Friday, February 29, 2008

First and Only Impression

On my way to the gym today to go swimming, I passed a guy wearing an ankh necklace.

Really? People still wear those?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My Next Road Trip (Apparently)

So, Barbie and I got to chatting via email today regarding various states we have yet to visit.

The only one we share in common is Oklahoma.

Mind you, she's not been to 3 states out of the lower 48, while I've only got 5 left out of the entire 50.

She also has not been to Kansas. I flew through it once, so I technically count it, but I didn't really absorb any local flavor. So, we decided maybe we should knock KS and OK out in one punch by zipping through the panhandle, dashing into Kansas, and then to somewhere that was actually worth our time ... like New Mexico or Colorado.

Me being me, I knew Liberal, KS, was close to the OK panhandle. What I didn't know about was this:

Click Here to Make Your Brain Melt a Bit

I mean, c'mon. Are there any cast members of "The Wizard of Oz" who actually turn up in Liberal, Kansas to visit the model for Dorothy's house and this festival. It's so gay and yet not gay at all. Barbie and I are completely terrified, and yet strangely committed to seeing this unfold in front of us in real time. I imagine some kind of strange Halloween-esque festival that makes me elated and sad at the same time.

Honestly, I actually really want to do the circle tour drive around Lake Michigan--starting in Milwaukee, up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and down the Michigan side to Saugatuck--oddly the gay place to be in Great Lakes, if you believe this:

Go Saugatuck!

That's much more my speed than the terrifying Great Plains. But really, which is gayer? Besides, not only is Liberal home to "The Wizard of Oz," it's close to Beaver, OK, as well as Hooker, OK, too! Barbie suggested we throw in Cooter, MO, but having already been to Dykesville, WI, with her (where we got ice cream at the Frosty Tip), it may make my head explode.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Music Moguldom Here I Come!

Not that I want to knock a popular music group that tries to raise money for underprivileged kids, but this one detail in a story about the Black Eyed Peas' recent charity concert just... well, slayed me:

"The Peas' concert was to benefit their Peapod Foundation, which provides aid to underprivileged children while also introducing them to new musical and technological programs.

In an interview with The Associated Press earlier this week, Peas frontman said one of the organization's main goals is to teach children how to become music moguls.

"I would like to have these workshops all around the world, these music schools, that teach people technology ... so that way, they can bring back money into communities," he said."


Your goal is to teach kids how to be music moguls? I hate to tell you this, but music companies hardly inject money back into communities. Judging by the continued obnoxious greed on display by the RIAA (Lower Royalties for Artists) and the fact that many musical acts are essentially indentured servants who can't make a dime off their art, maybe it's a better dream to have kids learn how to be self-sufficient music supporters who use technology to be self-sustaining--OUTSIDE the current business model. Huh? Huh?

Teaching them to love (and aim to be a part of) the industry as it is now makes as much sense as telling them to give away 90% of every paycheck they earn.

Maybe knows something I don't. I mean, I doubt it, but you never know.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Won't You Be My Neighbor?


I've been enjoying the absence of life in the apartment next to mine for 5 weeks now. It lulls you into believing that maybe that space is haunted and no one can ever live there. Or maybe, somehow, one unit in my building has been condemned and will remain empty forever.

But no.

As I was so nicely told by my other neighbor on Friday, apparently the unit next to me has been rented by a woman with a 2 1/2-year-old child.

Let the fun begin.

The older I get, the more ornerous I become, I think. I firmly believe these days that the only reason I'd buy a house (could I even afford one in Los Angeles) is to escape the sound of other people next to, above, below me. Now, I am actually pretty lucky in that respect, as I have a two-story apt. so really the only sound I have to contend with is with this apartment that had been empty until now. It shares two big walls with mine--in the living room and master bedroom (which I don't even sleep in).
The neighbor on the other side of me lives alone thank god and is relatively quiet, so all of my neuroses turn to this proposed new neighbor, who will live in an apt. with no yard, no place for said child to really play, and a two-story living arrangement with potentially obnoxious offspring. Anyone who knows me knows that this prospect--if, indeed, noisy--will drive me bonkers in no time. Simply put, I dislike children. A lot. I could care less that anyone thinks it's a miracle to give birth. You're a mammal. It's not that hard.

Yet, I am trying to stay optimistic. Points in favor include a living being that likely goes to bed early, who will not have parties in the apartment, the sounds of whom are things I can place (as opposed to some neighbors, who, when you hear them, you wonder, "What the hell are they doing!?"), and, well... in general, it's one less adult to contend with.

Points not in favor: stomping feet running around all over the place. A child who screams. A mother who screams back. A child too young to be out of the house all day. A child who tries to play in the patio courtyard and thus wake everyone up at 7 am. Trust me, if I hear a child playing outside my bedroom at 7 am on the weekend, I will throw open my windows like Joan Crawford and scream my friggin' head off. I'll be the scary queen next door.

Still, even with points in favor mildly outweighing those against, I can't help but share Ryan's sentiment of: "That's it. We're moving."

But move where? I've built my renting life in L.A. on finding apartments that share the least number of walls possible with neighbors. It's becoming a bit "Beautiful Mind" to obsess over layouts of apartments versus location, amenities, and commute time.

For now, I am trying to just go with it. It's not the end of the world. I could be gravely ill, or living in a really shitty place, or still dealing with my old neighbor pounding on the walls. But there is one more thing my neighbor relayed to me which makes me fearful: Apparently the new tenant owns a Hummer. A sure sign that whoever this person is, she and I will never be friends.