Other crap that's on my mind.

A website about things you probably don't care about, but I do so shove it.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Rain by LA

I've been in LA for a month and it hasn't rained at all. This is obviously unheard of in Seattle.

But LA is well, different.

Everyone takes for granted the amazing 72 and sunny weather they get everyday. So when it rains, we all feel it. People went home early today. Everyone is kinda drowsy. The roads just suck, even worse than normal. And like oh my god, what if my hair gets wet.

In Seattle, we deal with it. We don't buy umbrellas or complain (too much). We don't worry about our make-up or hair, because just like Kurt Cobain said, Come as You Are. And so we do.

Which brings me to yesterday.

I was finally feeling so much better after work last night, and because I'm my father's daughter in the manic way, I decided to walk to Santa Monica (only 3 miles) to see my friend's photos in some production house gallery art thingy happening. I walked there feeling great, and then once I stood in line to enter, I suddenly got hit with the LA ugly stick and felt ill again.

Not sure if it was the fact that the bouncer quizzed me on the secret password, or if it was that I was clearly the least hip person there, or if it was that there were just way too many people crammed together, eating their organic gourmet finger foods, smelling of too much perfume, wearing too much make-up and screaming over the too cool for school band playing right in the middle of everyone. So as fast as I got there, I left.

I talked to Dominic on the way home, explaining that I'm sometimes just way more comfortable in a sweatshirt than in fancy clothes. That Seattle understood this about me. I don't have to dress up for a little gathering. Because in Seattle, you can come as you are and no one gives a shit.

One time, I actually wore white pointy shoes after Labor Day to a bar in Seattle, and someone gave me a very nice compliment on them.

But in LA, I get this uncomfortable feeling a lot. It's the same feeling I had going to parties in high school. The, I just don't fit with you people, feeling. I can talk to you and play nice, but we're clearly not of the same league here. No hard feelings. Really.

So I gave a LA kiss, kiss to my friend and walked back the 3 miles, wearing my Seattle Easy Street sweatshirt with blue pants that are too short and wondering when will it ever rain.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Death by LA

You know when you eat Pumpkin Pie, just so that it doesn't go in the trash, because you know that someone out there doesn't even have pie, let alone a Thanksgiving so you feel bad when there's 3 WHOLE PIES in your fridge, and okay a few slices won't kill you since you are working out so hardcore every day, but then you wake up yesterday at 3am and puke your brains out for 4 straight hours because said pie was probably bought at some shitty grocery store, thus giving me food poisioning and leaving me so weak and tired that even making toast was a 2 hour task.

Oh, you don't know what that's like? Well, I do.

And it totally fucking sucks.

I'm at work today only because I was so happy that I felt somewhat normal. That I haven't puked in 24 hours made me very, very happy. That my fever is gone made me happy too. But I'm still pretty weak and just sitting upright is becoming nauseating. So I'll be going back home pretty shortly, so I can sleep for the rest of the day and night.

I talked to Dominic last night about how it's no fun to be somewhere else when you're sick. Although, I'm not a baby when it comes to this stuff. I don't like someone touching me when I puke. It makes me feel worse. And I don't like going to a doctor who is just going to tell me to rest and eat soup and drink plenty of water. I know the best way to get rid of this is to just flush it out of my system. Not having a fever anymore is one surefire way of knowing I'm almost done with this mess. Keeping cereal down is obviously the other. Keeping pie down would be the ultimate test.

But I'm not testing the pie. Ever, fucking ever again.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Jews by LA

I never really felt connected to the Jewish faith until I lived in two states where no Jews exist: Michigan and Washington. So coming to LA is kinda nice in that not even a block away is some Jewy place with a big star painted on its wall. And the fact that I see Hebrew practically everywhere makes me smile slightly. And that there's actual Jewish deli's and restaurants with words like Nosh or Kosher in them gives me the urge to eat something really bad, but oh so much better than any so-called "deli" in Seattle.

Coming from the land of Jews (South Florida), I thought I would love Seattle for its non-religious point of views. But deep down, I'd like to see some Orthodox kids running around on a Saturday morning, because it's Shabbat. I'd like to say, "Schamta" or "Canineahera" and have people actually understand me. When I say I'm Jewish, I rather someone not respond with, "REALLY?". And I'd like to have the choice of attending a service, even though I probably won't go.

In Seattle, there are 2 places to go that are affiliated with Jews and one of those places was gunned down a year ago.

But in LA, I feel comfortable. When I talk to people at work and mentioned how my mom makes her Spaghetti with KETCHUP, 2 people actually asked me if I was Jewish because that's what there mom's (who couldn't cook) did too.

And this makes me weirdly happy.

Seattle 7 LA 6


Monday, November 19, 2007

Dogs by LA

I'm not the biggest animal lover. I appreciate them from afar. Very, very afar. Basically, I'm not a huge fan of anything that shits in public.

I thought Seattle was bad, what with their decision to let people keep goats as pets and how every day at the last job I had to endure slimy tennis balls being thrown into my cube so that their stupid beasts could have something to do WHILE I WORK.

But LA is quite a different breed, so to speak.

Yesterday I went to Runyan Canyon for a hike and man did that park smell like shit. I'm not being figurative. It literally smelled like dog shit. Everywhere you went. Big dogs. Small, annoying dogs. Cute dogs. Ugly dogs. And one 3-legged dog. It was complete madness. I might've been the only person there sans dog. And while it was a good hike, I couldn't escape the fact that there were probably more dogs than people. I couldn't escape the "Ohhh, how cute's" and the "What is he's?"

I felt like I was at some outdoor kennel hell, but I was the only one trapped in those sad little cages.

I'm not sure what my distaste is for animals. I probably have no soul? I think cats are okay, but ever since I was little I hated when Angel or Rocky (our two cats, both dead now) would sneak into my room.

Even though, I have to live with a cat right now. And sure it's fucking cute, but I still I don't want it near my bed or leaving hair on my things. And I sure as shit don't want that tongue, that you used to lick your anus, anywhere near my face.

So obviously I won't be returning to this particular trail. I was thinking to myself, "But Barrie, the view is kinda nice and it's kinda near JuJu Cereal." Then I almost stepped in a pile of steaming dog feces and gave this trail a definite ax.

Seattle 7 LA 5


Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Place That Was in a Movie by LA

Seeing that it was Dominic's last night in LA before he headed off to Italy, I wanted to do something special.

Originally we were supposed to go to the Griffith Observatory, because I went a week ago and thought he'd love it. We also wanted ice cream for dinner and to go get some drinks and I was planning on leaving a little early from work so we could accomplish all three.

But of course, I couldn't leave early because something came up right when I grabbed my keys.

So we ditched the Observatory plan and decided to stick with the other two destinations. The ice cream was good, but The Dresden was just great. And thankfully, not at all like the bar we went to a few days earlier.

This is the kind of place I wish we had more of in Seattle. I think we might have some, but they charge a cover so you know I don't go.

The Dresden was in Swingers, during the scenes where he finally picks up a girl and pretends to almost rip the paper her number was written on (but then screws it up by calling her about 15 times in 10 minutes).

This place reminds me of something my grandparents would go to at my age. It's just a nice, unpretentious environment with white leather cove like couches, mood lighting and smiles all around. Then at 9, the lounge singers come out and perform the greatest lounge type songs ever. I guess they've been doing this for like 25 years or something and they still got it. The crowd is mixed and not a snob in sight. This seems like the place to pick up someone special, or to have a great first date, or to celebrate something, or just have a drink and a good time.

And if it didn't take 45 minutes to get there (like everything in LA) I'd be at The Dresden all the damn time.

Seattle 6 LA 5


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stars by LA

I don't think I've seen any stars yet. I thought that I might have seen The Edge from U2 at my gym, but the only reason I thought this was because this dude wore the same beanie that The Edge always wears. And I heard he lived in Venice.

So yesterday, Dominic and I went to the Mann's Chinese Theatre to look at all the stars names and do something truly touristy.

We succeeded.

We took pictures of Steve McQueen's star and yes, Mom, I have a picture of Frank Sinatra's hands which I'm sad to report are the same size as mine. I'll give it to you when I have a moment.

Did you know that Cuba Gooding Jr. got a star? And that Judy Garland is right next to Arsenio Hall? And that you won't even know who most of these "stars" are. And that lots of them are repeated more than once. And I didn't see Barbara Streisand or Lucille Ball, but I did see Daffy Duck and the band Journey.

The whole walk is something to see, take pictures of and only do when tourists are in town. Just like The Space Needle. The only difference is that you don't have to wait in a long line to ride an elevator, and you actually get a little thrill finding Tom Cruise's star right next to some bums getting ready to shoot heroin.

Seattle 6 LA 4


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Bar by LA

I've done all these things, events, hikes, what have yous. But haven't been to a bar yet.

And what better time to get a glass of Pinot Gris than for a friend's birthday. Luckily this bar was in walking distance, and it was typically nice outside so no car was needed for this taste test.

But when Dominic and I walked into Beechwood, I immediately felt underdressed in our matching hoodie outfits. This was obviously a hipster type of place, complete with people talking in their little cliques and drinking their expensive drinks.

They were all making connections and talking about fucking advertising, and you can't help but get wrapped up in it. Luckily, we avoided business talk by listening to a guy who wanted to give Dominic and I advice on how to grow old together.

As for the actual place, the furniture was "cool" and "modern". The fireplace was most impressive and just made me long for smores. The only thing missing was some hipster video displayed on the walls, while a DJ spins his records.

But I bet that happens on Fridays.

I'm not saying Seattle is much better. Everyone thinks Cha Cha's is the coolest, when I just can't stand how hard it tries to be cool. But I also never felt more out of my element than at a stereotypical *bar in lala land.

Seattle 6 LA 3

*I'm sure not all bars are like this in LA. Or at least, I hope they're not all like this. Because if I see one more girl with skinny jeans and high heeled boots over them while sipping a martini, I might just scream.


Monday, November 12, 2007

The Event by LA

I've been looking everywhere for things to do and see whilst here. To the point, that I almost considered changing my job to Web Researcher of Events and Cool Things. I'm pretty sure that job exists. Just means I'd have to start another blog.

On Friday, I went to this Paper magazine 24 hour shopping store, where I saw a lot of young kids dancing it up next to cool clothes, trying to be cool and well, it was just cool... I guess. I can't even tell you the overpriced stuff they were selling, because once I saw a pack of gum cigarettes nothing else mattered to me anymore. The best part was that since they couldn't break my change, I got the pack for free. That plus a free Paper magazine made this event a success. Even if I felt slightly old (and stoned) and not nearly as cool as some of these hipsters.

Why is it that all these kind of clothing bonanza events have to have loud, kinda irritating music throughout? They do the same thing at the Crocodile Cafe once a month and the music + same crafty shit I see everywhere sometimes keeps me away.

I also end up finding things in Seattle, like Unzipped and Miranda July's reading party and concerts galore and art parties at Motels that are about to get torn down and hopefully one day, One Pot.

I think the only difference amongst the 2 cities is that in Seattle, these events are taken over by art types, bum types, weird types and me.

In LA, these events are filled with bright lights, cameras and the hope that someone famous will show up so they get more publicity.

Seattle 5 LA 3


Friday, November 09, 2007

Whole Foods in LA

I'm not really a Whole Foods gal. If I want something organic I go to the Sunday Farmer's Market right across from my apartment. There's a Whole Foods in Seattle but it's a little further away from the QFC, so I don't usually go. And I'm not quite sure what all the hoopla is about. They have restaurants inside. Ohhhh, said sarcastically. I actually heard most of them aren't very good, and more importantly not at all organic.

But I guess this Wednesday a new Whole Foods arrived in Pasadena. Everyone was talking about it.

While I most likely won't go there on a weekly basis, I am curious about this butter bar and this fresh jelly aisle and the TORTILLA MAKING MACHINE! But I could care less that someone could do my shopping while I get a massage. What is this - the future?

For me, it's all a bit too much. When I go grocery shopping, I get my shit and go. I like looking at new things, but I don't want to be there for hours. I understand Whole Foods and that they want to make their grocery store more like an experience, rather than just shopping for food. But I don't like where this is all heading. It's making us all more spoiled. It's turning everyone into foodies and snobs, when in reality it's just a fucking grocery store with a food court. And a massage table. And a wine and tapas lounge area. And fair trade flowers from Ecuador.

But of course, as I mock, I'm looking at Google Maps right now to find the quickest way to get there.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Movies by LA

I saw another screening last night. This time at my house, thanks to my writer/director roommate for a week. I wasn't really expecting to catch the screening (and kinda hoping I'd miss it) because I was at work late and really just wanted to curl up in bed whilst knitting the Prairie Tunic. But I got home to "Sit down, we're watching a movie and here's a bong and some tea and tell us what you think."

I definitely noticed this little trend in LA. Everyone is writing or directing or acting in something. My other roommate is supposedly writing a book, although the only thing I've seen him do on his laptop is scour myspace for hot young "things" and watch whatever basketball game is on the telly. And I don't think he has a job.

It's kinda like Microsoft and starving artist/bums in Seattle. You're either one of the two and no matter which one you are, you're definitely drinking coffee in the rain without an umbrella.

Not sure which one is better though. The people in LA all think they're the greatest. That they just made something that will definitely go to Sundance. That if they keep meeting people, making connections and pass out business cards that one day, even if their shit does stink, they'll make it.

It's kinda cute how optimistic they are. Also equally irritating to hear everyone's story and how it's just oh so unique.

On the flip side, Seattle has musicians and artists and geeks. All are kinda modest. Most are passive aggressive.

I know the latter might sound worse, but for me it sounds less fake. While the optimism is fine and dandy, the pessimists always seems more real,right?

Either way, this one is clearly a tie.

Seattle 4 LA 3


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Shop by LA

Ok, well this is a no brainer. Obviously LA wins hands down in the shopping race against Seattle. I mean remember Pretty Woman or for the youngsters out their, The Hills? Seems like shopping is to LA what coffee is to Seattle.

And sure, Seattle has lovely stores, but there isn't really a whole street of them. You go to Fancy Schmancy in Belltown or Pretty Parlor in Capitol Hill and other little boutiques that are spread out amongst Fremont, Ballard and Greenwood. While their stores are the cutest and reasonably priced, the sheer mass of good stores belongs to LA.

I live near two main streets where shopping is abundant and clothes are just dying to be bought. To the left is The Promenade and I hate it. This area is just like Downtown Seattle but without the reward of Pike Place's fruits, veggies and the view of the mountains. Instead The Promenade is a long outdoor strip of Gaps, Banana Republics and any other high end retail stores. Along the way you'll see 5 year olds tap dance for quarters and singing Like A Virgin while playing a keyboard. It's just so sad and yet I'm compelled to go back because they have Buffalo Exchange, where I know I'll be able to score some cute little thing for a quarter of the price. Thank goodness for used clothes!

It's prettier twin is on the right and known as Abbott Kinney St. The person Abbott Kinney is actually the dude who brought Venice, Italy to Venice, CA, complete with canals and gondolas. Or so I'm told.

I finally got a chance to walk to this side last night, sans wallet because I know myself all too well. I went into stores that were opened past 6pm and touched everything. If I had my wallet I would've bought a card that said "Sorry" on the outside and "Asshole" on the inside for $4. I would've also bought the first edition of Found. And these clip on earrings that cost $80 but were so worth it. And then I would've bought the softest long jacket for $158, but I couldn't decide if I should get it in blue or brown. Eek! I loved this area. Sure it was pricier than anything I'd usually spend, which is $0.00, but seeing that I'm getting a lot of money soon I feel like I could just treat myself to one thing. Maybe two.

Seattle 4 LA 3


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Food by LA

I sit next to a girl who loves Seattle food. She loved this Thai place and this other place I can't remember. And I have to agree, Seattle definitely has some good to great places to eat.

But LA takes it on variety.

There's everything from your typical, but delicious Mexican taco stand to my personal favorite, JuJu Cereal Bar. I haven't been to this cereal place, although I've heard of these type of places popping up more and more lately and was once deeply disappointed when a Cereal Bar joint at an airport wasn't open at 9pm.

I love cereal. Well, really I just love Trader O's, because it's the only thing I've found that has basically no sugar, no nothing and doesn't taste like Kashi Cardboard.

Where was I?

Oh right, food. So yesterday I went with my friends to what was described on yelp as a Chinese restaurant, which unlike the rest of my family, I'm not the hugest fan of. Too much flavor seems to always spoil the veggies and chicken, and then I feel like I just ate a bunch of sauce rather than food.

But Maos was different. It was more soup and noodles than sauces and fried things. Maos was good, simple and fast, but not too fast (always important). There were, as Chinese food goes, too much leftover and me being of the nature that I can not waste I took everything home.

I'm not saying this was the best noodle place ever. I love this place in the ID (International District in Seattle), where I can never remember their name but they make the best green noodle shrimp concoction. I am saying that Maos was good and didn't leave me feeling stuffed like most Chinese restaurants that I can't stand.

After that, we walked along the Venice Canals and looked inside people's houses because they're all made of glass.

All in all, it was a nice evening filled with good food, friends and glass houses.

Seattle 4 LA 2


Monday, November 05, 2007

Hiking and Cops by LA

Hiking in LA is interesting. I went on 2 this weekend. One of which I think doesn't have a name. The other was Temescal Canyon Loop. I wasn't sure about the loop aspect of the latter, as I couldn't really find an end in sight and after an hour and a half I just decided to walk back. The paths weren't very clear and boy oh boy were there a lot of Arabs. Again, not sure why there were more Arabs here than in all of Israel, but they were chatting it up in every available rest stop having deep discussions and laughing their asses off. They didn't actually seem like they were hiking. More like gathering in the middle of the woods to conduct business. It was funny to say the least. The waterfall I was expecting to see was all dried up and all in all, a kind of confusing trail.

The first hike, the nameless one, I went with Mark and his friend Dawn. It's their weekly hike and I was just tagging along. This one is also kinda boring, but hard inclines so it makes for a great workout. The only excitement was that we were above the fog and clouds so it looked as if we were in heaven. If there is a heaven. Which there is not. So really, it just looked like we were hovering above some cloud like sea. That and the fact that we saw 2 deer was pretty cool.

I love deer. Doesn't everyone?

But nothing in the world will beat Wallace Falls, or Mount Rainier and let's not forget the Olympic National Park.

Seattle 3 LA 1

After those hikes I did lots and loads. I saw some international chick flick at the AFI movie festival, where according to the very exciting gay guy in front of me, Nicole Kidman was in the theater next door.

After that, I hopped in my car to hit the Giant Robot exhibit/party. I had to make a U-turn from my parking spot and right as I did this I see a motorcycle cop. He pulls me over immediately and whips out his dick face. He says things like, "I'm a huge dick. Give me your ID." Then I say things like, "I'm so sorry officer. I didn't see any No U-turn signs." And he's all like, "Well, you look smart enough to drive and you should know you can't make u-turns in business areas." And I'm all like, "Oh no. Actually I didn't know this. I just moved here a week ago and I'm all new to this driving in LA thing." And he's all like, "I'm a huge fat dick and I'm gonna keep reprimanding you until you cry." And then I'm like, "Wah wah girly cry."

He then checks out that I'm a normal law abiding citizen, who hasn't driven in 2 years. Hands me my license sans ticket and continues on with his dick life, where I'm sure he'll be beating his wife thereafter. Whew!

Why do cops have to be like that? Why am I forced to drive? Why do I hate it so?

Seattle 4 LA 1

The exhibit was cool, but I was so sad about this asshole cop that I was shaken up for the rest of the night. I drove home like a grandma and wished I was on a bus somewhere in the rain.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Art by LA.

Yesterday was better than other days. I went to see Murakami at the Moca. It was pretty damn impressive and if you're in LA I highly recommend it. The guy is a trip and a genius. Especially for selling all those Louis Vuitton bags for more than my rent. You should've seen how many people walked out with $500 calendars. Oh,LA how you waste your money.

The best part was that I got to go through all these different sectors of LA. First, I went through boring El Segundo, then some Japanese looking town, then through some sketchy area with bars on anything that had a window and then I went through a downtown looking area and finally ended up in Little Toyko, which was by far my favorite. I may even go back this weekend to see the Giant Robot exhibit. That is if I want to deal with driving an hour to get there. We'll see, it's a possibility.

So I guess this means LA wins this one. While Seattle has great exhibits and a brand spankin' new oversized museum, I think LA will have more to offer in the art department.

Seattle 2 LA 1

Onto other news, I'd love to find out what some non-touristy things there are to do around these parts. I'll make it to the Hollywood sign and I'm sure I'll see Brad and Angelina eventually, but what else is there to do around here? I need links people. Not just of restaurants. I wanna know where the indie, unusual movie theaters are at. Great hikes that don't require a 2 hour drive to get there. Some weird alley that has cool shit in it (there's one in Ann Arbor, where a guy does Michael Jackson dances all day long. Not for money or anything, cause that would be too weird. He's kinda near Urban Outfitters for my Michigander readers). Um, good comic book stores. Pretty libraries. Yarn stores that aren't too snobby or expensive. Anything.

I tried going on AskMeta, but did you know you have to pay $5 to join? What a crock of shit. Isn't that what ads are for, so that we people don't have to pay.

So I'm coming to you folks. Any links of your favorite places would be much appreciated.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Gym in LA

It's really gonna sound like I hate this city. It's not horrible. But I have to gripe because it's just not Seattle. Otherwise known as the greatest place on Earth.

Thus, Reasons why I hate Gold's Gym in Venice.

1) Probably the most intimidating place I've ever been to.

2) I'm the fattest one there. I'm the palest one there. I'm the ugliest one there.

It's kinda crazy. Everyone there, including the women, are supermodel freaks. They all have muscles meant to be seen in competitions. The men and women who aren't wearing Ipods are clearly looking to flirt around the gym. And there's not a gay guy in sight.

3) Plus, no one is very friendly.

I already had an annoying conversation with an employee about the legalities of how often I was allowed to come for free, because I'm already a Gold's Gym member. He talked to me like he could give a shit. Probably because I'm not a supermodel, tanned, freakozoid. He says, "You only get 14 visits. After that, it's $10 a day." To which I was like, "Uhh. I only pay $20 a month at my Gold's Gym. And my place never mentioned anything about this 14 day rule when I asked for the Travel Pass" He's all like, "Sorry, not my problem." And ever since, I've just avoided him and his stupid sign in sheet.

I try to be as friendly as possible to people like this. But these people are never satisfied. They're always dicks. But sometimes to get what you want you just have to play dumb and "forget" to sign in. "Forget" that you had that conversation. "Forget" that he's a total douche.

4) And then today was the breaking point.

A guy next to me totally farted the smelliest fart ever. I couldn't escape. I was on this killer machine that I love! So I just held my breath and hoped the stink would go away.

5) My last gripe is the crowd. I've never seen a gym so packed at 6am. You have to fight for machines and weights. I'm constantly scanning for open spots. This is why people don't go in the afternoons. It's why I don't go in the afternoons, because it's annoying and wastes time and disrupts your ritual.

Seattle's Gold Gym is clearly the winner here. It's just me and 5 gay guys every morning. The employees are always super friendly and say hi/goodbye and they even credited my account once when the Gym didn't open twice in one week. You don't have to fight people for a machine in order to work out. And you actually have a good time reading your book on the elliptical machine.

So for those who are keeping score:

Seattle 2 Los Angeles 0