Friday, December 14, 2012

My Book, Celebrity sTalker, Is Out

My memoir, Celebrity sTalker, is out today, Friday the 14th of Dear God What Was I Thinking.

Anyone who calls writing a book a labor of love is lying. It's hard. It will wake you up in the middle of the night when you suddenly discover a better word for *the* and MUST write it down immediately. Only after you write it down and go back to bed you think, I should probably just open the file and type it in. And after you do that you realize you should pull out the jump drive and back up the file because the odds of your computer breaking down now that the book is done ARE VERY HIGH.

But I digress.

This is one of the pictures that didn't make it into the book because I forgot I had it. It's me and Larry David, from Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, taken in 1988 at Caroline's Comedy Club in New York. I have no idea what we were laughing about but it probably had something to do with me trying to kiss Larry on the lips and him also wanting that to happen. Never.

But Larry himself made it into the book and I talk about the many times I worked with him. I will always be grateful to be included in one of the most iconic TV shows in the history of television. My best friend, Dennison Samaroo, and I often talk about how it doesn't matter if whatever we do outside of show business is forgotten because we're in and will live on forever. We should probably apologize for that, but won't.

The paperback ($12.99) is here and it's also on Kindle ($4.99) or you can buy one directly from me ($700). Now don't those Amazon prices look like a bargain?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Back Cover Is Done!

The ISBN number is fake so don't look for it anywhere!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sometimes You Have A Perfect Day

My parents started dragging my sister and I to museums before we were teenagers. The Corcoran and the National Gallery in Washington D.C., also the Smithsonian. I studied art history in Paris and went to the Corcoran School of Art in D.C. in my junior year. Once someone left a joint in my art box. I'd heard of this devil marijuana and how it was a gateway drug to ice cream sandwiches, but had never smoked one. I gave it to Betsy, one of my roommates, who promptly smoked it, got high and proclaimed me very Un-Cool, like that was even possible. By the time I smoked pot, two years later, I wanted to go back in time and make Betsy cough up that joint.

I have many favorite museums, the Frick and the Guggenheim in NY, The Musee D'Orsay in Paris and now The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California. Mr. Simon started collecting art when he was 40.  I started collecting bad boyfriends at 40. Twins!

Mr. Simon died in 1993 and what he left behind boggles the art lovers' mind. One of the largest collections of French painter Edgar Degas, including this beauty: Little Dancer: Aged 14.
I've seen this in a million (maybe 7) art books but never saw the original. The tulle skirt is real, albeit tattered and dirty. Degas put it on her in 1878. The $10 entrance fee to the museum was recouped immediately upon realizing this beauty was here in California.
This is a side view of Little Dancer: Aged 14.  The bow in the dancer's long braid had to be replaced as it was touched  by so many art lovers it fell apart. The skirt probably suffered the same fate but didn't fall off. If you get too close to this bronze, a net drops over you and you're sent to Gitmo.  I have no idea why people always tell me I exaggerate. GITMO I TELL YOU. My mom and best friend are in the background. Mom is a notorious "toucher" so I made Dennison watch her like a hawk.
This is by the glorious Mexican painter Diego Rivera. It is so breathtaking in person that no picture can do it justice. I now understand why fellow Mexican painter Frida Kahlo was so in love with him.
An Alberto Giacometti with the Diego Rivera in the distance. This is another piece I've seen in a million art books (maybe 5) but never had the fortune to see up close.
The Norton Simon Sculpture Garden. Mom took one look at it and said, "It's Monet's Water Lilies." The gardens are filled with pieces by sculptors Henri Moore, Jacques Lipchitz and Aristide Maillol. And 2 live ducks.

Mom sitting in the Sculpture Garden. Probably thinking up ways to steal my essence. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

No Kidding

I'm very excited to announce that publication of the book No Kidding, an anthology due out next year, has been moved up. It's a series of essays from women who decided not to have children. It was due out Mother's Day but maybe that publishing date was too ironic when it came right down to it.

I'm in it with some extremely talented and funny women like Merrill Markoe, (best selling NY Times author), Laura Kightlinger, (writer from Will & Grace) Henriette Mantel (web series The Middle with Kevin Meaney) and Nancy Shayne, (Louie) among others. As soon as I get the art work I'll post it.

I've been MIA because I'm finishing up Celebrity sTalker, my first memoir. It will be out at Christmas.

Friday, September 21, 2012

L.A. Sign Of The Times #104

Endeavor flying by my balcony.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

When It's Too Painful To Talk About

My sister Lindy got up at 7 a.m., like she does every day. She walked into the living room and opened the curtains then slowly made her way to the dining room to open those curtains.

A pair of doves nest in a fern my sister has hanging on her balcony. A bright green and beautifully lush fern. Twice a year the female lays eggs in it. She sits on them and waits for the male to return with food. If the male thinks she's in any danger, he flies quickly to the balcony railing to stand guard. I've seen him come zooming in from out of the blue if I stare too long up at the nest. They know my sister. They don't know me.

The doves have been coming to her balcony for many, many years. Lindy thinks they bring her good luck and is always excited when they finally appear. One year they didn't come, they'd gone to a nearby apartment instead. Lindy spent that year waiting for bad luck to strike. It didn't. But she held vigil anyway. The doves always have two or three babies and they hop around the balcony before they finally take flight as young adults.

The doves aren't perturbed by my sister watering her plants. They even tolerate her dog Yoshi, who is so fat he'd have a hard time lifting his head to locate them.

When Lindy opened the dining room curtains on Friday morning she saw a man lying on the terrace outside her third floor condo and thought, “How weird that Mel is trying to get some sun this early in the morning.”

And then she saw the blood.

She was in such shock she called the front desk instead of 911.

They called 911.

Mel had thrown himself off his 10th floor balcony and landed in front of Lindy's dining room windows.

Two days before National Suicide Prevention Week.

Lindy cried and cried and when the police came, and spent four hours at the scene, they suggested tenants talk to counselors. Others, as it turned out, also saw Mel lying on the terrace.

This happened last Friday. I didn’t hear about it until yesterday. My sister is like my late father, and my mother. They are not divulgers of painful feelings. For them, it happens and then you move on. For me, it happens and then you dwell on it for years.

A therapist who lives in her building opened her doors to all the residents. Lindy went. The therapist diagnosed her with PTSD. A tenant gave her some Klonopin. She's been on it since the suicide.

Lindy told me this is the worst thing that’s ever happened to her. That she discovered the body of a friend who died violently. I believe her.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”
"Mel wasn't liked in the building. He made trouble for the condo association. They called him a dissident. I liked him and everyone knew that."

Lindy likes everyone.

“People are avoiding me; I ended up not wanting to tell everyone else.”
“I’m not everyone else. I’m your sister.”


Like I said, everyone in my family leans towards taciturn in events of the heart.

Mel left a suicide note. He was bipolar. He was 77. He was divorced. His wife lived in the same building, but in a different apartment.

The day that Mel jumped the doves left their nest. Three days went by and they didn’t return. Lindy anxiously checked the fern for signs of their slim grey tail feathers, which stuck out from the fern when they were in residence.


On Tuesday Lindy got up on a stool to look inside the nest. That's how convinced she was they were still there. There was a lone egg in the fern. Cracked open. The baby dove lay in the jaws of the broken shell.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I Got A Book Deal!

I'm on deadline as the book is due in 6 weeks.

I won't be posting much.

You can thank me later.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

L.A. Sign Of The Times #103

Target shopping carts docking at the Mother Ship.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Getting Another Ganesh

Ganesh 2.0 came in the mail today. I heard from lots of people who emailed to say they also had a Ganesh stashed either in their home or outside it. Never underestimate the power of the Hindu Gods. Or any other Gods. Or Cheetos.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Giving Away Ganesh

This little statue of Ganesh is 3 inches high. I should say WAS 3 inches high because I gave him away. I bought him in the lobby of the Best Western in Mumbai, India in 2006 and have kept him in my car since then. Ganesh is a Hindu God known for *removing obstacles* and seeing him riding in my ashtray always made me feel safe. Whenever I had my car washed I put him in my purse until I got my car back. He was made of wood and garishly painted, probably cost me about 35 rupees. Tops. At the time 110 rupees was worth $1.10. Life in India is cheap, even in the gift shops.

I took this picture of him and then gave him to Mimi's daughter when Mimi lay dying in the hospital. At that point I felt so helpless it was all I could do.

I drove home from Santa Monica the weekend of July 9th as Mimi was being prepared for organ donation. In West Hollywood I was rear-ended by a car. No one was hurt so I let the young driver off the hook since my car had minimal damage. It's a 1998 Ford so I didn't think an extra ding on the bumper was going to bring down its current Blue Book value of $8.96.

I went to Mimi's memorial last Monday, the 23rd. I changed from the pair of Keen's I normally wear, unattractive, backless scary looking shoes I bought after my ankle surgery four years ago, to a pair of lovely Steve Madden pony skin loafers. Flats!! I drove to Santa Monica, about forty five minutes away, walked the five minutes from the garage to the memorial site, sat for two hours, walked back to my car, drove home.

The next morning I woke up and my right foot hurt. The right foot that was cut to bits by Dr. Cruel and his house of pain back in 2008.

Don't fuck with my foot because my foot's hardware can kick your foot's ass:

I went to Urgent Care over the weekend and I have a stress fracture on my 3rd distal, the bony part of the foot's skeleton that connects my third toe to the rest of my foot. I'm in a black walking boot, no pony skin. Definitely not Chanel.

Which brings me back to Ganesh. When I gave him away I had a few twinges of Uh-oh, Ganesh Is Gone. Will I be safe or more importantly will I FEEL safe? I dismissed the thoughts immediately because I know how powerful thoughts are.

Thoughts become things. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU THINK.

I hope Ganesh wasn't paying me back for riding in my ashtray all those years.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Working Out Means Never Having To Say No Dessert For Me

Before I bought a scale I used to walk to the gym, weigh myself and then hike, and I use the word hike loosely here, the three blocks home. In my defense, the walk back was uphill. So a few years ago I decided to get serious and hire a trainer, or rather hire the one that Bally’s Gym assigned to me. He'd been Mr. Bulgaria twice, Mr. Northern California in the early 90’s and had written three fitness books, which was three more than I'd written. I felt sorry for him; his business card was an unevenly scissored piece of Xerox paper. He was earnest and committed and I knew he had a family waiting in a cramped one-bedroom apartment somewhere in Koreatown expecting him to put borscht on the table. He had that sad, vacant look that people who do not ever expect to catch up with life have.

I hate working out but I hate eating even more. I don’t like food. Hand me a pill called LUNCH and leave me alone. I refuse to cook. If you don’t want to impress me, invite me out for dinner and then ask me where we should go, what we should eat and what we should order. Then as we’re eating, ask me how my Sea Bass is, or if I want to try your Carpaccio or split a dessert. Just so we’re clear, I don’t like to discuss food, shop for food or try out new food at the trendy new restaurant in Who Cares, New Jersey. I can hardly wait until I’m rich enough to have Ina Garten move in. It’s the only reason I’m still breathing in and out.

I only kept going to the gym because there were cute guys there. But sometime in the last two years my gym became a meeting place for old Chinese women. Mr. Bulgaria deftly escorted me through them as if he was afraid I'd stop and spontaneously break into a mah-jongg game.

The gym rat in our family is my sister, who once graced the cover of Muscle & Fitness Magazine. She goes around spewing communist propaganda like, “I’m really craving an apple.” Please, Johnny Appleseed didn’t crave an apple. If you’re at her house and want something fattening to eat, you have to lick the grease off her stove. She’s the kind of person who you'll ask, “How do I look in this bathing suit?” and she’ll say, “You look fabulous.” Then ten days later she sees you in shorts and says, “Gee, you really look great; not like you did in that bathing suit.” She got so addicted to exercise that she had to join a 12-step program. I don’t think it worked because now she’s up to 27 steps. As for the rest of our family, we would rather die with a stent in our hearts than a deltoid on our wherever-the-fuck the deltoid goes.

I went to World Gym in Venice with her one day many years ago. Arnold Schwarzenegger owned it then and Stallone hung out there a lot. I was having a rough time in the business and my sister, who was friendly with both Arnold and Sly, had told them about my struggle. Sly was there that day and when she introduced me to him, he had that crooked half-smile going on and came towards me with his arms outstretched. “Aaaayyy, somebody needs a hug.” His bodyguards surrounded us and Sly hugged me like I owed him money. I knew he had had a rough ride in Hollywood before Rocky hit and I knew he understood where I was in my slide into artistic hell.

“Aaaayyy, don’t give up, it can happen to you,” Sly said. I’ve never given up because of that.

Sly and his body guards left and my sister and I began to work out in earnest. She did anyway, I was staring into space and wondering if Sly noticed that I hadn’t plucked my eyebrows. I watched as she admired her calves. Inspected them as if they had USDA stamped on them and were going to market in a refrigerated truck. A line formed. Now other people were inspecting her calves. Suddenly one of these voyeurs took time out from his busy schedule of ogling her and eyed me suspiciously.
“What’s that on the back of your arm?” he asked.
“A triceps?”
“Well,” he continued, “have a doctor look at it; it might be cancer.”

This was a repost from 2006. It was my 11th post! But it has a Sly Stallone anecdote that endeared me to the man for life. I'm so sad for him and Sasha and everyone who knew and loved Sage.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Yet One More Blog I Love

As much as I love all things fashion, I equally love all things style. So continuing with my Most Favorite Blogs Ever, I give you the fabulous style gurus the Junk Gypsies. They meet all my criteria of extreme creativity, brazen confidence and off the wall originality. They shop for a living. In vintage shops and junkyards and flea markets. Since more than half of my apartment is filled with items from those three places, I was a devotee from the moment I saw them.

Amie and Jolie and a stranger in the middle. (my crack research team is on vacation) (also non-existent)

I'll admit to being late to the Junk Gypsy party but I've made up for it with ardent stalking on Twitter, @junkgypsy, and watching every video of theirs on When my finances fell into hell, I cut off my cable so can't watch their wildly popular HGTV show. But when I house sit in Santa Monica, I do watch while praying for cash flow at the altar of my rich friends.

Sidebar: You know how you follow people on Twitter and shout them out with a compliment? I'm not talking about regular bloggers, I'm talking about people more in the public eye, with lots of followers. And you know how they couldn't be bothered to tweet you back? There are even a few big bloggers who couldn't be bothered. But not Amie and Jolie. Maybe because they're down home girls from Texas, but they're very quick draw with a response.

One of my favorite designs of theirs was for the Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton wedding. OH MY GOD. I've never been a fan of those white weddings where everything looks exactly like the wedding down the street. No sameness here. No beige people need apply.

Here they are with some of their treasures on The Today Show with Hoda and KLG:

While you're visiting their site, check out their store and buy me something, like for example THIS:

**All photos stolen off their site. All the real information, like who that stranger is in the picture at the top, is on their site. Also, all photo attributions. Apologies to the Gypsies for my extreme laziness this morning.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What Really Happened To Mimi?

By all eyewitness accounts it was a horrible accident. Mimi was putting her gym bag in the back seat of her car. She wasn't on the sidewalk, but in the street, on the driver's side. Whether she saw the car or not, no one is sure. But he slammed into her going about 35 miles per hour and she became airborne. Later, the doctors would say she was dead the moment she landed on her head. But those of us who knew her thought she'd really died long before; this was just the physical death.

They'd divorced 5 years earlier. Unhappy, Mimi became more distraught when her ex-husband remarried. As her unhappiness grew, her son went to live with his father while the daughter stayed with her. Then her ex stopped paying alimony 2 years ago, adding to her anguish. Her own mother told her she was tired of hearing her complain about her problems.

Mimi started telling everyone that she'd be better off dead. And that "they" would pay for it.

As I regularly updated the story on Twitter, Mimi was declared brain dead and her body was MRI'd in preparation for organ donation. Her parents lost a son in a terrible accident years ago, and now a daughter was dying from another tragic accident. Doctors waited to terminate Mimi's life until her parents arrived from Iran. I can't imagine what that conversation was like.

The last time I saw Mimi was at the big surprise birthday party my sister threw for our mom back in December. When she found out about the party she asked Lindy what she could do to help and to give her a list of errands she'd be happy to run for her. She gave mom a lovely crystal bowl.

The point of this post is me harping on something I warn people about all the time. BE CAREFUL OF YOUR WORDS. "Thoughts become things" and "what you think about you bring about" are mantras for me. People who say they have bad luck? Usually do. People who say they get a cold every winter? Get a cold every winter.

Mimi said she'd be better off dead. And as to the second part of her sentence, "they will pay for it" Mimi's ex-husband will now have to take financial care of their two children, both in their 20's, for the rest of their lives. We don't know for sure but there will probably be a massive lawsuit against the man who hit her. And what was his profession?


Monday, July 09, 2012

Ah, The Good Old Days

I house sit for fabulous friends of mine and they have a book called Hollywood Life. Every time I look through it I wish those days weren't over. No Kardashians and trashy movie stars!! No Real Housewives of anywhere!! These are some of the pictures from the book:

Charlton Heston, the guy who is all about owning guns. And being naked, apparently. Also? BEING CREEPY.

This is (was) Gypsy Rose Lee's toilet:

How much would you pay to see Bethenny Frankel's toilet? If your answer is Nothing then congratulations, you're not a moron.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

L.A. Sign Of The Times #102

On Ocean Avenue, in Santa Monica, I always look forward to seeing this tree. Trees?

Sunday, July 01, 2012

(the cone heads)

During the California Northridge Earthquake houses plunged off cliffs, concrete overpasses overloaded with cars collapsed, and downed high voltage wires crisscrossed streets. My comedian friend Lisa was on the road and called to ask if I could check her apartment for damage. When I got to Studio City, I discovered her building had been red-tagged, meaning it was no longer safe to inhabit. (loot)

I walked (tiptoed crying) inside.

When I traveled with the USO during the Bosnian War, they put us up in bombed-out Army barracks in Macedonia. U.N. Peacekeepers high up in barbed wire towers looked out for us day and night. No, not safe to inhabit. (have sex with soldiers in)

I slept (prayed) in them for 3 days.

We all know police tape means KEEP OUT (sneak in you might find a severed arm) But when it went up on a door in a building I used to live (crash) in, I limboed under that tape easily. (tripped on my own shoe)

But if I drive into a busy parking lot and see a lone space with one orange traffic cone in it? I’ll look for another spot. Even if that spot is at the far end of the lot. (two states away)

No one will move that cone because on some level we’re afraid to. Like if we do, cops will come careening around the corner with sirens blaring. (Dunkin’ Donuts cups)

In the middle of the night when no one is watching I’ll be driving down four lanes of freeway and abruptly will come up on one lane blocked off by orange cones. And not one car will defy that lane, not one truck will mow down those cones. We will all merge peacefully (brandishing firearms) into three lanes.

Why do I bow to the power of the plastic orange cone? And not the more obvious, more dangerous things like police tape and crumbling red-tagged buildings?

I have no idea. My family will tell you I'm fearless. (dropped on my head as a baby)

But I do wonder what the power of orange is. And why orange. And why a cone? Was a purple trapezium unavailable? How about a black triangle? You put a black triangle somewhere and I know death (my mother) is close by. But orange? After careful research (xanax overdose) it appears the color orange elicits a stronger response than any other color and sparks more controversy than any other hue. If that last sentence appears better written than the ones preceding it that’s because I stole it off Wikipedia where English is king. (written by disgruntled unpublished authors)

Before the entire system was replaced, orange was the color used to signify a high alert in the terrorist threat system. I would have gone with a blinking WE'RE FUCKED sign but I don’t work for the Government so I make sense. (file false income tax returns every year) (hi irs, just kidding) (only some years)

So if orange is so badass then instead of wasting taxpayer money putting prisoners behind bars, surround them with orange cones! Don’t lock your homes at night. Stick an orange cone on your front porch! Want to scare the crap out of school children? Stick an orange cone in the Principal’s chair!

Late at night if you’re walking alone and encounter a mugger or serial killer? Whip out your orange cone and watch them run for their lives. (kill you anyway) (but steal your watch first)

I think I know the real reason orange is used on traffic cones. If you look up the definition of colors, orange is supposed to stimulate your appetite. And the cone? The cone refers to the bowl of a bong, where the weed goes.

So appetite stimulant plus weed = Denny’s.

The orange traffic cone has made us fat.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Another Blog I Love

I typed this post out and then lost it all AND BOY THAT WAS FUN.

ANYWAY, continuing with some of my favorite all time blogs, this one is hilarious. It makes me wish I'd thought of it myself and had the talent to pull it off but I didn't and I don't.

Once I wrote a post and called myself the funniest blogger on the web and someone commented, "No, Allie of Hyperbole and a Half is." And they were right and I was only kidding.

Allie is currently going through a major depression but still managed to make a post about it that was funny and got 4264 comments. And yes I know depression is not a laughing matter I'm just saying most posts about depression are depressing because you know, depression.

I think all of you reading this are just glad I stopped typing the word Depression. (sorry)

57,568 Google Friend Connect fans can't be wrong.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

One Of My Favorite Blogs

After 6 years of blogging, I decided to write up some of my all time favorite blogs. Blogs so unique and different, so outstanding that they humble me with their creativity.

I love fashion. I have since the moment my mother bought me my first fur hat when I was 16. And lied to my father about it.

Tavi Gevinson started blogging when she was 11 (WHAT?) and was invited to New York Fashion Week when she was only 13. (YOU'RE KILLING ME LARRY) She was partly the inspiration for a Rodarte clothing line for Target and if you know Rodarte, those sisters know fashion. In September 2010 Gevinson was named a "Vogueista" by Vogue Italia. I'm guessing that's a pretty good deal when you're 14 years old. At 14 I appeared in my 9th grade talent show, where I wrote, starred in and directed a skit based entirely around toilet paper.

Vogue Italia did not attend.

Tavi was clearly born in the wrong decade as she regularly channels Brigitte Bardot from the 50's and hippies from the 60's, like in this picture above.

She's got a website for teenagers, named Rookie, after her blog, Style Rookie. Some days she deconstructs movies like The Virgin Suicides or Bye Bye Birdie on her blog via photos and her massive collection of odd items and clothing, carefully curated from thrift stores. There are often special appearances from her incredibly artistic friends like Petra, who took this picture.

One day this year I sent Tavi some pictures of pillowcases from the designer Oleg Cassini, who famously dressed Jacqueline Kennedy while she was in the White House. The linens belong to my mother but I hijacked them after my parents divorced. The cotton is so soft it makes me weep for when quality was king, not profit. They're from the 1960's and have colors in them you don't see on sheets these days. I was surprised to hear back from Tavi, a lovely, polite email thanking me for thinking of her and sending along the photos.

Those blues and oranges pull at the strings of my artistic heart. And brown!! When it was called brown!! And not chocolate.

I miss brown.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Me And Al Pacino

This is the first movie I worked on, Author, Author starring Al Pacino and Dyan Cannon.

I was an extra walking my dog at night. I took this screenshot off Netflix and I can't be seen because Al Pacino, BIG SHOT, covered my body as he passed me.

However, you can see the back end of my dog.

Show business is my life.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

L.A. Sign Of The Times #101

These 2 Bentleys are parked near my sister Lindy's car in the underground garage in her building. Every time she and I exit the door that leads to the garage and someone comes out after us, she turns to them and says, "Love your Bentleys." And the people always respond, "Those aren't my cars."

Then she laughs and they laugh while secretly taking out their iPhones and dialing 911. Lindy's been doing it for months and sometimes I'm there to witness the dementia first hand.


Lindy turned to me and said, "I was bound to find the owner eventually."

Thank God she doesn't play poker.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Breaking (Up) Bad 8 - Part 2

This is the second and final part from the chapter How I Got Over Freddy, from my memoir His Dead Wife. Part one here. This is heavily redacted from the actual chapter.

By the time Freddy came home that night, I was hysterical.
"When were you going to tell me you didn't work at your father's chicken plant?"
"My father doesn't have a chicken plant."
"You fucking asshole! So where have you been and what did you do with all the money you took from me?”
“Well I had to eat and keep myself busy for the eight hours I walked around San Francisco every day.”

His tone implied a big "Duh."

"Did you at least call your parole officer?"
"Yeah, yeah, get off my back."

It's said that without denial, the human spirit would perish. That denial allows our brain and our heart a respite before they catch up with reality and are able to deal. Denial was, and would be, my emotional home for many, many years.

I didn't ask Freddy to pay back the money he stole from me and we didn’t discuss him getting another job. He was now home all day, or all night, but never both. He took money out of my wallet when I was in the shower or sleeping. I never asked him what he did with it or where he went when he disappeared. I was safely at home, 1737 Repudiation Road, Denial, California. USA.

One day Glamaruss called and in a moment of guilt, admitted that Freddy had been using again and was seeing another woman. I was furious at Glam for not telling me sooner, but it’s kind of useless being mad at a drag queen. You can tell them you’re angry and they’ll respond with, “Look honey, I’m over 35, HIV positive and the only person who ever loved me was my foster mom who was killed in a drive-by in Inglewood when I was twelve.”

I hung up and lit a cigarette, pacing the nine by twelve foot cell of my studio apartment like a caged cheetah. I had cut back on bennies and downers and replaced them with a new palliative, Marlboro reds in the flip top box. I called my ex-roommate Celeste. She didn’t like Freddy but she was the only person I trusted to tell me the truth.

“I should leave him, right?”
“You went to the prison?”
“I missed him.”
“What did you miss? The hitting or the peeing on you in our bathtub?”
“Oh God, you knew about that?”
“He used to brag about it when you weren’t home. ”
“Okay, can we just stick to the current facts, please?”
“Sure,” she said, “let’s see; he was in prison, you let him come live with you, he stole money out of your wallet, lied about having a job and was cheating on you with the woman he cheated on you with before. Is that current enough for you?”

All right, maybe Celeste wasn’t the only person I trusted to tell me the truth. Maybe I had other friends who would tell me the kind of truth I wanted to hear. But I didn’t and I knew it.

One day I got a call from Henley. He and I had spent hours on Stinson Beach dropping acid and listening to the Rolling Stones. He was rich and didn't have to work for a living and would die of AIDS in the late 1980's.

“Girl, your boy just broke into my apartment and stole my stereo and all my jewelry.” I rushed over to his house and Henley showed me the broken window in the dining room.
“How do you know it was Freddy?”
“I was home when he did it.”
“Well why the fuck didn’t you stop him, or call the cops?”
“Cause he’s a drug addict and I figured if he got it all, then he wouldn’t come back.”

That actually made sense to me. I went home and waited for Freddy. One day, two days. On the third morning he came home. I was chain smoking and drinking Nyquil since it was the only thing in the apartment that had alcohol in it. Unless you counted the almost empty bottle of Jack Daniels I had drained through a straw.

“Seriously, you’ve got to give Henley his shit back.”
“That queer’s rich; fuck him.”
“Freddy, I’m not kidding, he's one of my best friends. You have to give him his stuff back.”
“Fuck you.” And Freddy was out the door.

Then he started stealing from me when I was out. My passport, a 35 millimeter camera, an ivory cigarette holder and the lowest of all, the diamond ring that I had suspected belonged to his mother. And even though he was disappearing more and more, he must have been stalking me to know when I wasn’t home. When I did see him I asked if he was using again and he lied and said he wasn’t. Even though we weren’t having sex I still hadn’t made the leap from No Sex with Me equals Sex with Someone Else. After all, when he stopped hitting me, did I automatically assume he was hitting someone else?

I got fired from Nickel’s because they told me Freddy had broken in and stolen from them. They didn’t need the extra burden of a salesgirl’s ex-con junkie plus their own heroin addiction to interfere with projected retail sales for the fall quarter.

I was sitting alone in my apartment one afternoon with the shades drawn and a cigarette dangling out of the corner of my mouth. Suddenly I heard a horn honk. And continue honking and honking and honking. It was the Handwriting on the Wall Wagon and it was parked in my head.

As if in a trance, I went upstairs to Glamaruss’s. The front door was unlocked and I walked in. It was drag queen early, about 11:00 a.m., and it was quiet.

“Glamaruss?” I tiptoed through the living room, “Glam, are you here?”

I went to her bedroom and slowly pushed open the door. And there they were, Glamaruss and Freddy, spooning, sound asleep. I inched forward to get a better look and a floor board creaked. Glam stretched out an arm. I froze but she saw me. I don’t know which one of us looked more horrified.

The thing that pissed me off the most about the end of me and Freddy was not that he had lied, stolen my money or cheated on me but in the entire three years, he had never once spooned with me. And that? Hurt.

A week later I packed a suitcase and moved to Paris. Maybe they wouldn't have denial there.

And that’s how I got over Freddy.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Breaking (Up) Bad 8

This is one of my breakup stories. There were so many I wrote an entire BOOK about them. I can hear you laughing from here. So this is part 1 of this story, from my book His Dead Wife. It's a chapter called How I Got Over Freddy. Second part on Wednesday.

Freddy was doing time at Tehachapi for burglary and possession of heroin, and when he was discharged he asked if he could live with me. He gave me his parole officer’s number and I called. He said Freddy had been in and out of prison his entire life and it was doubtful he would ever make it on the outside without some serious support. I also learned that Freddy had had a wife once, and that she had divorced him after the first time he went to prison. He also had two sons, but Freddy didn’t know where they all lived now. Freddy’s parents knew but had agreed with his ex-wife to keep him out of his children’s lives because they knew nothing good could come of it. They were fed up with him because he had robbed them so many times that they had decided not to let him back in their house. His parents wouldn’t let him visit, he couldn’t see his kids ever again, and his wife had left him. Somebody had to help this guy. And of course I was just co-dependent enough to sign up for this tour of duty.

I told Freddy he could live with me but only if he never hit me again. And he didn’t. I wondered if I had said that when he was hitting me if he would have stopped then, too.

Freddy didn’t talk, rarely ate and was gone a lot. I was angry when I realized that he had paid more attention to me when he was hitting me. The physical abuse was easier to handle than the mental abuse. At least I could see the damage.

Freddy needed a job but what he really needed was to clean up. He had used heroin the entire time he was in prison but now that he was on the outside, he didn’t want to continue because it was an expensive habit. Freddy said it was cheaper and easier to get dope in the joint than it was on the streets and he had the track marks to prove it.

“You have to help me kick,” he said calmly.
“Ok.” I replied, also calmly, only I was pretending.
“You have to hide the knives, lock the doors and no matter what I say, don’t let me leave the apartment or call my dealer.”

That would really not be a problem since his dealer had showed up at our door only two days before. He had handed me a bag with a dead rat in it and said, “Tell your fucking boyfriend this is the only dime bag I’ve got for him until he fucking pays me. Got it, bitch?” So, hide knives, lock doors, dead rat in bag. Done. So done.

Freddy took all the knives and the phone and put them in a trash bag and gave them to our upstairs neighbor, a drag queen named Russell Richardson who went by the name Glamaruss. Then he made Glamaruss rope tie him to the bed. Freddy said it would take at least three days to detox, which was perfect because that’s how long it would take me to figure out how to untie the knots. A Maxwell House coffee can was Freddy’s new toilet.

He begged, he sweet-talked, he threatened my life but I didn’t untie him. At one point I got bored and asked him how exactly did he think he was going to kill me since he was tied to the bed? He called me a 'fucking whore' but based on my previous sexual encounters that had zero effect, obviously.

I didn’t leave the apartment for two days, afraid that he would die without me there. On the third day he stopped nodding off and sweating through his clothes and asked for orange Hostess cupcakes. At that point I knew he’d turned the corner because who the fuck would eat the orange ones except a cleaned up junkie?

Freddy started a job at his father’s chicken plant and checked in with his parole officer once a week. He would write me notes each morning and leave them on the kitchen table. “Dear Baby, I am going to pluk chikens. I took twenty dolars out of your walette to by chiken pluking gloves.”

Yes, I know; Love Is Blind and Has No Spell Check.

About three weeks after our homemade detox, I went to a pay phone to call Freddy at the chicken plant. Our phone had been temporarily disconnected since I didn’t have enough money to pay the last month’s bill. Freddy was taking more and more of my boutique paycheck to buy things for his new job.

“Freddy? Freddy who?” the woman asked.
“Freddy, the guy who plucks chickens for his father.”
“Sorry honey, no Freddy here. This is a car dealership.”

(to be continued)

Thursday, June 07, 2012

How I Made The Top 20 In The Humor Category Of BlogHer's Voices Of The Year

This was written on the occasion of the wedding of Becky and Matt. Ann Imig of Ann's Rants gave a virtual bridal shower for Becky and this was my contribution. Then Ann nominated it for BlogHer's Voices Of The Year in the humor category and I made the top 20. Ann was rewarded for her generosity by also placing in the Top 20 in the category of Identity.

People always ask me why I never got married. When they do, I look up long enough from counting my stacks of money to laugh. Then I put on my diamonds and furs and ring for the butler and he rings for the chauffeur and soon I'm in my Maybach heading for another fun day at the plastic surgeons.

And I don't have to check with anybody and can spend my money however I want which does not include having to buy a new hot water heater and other things I can't wear.

The truth is, I don't play well with others. Apparently marriage requires sharing and compromise. What kind of living hell is that? And if you're married you can't go to bed mad? THAT'S JUST CRAZY TALK. I wasn't aware there was another way to go to bed.

The real story is that I've had trouble with men from the moment I started dating. My first boyfriend got hit by a truck. My second boyfriend had a heart attack. My third boyfriend called me up one day and said, “You know what, I think you’re a jinx." And I said, “How do you figure?” But then the phone went dead because you’re only allowed ten minute calls from prison.

I don't do domestic. Unless that includes hiring them and then I'm the valedictorian of domestic. As a matter of fact the first thing I look for is a man who cooks, because I don’t. I’ll eat out, I’ll take out, I’ll put out. But I ain't cooking. When I get my dream house, I’m not even going to build a kitchen. I’m going to put a KFC in on the ground floor.

Because I'm not a quitter, I've been engaged three times. The first time I bought a long white dress. The second time I bought a long off-white dress. The third time I just bought something I could return.

My first fiancé was in the Army. The Salvation Army. He was so immature that on April Fool's Day he put Polygrip in my diaphragm. I walked around all day sounding like a plunger.

One day he shaved his head.

"Why did you do that?"
"I'm trying to make my head look bigger."
"I wish you'd shave another part of your anatomy."

My second fiancé gave me a big diamond ring and I got him nothing. It's the only time in a relationship between a man and a woman where if you don't give, no one's going to call you frigid AND IT WAS ONLY THAT ONE TIME. My third fiancé was twenty years older than me. When he took me to meet his parents I was very impressed and said, "Wow, this is a really nice cemetery."

Marriage scares me because I'm not sure people can be faithful to each other. If only we took a page from the animal kingdom. The bald eagle mates and remains faithful for life. Of course if he had some hair he'd probably be out screwing around.

So dear Becky, just because I'm not that brave, don't let that dissuade you RUN FOR YOUR LIFE from marrying the man of your dreams IT'S NOT TOO LATE I'M SURE THE CATERER WILL REFUND SOME OF THE MONEY and living the rest of your life in harmony and bliss I'M LYING and I wish you and Matt the very happiest parts of forever.

Poor bastards.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

I Sent My Only Child To Live In Vegas Because My Apartment Was Too Crowded

I've showcased a lot of my Teeshirters on this blog and have loved them all because you guys are really creative. I keep saying I'm going to post them all and let people vote on their favorites but I'd have to make one of those Brady Bunch slash Hollywood Squares graphics and put pictures in them and oh my God I'm exhausted just typing it.

Here's another Teeshirter currently riding my sidebar:

When I was moving a year ago, I realized I had too much stuff and had no idea where it all came from because I certainly had nothing to do with it. As I slowly began packing in the months leading up to the move I knew there would have to be casualties. And one of them was this.

I posted a picture of him and my old friend Chandler said it reminded him of the one he had when he was a child. I wrote back and asked if I could send it to him and he said yes.

I had one condition, that he had to take a photo of him wearing my tee shirt and send it to me. THAT WAS A YEAR AGO.

I just received the picture last week.

I've known Chandler since 1999. We were both members of a Usenet message board for standup comics. Blogs are not nearly as entertaining as Usenet was. Bloggers play it safe. Never rocking the boat hard enough to lose an oar. But on Usenet? HOLD ON TO YOUR VAGINAS, PEOPLE.

When Usenet discontinued message boards because blogs were getting so popular, (oy) most of us reluctantly moved on. I went on to screenwriting and so did Chandler. Eventually he moved to Las Vegas and got a Master's Degree in Thanking Sweet Jesus He Left L.A.

Why is the bear wearing a shirt with Teddy Soro on it? Because when I was a kid I'd named him Teddy when I got him for Christmas one year. Apparently my imagination got lost when I checked out of my mother's uterus. You know how you always forget something when you're in a hurry.

Chandler made the shirt for Teddy. And artfully arranged my shirt behind the bear. See? Creative, every last one of you.

Is it just me or does it look like Teddy put on some weight?

Friday, June 01, 2012

It's Everybody Can Bite Me Friday!

This was my entry in this year's Robert Benchley Writing Competition. If you follow that link you'll see some of Benchley's more famous quotes. He was a member of the Algonquin Round Table in New York and is widely recognized as one of the premier humorists in the history of humor. This will not be said about me when I'm dead and buried at my decidedly non star-studded funeral. I'll save you the trouble, I DIDN'T EVEN MAKE TOP 10 AND ARTE I'M A THOUSAND YEARS OLD JOHNSON WAS THE JUDGE. It probably would've helped to familiarize myself more with Benchley's humor but then I wouldn't have had anything to bitch about.

I own a refrigerator. This is dull news unless you’ve never owned one. And I haven’t. Nor have I wanted to. I’m a renter. We look down on owning.

“It was left by the last guy; you wanna buy it?”
“How much?”
“Fifty bucks.”
“Fifty dollars a month on top of the rent?”
“Nah, just a one time thing.”

You can’t buy a toaster for fifty dollars, much less an entire refrigerator with shelves and cubicles and a separate little apartment for the butter. I was suspicious. Had this refrigerator been in prison and couldn’t get a decent job anywhere but in a rental unit? Who was this “last guy” who left it behind? What kind of shady activity was he involved in that required him to take off without a refrigerator?

“How old is it?” I asked the manager, opening the fridge door and expecting to see a family of mold sitting around the crisper knitting.

“Only two, looks pretty good for its age, right?”

Two in rental talk obviously means three. And “looks good for its age” is what people say about women who are aging dubiously.

“It has an ice-maker. It’ll make ice day and night, miss.”

That doesn’t seem like a plus to me. An ice maker that makes money day and night, definitely a plus. But how much ice does one person need?

“It’s a Westinghouse.”
“Is that good?”
“Yes ma’am, made right here in the U S of A.”

The manager switched from calling me miss to ma’am in the course of three seconds. This refrigerator was aging me. And not dubiously.

I bought the four year old refrigerator and moved in a few days later. It hummed quietly in the far corner of my clean white kitchen, next to the window overlooking the pink bougainvillea growing over the roof of my nearest neighbor. I checked the freezer. There was ice.

I invited a friend over. He brought wine and various shades of oohs and ahhs.

“Can you help me turn the microwave right side up?”
“How did it get upside down?”
“The movers were in a hurry.”
“You told them you weren’t going to tip them, didn’t you?”
“The tip is included in the price, like in France.”
“So you only invited me to help move this thing?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. You’re the only person I know who works out with weights so you take that corner and I’ll take this corner and easy does it, and flipping, and turning… and down… we… go.”

And I set the microwave down on my left thumb.

“I’m okay. Really, I’m fine, see? These aren’t even real tears.”
“Let me look at…wow, you have a white refrigerator! You really don’t see these anymore since everyone wants stainless. Is yours vintage?”
“No, it’s only five years old.”
“Now let me look at your thumb; you know you’re going to have to keep ice on that day and night.”

So this week's Bite Me Award goes to Arte Johnson and Robert Benchley, even though Benchley died in 1945 and will not likely be reading my blog today:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hi Dad

Dad is buried at Arlington Cemetery. Each year for the last 40 years soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry place a single American flag at each grave at the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. It's called the Flags-in ceremony. It takes them around 3 hours to place 260,000 flags on the graves. Then the soldiers stay in the cemetery for the entire weekend to make sure all the graves keep their flags.

I always think of the soldier who places the flag at my Dad's grave and hope that he or she is never in harm's way.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Did The Louvre Call While I Was Out?

These 20" by 25" prints took me 4 days to hang because measuring centimeters and using rulers is not my strong suit. I'm one of those "eyeballing it" people. I'm pretty sure "eyeballing it" people are not hired to hang paintings at The Louvre. But maybe I'm thinking of the Getty.

I did learn that if you hang these gallery style, which is the only way I can hang paintings because I always have more of them than wall space, START AT THE TOP AND NOT WITH THE ONE ON THE BOTTOM YOU NUMB SKULL.

In my old apartment, I just filled in the blank spaces with whatever painting I bought next. But this apartment had all blank walls and was a nightmare to figure out. I have over 50 paintings. And that many bottles of Xanax. Thanks to Adventures In Eyeballing I now have to go on EBay and purchase a new pair of eyes.

The little car that sits on top of the mugshot print was from my Dad's collection of cars. I didn't keep a lot of them, gave most away to the doormen in his apartment building in Florida, but this one from the 1950's was small enough to bring back along with a toy Jeep. Dad was in the Army and the Army phased out the Jeep in favor of the Humvee in 1985.

I also brought back a toy Thunderbird, which is the car my Dad drove.  Not the toy one.  This one is from the 1960's.

I ended up giving Dad's 1978 car to a woman whose husband died and then their car died within 6 months of his death. She was 5' 1" and a thousand years old and Dad's V-8 Thunderbird was as big as a one bedroom apartment and was used as a tank in World War II. So I contributed to the Florida stereotype of the little old lady hunkered over a large steering wheel and driving 16 miles per hour. I apologize for that.

And for you eagle-eyed readers, yes I moved into my new apartment on July 1, 2011. And yes I'm aware that a year is a very long time to decide where to hang paintings. But you should see how long it took me to decide where the underwear drawer should be.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Sister Lindy's Weird Dog Yoshi

Today is my sister's birthday and in honor of that I'm posting a picture of Yoshi, Lindy's 11 year old shih-tzu. Here he's staring at a pile of papers sitting on a buffet. He was barking at it until I walked into the room to see what all the noise was about. A bunch of papers. On a buffet.

Why does he bark at things? BECAUSE THEY'RE IN THE WRONG PLACE. It's like he's an interior decorator.


We were at a friend's in Santa Monica.

At my sister's apartment, if she places a vase or a chair in another location, Yoshi will bark at it. He must think my sister has no idea these things have moved AND HE MUST ALERT HER IMMEDIATELY.

Yoshi Def Con 5, things don't look right.
Yoshi Def Con 4, has Charlie Sheen been here?
Yoshi Def Con 3, where is the vase?
Yoshi Def Con 2, where is that chair?
Yoshi Def Con 1, the vase is in the hallway! The chair is loose in the bedroom!


As my mother once said when we were discussing how strange he was, "Well, he is Chinese."

Hope that clears it up for you.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Kelly Ripa And I Have WHAT In Common?

After an episode of 20/20 I learned Kelly Ripa has Misophonia,  “hatred of sound,” which is a form of decreased sound tolerance. It's a neurological disorder resulting in anger over specific sounds. The reaction in severe cases is rage.

Kelly says that when her husband eats a peach (not a euphemism) she has to leave the room. Some of the people suffering from this can't stand the sound of someone breathing, or coughing. Or swallowing. (bye  oral sex)

It appears I have a mild form of this. If you eat an apple next to me I will take out my makeshift first aid kit of a tire iron and Elmer's glue and clank you over the head until you pass out and then will seal your lips shut. (forever) And I'm not talking about sliced apples (still not a euphemism), but a whole apple. My sister eats them in front of me and my mother has no idea how close she comes to being the parent of a single child.

If I'm ever caught by the North Koreans and have CIA's secrets on me, (my girlfriends would already know them because hello tequila shots) just snap your gum more than 3 times in my presence prison guard guy and I'll sing like a boy band during their 15 minutes of fame. I don't care if snapping gum can cure cancer. I don't care if it can end all wars. (get rid of the kardashians) Do not snap your motherfucking gum.

I'm convinced the United States leads the world in dog barking and ball bouncing. If either happens within earshot I start packing so I can leave the country. It's also possible I have superhuman hearing. (early onset dementia) I'm pretty sure I can hear grass grow. And clouds shifting in the sky. For example, my sound machine has many settings but the one I listen to most is White Noise, which is a continuous hum. This blocks out all repetitive noise and also leaves me red faced when I have to explain to my boyfriend (du jour) that if I don't turn it on to sleep I'll probably accidentally on purpose stab him in his eyeball. (clean out his wallet)

However, sometimes the white noise function picks up a distant but distinct pinging sound. (amelia earhart's plane) And it will ping in the same pattern until I'm standing on my balcony at three in the morning wondering how much damage I will do jumping from the 3rd floor.

After reading this back,  maybe my case isn't as mild as I think.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Smoking Heads Tried To Kill Me

My friend Phil is a pot head. He didn't always have rent but he always had pot. And he always knew great music.

David Byrne was appearing in Central Park. He had gone solo after being lead singer of Talking Heads, one of the great bands of the 80's. So Phil suggested we go see him and even without the Heads we went. After a few songs it was clear Byrne should have kept his day band.

It was summer and New York heat can melt the Polar Caps in about an hour. After a while we all drifted off to a corner of the park where there was shade and seats and it was only 93 degrees. Sadly, not enough to melt away cellulite but close!

Phil passed around a ceramic cigarette filled with weed. Those things looked so real a cop would have had to look though a magnifying glass to tell if it was fake or not. I took one hit. I'm not a big pot smoker. I find that unless you have a Good Humor truck or 25 pizzas at your disposal, smoking weed is really dumb.

One hit and my shoulders fell off.

I took off my Chanel clip-on earrings and put them in my purse. I felt something coming that was not going to be good for the House of Chanel.

“Phil, what’s in this pot?”
“Don’t fuck with me, there’s something else in here, PCP maybe?”
Nothing Soro, relax.”

I stood up and immediately sat back down. Crash landed onto a cement ledge, rocketing my uterus north to my brain. My legs had been lost in a terrible standing accident. I was so high God was seated on my left.

“Phil, I think I’m going to pass out.”

I was going to black out in Central Park. Where I would be tagged by graffiti artists and bashed on the head by homophobes.

Phil yanked me to my feet.

“You’re walking this off.”

In what alternate universe can you walk off marijuana? If you’re going back and forth to the refrigerator, MAYBE. But suddenly I was marching with my friends single file through the crowds in Central Park and feeling worse and worse. Not to mention appearing as if we'd lost a wedding reception and were looking for its conga line.

“Phil, I’m going to black out.”
“Keep walking.”
“Seriously, Phil, I’m not going to make it.”
“Yes you are, just keep walking.”
“Look, there’s a cop, let’s ask him for help. Oh shit, he's getting away. He could have helped me! He could have taken me to the hospital.”
“We’ll find another one” Phil said calmly.
“You're turning yellow.”
“Soro, I’m Chinese, of course you’re seeing yellow.”

At the time that actually made sense to me.

“Oh my God, everything’s turning white; I’m going down.” And with that Phil jerked me forward and as quickly as the bad crazy thing had descended upon me, it cleared. I stopped walking. I was okay.

“Holy crap,” Phil said.
“Tell me about it.”
“How scary was that?”
“Very, very scary. I could have DIED.”
“Not that,” he said, “you wanted to stop a cop and ask him to help you when you're stoned?”
“Yeah and you didn’t even listen to …….oh.”

Everyone laughed. Fucking drug addict friends. 

If you don't know Talking Heads, this will give you a pretty good idea of why they were so cool.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Breaking (Up) Bad 7

Another reader submitted story on break ups. When is it time to leave?

Over my last few relationships, I've learned a few things. I'm glad to report that I haven't made the same mistake twice (yet) however, it seems as though I have my share of lessons to share- I wish it were more simple than having to go through these experiences and avoiding a whole lot of embarrassment and heartache. So what kind of things made me realize it was time to 'pull the plug' you ask?

- When you realize the person you are dating calls his mom 'mommy' out in public and he's more than 7 years old. When I asked him why he couldn't call his mother 'mom', he snapped at me and said it was the way he was raised, to just leave it.

- When out on a skiing/snowboarding outing, we stopped at a Mexican place for dinner and on the way home he has to pull over and take a shit on the side of the road. Yes I looked, and all I saw was this white ass, moving from place to place, apparently marking his territory. But the doozy here is that I went out with him one. more. time. Until..

- All along he made it seem like he was this big hot shot, we go to his apartment one night and out peers this woman out of one of the rooms...his maid? NO. His mother. He was in his 30s. Enough said.

- This one guy had made all these arrangements to take me to a beautiful beach resort. It was gorgeous. We were trying to get busy with it and don't ask me how I found out but apparently going #2 and wiping his ass were not necessarily two things he did that went together. Call me a cab so I can hightail it out of there.

- Then there was another one, oh so vain. I really did like the fact that he took care of himself so well, until I walked in on him plucking his nose and ear hairs. I'm all for cleanliness but don't do it where a significant other can see you do it because after that? the mystery is gone and all I could see were hairs populating every single nook and cranny.

-Then there's one that was always a doozy in my mind...him picking his ex-wife's side over mine. More than once. Why didn't I run away faster is beyond me. Doormat, nice to meet you let me take a seat next to you.
Read more of this blogger here.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

There Was That One Girl Who

Reading all these Breaking (Up) Bad stories submitted by readers reminded me of a girl I used to know.

She dated a neighbor of mine in the old building. Everyone liked him. No one liked her. She smoked a lot of pot but that wasn't what turned people off. She dressed like a homeless person but that didn't turn anyone off either. She never wore a stitch of makeup and was a woman who needed makeup as she was quite unfortunate looking.  But that didn't turn anyone off either.

It was this statement she made at a party at my house, "I've never been dumped."

Everyone else at the party had been dumped, some of them (me) more than once. (68 times) (or it just seems that way) We were all skeptical that she had never been seduced and abandoned based on:

A. pothead
B. the dumpster look
C. aforementioned unfortunate face

Years later I discovered the unfortunate looking poorly dressed pothead wrote a one woman show on HOW TO DATE MORE THAN ONE MAN AT A TIME.

I don't know why I bother.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Breaking (Up) Bad 6

Having just graduated from college I moved to a beach town on the other side of the state to avoid moving home and living with my parents. One day I was laying out on the beach when a strong wind came up and blew my beach umbrella away. A cute, dark-skinned guy a little older than me caught it and brought it back. I was so touched by the chivalry I agreed to give him my telephone number.

A week later he was late picking me up for our first date which I ignored because I was busy sipping on beers for liquid courage.

We had a good time and laughed at each other's stories and agreed to go out the following Saturday night.

He was late again picking me up.

As a punctual person, this was a pattern I wasn't too pleased to see.

Instead of going to dinner he took me on a detour to a friend's party. Since I know no stranger, I was happy to talk to new people. I kept looking around and couldn't find my date. After about a hour several people at the party decided to go to a bar so we could dance. It was then that my date suggested I ride with his buddy who "didn't quite know the way." I discovered in the car that his buddy was a native of the area.

At the bar which was called Have a Nice Day Cafe, the group all met up, got drinks and started dancing.

I kept seeing my date and then he'd disappear for awhile.

At one point I asked one of the girls that had been at the party how she knew my date. She said, "He sold me my most recent car and we've been dating for about three months."


My date not only was dating someone else he brought us both to the bar.

I hunted him down and proceeded to yell at him louder than the house music. Then I went back to his girlfriend and told her that this was our second date. The look on her face was priceless. Since I didn't have my car I asked his buddy to drive me home. I was fuming the whole way home.

Years later at my company Christmas party I saw him. He was married to one of my coworkers. They later got divorced because he was cheating on her and I had to tell her that her ex-husband is my Worst Date Story Ever.

She wasn't even surprised.

To read more stories from this blogger, go here.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Breaking (Up) Bad 5

The next in a series of reader-submitted stories about their worst breakups. Where's yours?

I had planned on breaking up with him. He was 25, I was 24. But when I missed my period I realized that the breakup was going to have to become my second priority.

I was pregnant.

I never wanted kids, and we were always careful. But condoms break and miracles happen and who knows? Maybe there was a second star in the East that day? Either way, I needed to make the appointment. He said we couldn't go to our local Planned Parenthood because he knew someone who volunteered at the front desk. Then we couldn't go to the next closest one because his mom's hairdresser was next door. Because I was young and dumb, I flipped through the Yellow Pages (remember those?) and found a place down the street. I went in, peed on a stick, and was told to show up the next Saturday with a money order and a ride home.

He cried all the way to the clinic, and when I went in back he cried some more. I don't remember much, except waking up next to a girl who was screaming and profusely bleeding. Have you ever unhooked yourself from an IV and walked out of a clinic in your booties and a plastic bag holding your clothes? (Don't worry - it's not one for the bucket list.)

At least my boyfriend was there for the one thing I really needed: a ride home.

The light at San Vincente turned red when he started to shake. He was crying - bawling, even. He turned to me: "I can't drive. I'm too emotional."

That's how I ended up driving myself home from my own abortion.

We got to my apartment and I sent him out with my prescription and a fistful of money. He returned 45 minutes later with a bag of Tootsie Rolls and told me that I could pick up the prescriptions later that day. He then complained he was hungry. Exhausted, bleeding, and pissed off I brought him to the diner down the street.

I ordered three entrees, telling him I was incredibly hungry. After the waitress left, I slid a quarter across the Formica tabletop.

"Call your mom and have her come pick you up," I told him, and walked out of his life.

(Coda: a year later he emailed me saying "TODAY IS THE ANNIVERSARY OF A VERY BAD DAY." I told him if Hallmark doesn't have a card for an abortionversary, you probably shouldn't celebrate it.)

Thursday, May 03, 2012

L.A. Sign Of The Times #100

I've been online since 1995. I've been blogging since 2006. AND I STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND BLOGGER?

If that's not grounds for never reading this blog again then I don't know what is. If you can't understand Blogger then you should go back to kindergarten and relearn your colors. And by you I mean me.

I just discovered that you can make pictures bigger in Blogger BY JUST PAYING ATTENTION to the  layout guidelines. And this after I trashed them on Twitter and in a former blog post which I'm too lazy to link but just scroll down a few and you'll see it. I'm not one of those hateful bloggers that makes you click on another page because I know you won't. None of us do. Spend 2 seconds flipping  to another page when you can just scroll down and see all the posts? Blogga please.

What's that you say? You want more page views? That's why you make us click through? You need to make another 24 cents a week? Rob a Girl Scout.

So here it is, the 100th Sign of the Times. If you click on the label at the end of this post, you can scroll through the 99 photos of L.A. that I've taken in the last 6 years.

I took this one at an art gallery in Santa Monica. It was not titled Walking My Plants and I have no idea why not.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Breaking (Up) Bad 4

Anonymous reader submitted story number 4:

i once went out with a guy (9 months! of hell!) & when i broke up with him, first he trashed my flat (threw the sofa across the room, among other things, then when i locked him out tried to break down the (steel plated) door with a fire extinguisher), and then he stalked me, calling me late at night to tell me he was in the phone box at the bottom of the street. it was probably the most pathetic (and inadvertently amusing) attempt at stalking ever. that lasted about 2 weeks. i knew i should've chucked him 7 months earlier when we had a huge stand up & scream row while running around the local town centre.... bad times!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

More Things I Did That Should Have Been An Instant Alert To My Parents. But Was Not.

Studies show that if a child is given a box of crayons, the first color they choose is yellow. And then they draw a big sun. That must be a normal kid.

I was offered a box of crayons and chose red. And then used it to destroy the dreaded middle initial often found after a person's first name in a book of children's stories.
I had nothing against middle names because I left them all intact. But middle initials? What kind of monster doesn't write out his middle name?

Robert E. Lee
William H. Macy
John F. Kennedy
George C. Scott
Booker T. Washington
Susan B. Anthony
Michael J. Fox


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Breaking (Up) Bad 3

This is the third installment of reader submitted Breaking Up stories from hell. If you have one, send it to me at the email found in my profile on the sidebar. Under 500 words and you can remain anonymous, as the reader below did.

There are times when a person wants out of a relationship but doesn't want to do the actual breaking up. What they'll do is manipulate the other person into breaking up with them. It's human nature, at least I think it is. I’m not proud to admit it, but I've done it…more than once. So I wasn’t surprised when karma caught up with me and a woman got me to break up with her. What's remarkable is how she did it: By describing how she ended a relationship with another guy.

A little history: This was not the healthiest of relationships. I’ve been an alcoholic all of my adult life. It’s never done me any good and about 10 years ago, I hit absolute bottom. The only choice I had was to get sober.

I’d put together about 8 months of sobriety and got a new job. I pretty much felt like I had my problem solved. A ridiculous set of circumstances led me to a bar in a trendy part of town. Of course I started drinking. I also struck up a conversation with a cute woman that was there.

We hit it off immediately. We shared a lot of interests: Books, music, movies. Beer. We started seeing each other every day. We drank every day. We had fantastic, amazing drunken sex. We had deep philosophical debates about fictional characters and history. We took turns outdrinking each other. We went everywhere together, drank everywhere together, and usually ended up banging each other in the washroom or alley or backyard.

She was the woman of my dreams.

But I was a little more serious about the ‘relationship’ than she was. Even though we never had time for anyone else, she didn’t “commit” to the relationship other than physically. She never came out and said it: I was head over heels for her but she didn’t share those emotions. I was a fuck who always paid the bar tab.

Not that I really minded, until she started quietly distancing herself from me. It started with a day or two apart. Sometimes she’d pay more attention to other guys at the bar. Sometimes she’d blatantly flirt.

Soon, we had THE TALK. I asked what this thing really was. I got the strangest response. It wasn’t an “I’m telling you my deepest darkest secret to emotionally open up to you” response. It felt like a prepared speech. Or a threat.

“Let me tell you a story. When I was younger, I spent the Summer with my mom down in Mexico. I started seeing this guy. One night we got into an argument and I decided I needed to break it off. A bus was getting ready to leave. So I got on the bus. With fifteen guys.”

“…And I couldn’t walk for three days after.”

Of course I told her it didn’t matter. Of course, it did. I couldn’t take it mentally. It was like a ricochet in my brain that I’d never be able to forget, and I’m positive that’s exactly what it was supposed to be. I broke up about a week later.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Breaking (Up) Bad 2

My college boyfriend, who still remains the most attractive person I've ever been with, was very religious. Think newly evangelical Christian who was rebaptized at 19 but had a 16 year old knocked up sister. I grew up in Chicago as a chreaster (Xmas/Easter attendance) with gay friends and a long since misplaced virginity. A match made in heaven.

I gave up sex for love. A terribly illogical sentiment in retrospect. However oral was a plentiful. Condoned by Jesus and Bill Clinton (a winning combo) that was deemed acceptable. I swallowed more semen in that relationship than ever before (or since, my poor husband).

That was until one day on a bus when my boyfriend had a spiritual revelation and decided that he was possessed by demons which is what allowed him to be so sexually impure. So he broke up with me AND THEN HAD AN EXORCISM.

Let me tell you, the phone call where your boyfriend breaks up with you because of demons and then tells you he had an exorcism is a memorable one. Not great for the old ego.

Some how we got back together a few months later because I was "in love" or perhaps brainwashed. Wearing a gorgeous short pink dress I was apparently irresistible, that or the demons were back. We broke up again as he couldn't be around me and control himself and I finally got with the program (reality) and realized that college was for sex and drinking not bible study.

While I didn't get an invitation for the exorcism, probably in fear that I would set a flame upon entering the Christian College he attended in rural Minnesota, I was given a description of how it went down. Apparently, his friends "laid hands upon him" and chanted biblical verses and this removed the demons. No candlelight, holy water, or head spinning vomit. If they had followed the movie closer perhaps we wouldn't have gotten back together.

He married an ugly girl which pleases me.

(You can read this contributor's blog here

Friday, April 20, 2012

L.A. Sign Of The Times #99

Like every single site on the web, Blogger has changed their format, and just like all the others, NOT FOR THE BEST. They've taken away the option to upload larger pictures, which I did before by switching back and forth from their new editor to the old one. I guess they didn't want all their space used up for free.

This smaller format really makes this huge apartment building look like a doll house. THANKS FOR NOTHING BLOGGER.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Breaking (Up) Bad

I've been asked to put together bad (or funny) (or tragic) breakup stories in the hopes something might come of it. So if you have one, send it to my email (in my profile). Under 500 words. No restrictions whatsoever.

Here's the first one from Birgen, 19.  No, you don't have to reveal your age, real name or the names of any of the people who trashed your heart unless you want to.

Vince was a handsome 6'7" linebacker. I had an internship at a church the summer before we met and I introduced him at a church service to my friend Annie, another intern. Annie was kind of a granola-lesbian-man-hands-short-hair-christian kind of girl so I figured I had nothing to worry about. Yeah they ended up having sex not long after. And I was really hot back then... WHYYYYYYY

Aaron broke up with me on our 10 month anniversary at Olive Garden because he said he was afraid of commitment and that 10 months was getting too serious. I found out a few weeks later that he had been cheating on me with a girl named Katie. This was over 3 years ago. Aaron and Katie are still dating. Real commitment-phobe...

and my favorite

Tommy was a schizophrenic drug addict! (How could this go wrong?!) He had to go to treatment and I went to visit him every day. We had agreed to be on friendship terms at this point because a relationship would be hard for him to focus on in treatment. One day we were in his hospital room and he kept trying to kiss me. I said no because he was the one who really wanted to be just friends, and he replied by saying that he was in love with me and wanted me to be his girlfriend. I said "are you sure?" and he said "yes." He told me he loved me and would never hurt me just so he could get laid. Sooooo things happened (he had a private room) and then visiting hours were over.

Literally, just made it out of the parking lot, and Tommy calls me from the hospital phone and said he had changed his mind and that he didn't want to date me anymore. I was an absolute wreck knowing that I was used for my body like that. My emotions got the best of my driving abilities and I ran a red light with a cop behind me. Got pulled over, he asked for my license and I was so out of it and bawling so hard that I gave him my credit card.

He goes "Jesus, just go home." I did and then I drank a lot of wine with my cat.