Tuesday, March 30, 2010
the end of an era
I think I'm finally taking the leap. I don't know if I'm
strong enough yet and god knows I've backed out of it a few times before but I
feel ready now. I'm switching to cars and selling the truck.
It's not the truck, it's me. It's LA. Its the parking garages
with their 6'6" clearances and the fucking 12-inch red zones between zoned curb
parking that leaves me hanging illegally over at both ends. It's the valets who
turn me away or charge me double and the rare uncovered parking lot that I
can't back out of once I manage to squeeze in. It's the fact that my parking
spot is compact.
I like driving this beast though. For the life of me I can't
figure out how I haven't been pulled over. I think cops give giant work trucks
a pass. They definitely see me. I've lost count of the number of times I've had
one approach me on foot while my heart raced and I wondered what exactly he saw
me do. All they ever want is to know whether it's diesel, how I like it, what I
tow. For all the red lights I've run, the illegal u-turns I've made, and the
bullying tactics I've employed to change lanes, it would only make sense that
somewhere along the line I would've caught the eye of a cop with a quota to
fill. It's California. We're broke.
But they don't care how I drive. They drain me in the form
of parking tickets when I'm not around to answer obvious questions about my
vehicle. It's cowardly really. You should know it costs $300 to park in a bus
zone, even a temporary one with no visible sign.
It's $80 to park between 3 and 5 am on many streets
downtown, except Sunday, and you'll be towed from 7-9 am, with an additional
$80 ticket. It's $60 if your meter expires. And loading zones vary.
It's the drive-thrus and all of the times I've panicked
because my wheels got stuck coming around the corner. It's the frequency with
which I automatically retract my tow mirrors to squeeze by. It's the number of
people who have to ask why I have a truck before they even ask my name. I have
a truck because go fuck yourself.
Actually I have a truck because I bought it as a second
vehicle to tow my horse when I lived in San Diego. The car was for everything
else. And two weeks after I bought the truck someone rear-ended the car and
they made it a total loss. I never got around to replacing it. Then I moved to
LA with its size 0 road systems and I bought a loft downtown with exactly 1
parking spot. And now I'm sitting here paying off another round of parking
tickets in defeat, doing the math and realizing it would be cheaper to have a
second car payment so I can just park in parking garages, and that's sad. The
truck will have to go. It hurts now, but it's for the best.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Bunny Death Stares and Other Unfortunate Living Situations
My rabbit was running rampant again. He did this of course
because he gets off on small scale types of perfectly executed incremental
torture tactics--the kind that let you fly under the radar.
Our issue is the cage. He just got a new one. It's divine as
far as I'm concerned. It's called a bunny townhouse to be exact, because it's
two stories high with tasteful cedar accents and a little bunny ramp to go
between the levels, and finally a piece de resistance that I like to call the
master suite, better described as a little wooden bunny box with an arched
doorway. I thought it would be big enough that I could put him in it without
having to deal with the creepy bunny death stares that he likes to give when
he's locked up. I was wrong.
He did the same thing during his potty training stint when
he was a kid. Freud would call this the anal stage, the power struggle. I just
remember repeatedly referring to him as the asshole. I'd leave him locked in
his cage when I was gone so that he wouldn't stray too far from his litterbox and
"forget" where it was and leave a mess for me to come home to. Instead I came
home to bunny rage over the matter. When I'd finally let him out he'd typically follow a routine of briefly
attacking my foot before running under the nearest piece of low furniture and
staring at me for the remainder of the night.
He hated my slippers. They had little fuzzy monkey heads on
them. I suspected that he felt his dominance was being threatened. As I'd walk
around the house before bed he'd wage guerilla warfare against them from
militarily strategic sites such as my closet and treadmill. He'd rip into the
furriest part and dart off again, leaving me unsure of my place in my own home.
He got bolder and the hit and runs turned into full-blown
stalking. When I sat answering emails for hours on end I could see him creeping
in on the desk, ears flat and nose twitching. Then I'd feel the jolt of my
slippers being assaulted and I'd yell, all alone in my house, "No Sammy! Bad
rabbit!" but he'd already be gone.
He finally got the slippers. I woke up one morning and found
holes burrowed through not one, but both of the monkey heads. That was the end
of an era. We settled into a comfortable routine after that. He liked to eat
off my plate when I made salads and sit on my head when I slept at night. Then we
The new place had a patio that I though was perfect for him
to rule in my daily absence, free of electrical cords and book spines to gnaw
through and stocked with plenty of fresh air and greenery. He ate the greenery
though, then burrowed through the root system, and within a matter of days I
got a frantic call from the building manager who wanted an explanation as to
why my downstairs neighbor woke up with a rabbit sitting on her head. After
months of failed attempts at rabbit-proofing the patio I gave up, and that
leads us to this moment, where we have hit a stalemate over the cage.
I got him back today after a week of texts and phone calls
and emails from neighbors with bunny sightings. Once he's off my patio there's
nowhere for him to go, aside from everyone else's patio. It's the roof of a
tall building. He can't be cornered though, so all we do is wait, and watch.
The neighbor who finally caught him did so by turning his
entire unit into a large-scale bunny trap. I got the victorious call this
afternoon and rushed over. He was fat, but otherwise unharmed. And we're back
to square one, with me sitting nervously at my computer under the watchful
glare of a caged rabbit.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
I hate lol. Visually it's like nails on a chalkboard. When I
read it I want to reach through my screen and wipe it away. I want an edit
button for it, or one of those little blurry boxes. Digital white out.
Rofl isn't as prevalent so it doesn't activate my OCD in the
same way. Ttyl seems outdated and is therefore not a threat to me. I can't even
comprehend these new emotional outburst acronyms that are longer than four
characters in length, aside from, of course, lololololol--which naturally makes
me want to stab things. I can handle brb, but I think only because I know
exactly one person who uses it, and he uses it with extreme wit, sarcasm, and
caution. This formula makes anything OK.
I have small but acute internal meltdowns that I feel peer
pressure to mask when people actually verbalize lol in conversation. Lies. When
you say lol to me in my physical presence you are not, in fact, lol-ing. In
fact I suspect that when you type lol you are not laughing out loud at me even
then. I suspect you're looking at your screen with the same expressionless
straight face or slight smirk that I am, because facial expressions are only
used in the presence of others, because they are a form of visual communication
with other life forms that actually have to see you to get it.
But I'm starting to get it. It doesn't bother me any less,
I'm just rationalizing it better. Especially lately when I say things on
twitter that are not meant to be taken literally, but are, and before I know it
I have people who don't get the reference asking where they can send flowers
and get well soon cards and whether I've designated a next of kin. My rabbit is
my next of kin. There.
But I'm committing the same crime with smiley faces. People
say I do them backwards, like this:
To be honest I don't think it's possible to smile backwards.
They are my go-to response as I answer emails. They are code
for many things, such as "I don't speak your language" or "I don't want to
answer your question" or "I do not want to commit myself to your opinion or get
into an argument with you over it" or "I can't tell whether that's rhetorical".
Mostly I find myself adding them to the end of almost everything I say as an
insurance policy against being taken literally.
That's just the problem with written language across the
distance of the web though. All of the subtleties of visual cues and intonation
are stripped away and next thing you know what you intended as the most awesome
joke of the century has been grossly misinterpreted as serial killer tendencies
and so on. Compound that with the language and cultural barriers you run into
as you respond to people all over the world in real time and the emotional
distress becomes immeasurable, as with the islander who took me seriously when
I suggested we elope in Canada and hunt moose for sustenance.
So that's where I am on Friday night--sitting at home
rationalizing pop culture acronyms (which to my horror I discovered all have
Wikipedia pages), and taking it a step further as I grapple with whether I can
actually use them. I know I should out of compassion for the poor souls I've
unwittingly fucked with, but I'm going with the slippery slope argument on this
one and I'm afraid of where opening this floodgate of intolerable methods of
communication might take me. I tried it on. I practiced saying lol in the
mirror. I don't wear it right. It's like the first time I cussed in 6thgrade and everyone laughed instead of taking my middle-school outburst
seriously. I really meant it when I finally said the F-word. So what if I
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