Yesterday I wanted to take a picture of myself, outside in my bikini with my headphones on peering at my new laptop in the southern cali sun, but then I realized I couldn’t see shit on the LCD screen when it’s that bright out, there’s no way in hell I want to document myself in a bikini (2 sizes 2 big cuz it was in sale at old navy for a buck fitty), and it was terribly narcissistic. But I tell you about it because it’s the thought that counts. Only in LA will you eavesdrop on the conversation next to you and hear, “Fuck I’m glad it’s cloudy. I’m so fucking sick of all this sun.”

I had a brief argument with my mother yesterday when I told her if I saw one more bare midriff I was going to puke in my sugarfree soy latte. She kept trying to convince me that it was my problem, and why couldn’t I live and let live when it came to ladies in low rise jeans and belly shirts. And I said yes it is my problem, and I can’t fucking stand it. And it’s like once you notice the ubiquitousness of the belly, you just can’t stop seeing them everywhere. I’ll be honest, I was impressed when Aaliyah shook her teeny hips, and I even let it slide for Brittany and Christina, but it’s freaking boring already girls. Boring. Look around – half the grandmas in LA are showing off their navel rings for chrissakes. It’s time to move on. But anything that allows people to flaunt their thousand dollar gym memberships is going to last for another century in LA. Women still wear biker shorts for peet’s sake. Which I say are a whole lot cooler than the current stomach obsession.

In other news I’ve been trying to keep myself entertained during my two week sojourn in the west, but I’m getting a wee bit bored and a wee bit homesick. My roadtrip is not materializing, neither is any shining realization about where I want to live. It’s nice out here, sunny, pleasant, but there are a lot of annoying people with a lot of annoying ideas about what’s important (flat belly) and what’s not (decent gas mileage). I’ve been seeing at least a half a dozen H2s a day, and in my non mobile state that’s a lot. What better way to advertise you’re an asshole than in a 10 MPG tank taking you and your beach chair to the beach you keep polluting.

If it seems I have a lot of anger here in my sunny LA digs, you are right. But I blame it not on my exact location but on the general state of the world. I have and do find as many things to bark about in New York. Here it’s just that the targets practically beg for it. Like the Lincoln Navigator with an American flag collage painted on it. Are you fucking kidding? Isn’t somebody out there giving out asshole tickets or prick-of-the-week awards? Maybe that’s my new calling. And don’t get me started on the governor recall…

So F@*&ing What

I know it’s yesterday’s news, but I need to say a little something more on the blackout even though “so fucking what” is my official position. I feel I must explain SFW a little more, since i got called cynical and bitter for it the other day by a friend who said, “But I heard it was the funnest day of the year?” Oh blah. I say this for 2 reasons.

First thing. There was, I heard, lots of impromptu drinking and self-made entertainment on Thursday night. Both of which I’m certainly a fan of. I didn’t partake since by the time I reached my apartment all I could do was drop from exhaustion. Without electricity there was no TV, no movies, no pre-packaged entertainment so folks had to make their own fun, talk to each other, play music. Yay – all good things. Also, might I add cynically, all things that are highly available the other 364 days of the year when the power is on. In the mix with all this self-expression and subversive partying I can’t help but detect a phenomenon I call to myself, Bored White Kid Syndrome. In my office building when the lights went out and before people knew it was just a glitch in the wires, everyone was a bit jumpy. I looked around and was happy that there was one other guy I worked with that i had known for a few years and I felt ok with, in case we had to do some major dealing. So after 10 minutes or so most of the people I make websites with were out in front of the building, nervously smoking cigarettes and trying to agree on a bar to go to. Meanwhile, inside the building, the guys that make sure stuff works were on their walkie-talkies keys in hand, opening exit doors, and worrying about the poor souls that might be in the elevator. All over the city are these guys, getting people out of subways and elevators, fiddling with emergency lighting and the rest. They keep shit working when everything runs smoothly, fix it when it breaks, and catch hell for it when it’s all fucked up. And for the most part they are black and brown.

Back in Fort Greene, there was some rumblings from the older folks about hoping kids don’t take advantage of the dark night to forget what’s right. Of course they were talking about the black and brown kids, not the white 20 somethings passing around PBRs and marvelling at the brilliance of drinking outside in the dark. Don’t get me wrong, I had a beer on the stoop when I got home and it hit the spot. Friday wasn’t as exciting to me since I get paid by the day, so no work means no pay, which I suspect many more on the nonprofessional side of the working world have to contend with. I guess I see a race issue here, and I see a class issue here, and it bothers me. It bothers me that it’s so easy to count yourself as subculture when someone else is fixing all your utilities, cleaning up the cigarette buts the next day, and worrying about water safety. It also bothers me that it goes unacknowledged that if the racial makeup of these impromptu parties skewed more to black or brown, someone would break it up faster than a failing power grid. I’m not saying that only the working class is keeping it real, just that there’s a lot more to being subversive than violating open-container laws. And I mean that the other 364 days of the year too.

The second thing is about all this being a national tragedy/emergency/whatever. Though it smacks of “starving kids in Asia” there are people driving trucks with bombs into buildings. There are people who’s doors get knocked down daily by an occupying army that doesn’t speak their language. There’s several countries full of people who are afraid to leave their homes after dark. We just have it so freakin easy. And that bothers me too.

So that’s my explanation of my official So Fucking What stance on the blackout. Don’t worry, you’ll here no more about it from now on.

Sunny x a Million

Final thoughts on this whole blackout rigamarole. On Thursday I was plotting out a long and sweaty seven mile walk home, nervous to how my clogs would fare, but self-congratulatory that I had a flashlight and radio with batteries back at the ranch. Then in the next three days I went from Brooklyn to a wedding in St Louis, and the next day (incredibly hungover naturally) to my dad’s house in LA. It took me less time to go halfway across the country (twice) than walking from work to home. I don’t know. I’m not going to draw any big conclusions – except that it was pleasant to talk to my neighbors for more than 5 minutes. A day and half without power, so what? There are always those days in August where you walk too much and sweat through all your clothes, and shit, my apt is *always* hotter than hell in the summer. So fucking what?

A real bona fide big deal might be that I consumed outrageous quantities of Gin & Tonics yet didn’t do anything stupid or embarrassing at the St Louis wedding. I swear. I didn’t dance, which is kind of rare for me, but it just isn’t a dancing-to-soul-music-by-a-seven-piece-band-with-associate-financial-analysts kind of time for me right now. Sometimes it is, really. But not now. I did get to talk to a few interesting people, including one j crew looking white kid from Mississippi who very earnestly told me that he raps like Andre from Outkast. And hell, maybe he does. Since it was nearing a hundred degrees the day I was there, we didn’t do much besides a car trip to the arch, and sit around the Best Western swimming pool/parking lot. I bought some blood red lipstick to wear to the shindig, but it was so hot and so sunny that I felt half like a little kid who got into her mother’s makeup and half like an aging starlet in the wrong lighting. I went bare-lipped, but now i need to find an occasion for my blood red lipstick since the whole treatment cost me $30, and it ain’t going to waste. Any ideas?

But here I am, back in Cali again for the yearly 2 week retreat. As usual it’s a pleasant 80 deg and sunny. Sigh.

Weather dot com says it better than I can:

lights out

several observations while being “powerless” (which i still am)

- there are lightining bugs in brooklyn

- there are stars in new york city sky

- my neighbor plays the guitar

- my other neighbor knows the woman who lives in the walentas clocktower building in dumbo

- brooklyn would be cooler if everyone rode bikes around (like today)

- there are some people out there who just can’t help but fix shit – they are good people to know.

- reaching for the light switch is a hard habit to break

- looking for the walk signal, ditto

- the subways might be not be running, but spam still is

- the office is the absolute hottest and darkest place in my apartment.