Sunday, August 17, 2014

Alphabet Hallucination

This morning around dawn I seemed stuck in a dream.  Or I was coming out of a dream and stuck between sleep and being awake.  Or I was awake and stuck in an early morning alphabet-filled hallucination. 

I always sleep through the night. I never have insomnia and I never have to use the bathroom in the wee hours.  Once I turn out the lights I’m asleep within minutes and don’t wake up until morning.  

One night the Los Angeles swat time surrounded my building.  Helicopters swirled above the building. They were loud. They didn’t wake me.  It wasn’t until the helicopter floodlights lit up my bedroom like a sunburst that I finally woke up.  My body thought it was dawn.  That’s how sound I sleep.

Once I wake up I’m full of cosmic energy ready to jump our of bed and dance to Pharrell’s “Happy” (which is quite the enjoyable sight to see). 

But this morning I couldn’t get myself from the sleep state into the awake state.  I was in limbo, the purgatory of sleep, and there was only one thing on my mind.

I couldn’t figure out how to spell the word “leisurely.”  The alphabet was bouncing around in my brain like millions of pingpong balls.  My frustration was bordering on hysterical.  I kept wanting a dictionary but no dictionary was within reach.  The one I keep beside my bed was nowhere to be found.   

Leasurelee… leezureley… My mind was hurting. 

Leasurelee… leezureley… My mind couldn’t remember. 

Leasurelee… leezureley… My mind cried out for help from the Spelling Bee Gods.  

The alphabet teased me relentlessly, bullying me with its letters, taunting me, laughing at me, humiliating me, shaming me… 

I was scared I might never be able to spell correctly. It was like I was drowning in a sea of alphabet soup and there was no lifeguard to save me, no life jacket, and when I reached out the letters pulled away forcing me down down down to the bottom of the broth.

I held my breath. I gathered what little strength I had…

Leasurelee… leezureley… liesurely… no, no hell no!

Leasurelee… leezureley… L-E-I-S-U-R-E-L-Y… yeah! 

I swam to the light and emerged from my alphabet hallucination… 

And I sang Clap along if you know what happiness is to you… because I’m happy…. so friggin’ happy… 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

An Inked Wrist Destination

My eyes wander always looking north and south and east and west aware of everything and everyone around me. Sometimes I see things no human eyes should ever see, and sometimes I see things that get me all revved up. 

Not too long ago I was eye-wandering at a film conference and noticed a woman’s wrist. It was a slender wrist that was very lady-like.  It was a wrist you could imagine being in a generic wrist watch commercial.  

Then I saw something that got me all revved up.  Adorning her wrist were a few bangles and underneath the bangles I glimpsed a colorful wrist tattoo.  

As her wrist moved so did my eyes doing my best to look between the jingling bangles and identify what the tattoo could be.  I turned my head in all sorts of directions for a better look.  And there it was… a map of some sort.  Possibly a treasure map? There were different colored lines going in different directions. I needed to see more.

Just as she was about to walk away I eye-wandered north and within seconds we were eye to eye. Smiles. Hello. 

She asked me something about the seminar we just attended, initiating proper film conference conversation, but I was too tattoo-focused to answer her accordingly. 

Then it dawned on me. It was a subway map. Was it from my beloved Boston? Was she a fellow Bostonian and possibly from the same suburban landscape as myself? 

I immediately inquired. She seemed pleased, and somewhat relieved, for the change of subject.  Grinning like a cheshire cat she announced it was a tattoo of the Chicago subway map.  I immediately asked “Are you from Chicago?”  She was, and proud of it.  She said if she ever moved back she could always find her way around the city.  

Because I live in Los Angeles in Los Feliz should I tattoo my wrist with the 181 Bus Route?  The bus stop is in front of my apartment and it goes northeast and west.   Whenever I need to take a bus (usually once a year) I waste time online checking to see if the 181 stops at my desired destination. If it were tattooed on my wrist I could save that precious search time and use my time more wisely… to get in another game or two of Candy Crush. 

If the Chicago girl moves to another subway city wouldn’t she, out of habit, keep looking at her wrist for directions and wind up lost in places she didn’t want to be, or where she shouldn’t be?  

Because I’m thinking of someday moving out of this apartment and into another neighborhood I’m going to forego the 181 Bus Route tattoo. 

I’ve decided to tattoo the cab company phone number on my wrist instead.  It’s an 800 number.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sweaty Patchouli Lady

Oh patchouli… that fragrant oil with the distinct scent… it’s making me gag. 

Back in the 80s when I was self-proclaimed “hip” I owned a vial of patchouli oil.  I would liberally baste myself in its fragrance.  

With my permed hair and eternally black clothing I was convinced I was the envy of all suburbanites and urbanites.  If someone turned their nose in aromatic disgust I knew instantly they were not my kind of people, not of my tribe. 

As that decadent decade of synthesizers and alt music and bad hair faded into oblivion I left the patchouli in the sock drawer and got on with my life.   

Every now and then I pass someone on the street or in a store or at a restaurant and a whiff of patchouli permeates my space.  For a split second I’m brought back to a time and a place and the skewed memories of who I thought I was. 

Not too long ago I was at the gym rigorously burning calories on the elliptical machine when a woman came along and stepped on the machine next to mine. 

Whiff whiff… that aroma… whiff whiff… a sudden memory of the 80s… whiff whiff… that stench!… I felt I was about to gag. 

The woman, with long hippy-ish hair, soft cheekbones and thin physique, was wearing patchouli oil. But something was amiss. The patchouli wasn’t the patchouli I remembered. 

Then I noticed beads of sweat crawling down her neck, prominent underneath her bosom, dark against her armpits, and realized that…

Patchouli + Sweat = Gag

I was forced to stop my cardio. My sense of smell was in bad-patchouli overload.

A few days later the same thing happened, but this time she was a few elliptical machines away from me. I smelled her before I saw her.  

I watched people jump on the machine next to her. Their nostrils flared taking in a big whiff of the sweaty patchouli lady. They responded like one responds to a really stinky sulfuric fart or the sudden spray of a skunk. They looked around with the “it’s not me” face and quickly bolted to a machine away from the sweaty smelly patchouli lady.

Does she think she smells alluring? Does she not smell the difference of her body once she puts the oil on and after it’s mixed with her gym sweat? 

Next time she jumps on the machine next time I’m gonna have to tell she stinks and hopefully she’ll move to another machine or else she’ll be on the receiving end of my projectile vomiting.

I’m so grateful I rarely sweat… especially back in the 80s. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

It’s In The Bible

Absurd excuses abound in our every day life.  We hear them from elected officials, so-called “religious” folk, the neighbor across the hall, friends, enemies, co-workers, and the Internet. Our brains are constantly being flooded with absurdities in the social media obsessed 21st Century. 

People are spewing hateful tirades and hideous beliefs. They have the audacity to say all it’s in the name of “God” and the proof/truth/excuse for their actions is “In the Bible.”

I’ve perused the Bible and can’t seem to find those phrases everyone seems to quote when they’re defending themselves. 

Sadly I think the Bible is the most mis-interpreted and mis-quoted book of all time, and the least-read book of all time. It’s lost its way (and its real messages). It seems to me people twist and turn the passages any way they want to support whatever idiotic thing they say. 

All these distorted interpretations of the Bible are just an excuse for bad behavior: 

I hate you because of the color of your skin.  Why?  The Bible says so.

God loves me and hates you. Why?  The Bible says so.

Loving who you love guarantees you eternity in hell. Why? The Bible says so. 

Sherri Shepherd is leaving The View because it says so in the Bible. True! 

Everyone should attend a tea party and forfeit coffee. Why? The Bible says so. 

Throwing bombs at non-believers and killing them is the right thing to do. Why?  The Bible says so. 

Well… I’ve decided to backup all my absurd beliefs and inane spewings with the phrase “It’s in the Bible.”  This way no one can dispute me because it’s in the Bible, and no one questions what’s in the Bible. 

Here’s what I say:

No one should be allowed to watch Fox News. Why? It’s in the Bible.

Never wear sandals when crossing a parting sea. Why? It’s in the Bible. 

Malbec wine should not be served with poisson. Why? It’s in the Bible. 

Everyone who doesn’t go to the gym regularly should not be allowed to eat ice cream. Why? It’s in the Bible.

I dare you to prove me wrong… Why? Because it’s in the Bible. 

The most important thing I know for certain is that absurd excuses for bad behavior give God a throbbing migraine. 

How do I know that? 

God told me.  

Sunday, July 06, 2014

How Yummy is Your iPhone?

I shouldn’t walk around my neighborhood anymore. Every time I do I see something a little odd and it pokes at my brain for the rest of the day and causes me to do things I normally wouldn’t do. 

Today while walking along I saw a man coming out of a coffee shop and heading up the street towards me.  As he approached he licked the front of his iPhone. Oh yes he did.  With his tongue hanging like a dog’s tongue that’s been in the heat too long he licked the front of his iPhone from bottom to top in one long quick swoop.

He saw me see him do this and there was no twinkle of laughter or look of embarrassment or shock of shame.  My immediate thought was this wasn’t his first time licking his iPhone, and probably not the first time licking his iPhone in public. 

Well… that got me thinking… what does an iPhone taste like?  

I thought about it and the thought consumed me. I suddenly had this desire, this need, this uncontrollable urge to lick my own iPhone.  But since I was outside I didn’t want anyone seeing me do it. (We all know how judgmental people can be.)

So… as soon as I got home I pulled it our of my pants and lifted it to my face. I closed my eyes and let my tongue hang low and with one quick swoop I licked it. 

Here it goes...
It tasted just like bacon.  

Who knew that Apple was so innovative, so 23rd Century in a 21st Century world, giving iPhones flavor?  

I suggest taking the iPhone taste test… maybe yours tastes like bacon too? Or maybe yours is coconut shrimp flavored or coffee flavored or pizza flavored or southern fried chicken flavored? 

My secret desire is when I get my next iPhone it’ll taste like a Dunkin’ Donut. I’d lick it every morning for sure… and I’d sneak out of the office to lick it whenever I needed a mid-day snack… and then I’d lick before bed just for the fun of it. 

So what are you waiting for? 

Give it a try and give it a lick. 

How yummy is your iPhone? 

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Tick Tock Crazy Hateful Midge

It must be difficult being Midge.  

She’s an old lady bully.   Actually she’s probably not as old as she looks. In human years she’s probably early 50s though she looks mid to late 60s. Her hateful heart has aged her and not like a good wine. She’s the bad tasting vinegar that needs to be flushed down the toilet. 

Sadly everybody knows a Midge.  For you she might be Laura or Lisa or Thelma or Adriana or even Shawanda.  For me she’s Midge.  A midge is a small two-winged fly that swarms near water or marshy areas where it breeds. How appropriate for the Midge I know.

People warned me not to befriend her, not to trust her, but in that small corner of my brain where I naively believe there’s goodness in everyone I felt the human duty to give her a chance.  I assumed kindness would beget kindness. I was wrong. 

We worked together a few years ago. When I first got there Midge made it clear she was the office leader. Her boss was the big boss and she embraced the power of the position.  There was no questioning Midge. If you didn’t agree with her she would bully you relentlessly until she got her way. 

One day she had a loud tick tock crazy fight with Jimmy the personnel manager and decided she hated him with a passion so intense it was scary.  From then on he could never do anything right and everything he said she mimicked.  She would instant message terrible things about him to anyone who had their instant messenger open.  Others in the office were afraid to call her on her bad behavior.  It was the “better him than me” attitude. 

I tried eating lunch with her a few times but always suffered severe indigestion afterwards.  I then tried water cooler small talk but always left the conversation with a dry mouth and a fear of water coolers. 

A few days after her fight with Jimmy I saw a crouching Midge, her fat ass looking like a beat up beach ball ready to pop, in the parking lot wandering between cars. That evening when Jimmy went to drive home he found his car antenna bent into a knot. 

Jimmy knew she bent his antenna, and when he confronted her she denied it which only made the situation worse.  Shortly thereafter Jimmy took a job at another company. And shortly thereafter I was fortunate to find a better job. 

I often wonder what makes someone like Midge such a hateful bully.  

Her heart is as shriveled as a pitted prune.  

Maybe someday she’ll tire of being so hateful and make a spiritual change for the better.

Until that happens… if you ever meet Midge… run the other way! 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Supermarket Maze

I love spontaneity.  For me it’s like a double expresso after midnight, a quick high of carefree adrenaline to offset my otherwise dullard existence.

In the name of spontaneity I sometimes have white wine instead of my beloved red, pork instead of chicken, quinoa instead of rice, and if I’m feeling dangerously spontaneous I wear my red jockstrap with my white gym shorts. 

Other times I hit shuffle on my iPod just to mix rhythms.  Ooo wee my hips go crazy and my head gets dizzy keeping up with dangling dance beats.  

Sometimes when I wake up and the blues hang heavy over my bed I add cinnamon to my coffee grinds to give my tongue a delicious zip with that first sip.

Those moments of spontaneity are mine to do as I please and when I please. 

There are things in life I don’t like to spontaneously change, especially when I’m not in a  spontaneous mood.  

Currently my favorite supermarket has begun rearranging its store shelves. For the store I’m certain it’s not the least bit spontaneous but the result of months of research and planning, but for me it’s a spontaneous change I didn’t want.

It took me by surprise and sent me on an emotional tailspin. I felt like a mouse in a maze searching desperately for the cheese, and I wanted the cheese and I wanted it badly, and the cheese was no where to be found. 

I clutched my shopping list tightly as I roamed from aisle to aisle.  Where did they put the English Muffins?  Where did they shelve the Pepperidge Farms Milano Melts?  Where oh where did they hide the coffee? Where the fuck was the coffee! 

Nacho chips replaced cereal.  Canned vegetables assaulted me when I was expecting olive oil.  Peanut butter seemed to disappear. The shelf where it happily sat for years was now empty and lonely. 

I was so discombobulated I almost bought decaf beans instead of caffeinated beans, which is the ultimate mortal coffee sin. And we all know all the cinnamon in the world cannot save a cup of decaf.

After taking what felt like hours to find everything on my list I zoomed my cart around other shoppers, almost knocking a few to the ground, to get to the checkout.  The cashier noticed my discomfort and assured me the changes will only enhance the shopper experience.  I didn’t believe her.

I asked how long until the changes are done and she said another few weeks.  

I paid for my groceries and ran from the store. When I got home I realized I purchased two cans of Fancy Feast cat food instead of two cans of Chicken of the Sea. 

Damn. I hate cats. I hate cat food. 

From now on I’m buying my groceries online.