Monday, March 28, 2005

no "do you like david bowie" is not an acceptable pickup line

i go to the grove to be alone. it is a place of many acceptable being alone activities. a place of reading, movies, food... a place where i can quietly make fun of the emaciated lady in the pink coat walking her whippet whom she managed to dress in a jean jacket trimmed with a faux fur collar. what a great place. so when i'm sitting in barnes and noble drinking coffee and reading the new series of unfortunate events book, i don't want to talk anyone. no, offense. even if alan cumming came up to me i would probably say "please leave me alone, 'the grim grotto' is just getting good".

alright, that's a lie. i would totally have a conversation with alan cumming. i would probably run away to scotland with him if he asked... but i would finish my chapter first! gotta have standards. so yes, there is an exception for alan, but not for the guy who initiated the following conversation:

guy: hi, i only have thirty seconds because my friends are waiting, but do you like david bowie? because my cousin is really into david bowie right now and i'm beginning to seriously doubt the people she's hanging out with.
me: no, i do not like david bowie.
guy: wow, what do you do? no, wait. let me guess. you're studying?
me: no
guy: you're a nurse. definitely a nurse.
me: no
guy: well, you're definitely from the midwest, right?
me: no
guy: well, let me read your palm... i bet you have a short love line.
me: no
guy: i see it. you turned your hand when you picked up that coffee. it's a short love line. real short. only two or three boyfriends, right?
me: no
guy: so my friends are real cool and we're only in la for the night. do you want to hang out?
me: no
guy: so can i have your email address?
me: no

a whole conversation where i revealed nothing about myself and acted like a bitch and this idiot is still talking! all i want to do is read! leave me alone! that or bring alan cumming to the table... he can read my love line any day.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Thrilling Account of What I Am Not Currently Doing

I am currently at work. I have been at work for 1.5 hours and have another two to go. It has been very slow and my bosses are not here to assign me mindless tasks. I have finished all the homework I brought with me and have nothing to do.

When I say I have nothing to do, I am of course lying. I have all these creative writing pieces in front of me that I'm supposed to comment on for class, and I can say things like, "Please indent when you begin a new paragraph," and "Please capitalize proper nouns," but what else can you say when the story doesn't mean anything? I've become Mr. James. Jesus bloody Christ.

I also have a prospectus due for my research paper on astrology. I began it while under the power of The Weeklong Headache and finished in the haze of The Drugs That Make Me Feel Like I've Inhaled Laughing Gas, so I'm going to assume it doesn't make sense and should be rewritten. I'm trying to think of ways I can quote Slartibartfast in this paper. It's my last chance to use Douglas Adams in an academic work. I'm sure there's a way to make it totally appropriate.

But I am not doing these things. I am thinking about how I'd like to go home and have a cup of tea and get back to Good Omens* (which is fascinating to read alongside Paradise Lost, by the way) and then maybe take a nap. I think I will avoid The X-Files today as I was sincerely creeped out by the human-fat-eating serial killer yesterday, but I may not be able to resist Mulder's hot 1994 poofy-hair.

*Kindly acquired for me by O Honored One Who Will Watch The Lord of the Rings With Me For Twelve Hours In a Row VOLUNTARILY Without Making Really Very Much Fun of Frodo and Sam at All Except When It's Impossible Not To

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


i sneezed twice on the way to work. it rained a lot yesterday. frequent readers (all two of you) will assume this entry is about another soggy crossing of the river lankershim, but you're so wrong. we in the post department watched the rain all afternoon. it poured. it was the worst i've seen it. the parking lanes on both sides of the street were totally underwater. and then the thunder and lighting started. and the power went out. and there was an earthquake... well, the earthquake was in like redondo beach or something, but THE APOCALYPSE IS COMING. anyway, we didn't have to cross the street because our boss was nice enough to ford the river in the honda civic he parks underneath. it was oregon trail. the water was almost at the doors. the cattle were drowning. we almost had to throw the intern out because we were running low on provisions. i think i caught dysentary on the way... it's the only disease that accounts for all this sneezing.

Monday, March 21, 2005

take you down to chinatown

so angela escaped the land of the dirty snow and came to los angeles for a week. we laughed, we cried, we ate in n' out burgers, we sat in the sun and we shopped... it was so southern california. i called yesterday to make sure she got home alright and she said "lindsey, there's something i should tell you. when john and i were in chinatown, we saw a lot of little animals in cages. all of the cages were full except one, the one that said 'giant python'.... that one was empty.... just thought you should know." thanks ang. as if it wasn't bad enough fighting eight thousand black bmw's on the way to work, now i have to factor in large, hungry snakes... socal just keeps getting better and better. guess it beats dirty snow.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Whitby, from the middle of the Ninety-Nine Steps

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Cheers, Mate . . . Nope, it just doesn't work when I say it

So I've been sitting here a while making myself sick with pictures of England. I like England a lot. I miss England a lot. I think it has a lot to do with school feeling like a colossal waste of time, but I'd like to believe I'd miss it even if my classes were . . . good. Here is a tiny list of my favorite things about England, because everyone wants to know, in no particular order:

1. Boots sandwiches
2. The statue of Constantine outside the Minster
3. The pound sign being used as an E, not an L as I'd always thought logical
4. The bakery section of Sainsbury's
5. The Sherlock Holmes-themed tube stop at Baker Street
6. Football scores being announced over the PA on the London Underground
7. Daffodils
8. Tripping over history everywhere
9. How Guy Fawkes Night is really Guy Fawkes Month
10. Those giant chocolate drinks at Evil Eye
11. How I experienced more hail there in nine months than I have in the rest of my 22 years here
12. How I still managed never to buy an umbrella
13. The Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens
14. The York library's copy of The Ringed Castle and how I had time to read 600 pages straight through twice in a row and then to take a trip to Edinburgh as a supplement to my reading
15. The way that 100% of the native population can pull off saying, "Cheers, mate."

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Phantom Stoplight

To begin with, I have never approved of driving. What has the automobile brought us? Nothing but trouble, that's what: Holes in the ozone layer. (More) War in the Middle East. Road rage. About seventy-five thousand new ways to die. And the Honda Element. Henry Ford, you have much to atone for.

Furthermore, there is the matter of the unemployed horses. Unlike wealthy showhorses, workhorses rely on a good economy. By taking away their prime employment, i.e. pulling us around, we're forcing the Amish and Budweiser to support the entire horse job market. Not to mention the societal danger of down-and-out horses loitering on streetcorners and getting into trouble. Any day now there is likely to be violent political upheaval if horses aren't kept occupied.

Besides, I think there is much to be said in favor of the stagecoach. The danger and excitement. The neat leather luggage with buckles. The fancy feathered hats. The rugged, dusty men. Think of the reading you could catch up on while someone else is driving. And since stagecoaches only travel through the old West and places ending in -shire, you're sure to see some great sights on your way to San Francisco or ----shire. Think how smart anyone can look in a coach-and-six.

My other favorite forms of transportation are bicycle/tandem, sloop, and camel, camel being basically the top of the list even above horses. You know what they say about camels. And so do I. But the main thing about these low-tech types of vehicles is that they don't come with rules. Your bike doesn't have an engine light. You don't have to get super unleaded wind for your sloop.

And the roads on which you travel in your coach-and-six don't have flashing red stoplights that you can see from two miles away and keep trying to stop at because you really can't judge distance in the dark and finally when you get used to the fact that no, this floating red stoplight does not exist except in your imagination like a rural suburban will-o'-the-whisp and you will be trying to stop at it for the rest of your life if you don't just accept its presence and move on, that's when suddenly BAM it's right there and you have to slam on your brakes so hard that if you had been on a camel, you'd have shot off over its head, and you think to yourself, of all the things in the world . . . why?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

i got a new way to walk (walk, walk)

i've always lived in cities where the whim of pedestrian was king, where the world was my crosswalk, where the streets were safe for noble non-drivers! growing up, my running partner and i would play a game called "they'll stop", where we would run across the street whenever we felt like it because chances were, the cars would stop... and if they didn't, our town was so small that a wave of community outrage would prompt the construction of at least two or three commemorative crosswalks complete with flashing stop signs so that those following in our footsteps could cross as they pleased. boston has a similar flow of pedestrians and if it was near class time, or lunch time or say, nap time and we had more than three people waiting to get across the street, we would just cross because the "they'll stop" principle still applied. as much as people dislike college students-- real people with absolutely no responsibilies except drinking all the beer in the fridge on a tuesday afternoon-- vehicular manslaughter doesn't usually appeal to your average commonwealth avenue driver. blood with that kind of alcohol content could peel the paint right off daddy's bmw. there were reasons not to hit people in rochester and boston, but los angeles, where i'm pretty sure i've never even seen a pedestrian, the act of walking is a sin. since walking is a sin it will be punished by whatever vengeful god claims this smoggy city. jaywalking on the other hand is out of god's hands and will be punished by powers that be at the lapd. i should have thought of that before i crossed the street separating our office from The Parking Lot of Death. the nearest crosswalk is a mile down the road and frankly, i do not feel the need to spend an extra ten minutes on the same side of the street as my cockroach infested place of work just so i can get from one side to the other "safely". as i crossed the four lanes of lankershim, i smiled at two cops watching the The Parking Lot of Death. i was happy they were at The Parking Lot of Death since i heard several cars were stolen and someone was knifed a few weeks back. "hello, friendly cops," i said and instead of a nice "hello" in return, i received a firm talking-to from a forty-year-old member of the lapd with braces. it's very hard to take someone seriously if they have braces. i mean honestly, braces? shouldn't you have taken care of this a long time ago? a time before you took a position of power within the community? braceface babbled on about los angeles jaywalking laws while i contemplated throwing myself back into the four lanes of traffic. apparently i can walk to the nearest corner and cross at a broken white line- the lapd considers this a "makeshift crosswalk". i on the other hand, think this is crap. if i was not aware of the "makeshift crosswalk law", the cars won't be aware of the "makeshift crosswalk law", and why would i want to spend an extra three minutes on the cockroachy side of the street to just to play my normal game of "they'll stop" all the way down at the corner. besides, if i die crossing the street i want the commemorative crosswalk going straight from the office to The Parking Lot of Death... no one with braces can influence pedestrian traffic!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Improved Flavor!

Narrator: A while ago I bought this tube of toothpaste that boasted an IMPROVED FLAVOR! It was so improved, in fact, that it basically burned holes in my mouth. Improvement in this case evidently involved making a perfectly good toothpaste 50% nitric acid. The plaque comes right off. So do your gums.

This fearful consequence was what I thought of the entire time I was fixing Simon and Ivan's blog. Am I flooding perfectly good HTML with the corrosive, flesh-eating code more or less made up by a completely incompetant imaginary figure? Will Simon and Ivan fire me and fill my vacant post with Osternet Webling, Famed Viking Webmaster of Old? Will I ever be able to make the background and text anything other than clashing shades of purple and green?

At any rate, the current color scheme has a little something for everyone. I noticed after finishing that it looks very Easter-y. That is very nice for people who like Easter, which constitutes maybe .01% of our prime demographic. For the rest of you, it also has a vaguely ice-cream-parlor look to it, and probably 100% of you like ice cream, discounting Simon whose lifelong disinterest in ice cream has always been a disappointment to family, friends, acquaintances, and any strangers who happen to hear of it. So I guess when I said "a little something for everyone", I meant we were catering to a probably nonexistant following of religious persons and persons who are particularly fond of vanilla ice cream with sprinkles, and have completely excluded Simon, who falls into neither of these categories, even though Simon is one of our most frequent contributors, loyal readers, and pays my salary.

And I'd like to extend a gracious welcome to my successor, Osternet Webling.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

the best part of waking up

i'm not a morning person. mornings are the smoggy time for sleeping and watching new jennifer lopez and kelly clarkson videos. things that should not be done before 12:00pm include cooking, showering, replying to emails, getting out of bed and ironing. actually, ironing never needs to be done. if your place of employment has a cockroach problem, ten to one no one cares if your clothes are wrinkled. i broke one of my cardinal rules yesterday when i tried cooking breakfast. i accidentally set the microwave to 30 minutes instead of 3. if bacon can be reduced to a foul black paste in five minutes i wonder what happens if you cook a barbie on the "popcorn" setting? or your roommate's bobble-head collection? i told people at work about my awful morning and they laughed when i said "i burnt my bacon". i can't understand what's so funny. they would not laugh if they smelled it. it smlled like rotting dead people.

the mornings are getting progressively worse and it's only tuesday. i keep setting my alarm too loud because the radio's broken. when it went off at 7:30am it scared me so badly i tripped on the corner of my bed, cut my foot open and fell flat on my face. i screamed so loudly my landlord must think i slaughter small animals for breakfast... which i don't... that would involve cooking things before noon.

Monday, March 07, 2005

sunny and 70 HAHAHAHAHAHA

well, the rain has stopped, the sun is shining and all the chapstick in my car has melted. who knew "new car smell" would mix so well with "skittles banana berry". now that temperatures are back in the 70's i can oficially post my "dude all of you that live in snowy places suck and i win" entry, because dude, lets face it, you guys are lame. sitting with your laptops to keep you warm. just move out here! you know you want to! i won't gloat too much, as we just survived another week of record-setting rainfall where my hair reached a new level of evil frizziness and my pants were again sopping wet. lets recap.

i went out with friends the day before my aunt's wine tasting party. the original plan was to drive out when the night ended. traffic is usually kickass at 3 in the morning. my aunt gave me specific instructions "call before you leave", but it was 3am... calling sounded like a bad idea. believe me when i tell you your aunt is just as paranoid as your mother, and she will lock the doors of her picture perfect house in her picture perfect suburban neighborhood if she doesn't think you're coming and you will have to drive another 40 wretched (but traffic free!) miles back to your apartment in the middle of the night. i made it back the next day for the wine tasting and realized i was the surprise babysitter of the night. i wasn't sold, but with the promise of no life guarding and as much wine as i wanted, i quickly warmed to the idea of a quiet night watching superbabies 2 with a quality reisling. the night would have been fine but for an evil evil evil ten-year-old who quickly taught the four-year-old how to say "fuck you" and then drew all over his face with a felt-tip marker. i found it ironic when sirens went off and he said "wow, sounds like juvenile hall". yes, child, you will know that sound well. second favorite quote "have you ever smoked a brisket?" to which my uncle replied "i've smoked a lot of things, but never a brisket..." realizing i overheard he added "um, please don't repeat that to my son". oh uncle, just wait... my brother is 3,000 miles away and the easiest person to corrupt is dear, dear cousin. i suppose i'll only tell if they stop feeding me gourmet meals.

in other news, it was raining in la, and as we all know, the rain makes traffic ever so horrendus in this pretty city, and as MGDub can attest, i have the worst road rage ever. i scream and bang my head against the wheel and pray to every god imaginable and i still get stuck in eight lanes of bumper to bumper bullshit. but this week i found the answer. cake. CAKE! CAKE! CAKE! no, not short skirt long jacket, but chocolate and buttercream! oh glorious cake! with cake on your side, you are immune to the terrors of the road! that woman driving the brand new hummer, drinking her decaf venti non-fat sugar free vanilla latte with her perfect southern california blond hair WHO WAS TOTALLY TAILGAITING THE WHOLE TIME, had no effect my mental state. The department of water and power truck that went 15mph up the canyon road... no problem. the fact that there was a mudslide on that same canyon road and little Friday had to climb it... just a pleasant adventure. oh cake, you are my special friend.

while traffic went slow, the work week went quickly. alas, i feel the need to comment on the new intern. the intern is a good intern. he dubs tapes well, he makes labels with a special flair, he's generally a good guy. the intern came up with the genius idea of bringing a keg to post. (we work with cockroaches, we deserve a keg, ok) the intern researched places to buy the keg, he's 21, he has money for the deposit BUT HE WON'T BUY THE KEG. he keeps saying, "tomorrow, tomorrow". i am beginning to think he's a fraud. intern- you are off the hook this week because you are drinking heavily in mexico, but next week you had better make good on your promise.

the reason the beer-free workplace is so lame is because i really needed to be intoxicated for the pat metheny concert I attended on friday. dear god. that man a) needs a makeover and b) needs to not play smarmy three hour concerts and proclaim at the end "I would love to tell you we played one song off our new album... BUT THAT WAS THE WHOLE ALBUM!" and the crowd almost peed their pants they were so excited. i seriously contemplated killing myself when my aunt leaned over and said "wow, isn't this the most amazing harmonica player you've ever heard". oh. my. god. so that's the news from lake wobegon, where are the women are strong, the men are good looking and all the poor, poor civilians are stuck in traffic.

A moyste Marche and wyndy

I am blogging now almost entirely because having the computer on my lap keeps me warm. I used to use my laptop as a heat source quite often in England when my radiator didn't so much work and it was blustery beyond belief outside and I only had two blankets because, if you can save a good twelve pounds, why not gamble with death?

We have broken out the space heaters and the blankets and the kettles for boiling water: the hot water heater is malfunctioning. Again. I am very fond of the hot water heater because it never runs out of hot water except for those times when it breaks and takes out not only the hot water but the entire heating system, too. The water from the faucet is about 33 degrees. That scene in The Lion in Winter when Henry has to break the ice on the water to wash his face now has special meaning for me.

Happily, my parents and I spent several hours yesterday at my sister's new house where she was kindly willing to put us to work in exchange for us using her heat and shower. She painted the downstairs bathroom while my dad put up trim, my mother steamed off wallpaper, and I washed the de-papered walls. Here is the thing about the wallpaper steamer: if you hear it before you see it, it is easy to imagine that it is a giant creature with a giant snorkely proboscis* and a cold. In other words, I was quite convinced at first that Snuffleupagus was helping my mother remove wallpaper. Here is the thing about wallpaper glue: it is the devil. Here is the thing about people who paint the walls of their hallway guacamole-green: WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? I think we can agree that while guacamole is a tasty treat, spreading it all over your walls is something to be avoided.

Today I have accomplished: (1) getting up, (2) reading a little, (3) cleaning my room, and (4) appropriating a space heater for my room. If there is any prospect of a shower that will not give me hypothermia, I may go for a run. You might also add (5) blogging, but I think this is really too boring to count. I think it's time for someone to update us on the rain situation in LA. That's all you, Ivan.

*For the information of .M who is the only person who would be interested, that's apparently Latin and Greek, only the Greek is proboskis. The Greeks are cute.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

13th Way of Looking at a Blackbird

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.