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!