Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Midnight at the Garden of Eden

Halloween weekend. Good god. Can a girl get some recovery sleep? All the sinning culminated at the Garden of Eden party in Hollywood last Saturday night were two boys who looked all of 15 and dressed as the Gotti brothers in their matching white bandanas, over-sized cubic zirconia crosses and tight black t-shirts harassed my friends on the dancefloor. Can a girl get some personal space? When the clock struck midnight this Cinderella Blackheart did indeed turn into a grimy handmaid, and by 2am my pumpkin cab was ready to roll me and my mice friends away. Did I leave a glass slipper? No, indeed. But I did leave behind a great deal of hard earned cash, a tube of cheap lipstick, my sobriety and a bit of self respect.

When I was young, Halloween was my favorite holiday. My stepbrother, who was a dj and amateur carpenter at the time, used to transform our humble home into a den of horror. My friends and I would take turns leading kids through our haunted house and jumping out at unsuspecting victims through smoke machine clouds. His dj lights would spin rhythmically, hypnotizing me as I allowed myself to freefall into a sugar induced coma. We even got in the newspaper once, our home becoming a dot on the historical print landscape. Those were the good old days. Gone are the days of guarding my Reeses cups from my mother. (One time I sniffed the mix of chocolate and peanut butter goodness on her breath and found wrappers in her bed, stuffed under her sheets. Busted.) Gone are the days of someone else sewing a Snow White or bee costume for you. And gone are the days of begging my dad to let me watch just one more horror film with my stepbrother, then regretting it as I ran from killer clowns in my nightmares.

Next year I'm going old school. I'm watching horror films in my bed with a giant pumpkin bucket on my lap full of candy. I may even mail my mom a Reeses cup for old times sake... or maybe just the wrapper. Ah, who am I kidding? I'll probably end up half-naked taking shots of Pitron at some totally pretentious LA party and loving every damn minute of it. That is, at least until I wake up in the morning with a hangover and somebody named Zorro's number on a cocktail napkin in my clutch. Can a girl get some aspirin?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

SF vs. LA: The Ultimate Showdown

In my constant battle over which city to reside in, I've come up with a list of pros and cons for both cities. Actually, it's more of an ultimate fighter competition between the two, without all the blood and drool. LA fires vs. SF earthquakes. Well, I'd rather be swallowed by the earth than burnt alive, so one point for Frisco. LA Dodgers vs. SF Giants. I hate baseball, so scratch that. LA men (actor/somethings obsessed with outer appearances) vs. SF men (musician/somethings with lots of facial hair). Hmm, both cities have an excess of gay men, whom I love but who make it a bit difficult for a single woman, but I like a hairy man so SF wins again. Plus, after dating many an actor/_____, I can tell you, it's a lose-lose situation, and who doesn't love a musician? LA smog vs. SF fog. Fog won't kill ya; 3 points for SF. But fog can be depressing, and nothing can beat LA weather. One point for LA. Griffith Park vs. Golden Gate. No comparison. Besides the bums in GG are much nicer. LA traffic vs. SF transit. Love that BART system and you too Muni, you cute lil' thing. Man, SF is kickin' ass. Let's continue. LA vs. SF night scene. Wow, too close to call. It's a tie on that one. LA beach vs. SF beach. LA beaches don't require you bring a parka and wool blanket so LA racks up another. Flat LA streets vs. SF hills. Love them hills. One weekend there, and my calves and butt cheeks feel like rocks. LA vs. SF culture. Both towns house about as many nationalities as the UN so I'd say another tie. LA eateries vs. SF restaurants. The two best meals of my life have been in SF, and I usually side with my stomach.

Look, I could go on and on, but one round remains. The showdown. LA vs. SF charm. Not many people have written love songs to LA. In fact, I can't think of any, except perhaps The Doors' "LA Woman," but that's not exactly a glowing review. SF has an endless amount of songs written in its honor, many of which line the walls in the lobby of Geary Street's Hotel California. But there's only one true love song that sums up my thoughts on who the winner is, and that belongs to the illustrious Tony Bennett:


The loveliness of Paris
Seems somehow sadly gay
The glory that was Rome
Is of another day
I've been terribly alone
And forgotten in Manhattan [insert: Los Angeles]
I'm going home to my city by the bay.

I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me.
To be where little cable cars
Climb halfway to the stars!
The morning fog may chill the air
I don't care!
My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco,
Your golden sun will shine for me!

(*Sidenote: Love the use of exclamation points in your lyrics, Tony. Well played.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fire Starter

As my plane touched down over Los Angeles last night on my way back from San Francisco, the pilot pointed out that to our left we could catch a spectacular glimpse of the LA fires. Like a bunch of eager tourists on an urban safari, we turned our heads, piling on top of one another to take a look at the destruction. "Oooohhh... aaahhh." And it was spectacular: little lines of sparkling red light dotting the black canvas below. The woman next to me scoffed, rolling her eyes as she dug her face deeper into her book. Apparently, she was above all of this. We were rubberneckers, and she was a highly sophisticated woman of good breeding who preferred not to make light of the tragedies unfolding on the ground. But what she missed was the beauty of it all, a beauty that was short lived once the plane came to the terminal and smoke started to fill our lungs, causing our throats to swell and our eyes to itch. Once home, I spent hours cleaning the soot off the sills of my open windows and prayed that my poor cat didn't have a case of the black lung. Then watching the endless news coverage and the morning sky fill with an eerie orange and black light, I missed that simple moment, when thousands of feet above the earth, the fires looked like little more than grand city lights.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Motherly Advice

As far as careers go, I've been a bit lost of late. Sure, I want to write, but an unclear path makes an uneasy traveler. Here's a quote mia madre send me to ponder, and, no matter how Oprahesque it seems, it's dead on. "... Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Then, perhaps without even realizing it, you will live along some distant day into the answer." - Rainer Rilke After all those questions, today was one of those phenomenal distant days, and what a great damn day it was.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Noodle Survey

The other night someone reminded me of something I haven't thought about in a long time, and I've come to believe that the ensuing question it brings up could be a metaphor for life in general. First the item, or in this case, the dish: spaghetti with butter and cheese. Now the question, and I would greatly appreciate any and all responses for this is big, is which type of person are you? Are you the type to prefer a fancy restaurant and a lovely plate of penne pasta with your favorite sauce and all the works, including a waiter to clear you dishes when you're through, or are you the type who would rather stay home with a bowl of good, old-fashioned, buttered noodles with cheese and a ready remote? Think about it. There's no right or wrong answers here. In fact, I can't seem to decide myself. Whether it is a metaphor for various aspects of your life or simply a matter of taste, I think it says a lot about who we are and could answer the great mystery we all ponder: who the hell am I and what the hell do I want?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Not to sound cliche, what with a nickname like Blackheart, but I'm feeling a bit down today. Not the sort of down that makes you stay indoors with the blinds drawn watching 90210 reruns and eating candy corns mixed with honey coated peanuts (no kidding, it tastes like a Payday.) No, it's the sort of down that comes with the end of a long hiatus, in this case, my month long hibernation in Castle Rock, CO. I've become joyously used to long breakfasts over the paper (Denver news, in comparison to LA's, contains such happy problems), watching the Rockies kick ass as Grandma hoots and hollers then takes naps during commercials (don't know how she does it), going to the movies twice a week, writing when I want to and reading a book in the sun when I don't, watching crap TV and not feeling the least bit guilty and working out everyday even though my lungs feel like they're bleeding having never gotten used to this god forsaken altitude. I have loved every second of it, and now, with reality breathing down my neck I feel disappointed. Maybe I should have gotten more done while I was here, or on the flip side, maybe I should have spent more quality time with grandma and less time staring at the computer screen. I suppose I have to resign myself to the fact that I had fun here, that I was able to, for the first time in a very long time, relax and take a well deserved breather from the Merry Go Round that is life after college, that is the working world. And I can't say I miss it or that I'll be anxious to jump back in. I suppose the only way out would be for me to marry rich and spend my days sunbathing in my professionally landscaped backyard until my personal trainer and/or professional cook stops by to whip me into shape. Ahhh, the good life. But, unfortunately, that ain't me either. I'm cursed with the need to be busy, to have some sort of function in this world and to make some use of the skills I was given. So damnit, here I go, back into the wonderfully harsh realities of LA and up to my neck in the thick of it. Bon voyage, Denver. Hola, Los Angeles.