by everything you had to say about my last post. I had no idea it would reach people like that. I am so hoping I see David again. He said he’d come by my work Friday. So. We’ll see. Of course I’ll let you know what happens…! (And post the drawing of Marilyn Monroe).

This has been the “Year of the Fig” for me. I never liked them before (my only previous experience was trying to eat around the insides of Fig Newtons, as a kid). I found this recipe on Sweet Paul and wanted to try it. It took a week. I wanted to offer you a truthful review, so I waited that entire length of time.

This just in: It’s !&@*$#% delicious.

And also brown. I don’t know why that was a surprise to me, but “simple minds….”  Is there a saying in there? “Simple pleasures for–” “Simple minds think alike–“? Bah.

Here’s how I did it for around $15. It’s a sipping vodka (pinkies out!), but it doesn’t have to be over the top spendy. Also, it felt like brewing my own booze, which was fun. And colonial-settler-y.
What you need:
– 1 bottle decent vodka (I got my Monopolowa at Trader Joe’s for under $10)
– One vanilla bean (Beware the bean racket! People know you need them and don’t know where to find them. Trader Joe’s sells 2 for $3)
– One pound dried figs. (TJ’s again! Under $3)
– A storage container for the infusion… I used a bowl with a lid. Janky — but successful!

What to do:
Put all the figs, the vodka, and one vanilla bean (cut in half lengthwise) into the storage container. Wait a week. Put just the vodka back in the original bottle you saved (right?). DONE!
I kept some of the figs from this experiment. They can be clearly classified as “drunken”. I plan to put them in my morning oatmeal (wink!).

And while the recipe calls for a fresh fig bauble on the rim of your glass, I find it hilarious to garnish your cocktail with a vanilla bean! Consider it an “I have craploads of money!” swizzle stick.

Fake it til ya make it.

XX,

L

David.

5 Dec

I worked all three of my jobs over the weekend. The retail one, the delivery one, the freelance art one. I was feeling super worn out, frustrated, and annoyed at all of it, by Sunday nite. Grateful for the work, but super maxed out.

It was around 6pm on West Sunset at the Spitfire Girl location. There were no guests in the store, but I could see (and hear) plenty of people-traffic outside. Mainly bums, cursing at the moon. It was dark. Cold. I was chilly even while wearing my jacket inside.

Just then, a rough looking dude walked in – straight to the back of the store where I was working alone. I tried to remember where the pepper spray and taser were sitting behind the counter.

“I’m so hungry. Do you have anything?”

We sell snarky vintage-styled tins of gum. “No…. sorry I don’t have anything.”

“You must be the propriet-ess of this establishment.” It was my first day in that store. Second day on the job. “Do you have any work I could do to earn some money here?”

“No…I don’t.” I noticed some art tucked under his arm. A flower drawn on a piece of heavy card stock. “What do you have there?”

He showed me his homemade signs that he uses to hustle people for money. “Oh, I was just drawing this flower. It’s on the back of this –” He flips it over to the old fart side.

“I love that!” I do. I have a thing for type and creative homeless people signs. Not the hipster kind where kids write “Too lazy to work. Need a beer and cigarettes”.

“You know what?” He says, “I have 98 cents. I’m gonna go next door, get a cup of coffee from Donna (I don’t know who Donna is) and work on something for you, ok? What’s your name.”

“Lauren.”

“I’m David.”

He shuffles out and I’m alone again in the store. Somehow I’ve forgotten how stressed I am about finishing my freelance after this shift is over. I’ve forgotten how I’m sniffling because it’s cold in the store. I’ve forgotten that I could really go for a glass of wine right now. All I can think about is David. He was outside during that horrendous wind storm we had last week. He said he huddled in a corner during the worst of it.

A few more customers came in. Then an hour later, David returned, all hopped up on coffee. He walked straight over to me “Lauren! Since you loved the flower so much, I finished it and signed it for you!”

I love every bit of the whole thing. Front and back. “David, thank you! I was hoping you’d write something on it! It’s perfect.”

“You think so?!”

“Yes. Here.” I hand him a ten. I tell him artists should be paid for their work. I don’t tell him that I know he could use it.

He tells me how he used to be on drugs, alcohol, that. He’s off it all, but his body never recovered. He’s missing teeth. His frame is slight. He says he feels 60-years old when he wakes up. I joke that I do too. He says don’t we all! He has a charismatic sensibility. He explains why he hates the shelters, how it’s dangerous to be homeless downtown. That the homeless are killing each other. The police are cracking down. And that it could happen to anyone. I believe him.

“Tell me, Lauren. Do you like Marilyn Monroe.”

Who doesn’t! “I do!”

“You know what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna go to Denny’s (he waves the ten), sit down, and make you a nice pencil drawing of Marilyn Monroe.”

I hope he can get two meals out of that. I haven’t been to Denny’s in a long time, but I’m trying to calculate the inflation on an order of ‘Moons Over My Hammy’ since my college days.

“It was very nice to meet you, Lauren!” I wanna give him a hug, but he reaches out his hand.

“It was very nice to meet you, David.”

“I will see you soon. With Mar-i-lyn-Mon-rooooe!”

“I can’t wait!”

I take David’s piece home with me. I unknowingly drop it outside of my car, in the dark, and think it has disappeared and that he was actually an angel and none of any of that story ever happened…! But I find the piece the next morning. Put it in a cheap frame and on my mantle.

Sunday nite, David was an angel. Even if a human one.
 XX,

L

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