Mar 15, 2007
Mar 13, 2007
I hate LA. I hate everyone here. Well not really. Not all of it or everyone. But I hate driving in it. And I hate everyone who drives in LA, including myself. Because I hate how enraged I get. It’s horrible. This is the season of Lent, and I am terrified at how angry I've been getting on my drives lately.
I just came home from Whole Foods. The place I hate but have to shop at, because they don't sell Kombucha at Trader Joe's. Yet. I was driving out of Whole Foods,when an asshole came out of the side aisle, turned right, directly in front of me. He figured his ego could force me to stop. I didn't. I had to swerve to avoid him, into the left side of the aisle, where people were trying to turn In. The incoming cars honked at me: me who just swerved to avoid “Clifton,” the curly, salt-and pepper haired Volvo-driving moveon.org asshole that turned left heading west on National. If you know him, he drives a charcoal Volvo. And he is a piece of excrement. Maybe you’re x in the process of divorcing him. Good for you.
But it wasn’t good for me. I envisioned myself following him home, pulling him out of the car and smashing his head on the pavement. Really, I saw it in my head. I felt it pulse through the arteries in my scalp. But then I thought of the police sirens, calling my husband, and realizing we didn’t have an attorney.
Only moments before I was in a sleepy residential area, turning left into another sleepy street. There was a geezer in an old car coming my way at 15 miles an hour, so I crossed in front of him. He was a good three houses away. He laid his geriatric elbow on the horn and didn’t let go. Maybe at his age he has no depth perception. In which case, why is he driving?
Early this morning. I was driving north on the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass, heading down toward the connector to the 101. I detest this interchange. I often take surface streets and the canyons to avoid this interchange. The reason being, cars back up on a steep decline, waiting to make the transition. Ah, but not for Cliftons of the world. Not for the Buds and the Chips and the Jennifers commandeering their luxury SUV’s. They cut into the connector lanes a the last minute, believing that their ego will force people to put on the brake. And the other cars do, often causing chain-reaction rear ends behind them, or fantasies of road rage. While the assholes keep driving. To complicate this, there’s also a far right reserved for cars exiting onto Ventura Boulevard before the interchange. Assholes also use this lane to circumventing waiting in line like the “rest of the world.”
This morning I was heading down that incline. I’d heard from the traffic report that the 101 was jammed due to an accident, so I used that far right lane for the purpose for which it was constructed. To exit at Ventura. Suddenly a gold Mercedes came flying up behind me and then began to flash its lights at me. I took my foot off the gas pedal. After all we are heading down a steep incline, it’s 9:45 am and traffic is still heavy. And this guy is an asshole. The guy flashes his lights at me again. I tap my brake. He gets enraged. Flashing flashing. So this time I slam on my brake. He gets so pissed that he takes off in the emergency lane to pass me. When he gets even to me I get a good look: He is probably in his late fifties, early sixties. He has a horrible dye job in his hair, like a Don Ho wig, and wears a baseball cap over it. Sure enough, down at the very last second he jams himself left to head off on the 101 freeway.
Aside from looking at him, I got down his license plate. 4UVQ717. If you know this guy, please tell him he drives like a man with a small penis who can’t accept the fact he is old, and someday he's gonna die. And if he keeps driving like that, a lot sooner than later. Problem is, he might take other drivers with him.
Saturday day Larry and I were walking in Old Town Pasadena to do some shopping. A woman in a BMW came barreling out of a parking structure and through the sidewalk. Where I was walking. I did stop , because I didn’t want to die. I shouted “HELLO!” She ignored me so I hit her car with my hand. Hard. I wished I”d had my keys in my hand, I could have keyed her.
I was shaky and irritable all day. What bothered me more than the drivers was my reaction. Where does all that pent up anger and frustration come from? Sure it’s justified. No one wants to be mowed down in a sidewalk because some pedigreed Pasadena beeotch was too anxious to get her Crate and Barrel crap home, to bother to brake at a sidewalk. We all hate seeing people take advantage and cut others off. It’s this rude asshole behavior. Everyone is getting mean and meaner. And there’s no one to stop them. We have no more moral code, no real sense of ethics or what’s appropriate anymore. At least, not in LA.
The only thing I can think of doing is to start collecting their license plates and publish them online. That would be a great blog: asshole drivers and their license plate numbers.
So here's the first one:
Newer model Gold Mercedes 4UQV717
Driver has horrible black hair dye job
Mar 12, 2007
After a long search, it looks like Larry and I found a house. To rent. We haven't got the money to buy. At least, not the extra $350,000 that drove house prices up in the last two years. We'll wait for the bubble to burst And yes it will. Talk to anyone who bought on the bubble back in the early 1990s and sold 7 years later. Anyway, we found this cute house to rent in Altadena. Larry works with the woman who owns it. She moved down to Redondo, so her house is sitting there vacant. It's small, on a small plot of land. but that makes it affordable for us.
Here's the lovely view north .... It's a nice place to retreat to. Quiet, close to the foothills. An easy drive for Larry to his job. So far Larry's been commuting 2 1/2 hours a day. Not pretty, especially for nature boy Larry. A not-so-easy drive for me to the westside. But I don't have to go there that often.
We'll probably be moving by May 1. I'm looking forward to having my mother visit and actually have a room for her to stay in.
Mar 6, 2007
They're Grilling! McDonalds is testing a new Angus Burger, and I'm in one of their commercials.Playing a Kazoo!
They're testing in California, Boston, and New York. So if you're in them environs, go on, git yerself Angus Burger! And you may propel my commercial to national status, thereby contributing to the Susan and Larry retirement fund. Or at least, our health insurance. Or my career as a kazoo artist.
A friend of mine is getting married in a couple weeks. I wasn't able to attend her bridal shower, but the organizers asked us to write on a card, something like a memorable bible verse, an anecdote about marriage or womanhood. So I wrote the following:
TIPS FROM A NEWLYWED HOTHEAD
(Gathered from painstaking trial and error)
Things NOT To Say To Your Husband
• Are you REALLY going to do ____?
• Why on EARTH would you do ____?
• If I were you, I’d do_____.
• That’s not sexy.
Things TO Say
• I love you! (don’t worry if you say it first!)
• Thanks so much for doing ____ (mundane easy chore)
• You’re my hero!
• Hey, Sexy!
Things to have ready when he comes home
• A glass of cabernet
• low-carb chocolate
• Hi-carb chips and salsa
• Anything Baseball
Things Guys Love
• Back massage
• Foot massage
• Scalp massage
• “Other” massage
• Tandem showers, wherein you can massage everything.
(Hey, you’re married now, it’s all legal. Praise JESUS!)
Better to live alone in the attic, than to
share a big house with a quarrelsome wife.
Mar 2, 2007
It's been a busy couple of weeks for Larry and me. Exciting, frustrating, enraging, depressing. I worked hard on a script for a film festival, only to have the Baby Nero director come in at the 11th hour with his own script. The sweet producer thought maybe we could collate the pages. Mine didn't even get a table read. The director got his way of course. This happens in Hollywood. But at least you get paid for your work.
I booked a McDonalds commercial, my Earl episode aired. Friday my agent called me for an audition for Entourage. yea hooray! Good things happening for Suzer. So I called my agent and confirmed I'd be there. THEN I downloaded the script. My character was a 50 year old slut who performed special acts on men half her age. I hate to get specific, but just so we can all know how dehumanizing Hollywood has become: the woman was the "best rim job in LA." And I don't mean she did hubcaps.
Does anyone wonder why the Muslims think we deserve to be annihilated? They've got a point. I read the pages and wanted to cry. Instead I called my agent and let them know I wouldn't be going. I sent a card to the casting director, whom I knew form New York and thanked her for the opportunity, but maybe something else, another time.
There have been Doomsayers and naysayers and Nostradamuses around for forever. Back when I was in high school, the local hippie church told us to get ready because Jesus was coming back in 1982. Maybe they misread the prophecy, because that's when Mexicans really started coming north to do our farm labor.
It's been on my mind for a while now, that there were doomsayers in Rome, too; and no one took them seriously. And one day, the match got lit and Rome burned.
The LA Times published an article on Sunday about how today's college students are more narcissistic than ever before. Now we know. But it's not just them. It's all of us who fight for parking spaces at Whole Foods, screaming "out of my f#$ing way, you're blocking my path to spiritual enlightenment!"
I grew up in Southern California. After a five year absence in new York, I was shocked when I returned to the driver's seat in 2003. And it's only gotten worse. I was shocked at the number of rageful drivers on the way to a yoga class yesterday. Any emotional or spiritual calm I may have achieved in the 90 minute class was undone on the drive home.
YOGA AS SELF-WORSHIP
And then there's yoga. Southern California yoga, I mean. My favorite teacher is a woman named Anaswara. She takes this stuff seriously and she is a lovely woman. She is the real deal. But I've recently taken classes with other yoga teachers, who purr and moan through the class about "all the answers are within you, you are the answer, you are the power. You are God." Gag me with a tofu stick. Who are we kidding?
Have you heard about hat movie, "The Secret." The premise is, the Universe is benevolent. (Notice we don't say God. God implies a supreme being or a moral law to which we might be accountable, and we don't like that here in the land where you can lease a Humvee and bludgeon other drives off the road). Yea verily, the Universe is more then benevolent: the Universe wants to give you all that you desire. So start thanking the Universe ahead of time for what you want.
An econonically challenged friend saw the movie and declared " started thanking the Universe for a house."
I responded," Did you talk to the Universe about a good fixed rate loan?"
As for the message of "the Secret," Unless it works for the people in Darfur, it's a load of POO. Can we imagine all those Sudanese refugees who are getting raped and murdered and driven off their land, chanting thanks to the universe for a duplex in Silver Lake?"
YOUNG INGENUES GET SOBER
Lindsay Lohan, role model of contemporary culture, went into rehab. And we all knew about it. I could see the dear girl calling her publicist to explain why she'd be a no-show at the Kitson media blackout party. Don't panic Lindsay, we'll turn this into a media event! You'll be the new queen of Hollywood vulnerability. Think of the street cred you'll have when you emerge. With a scant 30 days of imposed sobriety, you can warble about your trials, your first step admission, and everyone will love you. That's great, Lindsay. But go take a commitment at the local Alano club with the hard core narcotics anonymous guys, and get back to me.
And let's avoid Britney. She's been on stage since she was 10 years old. Sure she loved every minute of it. Until she got tired of her hair. But we are responsible.
BACK TO MY MIDDLE CLASS WHITE GIRL'S TRIALS
Larry and I have been looking for housing close to his new job in Glendale. He was dreading the commute, and his dread turned out to be well-founded. over an hour each way. Plus, he's had to go back to a corporate job. Yes, he's writing. Not scripts and such, but stuff for nonprofits: articles about human trafficking, the poor and hungry in some remote area of Uzbekistan. Or South Central. This is the stuff you might be tempted to throw away when you get it in the mail. But when you think about the vapidity of our culture, I'm glad that there are people like Larry and his company writing this stuff. Nevertheless, it was a tough week for him. His supervisors were out of the office on family emergencies, he didn't have a desk yet, and he had to work on a Mac. Courage, Larry!
So we've been looking every spare minute for apartments and houses. The things we can afford are so darned depressing. Wow, you just don't expect to reach your forties and be living in a place like that.
We saw a house advertised in Alta Dena. When we arrived there were three parties waiting for the landlord to show up, so we took it upon ourselves to look around the back yard. The back fence was decaying and we could see into the neighbor's yard. Not that we needed to see what was back there, we could hear it. Livestock. Chickens. Some other decaying livestock pens and a few rusted out cars. We got a pretty good look at the chickens. A couple of red roosters who thought it was daybreak. "I can't live with that," Larry said, and we headed back up the drive. We noticed the second floor had a door with no landing. We're looking for a place where my mom could come and stay with us for a bit. My mom leaves coffee pots on teh stove. A second floor back door with no landing would not be good.
This gem has been on Westside rentals for a while. It is titled, "Lovely Back House. " Lovely to whom? Someone from Darfur? Larry just saw me adding the pic to my blog. "Don't laugh, we might be living there.
The tragedy was put in perspective tonight as we watched the film, "Tsotsi." It's a South African film about a coldblooded Soweto thug who steals a car, only to find there is a child in the back seat. As he tries to take care of the baby, he finds some of his own humanity.
I couldn't help cry watching the film. I mean do we here in America have any idea what other people endure just to stay alive?
Larry and I aren't going to have children; we aren't committed at any church and we're disillusioned by the whole church scene at the moment. But we need to be somewhere. We need to be giving back to a community, and we want it to be based in our faith. If I go back and read what Jesus said and did, it was best summed up in Isaiah 61
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
3 To all who mourn in Israel,he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.
I think that's what my business and passion should be, bringing good news and comforting the brokenhearted. I don't know if America deserves any favor from God right now. We've been acting more like Imperialist Rome or Napoleon. And you reap what you sow. But in the middle of reaping the whirlwind, I should be about the real business of what Jesus was doing.
Right now we are observing the season of Lent. Where you give up something or add something, remembering all that Jesus gave up, such as his deity and power, privilege, all the way to giving up his life.
I think I can stand to can give up complaining for forty days.