Monday, December 14, 2009

I am a Hermit.

Most people think of me as outgoing. I have decided, however, that I am a hermit.

I went to a party in San Diego on Saturday and found myself dealing with some pretty intense social anxiety before I actually arrived. I’m not sure why this was. Normally I don’t give a crap about whom I do or do not meet; but for some reason, I felt weird about the whole event. Even on Friday, I felt anxious about going to this shin-dig. I think it was just generalized anxiety. It wasn’t really specific to the event.

The event was a hula-Christmas wacky-tacky party. I didn’t really get it. I just wore my tackiest Christmas apparel and went with it.

Maybe I should preface this story with telling you that I am the most ridiculously prepared person you’ll ever meet. For instance, I carry an extra band-aid in my purse, tissues, Purell…until a few months ago, I carried an extra pair of panties in my purse. Then one day, my ex-friend said,

“Uh, are those panties in your purse?”

Rachel: “Yeah.”

Ex-friend: “That makes you seem like a big hoe.”

I still have no idea why having back-up panties would make me appear to be a hoe. I mean, what if I got in a car accident and wound up in the hospital? There’s no way I’m wearing some manky weird hospital panties. Their panties probably get washed with the HIV sheets and the plasma pillowcases and those hospital gowns that old people have crapped in. I will wear my OWN sanitary panties, thank you. Or what if I get really tired and decide to stay at my friend’s house over night? Then the next morning, when I shower, I have nice clean undergarments to put on. Alas. I no longer carry extra panties because I do not want to be thought of as a hoe.

Anyway, so, I go to this party in San Diego.

There is something else you should know about me. I have not slept well since I was about 12. I have spoken of this on countless occasions before, so ignore me when I beat this dead horse into oblivion. I toss and turn and have weird dreams and wake up with my back all cork-screwed and feeling like hell EVERY DAY. I feel bad for my co-sleeper, or whomever you may have. I am the worst co-pilot sleeper in the world. With this being said, I do every possible thing that I can to maintain the tiniest level of crappy sleep that I can grasp.

So, integrating my preparedness and my crappy sleeplessness, I bring ear plugs everywhere I go, and I often pop Melatonin- and on this particular Saturday, I decided to tote my air mattress with me to this party to minimize the shittiness of my REM cycle.

At about midnight, I was bored making meaningless chit-chat with people that I did not know. I get really sick of telling the same dang story.

People saying, “MY! What an accent! Are you from Texas?” and me feeling really bored and dull and rough around the edges. When they ask me these stupid things, I watch their mouths move and hear this dull moaning in my ears and I mentally fill in the gaps with, “I’m a big effing ignorant retard, and I grew up in southern California on a trust fund, and I have nothing in common with you and think you’re stupid because you have a southern accent, but the truth is, I went to community college and failed all of my gen eds, but still got into USC because my daddy is a big donor.” And all the time I am smiling and nodding politely, wondering if perhaps the person’s head will blow up and little particles of emptiness and stupidity will float through the air and vanish into the ozone layer like tiny little finches.

Never happens. Their heads never blow up.

Anyway. I got really bored. Really, really bored. After an insane week filled with written comps and oral comps and emotions up and down and feeling insecure and insane and sick and hungry and exhausted and wondering if he likes me as much as I like him and wondering if I’m supposed to buy my coworkers Christmas presents and if I’ll be stuck in this job for the rest of my life and maybe I should move to Texas since apparently I’m the stereotype for the whole effin state and I don’t want to date anymore unless there’s a point to it and I want to get married and have kids one day and own a home and that sure as hell isn’t going to happen in L.A. unless I marry a 78 year old venture capitalist and having bottomless mimosas on a Friday afternoon and feeling like I have absolutely snapped and there will be no salvaging of the person I once was, I. was. BORED.

So. I exited stage left into some girl’s room, blew up my little air mattress, popped in my ear plugs, and decided to sleep.

Bad plan.

When you go to sleep at a party when everyone is smashed and dressed like King Kamehameha with Christmas ornaments for earnings, you are absolutely targeted for having “Balls” written on your forehead in Sharpie ink.

Throughout the course of the evening, I woke up on several occasions with creepers looming over my bed, giggling and tickling my feet or poking me, like poking a dead jellyfish with a stick.

I felt like a caged up zoo animal. I felt like an insane, hermit, zoo animal who was about to jump out of that air mattress and start stabbing everyone, Wolfenstein style, like when he runs out of guns and has that little wimpy knife but can get pretty crazy with it. Stab stab.

This is why I do not like going to parties where I know that:

A) I don’t have a get away car
B) I will have to sleep on someone’s floor
C) I do not know my way home.

Now, setting all melodramatics aside, I actually had a fun time. I spent some quality time with the girlfriend I rode with, and that was nice. But being ridiculed for being a prepared hermit control freak is no fun for anyone.

The whole point of this blog is that I have decided that I am officially a hermit.

Also, today was one more day of hell on earth at my office where I got completely thrown into counseling someone for whom I was not prepared. Awesome. I need a new career path. I should have gone to business school. Then I could be my own dang venture capitalist and not have to marry one.

I joke about having to marry a rich man a lot. People shouldn’t take that so seriously. People sometimes get all heated and red in the face and sigh and say, “You’re such a gold digger!” But I’ve never dated a guy with money, nor is that something that even comes up in my preliminary man-screening survey. Money is real fickle. You can’t count on it.

Two memories occurred to me recently, as I have finished my master’s degree.

I have done a lot of things on my own.

There were two times in my life where I could have gotten married. I was young and still thought the best of most people. With contestant number two, we talked about moving to So Cal together if we ever did the whole future thing together. He was an insane person, and I found that out right around the time I found the ring in his sock drawer, and thank God I pulled the quick release strap and got out of that whole mess. Anyway. I moved to So Cal alone. I did it myself. I didn’t need that idiot to do it. I did it myself.

With contestant number one, he always said he’d take me to Italy if we did the future thing [look at my avoidance issues. I can’t even type the “m” word now.]. I bought a ticket to Italy over Thanksgiving. Merry Christmas, Rachel. Happy graduation, Rachel. I did it myself. I’m doing it myself.

I have a lot of things to figure out. I’ve checked all of this b.s. off of my life accomplishments list, and now I’m completely undirected and wondering what the H comes next. But I do know one thing.

I am a hermit, and I am proud.

Goodnight, San Diego.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This isn't a Funny One

What a day of restoration.

Ever wake up and feel like you’d give anything to have peace? Five seconds of peace. I feel like that all the time. Today I got that five seconds.

Today I was feeling exceptionally discouraged, missing my old funny self that I used to know so well. I needed crisis intervention. I called my Memaw.

Any time you feel like your life is going to hell, a good call to Memaw will cure you.

I cried the whole way to work, feeling empty and broken and lost, like nothing made sense. Raccoon tracks made their way down my face as I slobbered into my blue tooth like a big fruitcake. Most of the time I didn’t even talk. I just listened. Memaw talked to me my whole way there, from Playa all the way to Miracle Mile, telling me that God had a plan and purpose for me. In my heart I know that, but I sure as heck haven’t felt that way in a long time. I’ve felt like a screw up. Is perfectionism curable? Is there a pill for this? This sure is a self-centered, completely illogical weakness. Anyway, talking to my Memaw made remember and BELIEVE that God really DOES know what He’s doing, even though most of the time I’m floundering around like a kick fixin’ to puke on one of those whirly things on a playground.

I made it through my typical horrendous work day and drove home grimacing every time I had to move my foot. I think I have a broken toe. Pretty sure I broke it while attempting to teach myself to moonwalk 24/7 for five consecutive days during Thanksgiving break. I don’t have the luxury of hardwood floors at my apartment. I had to take advantage of those glorious slick surfaces, smooth as bacon grease, while I was back in Memphis.

I rode the elevator up to the third floor of my building not giving a crap if anyone saw me with my chipped toenail polish and my nappy filthy hair. I have that hateful DON’T MESS WITH ME aura when I ride that elevator at 7:46 a.m. and 7:06 p.m. I was hungry and exhausted and my toe hurt like hell.

I came to my apartment door with a gorgeous bouquet of roses and daisies at the step. I had to look at the number on the wall twice to figure out if this was even my apartment. I’ve been on this boyfriend sabbatical sort of since 2008. I’ve dated here and there, but let’s face it, flowers are usually a “I am an idiot, maybe these will make you forget that” gesture from a doofus boyfriend. And sometimes they’re just a kind gesture; but most men don’t get that. Most men just buy them because it’s a bandaid to a horrendous event.
My dad doesn’t make this mistake. Rusty buys my mom flowers because he “gets it.”

My best friend from Baton Rouge sent me flowers for no reason at all. That, my friend, is a quality human being. When I called her to thank her, she said, “Your Facebook statuses made me think you could use a little happy.” Even as I type this I’m a little teary. This girl has got to be the best friend I’ve ever had.

I made dinner and showered and plowed through about 2439082039 pages of homework and I went downstairs to check my mail.

I normally check my mail once a week, because either the box is empty, which makes me marginally sad, or the box is full of bills, which makes me realize that I need a trust fund. Both feelings are not so hot.

There were two cards in my mailbox that weren’t even bills.

One was from my parents. It was a card just because. They said they were proud of me and were praying for me. It choked me up.

The other card was from my Uncle Randy telling me he’s proud of me for making it through my master’s program. He said a lot of really kind stuff and he even sent me a graduation check. There’s a big fat knot in my throat as I type this. I’d write more but I already had my daily cry and don’t want to release all of that estrogen again. The ozone layer is already in enough trouble.

I think sometimes people feel like they’re at the end of the rope. They feel frazzled and empty and lost, like nothing in life makes sense. They can’t see the pattern. There’s just madness. I’ve felt like that since last spring. And all of a sudden, today, I woke up to an outpouring of unconditional love. It felt right- and for the first day in at least five months, I’ve had a sense of peace.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

When you have Insomnia...

I've submitted my written comps, but I still can't come off the high of anxiety/adrenaline raging like a high school freshman with a scorching case of PMS. I've been on sinus medication for the past 10 days that has made me completely loony tunes and the stress I've been under has been so intense that I don't know what it feels like to be relaxed anymore. I wonder if the old me is gone for good. I remember a time when I was genuinely funny and congenial. I saw the good in things. Now I am mad ALL THE TIME. I also cry on a regular basis, which is not like me AT ALL. I used to wave at people when they let me in front of them in traffic. I don't even do that anymore. Anyway. It's 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday. Nobody should EVER be awake at 6:30 on a Saturday unless they are an ER nurse. Effin insomnia. There's nothing like lying in your bed in a deep REM sleep and then dreaming that a gang of your hoodlum neighbors rip your hand-crafted Christmas wreath off your door, tear it to pieces, and leave bits and pieces of garland and glittery ribbon all over your Melrose Place building. Yes. These are the things that wake me up with a pounding heart. Do I need meds? Do I need intense therapy? DO I NEED AN EFFING VACATION? Yes, yes, yes.

I went home for Thanksgiving, which was good. It's like gaining closure after you've been in a dysfunctional relationship and you've been stuck in an unhealthy pattern of behavior for so long that you've forgotten normality. Here's what I mean: I've been stuck between the glitz and glamor and loneliness and self-centeredness of L.A. and the genuineness and simplicity and underachieving sweetness of the South since January. I've been trying to figure out if I should move back to Memphis. Just the stress of balancing my checking account at the end of every month is enough to give me a coronary. I envy those bimbo idiots on "The Hills" who make gazillions of dollars for getting lit and being whores. I really do. Must be nice to be as intelligent as an eggplant and get a check for $29089238209829382 at the end of the day for doing NOTHING. Anyway. Being single and a woman in a big city is the most isolating, anxiety-invoking experience in the entire world. It's exhausting knowing that YOU are responsible for everything. EVERYTHING. If something breaks, you have to fix it. If a rapist comes to your door in the middle of the night, YOU have to knock him in the head with a hammer. If your car dies, YOU have to ride in the tow truck with Alfonzo to the nearest service station. If a homeless man decides to steal your purse in Venice, YOU have to chase his ass down and take it back. It. is. EXHAUSTING.

So anyway, I've been reevaluating and second guessing my whole life for the past few months, trying to kick this depression and figure out what makes sense for me. I keep thinking that maybe I just need an emotional rest. Maybe I should move back to Memphis and live with my parents and be an old maid and work on paying school loans. Maybe I could quit my job where my hair falls out because I am in an EXTREMELY verbally abusive environment and am constantly subjected to the irrationalities of a rageaholic and move back in with my parents and do something simple like work as a receptionist in a dentist's office. I keep thinking this. I keep longing for less.

Then I went home.

Going back to Memphis reminded me of how people are in other parts of the states. You live in L.A. long enough, and you start thinking that everyone is out to use you. Everyone is out to trample you to get what they want. Even people I've considered as close friends have proved my theory right by calling me up, telling me how much they miss me, and then ending the conversation with a quick, "Oh, by the way, can I borrow your....(fill in the blank)?" and then I realize that all of the theatrics were for typical L.A. show.

I think I got a hernia when my best friend got married in September and I danced my tail off at her wedding. With this being said, the first stop on my venture to the M-town was a trip to the chiropractor. It was my 25th birthday and I was at the chiropractor's office. How depressing.

Now, I have only seen this guy maybe twice before, a few years ago. AS SOON AS I WALK IN THE DOOR, the receptionist says, "If it isn't Miss California!!!!" and begins asking me all about grad school and life on the left coast. All of the chiropractic aides gathered around me and asked me what California was like and asked me if I ever saw famous people. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen. They weren't pretending like they cared because they wanted to borrow my crap. They really, genuinely cared.

I saw friends of mine that I haven't seen in a long while. Just being with them made me feel centered again. I also didn't have insomnia while I was back home. I slept all night, the whole night through. We had Thanksgiving dinner with family friends and I realized that they'd known me my whole life. They really KNEW me. It felt right.

It's funny how being home can sort of heal you. It was a good trip. I didn't have to worry. I also realized, though, after day two, that I wouldn't be able to hack it if I moved back home. Just driving without the traffic made me slow down. I'd stop at Walgreens or the grocery store and wouldn't have to shove my shopping cart between 15 kids under the age of 4 who were hanging off the cereal shelves like spider monkeys. I didn't have to wait to get gas in the car. I had to follow the speed limit, often 30 MPH, or else I WOULD get a ticket. Things were...slow. Slow isn't bad. But I also got a little bit sad when I saw everybody doing the same things they were doing two or three years ago. Is this bad? Absolutely not. A lot of people feel very comfortable in routine; in familiarity. I just wish I was one of those people. I wish I was comfortable with living the same life forever. Maybe if I wasn't always having a panic attack about something, maybe if I wasn't a control freak, maybe if I wasn't always on the verge of a puke fest, I would be even worse off. Maybe all of this intense negativity is a good motivator for me.

The thought of having a job like working as a receptionist and living with my parents makes me want to DIE. Really. But then I think, I wish I wanted that. I wish that I could be happy with that. I see people's mini feeds on facebook saying things like, "Michelle cooked a casserole for her husband tonight! Decorated the Christmas tree and the kitty helped! Now baking cookies!" or "Candice has the best husband! Can't wait to cook for him!" and I feel a little bit like an alien. Most of my "friends" from "home" write about:

A) their husbands
B) cooking
C) cooking for their husbands.

I wonder what it's like to be content sitting around making barrettes all day, longing for my husband to come home, and as soon as he walks in the door, hugging him and kissing him and telling him how I've had no purpose all day because he has been gone, and then inviting him to a Southern Living feast to make him happy.

Freaking disgusting.

The thing is, a lot of people are genuinely happy living that way- and who is to say that they're wrong? I'm just beginning to wonder if I have a substantial mental health deficit. I think that I am going to become an insane hermit.

Back to Memphis. I needed it. I completely needed that slow pace... But I've seen too much now. It's like that guy in the Matrix who essentially ruined his own life because he'd experienced too much. I can empathize.

I wonder what I'm doing. L.A. is too fast, Memphis is too slow, Baton Rouge is out of the question... I have no next step. This could be why the meltdowns continue to occur. I keep wondering if I've somehow ruined my life; like I'm completely un-fixable now that I expect a certain level of stress to keep me motivated. Ugh. It's my job, friends. Pray for me. I'm going to snap.

Over the past month or so, I've really been insane. With comps lingering over my head, I've been unable to focus on anything. I keep forgetting things. I can't remember simple conversations I've had with people. I can't remember where I park my car. It's been horrendous.

I came back to L.A. after Thanksgiving and started working on my stupid comps. As I was at my computer, typing away on how my classes had made me a better person (total B.S.), I get a text from this guy that I hate telling me that my comps were due Thursday, instead of Friday, which is when I thought they were due. I absolutely flipped out. This shaved off 24 hours from my bullshit fest of essays about my life-changing experiences at a Jesuit institution. I. nearly. died.

Right at this time, as my face feels hot and my throat is closing up, my chair breaks. The legs just fall right off. I land on the floor, right on my tailbone. Not exactly positive reinforcement for someone who's dealt with a lifetime of self esteem issues.

Ugh.

I'm grouchy because the sun isn't up yet and it's SATURDAY. It's like I can't even enjoy my weekends because I know that Monday is lingering around the corner, about to snatch me up with its ebony claws and leathery wings.

I need an intervention.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Welcome, Mississippians!

My sister tells me that I have a cluster of readers in Mississippi. Mississippians, I welcome you!

It's 10 p.m. L.A. time and my binders are still strewn across my floor like someone barfed academia all over my carpet. I have come to the conclusion that comps will not work themselves out. Damn you, comps.

I know that I have been in a rut until today because for the past week, I have come home from work every single day, taken all of my disgusting, hideous work attire off, thrown it all on the floor, and left dirty dishes all over my counter tops. This is the sign of a necessary intervention, coming from the girl who has every bank statement she's ever received in chronological order in her "Bank of America" file. I just haven't felt like dealing with the maintenance. Every once in a while, about twice per year, I look at my systematized, beautifully organized crap, and think, "Why the H am I wasting all of this time being orderly when we all die one day anyhow?" Dramatic. I am so dang dramatic.

Now. Let me tell you how I almost hit a woman in the face today.

I never take a lunch break. Never. I wake up every single day thinking, "If I can get through today without slitting someone's throat at work, then today will be called an ultimate success." and so when I get to work, I bury myself in work oriented projects so I can just power through this worst day of my life and be done with it. Not today.

I woke up this morning and saw about 30 frozen microwavable meals in my freezer and I wanted to barf. I am so effing sick of microwavable meals. I became so overwhelmed at the thought of tearing back the corner of the plastic film and pressing the "4" on the microwave that I left my house, empty handed, with no lunch at all.

I am not a creature of habit, but when it comes to food, I put little thought into it. Food = fuel. I am no snob. I eat disgusting frozen dinners or cereal essentially every day because it's efficient and requires no thought. But today, I just couldn't handle it.

Around 2 o'clock I felt like I was about to faint. Between the stale smell in my office of morning breath and mildew, and with all of the estrogen floating in the air like some sort of Playboy horror movie, I thought that I might die. My head felt light and my stress level was so astronomical that I thought to myself,

IF I DON'T GET OUT OF THIS EFFING 1980'S HIDEOUS OFFICE IN DESPERATE NEED OF FENG SHUI IN FIVE SECONDS, I AM GOING TO BURN THIS PLACE TO THE GROUND!!!!!!!!!!!

So I decided to walk next door to this disgusting sandwich place and eat a grilled cheese.

I used to be real big on cheese. Now I don't even care. I just wanted a very plain, childlike sandwich, and grilled cheese was the only solution that I could think of in the ENTIRE WORLD that would keep me from blowing my effing brains out at work.

So.

I walked next door to the disgusting sandwich place. Irritant numero uno: I see the CASH ONLY sign, in big, red, offensive letters. This automatically made me mad. Who carries cash these days? It's 2009 and people are thieves. Worst idea ever.

So, seeing that grilled cheese was the only thing in the entire world that was saving my office from its ultimate demise, I walked over to the ATM to take out some cash money.

$2 service charge.

Well, of course there's a $2 service charge. What would be the point in just taking out the money you need to buy a grilled cheese sandwich when you can piss $2 to the A-holes who set up ATMs all over town?

I go through all of the trouble of using this disgusting 1940's ATM that has a bacon-grease film all over the buttons (HEART ATTACK), and I approach the counter.

I was in a time warp.

Maybe I was on another planet.

The lady working at the counter spoke approximately 3% of the English language and was wearing some kind of ghetto-fabulous sunglasses that only a Kardashian would wear. She wore eyeliner for lip liner. Not like I'm hating. I do it, too.

"I'd like a grilled cheese, please."

"We no have grill cheese."

"What?"

"We no have grill cheese. Nah now."

"What?"

"We make korean bah-beh-que and grill is bad."

I gave this woman the death stare from hell.

"Well. That's weird."

I said it flatly, like it was the last little lame sentence that could possibly be slapped out of a corpse.

I stood there staring at her like some sort of internal time bomb was going to go off any second, and my body parts and plasma were going to spray all over her nasty sandwich store and filthy vintage ATM, and then her Korean BBQ grill would really be effed up.

I think she felt it.

"Well, one part of grill clean. I cook white bread grill cheese fah you there."

Ah, white bread and all. Nice touch.

Then, she gave me 50 cents off. I don't know why. I think it's because she was afraid of me. I don't blame her. Is this a raging case of PMS? Is this the fear of being a quarter century old? Is it the fact that I sleep by myself every night and am getting desperate enough to buy a cat, because I'm scared I could drop dead and nobody would find my body for weeks? Who knows.

I just glanced at the binders on my floor. They make my stomach churn.

This blog is too long. Alas, I have more to rant and rave about.

My buddy and I got soul food after class last night, and it was fantastic. The night before that, I went to my coworker's house in Bel-Air, and she made all of our coworkers dinner. It felt SO GOOD to be in a real, legitimate house. One that isn't a part of a filing cabinet. It also felt good to be in a house that smelled like a mom. Ug. Being at this age/stage is hard. You're too old for a mom, too young for a spouse, stuck somewhere in the middle without a place. Anyway. It was wonderful.

One of these days I'm going to write about all of the funny stuff my grand parents said when I was in Baton Rouge in September and I might even write a little blurb about Halloween. But for now, it's time to post obscene videos on Anna's Facebook page. Ciao.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Comps are Stupid

I haven't blogged in a while, and my brain is so fried that I'm not sure I have anything interesting to contribute, but I'll do what I can.

Today I got a package in the mail. I was stoked. My parents are good about sending packages, but other than that, I don't normally get mail, except for bills, and we don't talk about those. I hauled the package upstairs and opened it and saw a teddy bear inside. I got a little bit excited. My emotional reaction struck me as mildly lame, because I'm not really into the chick flicky stuff, but everyone likes it when people are thoughtful and send stupid crap in the mail for no reason.

I pulled the teddy bear out and read a note that was attached to its neck that said it was traveling around the world for a third grade school project.

Way to pound in the reminder that I live by myself and have no S.O., bear!

I remembered my best friend from back home telling me her second cousin or something was doing this for a school thing, and then all of a sudden, I felt a little sad that I had received this 2009 version of Flat Stanley.

This made me start wondering what it is about getting something in the mail unexpectedly that can really make or break your postal service experience.

I just wrote this paragraph about this ex boyfriend that sent me flowers when I was having one of my typical graduate school nervous breakdowns, and then I deleted it all, because right after I thought about how nice it was for him to do that, I thought about what a crappy bf he was, so eff him; his story will not be told.

I am sitting in my cow chair in bachelor-esque attire looking at 7 binders strewn across my floor. I have to write about every class I've taken at school in order to prepare for comps. I'd just as soon swallow razor blades.

The past two weekends have possibly redeemed 2009, the worst year of all time. The only way I can describe it is that feeling that sophomores in college get- that sinking, lackluster feeling, like all of the mystic wonder about college is gone and they have no real goals and they just want to sleep a lot and eat pizza. Or that crappy second year of camp when you're not going for the first time but you're not the oldest kid, either, so you're stuck in this middle-child state where you're lost in the shuffle and trying to figure it all out. This is a bad predicament for a control freak.

Last weekend started as a long weekend, because I went on a hilarious first date on Thursday night. A lot of times, on first dates, both parties are trying so hard to impress the other person, that it winds up being stressful. This first date was HILARIOUS. I spend a lot of my time courtesy laughing, but I genuinely laughed at this guy because he was genuinely funny. It has been a long, long time since I have been on a date with a funny guy. So. That was fantastic.

On Friday, we had a pre-Halloween get together and dressed up in our costumes and sang karaoke at some crappy "to catch a predator" looking establishment. again, awesome. i'd get into the details of my friend, colonel cat, but i'm on the verge of carpel tunnel here and i'm already fading fast.

halloween was legendary. that's all there is to that statement. the most hilarious and economical halloween i've ever had, for sure. the only scary part was finding embarrassing (decent, don't worry) pictures on some weird short guy's blog. How did that happen?

this past weekend, i went out with the first date guy again on second and third dates, which were all hilarious.

i think for the past several months, i have been in this dumb, uninspired, academic funk, because my job is killing me and i haven't hung out with any funny folk.

i think i'm on the verge of resurfacing.

after finals, of course.

i just wouldn't be me if i wasn't having a serious meltdown during finals.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Adult Children

I got a lot done today. I took the day off work because I’d already maxed out my hours for the week, so I was able to be productive and work on some school stuff, run errands, what have you.

I’ve been in this weird limbo place trying to decide if I should stay in L.A. or move somewhere else where I fit with the culture better. Here’s the way my friend put it, and I think it’s perfect.

“-people in New York and LA= smart, cultured, "aware" of things, open-minded, but usually self-centered asshole douches.

-the rest of the country= more concerned with football than what the hell is going on in the world. tricked into voting against their own self-interests, but usually NICE, GENUINE, HUMAN BEINGS who actually CARE about OTHER PEOPLE.

so, it is a dilemma for someone like me who has experienced the best and worst of both worlds.... and rather than become a part of either of them, I find it's easier to become an insane hermit who gets annoyed by (almost) everyone.”


At least someone else in this city “gets it.”

Today I had to call my old car insurance company and work out some kinks with checking accounts and all of that, because apparently some creep named Tyrone Johnson copied my debit card and blablabla, I don’t feel like getting into it because I have to go to the airport in a minute.

So I call ole’ Nationwide Insurance in the M-town and I am greeted by a very pleasant receptionist with a drawl so thick that I felt like I was swimming in it. She called me Miss Haley. I love that.

I told her, “You know, it is so good to hear a Southern accent, and it’s so nice to be called Miss Haley and ma’am- I moved to L.A. where people have no accent and no manners, and talking to you feels like I’m at home.”

Creepy.

I am creepy.

She said thanks and we went on about our business. I word-vomited a confession of homesickness all over the car insurance lady.

I stood in line at the post office today next to a really tall, white haired man who could have been in his 50’s, but apparently he thought he still had some game. I do dig older men and I do dig the 6’3”+ crowd, but I have to draw the line somewhere. Santa Claus’ manorexic stunt double wasn’t gonna cut it. Out of the blue he told me that he had one too many margaritas last night but later on today he was gonna bake it all off. Ug. I get really tired of baby boomers talking to me about smoking weed. L.A. is full of adult children.

Maybe I am on this kick because I just watched a video of myself giving a presentation to my classmates. I was dressed all fly in my suit and I didn’t even crack one joke- which is next to IMPOSSIBLE for me, because it’s much easier for me to be funny than for me to be professional. Anyway, today, as I watched this video, I had an epiphany about myself and realized that I am a suit-wearing woman going through a quarter life crisis, and somehow, this has made me really irritated with people who are 40 or 50 and talking to me about margaritas and herb.

What else. My cousin is coming to visit me tonight. I’m so excited. I baked him cookies. I try to avoid baking goods for men. I do not want to further marginalize myself as a woman. In fact, recently, a young man asked me to bake him a pie for his birthday, and I actually did it because I am somewhat of a nice person about 12% of the time, but somewhere along the line we never talked to each other again, so I brought it to work and my coworkers ate it. I WILL NEVER BAKE A STUPID MAN A PIE AGAIN! Unless it’s my dad. He doesn’t suck. But alas, I did make my cousin some cookies, and now my apartment smells like a storybook.

And now it is time to go to the LAX and pick him up. Ta-ta!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Today was a not-so-good day. I’d say the one thing in this world that can help a not-so-good day is a Reese’s McFlurry from Mickey Dee’s. After having a soul-searching morning at work, where I felt lost and dull and bored and frustrated for not having a “next step” in place for my life, I decided that in my tiny time frame between work and class, I could treat myself to a self-loathing Reese’s McFlurry.

Approach drive-through box.


(static)

“Welcome to McDonald’s. May I take yo awdah?”

R: Yes. I would like a Reese’s McFlurry.”

“We don’t have none.”

R: What?

“We don’t have none.”

R: WHAT?

“They was limited time only. That time is up.”

R: You just ruined my day.

(R drives away jaded)

True story. So I drove to class a little sad. I talked to my mom for a minute. For a while now, I’ve felt disconnected and distant, even though I’m a good faker and I participate fully – specifically in school. I imagine that scene in “Analyze This” where Billy Crystal goes postal on his patients and tells them exactly what he thinks, all to pan out to see him sitting there with his best counselor face on. Take this idea and apply it to class tonight.

I’m over it.

I’m over these mid 20’s students TEXTING during class. Are you effing kidding me? Act like a dang professional. We’re in grad school. We’re not in the seventh grade.

Pause.

I sit here watching an 80’s werewolf movie and regret a little bit that I wasn’t born sooner in life so that I could have fully enjoyed all of the ridiculous perks of the 1980’s. Awesome hair.

Commence.

A weird thing happened last night.

I was eating and watching a show about transgender teens. It occurred to me that I am an odd bird when I was shoveling down a bowl of “Boo Berry” cereal (my fave, which only comes out around Halloween time these days- LAME SAUCE) as I was watching Trisha transform to Ted and having her gynormous fatty breasticles surgically lopped off into a big bucket. These suckers were outrageous. Big yellow pockets of fat being sucked out and scraped off and dumped into a bucket. And all the while I’m gobbling down Boo Berries, never considering that this would make the average Joe puke.

I wish that I wanted medical school bad enough. I always wanted that. Just not bad enough. I wish the left side of my brain worked. I wish I had gone to business school. I hate being poor. Being poor sucks.

So as I’m eating Boo Berries and watching Trisha transform into Ted (alliteration!) I get a text message out of the blue from some guy I met at a bar. I only remember him (vaguely) because we took a picture that night. It was a group thing. This was months ago.

Life (and Big Rusty) has taught me that I will NOT date a boy that I met at a bar. Plus I’m sort of over that scene. Drunken brawls don’t appeal to me. Dating bar guys doesn’t appeal to me. I’m not sure where you actually meet good men in this city, but so far, the best route has been friends-of-friends. I actually dated a nice guy for a few months that way. We were better off friends. But that’s neither here nor there.

Let’s get back to bar-boy’s text.

The first few texts were casual and asking me how I was doing and how school is going and all of that. I was half paying attention. I was too into the second portion of the program where Landon became Elle and had gender reassignment surgery. Anyway, before you know it, bar-boy’s asking me to drive an hour away to his apartment so that we can “cuddle and watch movies.” Then he says, “And you can spend the night so you won’t have to drive home late by yourself on the 405.”

HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great! I’ll drive an hour ONE WAY (no traffic) to your crap neck-of-the-woods, and we’ll CUDDLE and WATCH movies. Because every heterosexual 20-something male wants to CUDDLE when you drive to his house at night by yourself at midnight.

Ug. I am so over it. The culture of L.A. men. Pathetic.

I said, “Sir, I politely decline. I am nobody’s professional booty call. Regards!”

Then there was a whole slew of “Rachel, I know you’re a good girl, I would never think that of you!” types of messages, to which I did not respond.

I don’t even really remember this guy. I have better relationships with people I’ve met on airplanes.

Anyway. Back to the culture of men in this city.

I keep thinking that maybe this isn’t a good fit for me. Now, getting married, having kids, all of that- it’s never been an expectation for me, but I do want all of that one day, I think, providing I’m with the right person. I just keep wondering if it’s statistically possible for me to meet the right person as long as I live here.

The thing is- I love L.A. I love my close friends (essentially all girls). I love the mountains and the ocean. I love Venice. I love the smell of the air by the beach. I love that I can wear whatever I want and nobody looks twice. I love that I can get lost in a crowd. I love that I can find people I know if I want to. I love that I can order avocado on everything. I love that you can’t smoke in restaurants or bars here. I love this city. I love that nobody looks the same. I love that this is the city of broken dreams. I don’t know why, regarding that part.

Anyway. So it’s like this. Most of the men out here are sleezes. The ones who really earn their keep by making an A during the romancing period (dates, thoughtfulness, random “thinking about you” messages, stuff like that) always fall flat. They wind up being crazy.

I shouldn’t keep harping in on this dating thing. I’ve got to save thoughts for my book. Plus I have been on two dates with a nice guy who doesn’t seem sleezy. Maybe herein lies my problem, though. No matter how many sleezes I meet, I never lose hope. I never think of myself as a romantic, but apparently I am. This paragraph makes me want to puke. Let’s move on.

So two good things happened today. I am having two visitors this month.

My sister is coming over the weekend, and I’m excited. We haven’t had one-on-one time in quite a while. Maybe the last time we did was when she and I sang karaoke at the NewsCorp Christmas party in NYC and blew Rupert Murdock away with our vocals. Anyway. I think it will be good. Something about being around family is healing. I miss my family a lot. I’d kill for a parent hug.

Next good thing. My cousin randomly said he’s coming in a few weekends. I am so excited. It’s weird, because he and I only just discovered each other a few years ago. I think that’s the best kind of family. The family you didn’t know you had, and all of a sudden you meet them, and you have this connection and this similarity, and you realize that you share the same blood and the same spirit. I am so excited. Plus, he hates everyone, so to come see me is a very big deal (He said this on the phone and I concurred).

I feel like there are so many things that I should be doing right now. I feel like I always have this lingering feeling, like I should be reading or writing or researching something (alliteration!). It’s a bad feeling. I hate it. It’d be nice to know that one day, when I wake up, nothing is due. But I think if I ever had that feeling, I’d hate it too, because I can’t just plant. I’m always moving forward. Blessing and curse.

What else, what else.

This blog is sort of negative. Maybe I should end it with a joke. Ok. Maybe this isn’t really a joke? It doesn’t matter. It’s funny.

Energizer Bunny arrested - charged with battery.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Attention, Target Shoppers.

I am supposed to be reading my therapy book, but I have a few different things I’d like to write about before delving back into “Evocative Empathy.”

Because I am on the verge of having full-fledge AD/HD, I shall create an outline to avoid further distraction:

1. I hate screaming effing children
2. I made a new buddy at Target

Numero One.

My friends know that there is nothing I hate more than a screaming kid. I might be the most restless, tightly wound person that I know, which could add to my disdain for screaming children; but for whatever reason, I can’t handle it. I no longer shop at Target on Saturdays because I hate screaming kids so much. When I hear a kid screaming, I want to run over to the family and punch the mom in the face. Let me explain.

It’s always like this. There’s some stupid screaming a-hole kid, and the mom is pushing the kid in the basket, trying to appease him by saying, “Now, now, little Johnny, don’t do that --- quiet down. Would you like some candy? Would you like a toy?”

Really?

Explain to me why it makes sense to reward a kid for horrendous behavior.

Here, kid. Scream your butt off in public for no apparent reason, and I will give you a gift for ruing everyone’s day and damaging their eardrums.

I can’t handle it.

I think I may have some sort of hearing issue, anyway, because there’s a certain pitch in some people’s voices that makes me want to pull all of my hair out. I also can’t deal with loud talkers. My heart starts beating really fast and I get that crazy werewolf look in my eye like I will freaking beat you to death if you keep up that pitch.

I sleep with earplugs in every night. EVERY night.
I also have to wear earplugs when I take tests because I can’t handle the sound of scribbling pens and flipping papers. I can’t handle it. I CAN’T HANDLE IT, I TELL YOU!

Now, if I know I’m going to be going somewhere with even the REMOTE possibility of a screaming kid, I bring my Ipod, I plant those earbuds deep in my ears, and I crank up Otis Redding or Elvis at maximum volume.

I find myself at the grocery store picking out frozen pizza, watching a screaming kids’ mouth flailing open like a demon possessed bird, and as “Sittin on the Dock of the Bay” is blaring in my brain, I don’t seem to feel near as rattled. I almost feel like I know this wonderful, sneaky secret for calming my nerves, which doesn’t involve mind-altering substances. Go team!

Now, on to point number two. My new buddy at Target.

A few weeks ago, I was jamming out to “Suspicious Minds,” blocking out the screamers, and pondering which deodorant to buy. I was standing next to a lady who was sniffing every single brand. Secret. Sniff, sniff, sniff. Degree. Sniff, sniff, sniff. She sniffed every flavor of every deodorant [yes, I call them flavors].

Then she says to me, “One of them smelled like bug spray last time.”

I pulled out an earbud, let it drop, and “we can’t build our dreams with suspicious miiiiiinds” faintly echoed on my chest.

“What?” I asked.

“Last time, I bought one, and it smelled like bug spray. I don’t want to buy that one again.”

This was weird. I was sniffing deodorant, too, so why did she feel like she had to justify the fact that she was a deo-sniffer?

Mind you, it has never occurred to me that this is an odd behavior. If I’m going to buy something, I want to know what I am purchasing. So if it’s deodorant that needs to be sniffed, by golly, I will sniff it.

I found it weird that for some reason, she felt like she had to justify to me WHY she was sniffing deodorant. I wonder if I gave her my “judger” face.

I said, “Well, the clear solution here is to avoid buying the one that says ‘bug spray scented’ on it.”

She sort of half laughed and we continued sniffing deodorants.

Isn’t it weird how people do these things? I spend approximately 80% of my travel time dancing and/or singing at the top of my lungs in my car. I also “sing” the various orchestral parts of songs. It never occurs to me that other people could be watching and thinking I look ridiculous. I think if this thought ever DOES occur to me, I will not care.

I had like 30 other things I was going to write about in this blog, but I started it a few weeks ago, and I want to move on to my Baton Rouge blog, so I will go ahead and post this one and the BTR one shall follow. Thank you- that is all.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Southbay Sucks

I’ve spent the majority of my morning making “pros” and “cons” lists for my future. I think I get this from PawPaw Haley. He makes lists for everything and puts labels on everything. I’m like that, too. I feel like a lot of times I have cotton candy for brains and I can’t sort out the clear picture. List-making helps me to gain clarity and helps me to stay productive. If I have a list, I can check things off of it, and because I gain such incredible satisfaction from checking things off of my list, I’m almost guaranteed to get something done just so I can make that triumphant little line through whatever it is I set out to accomplish.

This could make me the most pathetic person in the world… or perhaps I’m awesome because of this.

I’d like to talk about the past couple of days that I have had that have not involved list making or planning or accomplishing. They’ve been great.

I was talking to my long-time friend from back home a couple of days ago, and he asked me if I could ever just “live in the moment.” I didn’t even have to think about it. I said “No,” emphatically, as if those who live in the moment are complete imbeciles. Something about him asking me that, though, made me challenge myself to just enjoy the moment for a day or two, so I did.

On Saturday, my friend came over and we drove down to the Hermosa Festival to check out all of the crafts fair type of crap people were selling. It was sort of an interesting experience, because many of the folks down there were very “south bay.” I used to dig the south bay a lot because there were so many young people there, but after experiencing 2009, the year from hell, my perceptions have changed.

I feel like when I first moved to L.A. a year ago, I was more na├»ve. I had come here enamored with all L.A. had to offer and I was so in love with the eccentricity of it all that I did not even see the douche baggery that some areas of town reflected. After dealing with a lot of superficial a-holes out here, though, I’ve lost a lot of the dewy eyed romanticism about this city.

I am still passionately in love with L.A. Living here has been the closest thing to feeling ‘in love’ that I’ve ever experienced, but let me tell you, there are certain areas of town with a certain type of inhabitant that I can no longer deal with.

As my friend and I walked around through the little tents of wooden sculptures and sunglasses, I couldn’t help but notice this “south bay” type of person EVERYWHERE. All of the guys walking around shirtless and statuesque, wearing board shorts and Ed Hardy hats with flat bills and Rainbow flip flops and douchey Ray Bans. Women with their expensive weaved hair and bikinis and cute little dogs in strollers talking about completely empty pointless stupid crap. I thought I was going to lose my mind. All of a sudden, I realized that I was stuck in sororityville. The south bay is like one big Greek “brotherhood.” Everybody says “Brah” and all of that, and people have a chip on their shoulder like they’re sportier and cooler than everyone else. I couldn’t deal with it. We left after 20 minutes and got sushi.

After enjoying our sushi, I told my buddy that I was done with the Pi Kappy whatever whatevers and I had to get out of there before I went bat sheet postal, and we drove down to Venice. Approaching all of those crazy folk made me feel normal again.

It’s weird, because I fit that ding-dong stereotype. I have the bleached hair and the accessories and all of that nonsense… But the thing is, I enjoy being flashy because it’s fun, not because I am trying to fake everyone else out about my level of “coolness.” I feel pretty post modern most of the time, because I don’t fit in with the Greek hoes, I don’t fit in with the ultra conservatives or the ultra liberals, I’m definitely no hippie (I drive an SUV and leave the lights on), and I’m a closet shy person. I am not sure how I would categorize myself. But back to the topic at hand - I just know that I’d pick the homeless crazies in Venice over the douches in board shorts in Hermosa any day of the week.

We drove down Vista del Mar with reggae cranked up and the windows down and my hair was flying all over the place. It felt nice to feel the sun on my face. It felt even better to smell the beach. It felt great to smile.

We walked around Venice and saw all of the fantastic weirdness that Venice has to offer. People played guitars and made art and just walked around and didn’t care if others were looking at them or not. They just were. It could be the LSD or what have you, but at least they weren’t calling everybody “brah.”

We saw a crazy man promoting the “Venice Freak Show,” walking around with a two headed turtle. This is the first two-headed turtle I’ve seen. I felt sort of bad for him. He was cute in his own un-categorizable, ugly duckling-esque way. I know what it’s like to feel like I have no place. I am a two-headed turtle. Now is no time for lamenting, though. Let us proceed.

I’ve heard the Venice drum circle on countless occasions, but I’ve always been on some sort of Type A, list-making mission, and I’ve never walked out onto the sand to observe these guys beat their drums. Plus, I’ve always been a little bit scared to hang out with the drummers, because I look like I just walked out of white people Barbie ville and I didn’t want the hippies to judge me for looking plastic. I was feeling rather artsy that day, so I bought a JT/Sinatra straw hat and wore it on my head like my crown of glory. I was empowered. My friend and I made the venture close to the ocean. We sat down on the sand and listened to the drummers beat on their bongos, their snares- whatever they had that could take sound. There was even a crazy hippie wee man beating the heck out of a cowbell.

This wasn’t the cool part.

I could feel the percussion in my chest. All of a sudden, I sort of felt transported to a different time in my life, where I actively made music. I remembered the music. I missed playing with the Memphis Youth Symphony in Europe and I missed singing with the candy makers in New Orleans when I was on choir tour in the 8th grade. It made me miss singing with my sisters and cousins at our great grandma’s funeral and it made me miss being one of the only white people singing at “Minorities in Motion” in high school. I missed it. I missed being a part of the music. I closed my eyes and listened to these people making music together and I thought about being in Africa when I was a kid- and that’s all I could think about- people being together, making music- and it didn’t matter if it was perfect or coordinated or cookie cutter—it mattered that they were doing it together. When I opened my eyes I saw this beautiful young woman in the middle of the drum circle. She was thin and wearing a short skirt and a thin t-shirt and she had a huge picked afro and she began dancing with her arms in the air. Something about seeing the sun in her hair and all around her made her look like she was glowing. I thought about that quote by St. Iraneus,

“The Glory of God is man fully alive.”

That’s what it’s about. Being fully alive.

I spent three days in a row like that. Not having a schedule or a list or planning ahead- just focusing on the here and now and being fully aware and fully alive.

It felt good. It felt foreign.

The next day, I went back to Hermosa with Fisty, and we bought some cool stuff. Then we got a free pint of ice cream from Baskin Robbins. We drove down to the beach and lay on the sand and ate the crap out of that Jamoca Almond Fudge. It was wonderful.

After a while, we went back to my house. We went to church downtown that night and then stopped at this Mexican restaurant by my apartment that I love.

We ate nachos and some mariachis came right near our table like bats out of hell and started playing their horns at MAXIMUM VOLUME. We started to come unglued. I haven’t laughed like that in forever. It felt great. I could feel the music again. It’s weird to think that I haven’t made any sort of music in years now. Something inside of me quit at some point. I just quit.

Anyway, at the end of our meal, our waiter came out and brought us our bill, and in big cursive characters, it said, “50% OFF!” He said to us (in thick Spanish accent), “I give you 50% off because you are the two most beautiful women in this restaurant. I would give you more- you deserve free-but this is all I can do.”

What?

WHAT?

When you’ve had the worst summer of your life and you’re about to abandon all hope for the human race, somebody makes you feel good about yourself and does something kind for no reason at all. That, my friends, is restoration.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I lied.

I’m blogging again. My hiatus only lasted about five seconds. The advice of a wise writer kept me from blogging so that I could fully divulge my inner thoughts in a journal. The problem with this is that I don’t write in my journal a whole lot because it makes my hand feel like a gimpy claw. I could solve this gimpy hand problem by typing my entries, but I’m too paranoid to journal in a Word document. I’m scared some creeper is going to come busting into my apartment in the middle of the night, molest me, steal all of my peanut butter, take my sole copy of “PeeWee’s Big Adventure,” and run out of my front door with my computer. Then he’ll go back to his crappy Inglehood abode, eat my peanut butter out of the jar while wearing his whitey tighties, pull up my Word journals, throw his head back, and laugh his head off at my agony. Please note that he is wearing a Zoro mask. He has fat fingers, is balding, and sits at his kitchen table under one single light bulb hanging from a fraying wire.

Ug. What an a-hole.

Moving right along. If I blog, I can be just revealing enough to vent, but mindful that other people may read my material, which keeps me from being too personal. Ug. My mind always does this. It never shuts off. Thank you for melatonin. Otherwise, I’d be back in my insomniac abyss of thoughts trampling around in my brain like a heard of elephants.

I have had a weird summer.

It started out with the summer school I class from hell. I don’t know what the deal is. I took summer school every summer during college because I couldn’t wait to get the CRAP out of undergrad. I never saw myself going to grad school. EVER. I despised school. It seemed like one big butt kissing contest with no real point. But alas, here I am. So. What was I talking about? Oh yes. Summer session I.

Summer school in graduate school is not at all like undergrad. It’s sort of like walking through a floor of coals barefoot, drinking fire and razor blades, juggling those medieval balls that have spikes all over them, etc. Summer session = the hemorrhoids of graduate school.

First of all, I took a special ed class. Mistake number one. I guess it’s like when those guys who grow up working in their Uncle Vinny’s garage are somehow forced to go to trade tech school to learn to be a mechanic, and these kids were dippin’ carbs when they were 4, so they feel completely frustrated because they could teach the dang class.

It isn’t my style to be critical of faculty who are only about 2 years older than me and who clearly have no effin idea what they are talking about and who have never taught in their lives, so I won’t.

However, I will be happy to share that I have been exposed to the special ed genre MY ENTIRE LIFE and do not need a counseling class to educate me on things that are already etched into my DNA. Not that I’m special ed. But I know a thing or two.

Let me recap for you one of the worst days of my life this past year. It was June 10, 2009. This already sounds like the beginning of Dragnet. Great show, bee tee dubbleyou.

Here is what I wrote to my friend that day:

“Today was the worst day of my life. So I go to work and all day I’m thinking, "am I ready for this presentation?" I have exactly ONE HOUR to get to school and make the presentation of my lifetime and I’m the last one to leave the office at 6 and I get to my car and it is DEAD. As a DOORNAIL.

So I call my coworker because she and I left within 5 minutes of each other and she drives up to my car and I ask her if she has any jumper cables. So she hands me some flairs. And I say, "No, those are flairs. Do you have any JUMPER CABLES? You know, they look like CABLES?" and she finally finds some. So at this point this sweet little old Asian man is walking down the street, and I say to him, "HEY! Can you jump off my car?"

So he says yes. But somehow we have to maneuver our cars to where they are 69ing on this ridiculously busy street because both of their batteries were on the left or something. So I’m standing in the middle of 6th, directing traffic in business casual, like a complete idiot, and the guy gets in my car and jumps it off for like 3 seconds and then it dies again. Then the man says, "Your generator is broken." and I said, "Sir. Generators are used during hurricanes. I don't think that cars have generators." he says, "yes, your generator is broken."

Insert nervous breakdown.

So I tell my coworker to just go ahead and go home b/c she needed to be with her kid and I tell the Asian man thanks for diagnosing my "broken generator" and I call triple A.

So in the meantime I am sitting in my car, sweating profusely, uncomfortable as crap because I HATE BUSINESS CASUAL, having the blood sugar drop of a lifetime, and thinking, "I am a rock star. No dad. No boyfriend. No husband. No knowledge of auto mechanics. Broken car. Presentation in 20 minutes. Go me."

So the triple A man shows up in his tow truck. His name was Francesco. We have a nice little drive back to my neck of the woods and talk about his daughter, whose picture was proudly displayed on the dashboard, right under a sparkling, dangling rosary. His daughter was in the second grade but looked like she was about 28 and 213 lbs. with pigtails. We talk about the dodgers, we talk about traffic. Nice guy, that Francesco. He drives me to the service station, which is closed, but the gas station part is open, so I write a note to the service station people and say HELP! FIX MY CAR!!! and I left my keys with the gas station man, hoping that somehow he wouldn’t hotwire it and leave me royally screwed.

So then I ask the tow truck man to drop me off at my class, which he technically was not allowed to do. But I told him how beautiful his daughter was and he took a liking to me.

He pulls up in front of my building and I’m hauling ass to my classroom, 45 minutes late, haven't eaten, looking like un-showered, 7 a.m. busted CRAP, and I sit down in my class, with my entire body perspiring and my hair feeling like it’s on fire.

We give the presentation, and the entire time I’m shaking and sick because I haven’t eaten since breakfast and I feel like I smell like summer camp, and all of my colleagues have time management issues and take way too long presenting, so by the time I covered my section, there were only 5 minutes left, and I sped through everything like a completely incoherent, AD/HD bat out of hell, and I wrapped up with my saying, "Today was the WORST. DAY. OF. MY. LIFE."


And so introduces the beginning of my summer. I’m sure that I could go on and on about other things that happened.

For instance, I dated my first genuinely crazy person.

Now, I’ve dated some crazy folk. Those with some moderate emotional issues, those with daddy issues, those who were abused kids and grew up to be damaged, those with alcoholic parents and addictions to this and that and what have you. But never have I dated someone who should clearly be put in the loony bin.

This is the thing that’s weird about L.A. People are fantastic at faking sanity. They are charming and glamorous. They’re good looking and volunteer at nonprofit organizations. They pay their bills on time and have well manicured lawns. They have gym memberships and “go green” and recycle. They’re registered voters. And they’re crazy as hell.

They can only appear to be normal for so long. Then you find out that they are BAT SHEET CRAZEE.

I’ve dated a couple of typical L.A. duds, but I’ve dated some nice folk, too. I have tried to keep it light because I’m in school and I work and I don’t have a lot of time to commit to anything or anyone else, but I gave it a shot for a little bit this summer, and I’m telling you, I need to invest in an AK47 and I should probably buy a Rottweiler now. I’d write more about this, but I just don’t have the energy to open this can of worms, and I’d prefer to keep all of the gory details on layaway for the book I’m writing.

What else, what else.

Oh yes. I saw Kiefer Sutherland, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Diane Keaton all within a one week span recently. It was weird. This is what I love about L.A. Even thought there are tons of insane people who need serious interventions and I will probably never date anyone ever again because this last guy was such a sociopathic nut job; L.A. is cool, because there’s something very tinsely that’s still here in Tinsel Town, even though everything has been outsourced and imported and exported and the business is in the toilet. You see these “celebs” in your home on Friday night on TNT or when you’re at Kroger in the checkout and they’re on the cover of “People” or when you’re at the movie theater, but when you live in LA, you also see them parked at a red light next to you on Fairfax or you see Diane Keaton walking around the food court at the mall. They’re just plain old people who are a part of your community. I love that. I am not sure why, but it makes me feel very American, and I like that feeling.

I’m going to go to bed now. I’m glad I’m writing again. I think it’s good for my mental health. Until next time, friends.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I retired

I quit blogging a few months ago, in case you haven't noticed. It isn't that I lost interest or quit writing, I just decided to take a hiatus until I figure my life out. I am also a little scared that I'll never become licensed if I keep this monkey business up. Maybe I'll blog again one day, but as for now, Seacrest out.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

Before I begin this blog about the things in life that I appreciate, I would like to begin by word-vomiting as usual. Engage.

Tonight I became increasingly irritated in class as people spoke about nothing (no surprise), everyone wasted my time by adding their two cents worth about irrelevant issues/topics, and my heart was pounding so loudly that I could hear it in my ears. I couldn't figure out if this was because I was having a blood sugar drop or because I was really mad. My stomach was growling so loudly that I was scared all of my classmates thought that I stashed a baby lion into my purse. I have decided that I do not connect with most "educators." This is because they are pompous and stupid and find their identity in ideas which only work in theory and not practice. This irritates me. It's like people who are single who complain about it and do nothing to find a spouse, or fat people who talk about losing weight but do nothing to be skinny, or people complaining about not having this or that but not doing anything to get there. I often get irritated with people who do not deal in reality. Anyway, in addition to being unrealistic, people in education throw around the word "educator" a lot. Drives me freaking nuts. Sometimes I really miss my program in Memphis, because I was learning to be a mental health professional instead of an educator. I have no idea what I am doing in my program right now. I feel like I'm learning how to implement school policy instead of diagnose bipolar disorder. I just have to be mindful that this is only a bridge to the long-term goal; this is not permanente, no sirree.

Anyway, with all of my stress-management deficits have come a lot of weird behaviors. Most of my friends will tell you that I am a bit anal retentive. I always lock doors, I always wear a seat belt, I'm always 5 minutes early, I have never done drugs, I check my door knobs over and over, I use a lot of Purelle, bla bla. In essence, I am obsessive compulsive. So I have left my door to my apartment unlocked twice, which is completely unlike me; I left my flat iron on today for 13 hours, which I have never done, and I keep losing my thoughts mid-sentence. I am losing my ever loving mind.

Ok, so now I will progress.

I recognize that I spend a lot of time being negative in my blogs, and I do this because it is my way of venting. It's sort of like letting all of that nasty crap from your cereal bowls and casserole dishes clog up your sink, and then your apartment starts smelling like feet, and you think to yourself, "Why the crap does my apartment smell like mank and a boys' locker room?" and then you see all of the murky water in your sink and you think, "Silly me, I have forgotten to engage in the routine maintenance of turning my garbage disposal on." And then you flip the switch. And then your apartment no longer smells like mank.

I use this illustration as the reason that most of my blogs sound angry. I blog to vent; because if I didn't, my life would smell like mank. So, in general, I wouldn't consider myself a brooding person, but I do like to blog in order to keep up my routine emotional maintenance checks.

Moving onward. I went out to Venice with my college friends the other night, John and Casey. John is now a New York broker and Casey is livin' the dream out here with me in L.A. So John made a comment about how I seem angrier now than I did in college. He also commented on how I used to have pink hair and how I used to never go out and I'd stay in my room studying all the time, which was an absolutely accurate assessment of me while I was at LSU. Then I started thinking about this anger thing. I used to carry all of my own burdens around in the pit of my stomach; which led me to substantial anxiety and physiological problems, so now I feel better about expressing exactly what I'm going through. The problem with this is that this makes a lot of people uncomfortable. The second problem with this is that I don't really care if they become uncomfortable or not. Clearly a J, not a P. Also, over the past several days, people have told me that:

a) I have no feelings.
b) I am a bad girlfriend (a bystander told me this).
c) _____________(insert offensive comment here that leaves me feeling a bit sad with a twist of apathy)

This still has left me with a head full of thoughts swirling around; therefore, I have decided to take a different shift in this entry.

I would like to focus on my life over the past two weeks. My entry will capitalize on random acts of kindness. This gives you, my dear audience/readers, some insight into my more observant and calm side, not the one raging with estrogen, swinging a sword, ready to chop someone's head off.

And here we go.

I was feeling really screwy after Easter. I don't want to emphasize the details here, because it would negate the point of my "random acts of kindness" speech, but I feel like my first demonstration will not be as effective if I don't give some background. After Easter, I felt sad, and empty, and tired, and I couldn't really pinpoint why. I have a tendency to blame things on lack of sleep, or hormones, or some other variable, and it's hard for me to sit down, be introspective, and really understand the whys, because I am sometimes scared that if I do this, I will get sucked back into the terribly low self-esteem black hole that used to dominate me so much. But at some point, I sent my dear friend Rinzee (in Memphis) an email that expressed how I was feeling, and I woke up to a beautiful email from her on Sunday morning. I drank my coffee and cried. It felt good to know that someone knew my heart and my pain and conflict and loved me through it anyway. I am convinced that there are only two or three people like this in a lifetime.

A lot of times, I feel like people will hang in there with me as long as I'm fun or entertaining or being funny, but as soon as I start falling apart, they're outta there like the prodigal son's posse. Rinzee is one of those thick-and-thin friends; and she never offers unsolicited advice. She only offers unconditional love. Not many people are like that. Her email started my week off with me feeling valued and validated.

On Sunday night, Kris drove me South for forever, and I felt like he was taking me into the woods to slit my throat (I say this in jest, right?), but we drove for a long while until we got to this incredible place in Palos Verdes. There was this lookout over the ocean where we stood and watched the sun set. There was a lighthouse in the distance on the left and Malibu was clear and vague on the right. The sky was lit up with oranges and purples and vibrant warmth and we watched it creep down below the ocean. It was incredible. I don't think I've taken the time to really focus on the calm and captivating essence of a sunset in several years; maybe not since the last time I was in Hawaii, which was when I was about 18. It's been so long since I've calmed down and really been in that moment. I'm always pushing so far ahead that I constantly miss the present. At that point in time, I felt peaceful and whole and complete, and for a few minutes, I fully encompassed myself in the "here and now." Fritz Perls, much?

On Tuesday, my boss and I drove up to Santa Barbara for work. She bought my lunch and we sat outside and enjoyed the warmth. She asked me to drive her BMW back to LA, which honestly terrified the crap out of me, but I did it anyway. Then I thought about how trusting it was of her to let me drive her wicked expensive car. Then I thought back on the past few bosses I had, and how they let me drive their cars. I remember leaving during lunch at my teaching job a few years ago and how my principal let me drive her bright red 1970's corvette stingray. I kept thinking about those guys in "Feris Beuller's Day Off," but I didn't take the same liberties. Anyway, even though I was scared to drive her car, I did it, and I thought that it was incredibly kind and trusting of her to let me do so. That same day, after work, I ran a few errands with her, and she bought some coffee. Apparently you get a free cup of Joe at Peet's just like you do at Starbucks, so she gave me the free cup. I thought that was really kind. Then we drove around Rodeo Drive just for kicks. In that same day, my boss gave $20 to a woman who was clearly of low-socioeconomic status, to put it politically correctly (please, like i care about political correctness.). The point is, I saw a lot of things that my boss did which were really kind and thoughtful, and it made me appreciate her.

On Wednesday, a bouquet of fresh cut roses were in my office. My coworker brought the office roses from her back yard and put them on everyone's desks in vases. They brightened up our entire workspace. My first really significant boyfriend used to send me flowers every time we fought. This made me equate flowers with a crappy way to make amends. I guess this is sort of like Pavlov's dogs slobbering when they heard the bell. Someone would give me flowers, and I'd associate them with fighting. Same thing. Unless I got flowers from my dad or if I had surgery or something- that'd be different. So anyway, the flowers thing sort of irritated me until I got these out of the blue, for no reason at all, other than someone was being kind. She grows them in her yard. She didn't go out and spend money or do anything fancy; she was simply thoughtful, and those flowers made my day.

On Thursday, I was still feeling a little lost. Sometimes I feel like I'm having some sort of alien abduction experience, like I'm lost and confused and have no idea what I am doing in this life. I think a lot of people feel like this. Well, on Thursday night, I got a little package in the mail from Rinzee. She made me a CD. These were some of the best songs I've heard in a long time. I cried again. I just had this epiphany as I was typing. I started thinking about that scene in "Fried Green Tomatoes" at the very end.

YOU REMINDED ME...

ABOUT WHAT THE MOST
IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE IS.

DO YOU KNOW
WHAT I THINK IT IS ?
NO, MA'AM.

FRIENDS...
BEST FRIENDS.

I don't totally agree with this statement, but there's something about feeling valued and loved and unique that drives us to be better people. Getting a CD full of songs that say "You matter to me," makes me want to be a better person. Man, I have the best friends anyone could ever ask for.

In fact, that leads me to Friday. I was walking into work when my dear friend Ryan from Memphis called me out of the blue. I haven't talked to him since my grandfather died. It meant a lot to me that he called for no reason.

Today I got a letter in the mail from my dad. He wrote me a thank you note for Easter. It made me get a little misty-eyed. He is the most faithful person ever when it comes to sending me mail. He also writes ridiculous notes in Haley-code that only he and I would get- or maybe my sisters would pick up on a phrase here and there. Isn't there something hilarious and terrific about inside jokes? I don't care if they are exclusive. I love them.

This concludes my recognition of people being kind. I'd so much rather someone be thoughtful for no reason than for someone to try to woo me to impress me with a bunch of nonsense. I am really blessed (insert cheesy "aaaawwwww" here).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Donde Esta Persia?

I became increasingly annoyed tonight as I sat in my class and listened to the people around me talk. I also became annoyed at my instructor's atrocious accent. I have an accent; this I know, but as saccrine and obnoxious it might be to hear me add additional syllables to words, I find it far more annoying to hear yankees pronounce words like "In-vAAAAAlv," for involve, or to hear someone say something even more stupid like emphasising the "S" at the end of Illinois. Really. Did we make it to graduate school? Further, I am really irritated with people who just yab on and on about NOTHING to project their self-righteousness in order to mask their own insecurities. It drives me effing bonkers. The more I progress in life, the more I recognize that I am indeed a J, and not a P, and most P's drive me up the WALL because they can't stay on task and get their crap done. We'd finish class in about 15 minutes if all of the dewey-eyed, nodding, smiling, superficial grad students would just shut the crap up, stop kissing ass by laughing at my instructor's lame, uninteresting, 20% IQ jokes, and just jot down the main points. I can't handle it. One of these days I am going to just get up and exit stage left. I digress.

I need to touch on my Monday night class pertaining to resiliency and grief and I need to do a brief overview of Easter, but those stories are for another day.

Tonight, I shall focus on Persians.

First of all, I don't know where the crap Persia is, or what it is, just like I have no idea what the crap/where the crap Armenia is (it's a region, right?), but I know for a fact that Persians can party.

I am my friend Fisty's perpeptual wedding date throughout 2009. In fact, I am booked nearly every weekend in May as the wedding date, attending weddings for people whom I do not know.

I can already tell that 2009 is going to be a great year, despite the dramatic pitfalls that it has provided thus far.

And now, I shall cover... THE PERSIAN WEDDING.

First of all, Fisty's friend is a white girl who married a Persian guy, and they did a small private family ceremony on Friday, which left Saturday night as the night for partying it up Persian-style. The reason I add the critical point that the white girl was a white girl is because this left Fisty and myself to be the token whiteys at the Persian party. This turned out to be an ultimate success.

It should be noted that my hair is pretty much a flourescent shade of toxic chemicals and that when I enter the room, my trailer-park 'do glows in the dark, regardless as to whether or not there are any lights on. This gives me great pride. Dolly Parton once said that she saw a beautiful blonde lady walking through her town and asked her mom,

Dolly: Momma, who is that lady?

Mom: She's white trash.

Dolly: Then I wanna be white trash when I grow up.

My story is similar. I have always been the Cinderella of the family from the standpoint that my two sisters have always had gorgeous hair. My older sister has beautiful strawberry blonde locks and hair so thick that Rapunzel would need intense self-esteem workshops if she were to encounter my sis. My little sis has this amazing, cherry-coke colored hair that makes her look soft and ethnic and all American at the same time. Enters Rachel. I've heard it all. Dishwater blonde, mousy, ashy, you name a derogatory hair adjective, I've heard it. I've always had crap hair. In about the 6th grade, I started out with lemon juice, wich progressed to peroxide, which progressed to sun-in, which progressed to partial weaves, which progressed to full weaves, which progressed to my ex boyfriend highlighting my hair for me in college, which progressed to me doing full color myself via Target's sale rack.

So.. the point of this long hair tyrade is that I feel like I draw attention with my cotton-ball head, and I like it, because I like to work a party, much like an over-the-top motivational speaker.

So Fisty and I enter this event, which is in the valley or up in the mountains or wherever the crap it is after you go over the hill on the 405. Already I'm thinking it's weird that we are going to a "reception" at a house, but come to find out, this was no reception at all. Mind you that I grew up in the South, which means that every retirement reception/graduation/wedding even that I've gone to, with the exception of a few white trash folks, have included linen tablecloths and napkins, silver tea sets, fine china, professional catering, coffee stations, and proper floral arrangements(NO carnations unless you're at a funeral, FYI). I was not prepared for this event.

We enter the crazy party, complete with plastic cups and picknick wear and paper plates with little pastel flowers on them. There were nuts and piles of pasta dishes drenched in olive oil and all kinds of weird Persian meats (do they eat cats?). There was a disco-esque lighting situation in the family room of the house and a DJ playing weird Ethnic music. I felt like I was an extra filming a special on the travel channel. There was a little guy who looked like Aladdin playing the bongo drums, and at some point Fisty and I were beating on those things so hard that the next day I had a bruise on my palm. We walked to the backyard where we saw a pool which kept turning different colors. Purple. Green. Blue. Red. Awesome.

We were approached by two older men who had to have been in my dad's age bracket. At some point in the evening Fisty and I were wearing their $200 Burberry ties. I mention this because Fred, the owner of the house and my 55+ man-friend of the evening, kept saying to me in his thick accent,

"Do not spill anything on my tie! It's a $200 Burberry tie!"

Um, okay. I know an expensive tie when I see one. I can also sniff out a fake Louis Vouitton bag about 20 miles away. I know this because I own the fakes. In addition, I was a big fashion guru in college, until I found out that most people in the fashion industry are stupid, and I left fashion for a career that was backed by substance and meaning. So anyway, it irritated me every time this dirty old codger was in my face about his stupid tie, because I'm not an idiot. I was not going to wipe my greasy olive oil fingers on his Burberry tie. Sigh. Here we go.

Throughout the night, we mixed and mingled with all kinds of interesting Persian people. Persian men smell like expensive cologne and cigarettes and they have an excessive amount of chest hair that seeps through their $400 dress shirts. This is what I know. Persian women are exotic and have gorgeous hair. This is what I learned.

At some point I told Fred that I knew that his tie was expensive and I was not an idiot and that if he didn't shut the crap up, I was going to throw it into the pool (in so many words). This is when he introduced me to the VP of American Apparel and said that if Fisty and I wanted to buy underwear, he would get us an 80% discount. It was somewhere around this point that she and I escaped from these sleezes and went to the back of the house, which was an added-on apartment called "Room 112."

We enter this lime-green painted mother-in-law suite and I felt like I was stuck in "Animal House." There was a big hookah thing on the floor, dirty dishes everywhere, piles of dirty clothes all over the place...I couldn't help but be thrilled that I am a girl. I take my trash out at least bi-weekly, buy vanilla scented air freshener, and do laundry once per week. I am anal about cleanliness.

This is when we met the next generation of Persian men, who greeted us with,

"Dude, are those our dad's ties?"

Fisty and I tried to just blend in with the crowd, but it was impossible, because, as previously mentioned, we were the token white folk. This reminded me of last summer when I went to Club Atlas downtown with my African-American girlfriends, and I was definitely the only white girl there. I stood out like a sore thumb. Somehow this wasn't so bad to me, because it takes a lot to make me feel uncomfortable, but at the same time, I was hoping I wasn't irritating people for being the odd ball. I like these kinds of situations because they make me more cognizant of how it feels to not be like everyone else, which helps me develop a stronger sense of empathy and understanding. Look at me, I'm such a processor. Back to the Persian Party of OH NINE.

Fred came flying in like a bat out of hell, holding a big chunk of meet, and said to me,

"Theez eez for you. Rack of lamb."

I put it in a pita and took a bite. It tasted like a brain. Lamb = game. Sick.

Fisty's sleezey man-fan's response when she asked if he was married:

"If my wife is not here, I am single."

GROSS GROSS GROSS. THEN- at some point, Fred invites us to his house this summer, and says,

"We shall bar-b-que. Only bikinis allowed at my pool."

At this point, we went inside, danced for a long time, jumped around like the Persian folk, which was a BLAST, and eventually, we got scared and escaped to the garage. We sat in the garage, which looked like the storage unit from "Silence of the Lambs," because there was a couch in there, all kinds of boxes, furniture, and creepy storage crap, and it wasn't used for an actual garage. We sat in that dark garage and tried to weigh our options. We could stay and continue to be moderately harassed or we could leave and not have the option of dancing. Tough choice when you love to party.

Sometime during the evening, I was offered "very, very good deal" on a Plasma TV from Best Buy, "very, very good deal" on a boob job via a plastic surgeon from Beverly Hills, and everyone kept trying to get me to drink vodka and eat their weird meat. Ug. Vodka. No thanks. I kept thinking of Aladdin.

SUGAR DATES! SUGAR DATES AND BEANS! SUGAR DATES AND PISTAAAACIOS!

I make this sound like the worst night of my life, but despite the sleezes, we had a blast. We danced like crazy and met lots of interesting people. Toward the end of the night, though, we were just straight-up scared, so we stole some wedding cake and ran out to the car. We ate the cake in the car and then threw the plates out in the grass.

This concludes my Persian party. I can't wait for the next wedding.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A toll is a toll, and a roll is a roll; and if you don't pay the toll, we don't eat no rolls!

I have been in a slight funk as of late. It hasn't been anything so substantial that it's interfered with my day-to-day process of living, but I have noticed that I haven't been quite on my A-game. I don't know if that has to do with the summer solstice or werewolves or barometric pressure or what, but I had this revelation two days ago that suddenly, I had started becoming a little bit tainted. Let me explore this idea. I will begin with telling you about my very weird weekend.

First of all, I went to this place in Venice called "The Air Conditioned," which brought me back to going to the Chi when I was a teenager. I couldn't even drive yet. I don't even know how I got there. I think my friend Travis and I used to go together. Anyway, the Chi was this crap hole way out in Lakeland, and it looked like a huge garage. I think it had a tin roof. It was a total dive. Weird bands that nobody had ever heard of used to play there. This was back in the day of the mosh pit. Sigh. Anyway, so I was thinking about the Chi, but this place in Venice would be a dive with a little bit of money put into it. I liked it. I'd get into the specifics but I don't feel like it. The bottom line is that I felt like the most "normal" person in this place as I looked around and saw grown men wearing sky blue faux-fur coats and elton john sunglasses inside- boys wearing girl jeans and girls wearing vintage hippie dresses. It was weird. I liked it.

So next is Saturday. I babysat pretty much all day for this family I sit for in Culver City. Those kids are so funny. I caught myself processing with one of them. I get so dang bombarded with this processing crap in school that I wind up bringing it to all areas of my life. That's probably not such a good thing- but anyway, it worked, and it helped me rationalize with a kid in that pre-operations stage. Go Piaget.

So on Saturday night, I was out with a few folks in Hermosa. Ever wind up being an accomplice to entertaining people that you'd probably never hang out with in real life, but because someone else you know is hanging out with them, you're sort of in the mix? That was my role. I get along with most people, but I actually truly connect with very few. I can get along with people who spray tan and bleach their teeth and wear too much hair gel and work out all day, but when it all comes down to it, I probably have nothing in common with them, and this was the case. So at some point, I decide to stand up on this clock stand thing and announce to the peasants of Hermosa that they shall be charged a toll for entering my pier. I do this with my wing man. We didn't receive any cash money. We also didn't even receive as much as a weird look. This disappointed me. A good but bad thing about L.A. is that people are so weird, nobody notices if you do something unusual.

Sunday was a great day. My friends and I went to church and we ate pizza at this place in Westwood. Then we got some cookies and walked around Westwood and enjoyed being out in the sun. We drove through UCLA. We got lost in Bel Air and drove around. It was relaxing. After that, I went back to Hermosa and saw Jay Leno. He performs every Sunday night and tests his jokes on the audience to see how they fly. If they're good, he uses them on his show. It was interesting for me to see him pull out his rickety old tape recorder (like the one I used to use at Memphis for my counseling sessions--- Oh tape recorder, how I miss utilizing you) and flip through his index cards and hear him mumble, "that one was nothing..." as he got poor responses. It was brilliant. He's a good businessman. I freaking love that guy. Most people don't make me really laugh. I mean that laugh where your gut hurts and you cry because you're laughing so hard. There are only a few people in my life who can elicit that kind of response. He's one of them. I am interested in studying the form of intelligence that works with humor. I've noticed that there are all these kids that were pegged as "bad" - including myself - who were the freaking most hilarious people I've ever met. I'm wondering if these people, who also sometimes got pegged with AD/HD or Dyslexia or Oppositional Defiant Disorder or what have you, might just be a lot smarter than people give them credit for. Sorry for ending a sentence with a preposition.

WAIT!

I forgot why I started this blog. I was talking about being L.A. tainted. Let me get back to my point.

So I was talking to my sister on the phone, and she was telling me that she saw the cast of the "West Wing" in the senate while she was working. So I went on to discuss with her the details of my weekend as well as the following situation:

On Monday night, I get a call from a person whose name I will not disclose, and he asks me to go to a birthday party with him in the Hollywood hills. So, he picks me up and we go to this party. It's way up in these winding Mullholland looking hills, and we finally make our way up this driveway after we get through a gate that you have to be buzzed in to enter. So, we go inside, and the house is all "The Graduate" esque, with real animal rugs and polyurethane furniture and white leather minimalistic couches. And then I see the shrink-wrapped boxes of Reese's Puffs cereal. With the guy's face on them. Then I meet the guy. Then I notice the enormous, 8X10 foot framed portraits of this guy performing in front of billions of screaming girls. And the guy is as tan as Pocahontas and he's got frosted hair. Apparently, home boy used to be an original Backstreet Boy. I AM NOT KIDDING YOU.

So, I attempt to make small talk with all of these pop-star musicians, and I am failing miserably, because I don't have any cool clothes, I talk like a hick, I hate the music that they "lllluuuurv," I can't afford to get wasted because it's a school/work night, and I've been out of the boy band loop since I was 14. Then... The real boy band shows up. These two CHILDREN, who are probably 17 but they think they are 28, walk in wearing the following: bandannas on their heads in addition to ball caps without folded bills (It's an L.A. thing. Stupid.), skinny girl jeans which are fasted UNDER their butts with studded belts, they are wearing eyeliner, scarves, and about 39089380 layers of clothing and accessories. Stupid, stupid, stupid. And they had highlights. The thing is, they were totally nice, and they had good manners. I'm just not that cool. All of a sudden, I felt like I was 55 years old. I was looking around for the "adults" in the room. I wanted to engage in a conversation about white-collar crime or the price of gas or ANYTHING remotely un-boy bandish. These boys are on the Disney Channel and are BFF with Hannah Montana. They also brought in their hoes, who were probably 15 but looked 30. I could see their boobs and their XXS thongs through their sheer dresses. What's the point in even wearing clothes? I mean, really. Somehow, though, at the end of the night, one of the underage hoochies gave me a hug, though the only conversation we had all night was when I said, "The bathroom is through that door and on the left." She also attempted to sing a Sheryl Crowe song with me. This was an incredibly odd evening.

So, I am recanting all of this to my sister, and I say, "I'm so freaking tired. I just can't catch up."

And she says,

"Rachel, do you realize that I am walking around with the cast of the 'West Wing,' and you are tired because you were out with boy bands and watching Jay Leno, and it hasn't even crossed our minds that THIS IS NOT NORMAL?! Who talks like this?!"

And it hit me. I got a little bit tainted by L.A. I didn't even think that this was unusual. Someone please stab me in the throat if I lose my accent. I want to be progressive but I never want to be jaded.

Xo.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In Memorandum of Serial Dating

I haven't blogged in about two months, and in the past two months, I've probably gone through more insane crap than I've experienced in a five year window at any other given point in my life. Well, that's not true. Anyway, I am about as anal as a person can be without being locked up in the looney bin, and with that being said, I am a big fan of order. I like systematizing things and keeping everything alphabetized, color coded, chronological, size-distributed, etc. So, the deal is, my grandfather died in mid-February, and I wrote about his death and how I was processing my feelings of loss. I was dreading posting my entry because I did not want to revisit that sense of grief, and I was burned out on crying. I hate to cry. I hate that raw, salty feeling and having a sense of heavy emptiness. I'd rather slam the refrigerator door on my skull than cry. Now, let me differentiate. There is a huge difference between pity-party crying and crying because you are broken hearted. It's okay to have a pity-party cry. For instance, if you have a raging case of PMS, and you feel fat and ugly and zitty, and then someone says something to you like,

"Rachel, why does your hair look like Cruella Deville?"

and at any other point in your month, you'd say,

"Shut up, beeyoch, or I'll shank you in the baby-maker,"

but today, your life is so screwy and chemically imbalanced that you feel like you could throw up, a little pity-party cry is kind of therapeutic. Sadly, I don't often have this luxury- normally I just get really mad and want to shove my fist through the wall, but you get my point. Heartbreak crying is the worst crying of all. Those deep, heaving sobs, where you physically feel like the ground can't support your weight, and every time you think of any memory you fall apart again- that's the worst kind of cry.

So anyway, I say all of this to say that I have not been ready to post about losing my PawPaw. It was, by far, the toughest thing I have had to work through since I have lived in Los Angeles, and I have avoided posting what I wrote about his death. Back to being anal: I have not wanted to post anything without first posting about him, but then I decided, I'll go ahead and write out of order anyway. Who cares. My chronology will be all whack, but this is good therapy for me. Rachel, let's first accommodate, than maintain. This is the first step to recovery. Moving on.

I have stopped serial dating, hence the title of my blog. I feel like this is paramount in my life. Reasons regarding ditching serial dating: Numero uno, I don't have the time. I got the job that I wanted, and I am crazy about it. It's a great gig. If only I could write about my encounters with clients. Sigh. There are only a few bad things about having a helping-professions job, and one of them is this ethical standard of keeping peoples' business private. So, though I'm not bound to confidentiality, I still think that it'd be pretty crappy of me to disclose a few scenarios that I have found HILARIOUS, but trust me, no matter what profession you engage in, my job is way, way, way, more bizarre and funny than yours. Trust me.

With that being said, back to being a retired serial dater. Because I work a 40 hour week and take 3 graduate courses, I simply don't have the time to date multiple people and keep all of their stories straight. Now before you go assuming that I am a hoe, let me specify. I am an extremely proactive person. I always have a 5-year window of tentative plans that I intend on accomplishing. My PawPaw Haley is like this, too. He always has a project. I talked to him last week, and he was painting a little fence that he built to hide his generator. Mind you, this is a man in his mid 80's worried about the aesthetics of his front yard. He said,

"I ain't even put the first lick of paint on it yet."

I do not know what this means, but anyway, we had a nice little talk about how we like to always be working towards something. Back to proactivity. I have always thought that online dating was weird, but then I moved out here and got on a site. My reasons for doing this were:

A) I wanted to date around, because I had never just "dated" before. I didn't really date until my senior year of high school, and I had two or three serious (lame sauce) boyfriends through college/early career endeavors (Before I became the seasoned and wise 24 year old that I am today, of course).

B) I wanted to meet people.

C) Uh, online dating stories = HILARIOUS.

D) I had a wing woman who was fully willing to participate in my endeavors to meet crazies and to laugh her head off with me while we discussed how totally awkward our dates were.

E) I figured that online dating was a proactive way to jump start my new serial dating plans.

Anyway, because I have retired, I deleted my profile a while ago, but I decided to copy and paste the content, just to show you my screening process/evil mastermind plans for my online dating candidates. Here we go:

"Your mom will love me.

About Me

Hugs are underrated.
Professional booty dancer.
I refuse to be the big spoon.
I drink coffee black and completely disrespect men who use cream, sugar, & flavor.
I abhor mayonnaise.
Jesus is first.
I eat chunky peanut butter right out of the jar.
I am in love with Halo 3 and Rockband.
I will never drink beer out of the bottle. EVER.
I have not seen my natural hair color since 6th grade and do not care to do so.
I do not wear open toed shoes unless my toenails are painted.
I will be in school for at least 5 more years.
I hate codependency.
Frozen yogurt junky.
Avid reader.
Enjoyer of sushi.
Lover of clever humor.

Please do not contact me unless you have your crap together, are taller than me, have all of your teeth, and are respectful. If you are a serial killer, please do not contact me. If you are a man whore, please do not contact me. If you do not know how to properly use: they’re, their, there, two, too, to, your, & you’re, please do not contact me. Non smokers only. Please be educated. Imperative: open my doors. Chew with your mouth closed. Be old school. Optional perks: glasses, boat shoes, 5 o'clock shadow, nice head of hair, no extra body hair (ew), 6’3” and up, college graduate (at LEAST), have a real job, be nice to your mom, take your vitamins.

First Date
First dates are always weird, so movies are definitely ruled out. Sitting in a dark theater with someone you've never met AND no opportunity for convo exchange? Sounds like the recipe for suicide. I don't want to go to your house on the first date, nor do I want to make out with you. I just want to go someplace chill, get to know each other, and if things go poorly, I will shank you.

Oh yes, and I normally do not go on a first date without my wing woman, Robin. She and I meet up with you and your hot friend (fill in the blank __________) for drinks, then we determine whether or not you are serial rapists, then if things go well, you and I can go on a follow up solo date."

And this ends my online dating profile. If you come off as a hard-ace right off the bat, you eliminate the wimps. Plus, if you get a response e-mail with "Your to cool," then you know he clearly did not understand your spelling rules, and he's elimidated, too.

Anyway, I only went out with two different online guys, and one of them was so bad that I probably should have deleted my profile then and there, but once again, the situation was so awkward and hilarious that I actually went out with one more person. Guy numero uno was about 5 feet tall, had gray hair, and breath so bad that I almost passed out (thank you, wing woman, for being there to double with me). His profile picture looked NOTHING like him, he had no social skills, and the guy he brought with him to double with my wing woman absolutely hated my guts. He tried to verbally assault me every five seconds. The other guy I went out with was actually cool and we're still friends. So that's it for my online dating reminiscing. I am officially hanging up my serial dating shoes. Goodbye, plentoffish.com. Goodbye, multiple L.A. douche bag guys. It was real.