Loch Ness

Loch Ness

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on the Plain

I woke up in the middle of the night last night to the rain pounding down on my roof and the palm fronds crashing against my window.  I fell back asleep and I think somehow my brains firings rearranged the rain in my thoughts and I dreamed that I was Eliza Doolittle repeating back to Henry Higgins over and over “the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.”  For some reason all day long those lines have been running through my head like a bad song that I can’t shake.  First my head says it with a thick cockney accent then a posh London accent.  I have this strange connection with Eliza Doolittle and ever since I moved to LA have felt like My Fair Lady is my anthem, as I have yet to find my place here and have always felt a little like a fish outta water since I landed on the shores of Los Angeles about eight years ago.  I know what my friends are thinking right now, LA is only a stones throw from where you grew up, why so dramatic?  But when you grow up in the valley, a stones throw might as well be the distance to an alternate universe.  I knew nothing of designer jeans, had never even heard of them when I showed up in my generic brand clothes.  Designer jeans, designer sunglasses, designer jewelry.  Not to mention designer water, as the children of LA looked down on me and my arrowhead from their glorious FIJI bottles.  I was like Eliza at the horse races in her finery as she couldn’t help but belt out, “C’mon Dover, MOVE YOUR BLOOMING ARSE!”  You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.  Anyways, I digress, the whole point was that I can’t shake “the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain,” from running through my head like a child with ADD.  Seriously, it won’t stop, I think the only way to shake it would be to go out and rent My Fair Lady but I really don’t want to drive in this torrential rain.

I was supposed to help a friend move this morning but she called me as I was walking out the door to her house and cancelled as she wasn’t feeling well.  I was actually relieved as I had only told her I’d help her move to be nice, and was shocked when she actually said, “yes, that would be great, come over at ten.”  Needless to say, I wasn’t too thrilled at the prospect of moving on a Sunday and was kicking myself all weekend for being such a good samaritan.  I had plans in the late afternoon to get my nails done with a girlfriend but she too texted me in the morning and suggested we might raincheck as the LA marathon was going on.  It is a nightmare to drive in LA on a normal day, but driving in LA on the day of the marathon is no small feat with the detours all over the city and the traffic and road blocks.  Generally I don’t drive on the day of the marathon, after all, it’s only once a year.  Add the biggest rain storm Los Angeles has maybe ever seen, to the LA marathon and my girlfriend and I both agreed that it might be best to sit this one out.  I decided that my chipped peeling green sparkly nail polish from St. Patrick’s day would have to wait until next weekend to be removed.  Now I was stuck with a dilemma.  What to do on this very rainy day?

In almost every other country in the world people’s lives keep going when the heavens open up and it starts to rain.  In every other state in the US for that matter, people know what to do.  When it rains in LA people seem to freeze in their tracks as if they just witnessed King Kong step on a building and he is headed right in their direction.  I always get a kick out of the rain in LA, because seriously, nobody knows what to do.  It rains so rarely in sunny southern California that we have absolutely no idea how to handle a soggy day.  I always imagine whoever is up in the sky getting a good laugh as he looks down on us scurrying around like ants that just had their ant hill stepped on by a menacing child.  The funniest thing about it though, is that when it rains, it’s not even real rain.  Yes, we have fake rain in Los Angeles.  At most you can sometimes call it an “Irish mist,” but if you went in your shower and turned the water barely on, and wrapped a towel all the way over and around the shower head, and then put a sifter underneath that and stood underneath the sifter, that might be the equivalent of a Los Angeles rain shower.  If you’re lucky your hair may get a little misted.  Today though, it is raining real rain.  It has been raining non stop through the night and not mist rain but hard, full water pressure in the shower, no towels wrapped around, no sifters, real rain.  And I’m ashamed to admit it, but I don’t know what to do.

I’ve been racking my brains since I woke up this morning and cannot find one rainy day activity to make it through this housebound day.  Of course my immediate thought when I woke up was that this would be a perfect day to finally finish catching up on my episodes of Glee on my laptop, but I have a growing concern for what Glee might be doing to my social life.  Since I started watching the show I have an ever increasing need to break out in show-tunes in public places, it’s becoming embarrassing.  I go out to shop with girlfriends and a song comes into my head that I seriously want to sing out loud and I have this itch that I cannot scratch, my friends look at me uncomfortably because clearly it’s all over my face as I grit my teeth and they say “Flail, do you hafta pee?”  I don’t know how to explain to them that I don’t have to relieve myself but just want to sing at the top of my lungs.  My one venture out today was Starbucks, because like a junkie who needs his fix, I can go without my tea, but cannot go without my cake pops.  On the nasty journey from car to Starbucks entrance as I huddled under my umbrella, all of a sudden I wanted to start belting out “singing in the rain,” like Gene Kelly and twirl my umbrella and jump straight into the puddles.  I envisioned the whole scene, water spraying up around me, umbrella spinning through the air, and then my fantasy was cut short by, “excuse me miss, are you going to order?”  Watching one more episode of Glee was out of the question. 

My next idea was how nice it would be to curl up in front of the fireplace and watch the TV.  I had a feeling that watching the marathon might actually be very entertaining this year.  Watching a marathon generally, is probably the most boring sport activity I can possibly imagine to watch.  Watching running in general, holds little excitement, unless its a sprint and people are tripping over each other.  Watching 26 miles of people jogging is an utter waste of time as far as I’m concerned.  Also the whole idea of the marathon is disturbing to me.  I wonder how many people that run it are aware that the term “marathon,” actually comes from an old Greek story about a dude that ran 26 miles from the Battle of Marathon to the city of Athens to tell the people whats up only to drop dead after he broke the news.  Marathons are not safe, and frankly the idea of watching people pee on themselves and throw up on themselves because they don’t want to even stop to relieve their bodily functions, really grosses me out.  The idea of watching people running through Los Angeles during Storm-watch 2011 actually held a lot of appeal to me though, and sounded like it had some entertainment value.  Alas I remembered two things.  One, our fireplace was not working because I had my dad put out the pilot light last summer when Emily and I first moved in, because I had a sneaking suspicion that we might burn to death in the middle of the night with that creepy thing burning non stop.  Two, I absolutely refuse on principle to watch TV on our pathetic archaic excuse for a TV screen.  I’m not joking.  I imagine that our TV is an ancient artifact and it was probably in some cave a million years ago next to a fire with a cave man and woman sitting around watching jeopardy and eating their dinner of rocks and sticks.  I’m bad at guessing dimensions but I’ll tell you this, it’s smaller than a breadbox.  I have bad vision already but in order to watch our TV from five feet away I would need a pair of binoculars.  I don’t watch TV on our TV because it only makes me feel bad about myself and brings up all those insecurities about living in LA and not only not having designer jeans, or sunglasses, or water, but also not having a designer large flat screen TV.  I considered going over to my boyfriends and seeking solace in his flat screen but he was in San Francisco and he has a king size bed which is very lonely when you’re in it by yourself. 

A variety of other plans went through my head.  I could clean out my closet but I did that during my last manic episode and there was really nothing left to clean out.  I was feeling really productive one day and got rid of 75% of my closet and then was feeling so exhausted from the clean out and didn’t want to move the clothes downstairs to my car so I called my girlfriend and told her she could dig through the pile, she took all the good stuff (the designer jeans and such that I quickly after, wished I had sold to Buffalo Exchange), leaving me with the dregs(about five hefty bags full of clothes).  Lacking the motivation to take the trash bags full of clothes to good will, and hoping another manic burst of energy would come one day, I shoved them under my bed, where they still sleep and there isn’t room for any more cast offs even if I wanted to clean out my closet.        

I thought of baking, a past time that I thoroughly enjoy, as I have a fondness for sweet things.  During that last manic episode where I cleaned the closet out I also cooked four crack pies, and that didn’t end well.  Although the pie doesn’t actually contain crack, the name speaks for itself and it does something weird to you.  Four days later I had an earth shattering headache from sugar withdrawal from living on crack pie for three days.  My roommate was twitching and shaking like someone needing a fix begging me for one more slice, offering up her car and her computer as collateral.  I swore to her there would never be another crack pie baked under this roof, and once she sobered up, she agreed that that was probably in both of our best interests.

I thought of ordering chinese from K and A canton next to my house but every time I order from them I swear I’ll never do it again.  I order orange chicken from them at least once a week and every time I go in to pick it up they never remember me and it really hurts my feelings.  The baristas at Starbucks remember me and I have to imagine they get more foot traffic than K and A canton.  The guys at K and A never remember me or treat me like a regular, which clearly I am, eating there at least once a week, but they never make me feel special.  Besides, K and A has a “B” in their window, and although I have never gotten sick, I always worry a little that my chicken might not be chicken every time I see that blue “B” glaring at me.

At a loss for things to do to entertain myself on this very rainy day I realized that I was in fact, “bored.”  And I have always hated using that term because I have always believed that only boring people get bored.  I decided to set my mind to worrying about the end of the world, something I have spent a little too much time worrying about lately.  I wondered if this rain was the ominous “floods” the book of revelations prophecized.  In the wake of everything going on in the world I started to worry that we are in some sort of pre-apocalyptical universe.  I really spend way too much time worrying about things that almost never happen, I don’t know where I get it from.  By the way, a girlfriend was over at my house this morning and while she was there I missed a call from my mother.  I told her I had to pick up the message and told her I bet her anything it was my mom calling to make sure I was okay and safe if I was driving in this rain, I put the message on speaker and sure enough it was my never stop worrying mother making sure I was safe if I had been out driving anywhere in the rain.  So again, who knows where I get my worry wart tendencies, but they say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree so I blame her.  My boyfriend says I worry way too much and the world is not coming to an end, but I shrug that off, he also tells me that nerds and candy are not suitable breakfast foods.  To that I always say “psssh, you think granola and plain yogurt is a delicious breakfast treat, I think it tastes like dirt.” 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Scientific Method

Before I even opened my eyes this morning I did not want to get out of bed.  I had the usual morning conversation in my head with myself.  “It’s so warm in this bed and so cold out in the world.”  “I’m so comfortable in Sam’s arms, if I stay I can extend this snuggle a little longer.”  “You probably will have nothing to do at work again today...you’ll probably be all alone at work again today, doing nothing but entertaining the tenants renting space in your head and feeding into your depression.”  “Maybe you should call in sick since she doesn’t need you anyways and spend the day in bed watching Glee.”  Then the voice of reason (which is so faint I rarely hear it), kicked in and said, “you lost a hundred bucks at the casino last night, maybe you shouldn’t be taking anymore time off work.”  “Sam is going to be getting up for work in an hour, so at most this snuggle can be extended for 60 more minutes.”  “You only have five more episodes of Glee until you are caught up, maybe you should space them out a little bit more so you have something to look forward to.  Instead of doing what you did with the Twilight series and the Hunger Games, reading them all in a week and feeling like you lost your best friend to a horrific parasitic disease from the jungle when you were finished.” Then the last thing my head said that sealed the deal was, “If you get out of bed you can stop at Starbucks on the way to work and sample some more of those cake pops Colleen bought you last night,” that did it, I kissed Sam on the forehead and jumped out of bed as visions of cake pops danced through my head.  My stomach, like a compass to the sailors navigating their way to the new world, guides most of my major life decisions.

There are three flavors of cake pops, Tiramisu, Birthday Cake, and Rocky Road, I have listed the aforementioned cake pops in order of my favorite, Tiramisu being number one.  I did not know that until I did my own little scientific experiment this morning to test which one I enjoyed most.  I learned in my biology class last semester that a hypothesis is an explanation for a phenomenon which can be tested in some way.  A theory is based on a hypothesis and backed by evidence.  Using the scientific method, and my keen taste buds I decided to test my hypothesis which was, “Tiramisu flavored cake pops are the most delectable flavor of cake pops.” 

My friend Colleen is out visiting from New York for her spring break and we decided to take an impromptu trip to the casino last night with my boyfriend and his roommate Robby.  Along the way we stopped at Chick-Fil-A, one of my favorite fast food eateries.  For some reason that I would have to do a scientific experiment to explain to you, Chick-Fil-A’s are plentiful and littered along the 10 freeway on the way to Palm Springs, but they are very scarce in LA and the surrounding areas.  Every time I go to Big Bear or Palm Springs I look forward to the ritual stop at Chick-Fil-A.  After Chick-Fil-A, Colleen wanted to run into Starbucks, a trip that I decided to forego as I have given up caffeine after 2 pm (another experiment of mine showed me that caffeine was contributing to my increasing anxiety, and my sleepless nights).  It was after 2 pm, so I waited in the car.  Colleen returned and produced one Starbucks brown bag for me with a little treat inside, a Tiramisu cake pop.  I was hesitant, I had seen the cake pops propaganda in Starbucks for a few days and wondered about them, but I generally find Starbucks cakes too dry so hadn’t tried them yet.  In order not to offend Colleen’s delicate spirit, I decided to take a bite.  It was like biting into a piece of Jesus.  So soft and moist, the perfect texture and flavor, and the perfect ratio of cake to icing.  I decided right then and there that If I was stranded on a deserted island and could only take one thing, it no longer would be my handsome sexy delicious boyfriend who gives me endless pleasure and could entertain me for hours on a deserted island, but Tiramisu cake pops.  This morning when I woke up I decided to test my hypothesis and make sure I wasn’t missing out on a different flavor and realize one day when Starbucks discontinues their cake pops (which inevitably happens with every delicacy I discover, and every nail polish color I love), that birthday cake flavor was like a teenage summer romance “the one that got away.”
I ordered three cake pops at the register and two teas just so the barista wouldn’t think I was a binging bulimic that was going to eat all three by myself.  I left Starbucks and disposed of my superfluous tea for my imaginary co-worker as soon as I was out of eyeshot of the barista.  I arrived at work, ten minutes late, and sat down at the table to start my experiment.  All the variables were in place, I was ready to test my hypothesis.  I swished my mouth out with water between tastes so that the pops flavors didn’t mix at all.  They are all like a gift from the heavens, all delicious and perfect in their own separate ways.  But this morning I proved my hypothesis a theory, Tiramisu is the most delicious cake pop of the three.   
I felt like sharing my joy of cake pops with the world.  I felt it would be a disservice to all my friends and selfish of me if I didn’t tell them about this small wonder.  Being the altruistic soul that I am, I updated my status message with my theory.  My friend Tree replied asking what flavor was my favorite and I told her that it would have to be Tiramisu, but that it was a photo finish and Birthday Cake was a very close second, almost too close to call.  Tree found my witty account of cake pops “hilarious” and suggested I start my own blog.  This was my solution, my answer to my prayers, my way to kill the long lonely hours at work.  I have always had an interest in writing and am hoping to someday channel it into a career and write the next great american novel.  This would be a great forum to keep my writers brain active and my dendrites moving and not let everything upstairs turn into mush at a job that doesn’t exactly “challenge” me.  But what would I blog about?  Why would anyone care?  Where could I start?  But I had this nagging feeling that this was something that was right up my alley, and if Tree (who probably is the most witty person I know) had faith in me, then maybe I should give it a go.  No matter what, blogging had to be less destructive and time sucking than stalking people on facebook, looking for the people who made my high school life miserable to make sure they aren’t successful, only to find their damn profile is blocked.  I opened up my lap top, and I gotta be honest, the blog kind of wrote itself. xoxo