Friday, November 28, 2008

Reason to be Thankful (and to Come Home)

It's the day after Thanksgiving, and yesterday most people in the US have celebrated thanks for the early US settlers' exploitation of the indigenous people of this great land, and perhaps done so by eating lots of this country's native bird. I, on the other hand, am a few thousand miles away not having had a turkey meal while traveling around or out of Austria, hopefully thankful I'm warm enough.

Some may know I'm a bit of a Germanohpile, and since this is my first trip to this area in a few years, the notion to not come back has crossed my mind. Along with the fact that Germany is now in a recession with its already difficult foreign work visa process, there are several other reasons, like a milder climate and the frequent use of the English language that will have me coming back.

There is one thing in particular that sticks out in my mind that will have me coming home to the U.S. of A., but more specifically, back to the love-to-hate city of Los Angeles:


For those who can/choose to eat meat and haven't had one, you're really missing out. They go by many other names, such as the "Dirty Dog," the "Hollywood Dog," these illegal hot dog carts can be found in high-foot traffic areas, most notably around the Fashion District and in Hollywood late at night where many inebriated and hungry clubbers roam the streets. Its execution is simple: bacon is wrapped around a hot dog and is cooked over a metal surface heated by propane below. Onions and jalapenos are typical toppers, along with the usual ketchup, mustard and mayo on the side.

I have been vexed by this one particular bacon-wrapped hot dog cart that's just around the corner from my work, and there is usually one time each day I have to walk past it, and each time, I have to stop myself from getting one each time. It's the smell of the meats being cooked with the smell of caramelizing onions that one just can't deny.

On my last day of work before this trip, the allure seemed even stronger. It also didn't help that the fruit stand guy that's usually stationed 10 feet away wasn't there, for there wasn't as much as some sort of angel-devil contrast between healthful fruit and artery-clogging goodness.

But why, of all things I could eat, would I want a bacon-wrapped hot dog before I'm going to Germany, the land of Wurst? This dog is a sad bastardization of the glory of its source, so why taint that? After much thought, the answer was simple: This is cuisine that's so L.A., and if anything, I would need something to remind me what I need to come home. With that, I went out and got myself one hot dog with onions, jalapenos, a bit of mayo and ketchup for the road.

I had the dog packed to go and took it back to my office, and in that short trip, the grease had already seeped through the paper in which it was wrapped and already hit the paper bag it was in. It was beautiful when I unwrapped it, and that first bite was divine. The jalapenos weren't that hot, unfortunately, but the onions and the bun were slightly sweet and mixed perfectly well with the saltiness of the entwined meats.

Though I'll be sad to be leaving my current location (at the time of this blog entry's posting) so soon, I at least have a few things to look forward to when I'm home. I'll probably be wearing skirts and tank tops when everyone else is in scarves and coats if it does get cooler in LA, and when I go back to work, I'll know I've got these bacon-wrapped goodness waiting for me.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Short Story (part 2 of 5)

[Here's part two of my story. Part one is here if anyone is interested. Part three of five will be posted next Monday.]

Between the four of us we’d had a bottle of Gordon’s and a twelve pack of Pabst. Both were vile, something moonshiners wouldn’t touch. I’d had the majority of the gin and thought everything was hilarious, especially the fireworks and the lighters in the fire pit that would explode with a comfortable, luminous pop. We were stupidly drunk every time we were at Kent’s house, doing the stupid things stupid young kids do while drunk. I’m sure it was annoying but time is the least thing we have of.

“Let’s--take a shot,” I spat.

“To what!”

“To Vin!”

“We did that before.”

“Then to his last drinking adventure!” Up until recently, we’d been binge drinkers. Liquor would settle in our bellies in the form of shots or entire cans of beer at a time. As a result, we learned how to gauge our drinking through our mistakes. I, for example, learned not to swill a half bottle of gin in twenty minutes. Kent and Pablo learned not to take more than two shots in a row. Han never learned. Vin, well, he learned to never drink again, an exaggerated response. Han, Vin and I were at a friend’s house when we were twenty and we, for whatever reason, probably good weather, decided to get drunk. Han passed out an hour after arriving and Vin accepted challenges to chug beer and martinis. Eight or ten challenges later, Vin was rendered a crawling mess, unable to raise his head above ankle level unless it was over a toilet. I remained sober, drove him home and he vowed never to drink again. Pansy.

Han finished his cup of gin after our last shot and he was sick thirty minutes later. He threw up on the grass next to the wall of foliage far behind Pablo. I walked over and he looked up at me and insisted that I go have fun with the rest of the guys while slobber and tears crawled down his face and onto his crossed legs. He was belligerent and in my drunken state I had to try hard not to laugh.

I went back to my seat and Kent, putting a burning log to his face, lit a cigarette. I followed suit but with my lighter and exhaled breath thick with smoke and coughed.

“How long have you had that cough?” Kent asked.

“Around a month.”

“Are you gonna get it checked out?”

“Yes,” I lied.

“Yer gon’ die of lung cancer, Frank!” Han yelled through sobs from the grass outside the warmth of the fire. He may as well have not been present at all. He would always tell us stories about cancer of the throat, and how you’d lose your ability to talk unless you had a voice box or spoke with burps or some stupid garbage like that. He knew it got on my nerves. When he pissed me off enough, I would blow smoke in his face and we wouldn’t talk for the rest of the night. It would be awkward sober, but drunk I was impervious to emotion.

Kent’s phone rang, “just us four. Absolutely, whatever beer you want. Yes, twelve is fine. See ya.” His phone clapped shut, “David’s on his way. He’s bringing more beer.” It was midnight and Han was sobering up beside us around the fire. His eyes were red and glossy. I had another beer and didn’t remember anything after it, not even David’s arrival.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Short Story (part 1 of 5)

[Here's a short story I wrote last year. I've developed my writing a bit since, so I ask for patience. I plan to one day pull a (polished) novel from this short.]

“Somebody call Vin.”

“Vin is dead,” I answered.

“Yeah, fuck Vin.” Pablo added.

We all missed Vin dearly and hadn’t heard from him since his girlfriend moved in with him. He’d been an avid fan of liquor, but one night he’d indulged a bit too hard and decided to not drink ever again. That and his girlfriend was a tee totaling wet blanket who had him by his balls.

“Let’s take a shot,” I said.

“To what?”

“To Vin.”

It’s not that we really considered him dead. We were happy for him, where ever he was. We were all single most of the time so I guess we were jealous, or we resented the fact that he stopped calling, but that’s the nature of the beast, right? Friends lose touch in time and sometimes it coincides with one of them being taken by a lover. I resented him deeply for that.

After several shots we sometimes called Vin. Well, I never called him, I’d no intention of speaking to him again, but Pablo didn’t have a problem dialing the number. Vin would never answer, of course, and so ensued Pablo’s default message: “Hey, Vin, it’s Pablo, we’re hanging out at Kent’s house drinking beers around a fire. You should come over.”

“Hey, remember that time after the movie when we wanted to go to a bar?”

“When Vin looked to his girlfriend for permission?”

“Ha, yeah.”

“Did you know he transferred to CSUN?”

“What the fuck! When?”

“Last year.”

“Wow. How’d you find out? Oh, when you still talked to his girlfriend?”


“Why’d you stop--oh yeah, you told me. So why does she hate us?”

“Her dad’s an alcoholic, her grandparents died of lung cancer.”

“Makes sense.”


Friday, November 21, 2008

Sometimes, I'm a Girl

In about 30 hours, I'm going to be on a plane to Europe. Most people would be very excited and looking forward to such an occasion if they were in my place, but I'm very anxious about this trip. It's not that I have a fear of flying or that I get airsick…It's that I'm really afraid of freezing my butt off (and the fact that at the time of this posting, I'm not finished doing my shopping and have not begun to pack).

I knew that it was going to be cold during this trip, but I never thought it was going to be rainy and SNOWING. For a gal who grew up in "The Armpit of the San Gabriel Valley," the thought of spending extended periods of time in the cold, cold cold really scares me.

To help prevent my coldest nightmares from happening, I’ve gone around and made sure that I have warm things at my ready…part of which includes taking this opportunity to use this trip as an excuse to get new shoes.

Most people will find me wearing flats, slippers, and Chucks which are all not so good for the feet with the exception of my super supportive running shoes. That said, I also don’t have the type of shoe that will keep dry pretty well while keeping them warm at the same time. I figured that maybe this is the perfect opportunity for me to get myself a pair of boots.

Part of the reason why I don’t have a lot of shoes is because I’m super duper picky on what goes on my feet. I don’t know where I got it, but the most minute detail or texture, even a fraction of an inch on a heel will either make or break my decision. It’s a painful process even I hate, but it’s a process I don’t know how to make simpler.

I’d like to hope that this neuroses of the shoe pays off in the end, for I like to think that I do have a decent eye on things that look good (on my feet). What’s funny is that despite my aspirations to obtain my entire wardrobe second hand through thrifting and clothing swaps, I do have an eye for expensive, well made shoes. Whether it’s the shoe I’m looking for or not, I always find myself drawn to some of the more expensive shoes on the rack, and being in shoe stores or departments sometimes make me wish I was more fashion-forward with a disposable income in order to finance this untapped passion for shoes. It’s almost like I have this dormant Imelda Marcos disease, where I just want every nice shoe that exists in this world.

After spending hours in the mall, trying boot after boot, I did settle for a pair of Bandolinos that look fairly weatherproof but still nice enough to be dressy and not to heavy so that a So Cal girl like me can wear it out. I’m happy with my choice as a shoe, but it remains to be seen if I made the right choice on the right footwear for this trip.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Coincidence. Appreciate it. (part II)

[This is part two and the conclusion of Tuesday's post, which was this blog's very first Adventourist entry. Thank you, Rochelle! For the rest of you, I hope you like it as much as Frank and I do, and we hope that some of you may want to hazard a guest entry! <3corazon]

In the afterglow of all this election excitement, I was trying find a personal connection to Obama's win. You know, something a little more connected than that $25 I spent on a T-shirt, or all those cupcakes I bought at my neighborhood "Hungry For Change" bake-sale. Not knowing where to look for a starting point, I took a break in front of the t.v. Then I found it! Jeri Ryan.

Look at the palm of your right hand. Your "love line"-it's right below your pinky finger. I don't know about yours, but mine has a great big gap in it. When I was just sixteen I dated the man of my dreams. It was the happiest time of my life. Cut to six-ish years later - I idiotically broke-up with him. Thankfully we are back on track together. But maybe that time away served for something more important than my feeble happiness. So how does the Star Trek Voyager star connect with Obama and my love line?

Jeri Lynn Ryan starred in an Indie movie called the Last Man. The guy I dated during my aforementioned gap acted alongside Jeri in this movie. Years after the film completed, it made it to the Hamptons Film Festival. I went along helping to promote the movie, supporting the crew. Afterwards, Jeri had written a letter to the director thanking him for believing in her. She thanked him for fostering her self esteem and for giving her the opportunity that boosted her career. She then ended her part as trophy wife to Jack Ryan. No, not the Jack Ryan from Tom Clancy movies. Jack Ryan, the Illinois senator. The senator who ran against Barack Obama in 2004. In an act of courage and new found confidence, Jeri Lynn Ryan decided to open the divorce files on her ex-husband to expose a scandal that would forever change the course of history. Way ahead in the polls versus Obama, Ryan left the race after his sex scandal was exposed. Was this retaliation for forcing Jeri to attend sex clubs? I don't know. Perhaps it was just the right thing to do.

While Jeri replaced her former husband with chef Christophe Émé, the republican party tried to replace him with Mike Ditka. Mike said no, so Alan Keyes stepped in to lose to Obama. Keyes is now attempting to sue Obama for proof of Obama's U.S. citizenship. What a crazy world...

So where is my link in all this? Perhaps it was an off-handed comment I made to Jeri about my opinions on marriage. Or perhaps that extra boost of confidence came from all those men who were looking at her instead of me. We can never know the real impact of our every word or decision. That is one of the things that is so beautiful about the effect of coincidence on life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How to Survive a Clothes Swap

[Author's note: I was rushing to get all this entry's eggs in its metaphorical basket, but had to take care of a few matters. Because of that, the photographic material that I would like to have accompany this post is waiting to be linked...on my own computer. Please check back later to see some visual guides to the words! <3corazon]

Clothing swaps have gained in popularity in more recent years in the spirit to reduce consumption of new materials while still refreshing one’s wardrobe. This is "One person's trash is another person's treasure" personified: What may be a tired garment to one is a brand new piece to another.

Events like the Swap-O-Rama-Rama takes this concept a step further: along with the swap are DIY stations for swappers to modify their clothing on the spot, as well as DIY workshops including silkscreeners, pants/tshirts-to-tote makers, shirt pimpers show swappers how they can creatively reuse old clothes.

I've volunteered for Los Angeles' take of this event since its start, organized through the efforts of Lori Petitti and Hip Line Media. As the swapping process is much like thrifting on steroids, developing good strategy ensures a successful and productive time at a clothes swap.


Proper attire is pretty handy when rummaging through clothes. A skirt for ladies and secure men alike is ideal, allowing quick work at trying on other bottoms. Slippers (flip flops) as footwear are very handy. Tops should be worn as close to the skin as possible to try clothes on top of them and get the most accurate sense of fit without much bagginess.

Messenger-style bags that rests at your hip is very handy for quick rummaging, grabbing, and stashing. It's the closest thing humans have to having little pouches in the insides of their mouths, though not as handy but lots more stylish.

The human race wouldn't be where it is right now if not for its advanced social structure. It's rather prudent to use this skill when swapping. Being in cahoots with at least one other person is helpful in keeping an eye for things s/he may happen upon that's your style It's also handy to have another eye to let you know how a particular piece fits, looks, flatters, etc. you, which brings me to my next point:

Save the time and regret you may have from taking home impulse grabs by going through the small pile you amass through time. Try on the pieces you didn’t get a chance to before, show off your finds to your aforementioned accomplice. You can swap with others who may be editing at the same time. Return unwanteds to the pile for someone else to find. If you’re on the fence with something, you can keep it, after all…

Holding on to potential pieces isn’t bad - you may love something one day, then want to leave it the next. Come next swap, you can re-swap it to see if it can find a home with someone else. In my two years and three swaps, I’ve seen several pieces come and go and return again. There have been shirts I’ve taken from someone who wasn’t into that style, realize it’s not my style, and went to re-swap it. As it turns out, their original owner started wearing those shirts again and took them back…thus the beauty of the swap!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Coincidence. Appreciate it. (part I)

[Our first guest post! Welcome Rochelle! Her first post is about the intricacies of coincidence. The second part will be posted Thursday. Enjoy!


Coincidences happen everyday. It irks me when those crazy happenstances go by without much appreciation. I am kind of obsessed with these little surprises and I relish looking back trying to connect the dots to find hidden adventures. I am talking about the kind of unbelievable coincidences in life that, when seen in a movie or happen in a book, you say to yourself, "yeah, right! how convenient. . . there's an ornithologist in the restaurant where our heroes have just gone to escape from killer birds!?" It's sometimes overwhelming to think about the chain of events- each chance, every little decision that had to take place in order to get here. Where? Here in the Future! How do I know now is the future? Because in every futuristic alien movie a black man is president of the United States of America.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Adventures in Bad Writing

The night was drunk with the scent of fresh-baked bread and a monstrously odorous carne asada burrito. I lit a cigarette under the screaming light of a full moon, marrying the scents in a haze of twilight smoke outside a bar filled with vampires. I washed down the mouthful of burrito with a drink from my vodka which burned in conjunction with hot sauce. It was a strange burn, a burn like none other.

A man approached me from within the bar. “Hey, can I bum a smoke?” he asked with an indelible persistence, like the migration of a species, or Jupiter’s Red Spot. I had to think faster than a cheetah runs as it would have been impossible for me to hand him a smoke with one hand full of burrito and the other full of vodka. I decided the burrito had been eaten enough to where I could hold it in my mouth and leave it hanging out like an enormous tongue, freeing one hand to pull out the pack of cigarettes in my back pocket and offer this man a smoke. “Thanks,” he said standing there watching me wrestle the burrito from my mouth.

The burrito was mashed and gnarled as though it had been mauled by a rabid dog who thought it was a cat covered in peanut butter. I was filled with a deep sorrow; the burrito reminded me of my mother. She had been sick with the flu for days now. “Got a light,” the man with the iron resolution asked me.

“Sorry, I don’t,” I said panicked, not wanting to suffer through anymore burrito-mouth madness. I walked away into the screaming moonlight through a drunken night dancing in the scent of fresh baked-bread and yellow puffs of cigarette smoke pushed from behind my lips with my under-worked diaphragm. I never found out if that smoking man found a light. I surmise he did. I hope he did.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Berry Bad Attempts on My Life

I'm allergic to berries. I have one particular friend who usually remembers of my allergy, but sometimes it seems she wants to find some kind of way to innocently kill me by getting me to eat them.

One night, she and I were eating at this great greasy spoon famous for their homemade pies. It was around closing time, so their selection was limited, but had their famous ollallaberry available. I told this dessert-loving friend she could have dessert on her own, and I didn't care either way, but she insisted that we share a slice o' pie, then we shared the most boring slice of pumpkin pie ever.

I think this is when her plan for vengeance started.

Not long after, I went to her place to hang out and eat random snacks. One of the snacks included a jar of ollallaberry (and some other berry) jam. That jam looked pretty amazing. It came in a dark glass jar, and inside the jam was a deep, royal purple color that would make it even more exciting to eat. Its decadence was proven with each mouthful of jam my friend had, she'd sing a mouthful chorus of pure bliss, followed by her exclaiming how good it was as she nudged the jar closer towards me. Each time this happened (and it happened a lot), I'd assured her that I'm sure it is tasty. It wasn't until the next day that she realized the error of her ways, probably because she was so obsessed with the stuff at the time.

It wasn't until this week that she made her decisive move. We were over at some friends' for dinner, and she brought dessert: petit fours. When it came time for dessert, I took my bite, I thought its almondy goodness was great, though it had a hint of something funny tasting. Then I looked at the innards of the petit four I just bit and saw this little maroon line along the bottom of the treat.

When I asked what it could be, my friend immediately replied, "Oh, that's probably raspberry, since they put that in a lot of petit fours."

"Then I shouldn't be eating this," I replied.

"Oh, that's right. You're going to die if you eat this." My friend casually retorted.

Later that night, my entire right upper arm was itchy, and large portions of my scalp was all a-tingle.

I escaped this incident okay, but I don't know if I'd be so lucky next time. It's kind of like eating secret poison blowfish. There are few people in this world who are trained to cut the edible parts from the poisoned part of the fish. How would one react to someone else who just ate something that was poisonous?

"This fish tastes funny."

"Oh. That was probably the poisoned part. Oops."

Maybe that would be my friend (who is not licensed to cut blowfish, BTW) if I ate poisoned blowfish.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Adventures in the Art of Cookery

I asked my girlfriend what, if anything, I hated. After hardly thinking for five minutes, she said, “dancing! You hate dancing and singing!” Excellent, I told her, and that I’d use that in my blog. Then I remembered how much I hate cooking and tomatoes.

Do you know why audiences sometimes bombard performers with tomatoes? Because fuck tomatoes, that’s why. Nobody likes tomatoes, at least not those generic red monstrosities. You have to be pretty handy in the kitchen in order to transform these red, mangineered atrocities into something edible. Sure, you could buy proper and ripe tomatoes, but who has the time to cherry pick anything these days? I sure do, but fuck tomatoes!

I’ll tell you what else I hate: dull knives. I must be the most incompetent fool in America because I have a sharpening stone and am unable to sharpen my knives. My knives seem to get duller after every “sharpening.” You know those dolts on the Ronco infomercials who smash tomatoes with a dull knife like a mental invalid attacking a pile of clay with his hands? I’m one of them. It’s not because I’m incredibly inept, it’s because my hands go rogue due to my uncontrollable rage.

Cooking is a downward spiral of pain and suffering for me, especially when I have to dice tomatoes for an omelet. Not only do I have to deal with dull knives, bitter tomatoes, and rogue hands, I have to deal with eggs sticking to fifteen dollar “nonstick” pans.

Oh, and sometimes I add onions to the omelet. Do you know how ridiculous onions are? Only two things make me cry: broken bones and onions. That makes no sense. On the contrary, it makes nonsense, my friends.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Adventures in Politics, Voting

Voting apathy, I’ve noticed, is among the more unpopular apathies. I think I’d be better off not caring about recycling.

While walking to my polling place, I asked passersby for whom they voted. After they responded I said I was voting for the opposing candidate and gauged their reaction. Some smiled politely and walked away, others stormed off with their hands flailing in the air. I approached groups of people, families, couples and such, and asked them all the same question.

“Hi, who’d you vote for?”

“McCain,” the father said.

“Oh, I voted for Obama. How about the props?”

“Yes on all but two and eight,” the father said.

“I voted no on all but two and eight. And the missus? How’d she vote?”

“I voted for Obama and yes on one, two, and seven,” she said with a proud smile.

“I voted for McCain and no on one, two, and seven. You, sir, are you an uncle? I negated your votes, too,” I said.

“Surely that’s not possible.”

“I work here, sir! It is very possible and I did it! Let this be a lesson to you, children: do not vote!” I said with the fervor of a peeled-eyed crack addict. I jumped over the table and held their arms. “It’s a waste of time! A waste of time!” I continued through their sobs. By this time the voters had stopped voting and were staring at me. They seemed scared and a few were inching for the door. “You! Voter! Your ballot, sir!”

“I, uh—“

“Worthless!” I said taking a bite from his ballot and punching him. “You with the tan jacket!”


“Yes! Your ballot!”

“I didn’t vote! I swear!”

“Good man, because I surely would have negated your votes, too!” I said and punched him while running out of the room. Outside I gave a group of twenty non-English-speaking immigrants contradicting sample ballots I’d filled out.

I ran down the street and jumped into a family’s living room through their window and punched out their TV. They were watching the voting results, wide eyed with glee that Obama was in the lead. I jumped out another window and punched a man on a soap box who as preaching about the evils of drugs.

“Don’t listen to this man!” I yelled through his megaphone. “Voting is a waste of time!” I plowed my way through the crowd and punched an anarchist and took his wallet. By now I had a group of voters unable to appreciate my views chasing me. “Close-minded fools!” I yelled while running. I ran into a police officer and explained my situation.

“Follow me,” he said and I punched him in the face. I was tasered by his partner, handcuffed and arrested.

Indeed, voting apathy is an unpopular apathy.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Misadventures of Driving in LA

I'm just as proud to be an Angelino as any, but even the most devout LA resident is often driven mad trying to get from one place to another without dying on the road. It's almost like each car trip we take is made to make us thank our lucky stars that we managed to survive the dangerous dance humans play as we speedily control these multi-ton vehicles around.

I had once dreamt to grow up to be a civil engineer, and I think that was once realized after all the times I've had to travel on a few of the most dangerous and annoying driving areas in LA.

Although this can be an ongoing series in itself, I'd like to share my top 5 least enjoyable driving areas in Los Angeles (in no particular order).

The 101 South/110 South Freeway Interchange along the Downtown Exits
Whoever figured that a major freeway's transition into another freeway right where there are a slew of very confusing offramps in the city's center must have been on drugs. I do not understand why the 101 drivers freak out and drive like they never were behind a wheel as they frantically try to merge onto the 110 when they never realize they don't even need to change lanes as they have a dedicated lane that will happily lead them into the freeway! I always loathe having to exit Downtown because of this, because those 1,200 feet of interchange is just a constant death trap - if it doesn't kill you, it just makes you more bitter with life.

10 Freeway Offramps
As semi-irritating it is to have particular offramps for streets on one direction of the freeway to another, I sometimes think I'd rather have exits at every other major street when it comes to a lot of the offramps for the 10 freeway through the San Gabriel Valley. Both the east and westbound exits have separate exits for the north and south bound sides of the street. Yay Convenience! The only thing is, usually the first offramp comes way too soon when you're not properly slowed down, causing you to practically screech to a halt in order to make your turn and prevent you from running into dangerously opposing traffic who are trying to get ON the freeway. If you're trying to get to the second offramp, you have to make sure you avoid these cars trying to jump on, who usually aren't ramped up to speed just yet. I'm usually holding my breath and pray I survive each time I take one of these exits.

The 605 South/10 East - 10 West/605 South Interchange
I just don't understand this. Both freeways are pretty big, yet someone thought that instead of putting a perfectly efficient cloverleaf for this half of this interchange (as they have half of one on the other side), they decided to create a 436ft. two-lane driving space where 605 southbound drivers have to try to get on the 10 east at the exact time 10 westbound drivers want to get on the 605 south. Let's not mention how fast drivers from both freeways go in/out of this's just not cool.

The 5/101/10 East & West/60 Freeways Interchange
Just look at it. In order to get from one part of the 10 to another, you have to be on the 5 for a while. Then, the 101 starts off here, but it's a really small offramp. Oh, there's also a way to get to the 60 from all of this, but it's almost put there as an afterthought. Don't ask me how many times I was tired/in a rush/stupid/etc. while trying to get somewhere and I invariably wind up taking the wrong offramp and wind up on the other side of the city before realizing that's not the direction I wanted to go. Sure, I'm responsible for my stupidity, but really, this area doesn't make it that hard to make anyone drive like an idiot.

The I-10 Freeway
I just hate this freeway. It's unattractive, more often than not always full of traffic, and is a necessary evil to go around LA. I can't even begin to explain my hatred for this freeway. Have you ever had to pee so bad, perhaps you had to pee while suffering from a uniary tract infection, but you were comfortable sitting/lying down while being extremely mentally/physically/emotionally exausted at the moment, that the however long trip it would take to get you to the toilet makes you wish you just had a bedpan? That's how I feel about the 10 freeway.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

PMS and Politics

I'm not too proud of it, but I am an extremely competitive person. Anyone who has ever played games with me can attest to that, and I'm very glad those who I've played Mario Kart Wii online have not heard the sort of expletives that's escaped my lips in the heat of racing. It's very smart on Nintendo's part that players cannot input their own online messages to others - the game's most aggressive messages being "Grr...Darn it!" and "Funky Stadium!" which is passable. No message can't convey my sentiment when I really want to say, "Your perfectly-placed banana peel on that turn put me into such a rage that I want to see your smug Mii's face as a pixelated pulp!!!"

Though I don’t consider myself a political junkie, I think electing the next US President is a big deal, and I, like many people in the US and the world, had a great deal of particular interest in this year's presidential election. People are entitled to their views and opinions, but I was rooting for one candidate over the other, and though I tried to remain practical and aware that the election could have easily gone to either candidate, as soon as the guy I was rooting for was gaining a formidable lead, I started to become pretty darn excited that in my mind, thinking "My Team" was winning.

It should also be mentioned this competitive nature of mine becomes even more pronounced when a healthy dose of Premenstrual Syndrome and hormones is thrown in the mix. That mentioned, I'm in the full throes of "That Time of the Month."

Let's add to the fact that I was stuck in LA traffic as most of the polls started closing and reporting yesterday, and as each projection was announced, it took a lot of constraint to not honk my horn and start screaming, perhaps finding another nearby sharing similar sentiment. It was better I was alone in the car during this time, for I probably would have exerted some sort of physical reaction onto them, like several punches to the arm or a sloppy kiss to the face, whichever struck me at the moment (yes, while driving).

Once our next president was announced, I was in the company of others who shared similar excitement and sentiment as I, but perhaps not as much as I managed to restrain. I think I was so happy, I could have collapsed someone’s ribcage in a bonecrushing hug, patted someone’s back so hard to induce coughing up a lung, and as I sat there listening to our President-elect, I had to curb my desire to take the wine glass in my hand outside, smash it against the concrete and dance upon its shards in some twisted form of cathartic joy.

It goes without saying I’m VERY happy of this election’s outcome, and am particularly happy that things didn’t turn out in the other guy’s favor; for I am honestly afraid to think how I would have reacted to that.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Adventure Theory

I would like to introduce a new segment to this blog (I suppose since there isn't much here, everything is new, so please humor me) called Adventure Theory.

As much as Frank and I eat, drink, walk, sweat adventure with every breath we take, there are just some situations and opportunities that prevent us from actually tackling certain adventures, such as the lack of funding, time, courage, attention, physical capibility, what-have-you. Instead of letting these ideas of adventure fall by the wayside, we now have the opportunity to outline these adventures outside our jumbled heads and onto the space of this blog.

This may be an opportunity for us to visually assess these ideas and realize how crazy they really are, or it may help us see how much more possible it is to go through with them. It also may be an opportunity for us to document our ideas and look back at it when such theories are exercised and things go horribly awry.

Either way, this should make for good times.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Adventures in Politics

I’ve had many epiphanies over the years, the most memorable being when I realized the proof really was in the pudding, or that it’s actually possible to eat scrambled eggs without tortillas, or the following which I epiphanized over the course of a year.

My good friends know that I have a voting problem. I tell them my problem and they scoff. I explain my situation, but they tell me to stop lying, to stop making up diseases. One day, you untrusting hobgoblins, one day Ted Striker’s disease will be acknowledged by the AMA.

“Seriously, frank, it’s getting old. Haha, yeah, Ted Striker syndrome—“

“Ted Striker’s disease,” I tell them.

“Yeah, whatever. It was funny on Airplane! and that’s it. Stop creating excuses and get your ass to the polls.”

“The moles?” I say.

“You know what? Fuck you, frank. I’m tired of your incorrigible apathy.”

My friends, it is because of the frequency of these verbal assaults that I must admit something: I do not have Ted Striker’s disease. I made it up one day and the AMA isn’t really considering its validity. I don’t vote because, my good friends, I have Parkinson’s disease. Would you like to know why Bush won in ’04? My hand shook the puncher into Bush’s circle instead of Kerry’s.

“It’s just one vote, that’s preposterous,” you say? How dare you! Voting is not preposterous! No wait, it is.

I’ve shared my thoughts on voting to those I believe are highly intelligent and insightful. Unfortunately, their reasons to vote weren’t able to stifle the nihilist in me. “An exercise in futility,” I’ve been known to yell, spastically attacking strangers with spittle. Yes, I know my not voting is irresponsible because it discourages others to do the same.

This is where the epiphany kicks in: the reason I’m so turned off by the voting process is because nobody should be discouraged by one idiot’s indifference with voting, and yet it’s the primary reason I vote.

It’s not something I’ve fully thought out. I need help figuring this one out. What does it mean that people are discouraged by others not voting? Am I not a team player? Someone help me. Also make me a sandwich, please.