LA Calling

Ok – it’s official. I’m going to burning man. Lately i’ve been “leaving things up to fate”. And fate kind of worked it out. I got an unexpected freelance gig that earned me exactly the money for a ticket and gas money. I found a ride, a sleeping bag, and more importantly i found a little project, which will eventually end up on this website. I can’t talk too much about it because i’m superstitious about these things and don’t wanna jinx it, but you’ll see. I think it’s gonna be good.

In other news LA is LA and if you treat it as such, things can be pretty fun. The weather is beautiful, and the parking plentiful. I’ve had to scrape around to get rides here and there; it feels a lot like freshman year of high school. Also been doing a lot of walking.

Meanwhile, another installment of Signs Telling You You’re in Los Angeles:

In the coveted first spot in your wallet, you’ve replaced the MTA metro card with a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf coffee drink punch card. Twelve drinks and the thirteenth is free.

At the coffee shop in the morning, a guy drives right up to the door, gets out of the car holding a skateboard, gets his coffee, and gets back into the car cup in one hand, skateboard in the other, and drives away.

Guy at the coffee shop compliments you on your dog’s aura. (You politely inform him that the dog knows there are biscuits inside and is on his best behavior)

You overhear a guy saying he’s “doing a coast card gig on General Hospital” when his friend asks him what he’s up to.

On the way back from coffee you walk by two separate houses from which the sound of chanting wafts out.

When someone you don’t know waves at you and you say “Sorry, do i know you?”. He says “Weren’t you at Ira’s retreat? Hatha Yoga?” Umm. No.

Your dad can’t stop bragging about his secret parking spot for the busy restaurant where he’s a regular. Said restaurant is 6 blocks from the house.

Rib tip?

Ack – I don’t have to tell anyone anywhere near new york how nasty nasty nasty hot it is. All i can think about is getting the hell out of here. I’m leaving for the west coast on wednesday, so i’m already postponing plans with friends “until the fall’. Those words sound so sweet. Right now i’m in the process of not going to either of my two soiree options for the semi-lame reason that i can not possibly wait in any sticky stifling train stations tonight. My apartment is bad enough thank you. If my local bars weren’t such pick-up joints i’d probably duck into one. But i’m in no mood to be prowled.

Last night Stephen, Darleen, and i saw some sound art at the Whitney. After several “Whitney Spritzers” (Vodka, Green Apple Schnapps, and some other alcohol) our evening quickly deteriorated. Firstly i haven’t been drinking nearly enough in the last few months and my tolerance is dangerously low. Two thirds of the way into my first whitney spritzer i promptly started embarrassing the two of them. It’s one thing to be sloppy late into the evening at a dark and smokey bar, it’s quite another thing when it’s still light out at a museum during a sound art show. Thing about sound art is that people are generally being quiet so they can, you know, hear it. At one point well into spritzer #2 i got up to go to bathroom and got tangled in some speaker wires causing a “distraction”.

“What’s she doing?” whispers Darleen.

“Trying to walk” Stephen replies.

Naturally i start laughing. Loudly. Yes, i was the obnoxious girl. The one everyone sighs heavily and rolls their eyes at. Actually I really did like the performance. I’ve been entranced with sound art lately. The Bill Fontana piece at Creative Time is especially good. In Paris i met an Italian sound artist who was kind of inspiring. She was inspiring because her stuff didn’t sound good at all and she had like 5 government grants. I respect that.

After the museum we found ourselves in the Upper East Side. I’m going to skip all the details about us being totally out our element and get to the point. After several hours of sweaty wandering and an apple martini here and there, we ended up at “The View”. No, not the morning talk show, but “New York City’s only revolving rooftop restaurant and lounge at the Marriott Marquis Times Square”. What started as a joke turned into all you can eat rib tips, frothy virgin ice cream drinks with vodka, and several spins on the horribly horribly horribly dj-ed dance floor. The rib tips were yummy. “Campbell’s Mushroom” Stephen declared after the first bite. I just love stuff made with Campbell’s mushroom. The ice cream drinks were gross. Ice cream and vodka is bad. I don’t care how good it sounds. The View was, as you can imagine, ridiculously fun. It’s rare that one gets to see women wearing fake eyelashes in earnest. If it wasn’t also ridiculously expensive i might think about going back. Oh i’m also not going back because of my urge to fast and maybe have an enema to repent for the all-you-can-eat rib tips thing.

Plans for the Beginning of the End

I started out innocently enough by paying my ConEd bill online. Somehow i ended up constructing a fantasy roadtrip for my upcoming three weeks in LA. Doesn’t it look rad? I’m not going to Burning Man this year i don’t think. I keep leaving the slimmest possibility in there when i say it just in case. But it’s a really really slim “just in case”. I didn’t go last year, and i remember looking at the pictures afterwards in my Paris apartment and just oozing jealousy. I think i promised myself this year i’d get there no matter what. But the time is here and my heart’s just not in it. I feel really far away from the-going-out-to-the-desert-and-being-crazy part of myself. But more to the point, i just don’t want to have any intense emotional meltdowns right now. It feels like my whole last year (company closing it’s ny office, moving to paris, skyscrapers falling out of the sky, quitting my job, moving back to new york, quitting smoking, starting smoking again, and quitting smoking again) has all been one much protracted emotional meltdown, and i’m *so* seriously done. So i’ve earmarked my three long weeks in LA for sipping ice blended mochas with my dog and making snarky comments about how LA LA is with my high school pal gina (with whom i coordinated my trip so i wouldn’t turn into a pile of salt from the shock or anything).

So now i just have to convince gina, or a decently smelling stranger i meet in 7 Eleven, to take a few days and go with me to the Grand Canyon, Albuquerque, and El Paso (or something like that). Those are the three destinations i randomly picked, and then mapquest just sort of threw in Tucson and Phoenix as a bonus i guess. I wouldn’t mind passing through some major suburbs actually. If i’m thirsty for emotional stagnation, Phoenix is a 44 oz Super Big Gulp. (Jeezus, did i really just say that??). In any case 2000 miles in the southwest desert sounds like an almost too fabulous way to end the summer.

Tonight in Brooklyn, it feels like the summer’s just starting as we’re all staring down the beginning of another 90 deg, 90% humidity heat wave. The heat took my by surprise on the tennis court today when i got a touch woozy at the 45 minute mark. I know that the summer’s almost over though. The first sign is that my around-the-house shorts are starting to around the edges and my sandals are all stained with sweat and about exactly 1 month away from falling apart. Vive l’august!

Sweat and the City

Soupy, sultry, sweaty, call it what you will. A rose is a rose is a rose, and in this weather, it’s probably dead.

I’ve been in and out of the ACed bedroom all day. In the (sort of) cooler bedroom with my mac pretending to do some work, Out in the (mighty) hot living room watching episode after episode of Sex and the City. Backing up, mom is in town for the week for work and they are upgrading the entertainment center at home, so i got a hand-me-down of a beautiful fully functional DVD player. And kind of like fate, our latest client sent us a bunch of party favors including the entire 3rd season of Sex and the City. Never having cable at home, and being abroad for the last year, my Sex and the City quotient is very low. So i’ve been watching episode after episode in what could be called a compulsive frenzy. I feel compelled to finish the whole season in one weekend. As i near episode 15 inside of 2 days, i am realizing that it’s really not meant to be watched in such closely spaced intervals. It’s kind of like eating the whole pint of Ben and Jerry’s in one sitting. It tastes good at the time, but then it takes days to get rid of the icky sick feeling in your stomach.

I’m kind of on the fence about Sex and the City. I’d probably like it a whole lot more if it didn’t take place in New York. Luckily it revolves around a segment of the City i know practically nothing about, but the fact that the weather plays such a nothing role in everyone’s shoe choices really gets at me. Gus has remarked that Sex and the City really takes place in LA while Six Feet Under is actually a show about New Yorkers. Makes sense. There are no episodes (between 1 and 15 of season three anyway) that have Carrie wrapped around her AC hoping her powerbook doesn’t melt before she meets her deadline. Or where Charlotte checks her hair for hathead and icicles because it’s 10 degrees and bitterly windy. And if there were weeks and weeks in a row of perfectly comfortable weather, you can bet that talk of Samantha’s last orgasm would be preempted by exclamations of disbelief and then all sorts of baseless wacky metereological theories for as long as it lasts. I know i know, i should be suspending disbelief, but it would be a whole lot easier to suspend disbelief if the show wasn’t so focused on living in New York City in particular, or if it was focused on a city like Chicago where i’ve never lived. Granted the upper east side is nearly as remote to me as the windy city, but still, i just know that someone is getting sweat circles under the arms of her red McQueen dress trying to hail a cab on 60th and 3rd.

In Sex and the City fashion i had brunch with darleen downtown this morning. Unlike the show we had a tab to pick up at the end of the episode and searched for cheap. But like the show we bitched and whined about relationships mostly. Well to be honest, i did most of the bitching, but in an entertaining way i hope. Briefly, i keep using the adjective “disastrous” to define all my past relationships, and “frustrating” to define all present ones. Yes i may be overdramatizing but that’s what seven plus hours of HBO original programming will do to you. I’m also starting to see just a flash of the HBO logo against a background of fake TV snow when i close my eyes. Yikes.

Back in the real world, i’ve been instructed to “wear something cute, ok?” by mom to a dinner in Hell’s Kitchen with the fashionistas this evening. Of course i’ll have to oblige. I know someone’s told me that small sweat circles under the arms are the perfect summer accessory. Still, i may have to watch one more episode of Sex and the City first. For inspiration, dig?