Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I hate to check the mail. Perhaps I am reacting to a previous roommate who compulsively checked the mail but the fact of the matter is that I am doing a good job if I think to check it twice a month.  Obviously, if there is a check pending, I will check the mail more often but when I believe all I will find is bills than it tends to be less often.  Yesterday my roommate accomplished the chore after what we both think might have been close to a month of not one check.  Our mailman must hate us.   But upon checking the mail, along with many overdue bills I found that my car insurance had been canceled on (wait for it) MARCH 10TH.  Yes, for two full weeks I have been driving around town with absolutely no coverage.  So this morning, first thing, I called my insurance people to see what could be done to make things right.  I didn’t even attempt to explain why I had neglected to pay my premium which was overdue weeks ago.  I spent most of the day faxing over forms, taking pictures and touching base with my agent/new best friend, Tammy who didn’t judge me, she simply said, these things happen.

I could learn a lot from Tammy.  And yes, my there was very little way I could keep this debacle from my co-workers ultimately ruining any notion they might have had that I was remotely close to a responsible person.  There is really no good reason for a lapse of coverage and seeing as to prior to this I hadn’t the foggiest idea of where the fax machine even was at my work, I couldn’t really keep the whole process secret as much as might have like to.  Worse yet, my roommate discovered there was a warrant out for her due to an unpaid traffic violation.  

Monday, March 23, 2009


March 23, 2009

Tonight while I was bemoaning the lack of good material for my blog I noticed, at a red light on a 210 overpass the following statement graffitied in bright pink “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine de Saint Exupery.  Through a quick Google search I discovered this is a quote from The Little Prince slightly misrepresented. (You can see clearly only with your heart.  What is truly important is invisible to the eyes.) This seemed poetic, poignant and somewhat ironic.  Here, amid the gray dinge of a freeway overpass a bold statement about beauty being undetectable by the human eye – well why go to the trouble of writing it brightly in graffiti?   Even funnier, I do believe the graffiti will be removed by the week’s end sort of proving the point of the quote.  Not all beauty is visual and written in a place so ugly, what does it matter?  At least, it is thought provoking and poignant.  This is a nice break from the genre of graffiti that is a bunch of letters only significant to other taggers.  

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Confession tonight I threw most of my recycling in the regular garbage.  I am not proud. Quite the opposite and even the act of writing this blog is rooted in the vain hope of atoning for my sin.  I feel like I just outted the Easter Bunny. My roommate and I recycle or more accurately I, save for tonight, throw my recyclables into a series of bags she takes to the recycling center which I am told is in Monrovia.  We give the valuable items to our friend. 

The trouble area, and 100% of what I threw away tonight, is newspaper. Somewhat ironic in this era when newspapers are on the verge of collapse, my kitchen shelving unit was equally on the verge of collapse due to the weight of all of my newspapers.  Yes, I am one of the three people that still subscribe to the nearly defunct LA Times, but the wretched newspapers, who I regard with the disdain of a scorned lover, have no place to go but to become unsightly fodder in our terribly uncreative recycling scheme. I know most people have one of those green bins they can put all of their recycle items into that goes out with their non-recycling but because my landlord is one of the thriftiest people I have ever met; our complex is sans green bin.  Oh, how I wish we had a green bin. 

But what choice is to be made?  I have no garage to let the items be sorted properly; instead they bring such clutter to my already small with a capital (S) kitchen.  And tonight it got to the point I was so embarrassed and somewhat afraid they might be posing a fire hazard, I decided I couldn’t handle it anymore.  And so, I am sorry to admit despite saving them for months, I just single-handed ruined the environment by throwing away recyclable items. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

soul crushing

Note: picture above is the Miami sky line.

Over the weekend I watched a lot of TV. Ordinarily, said with a high dose of self-righteousness, I try not to watch TV (except for the love of my life John Stewart). However, Friday I called in sick to work due to a terrible but thankfully brief bout with the flu – the kind where you can’t even stand.  When I am sick, or I should say that sick, mostly all I do is watch TV and try to sleep.  And of course, Sunday there is DH and “Brothers and Sisters” both of which have been really good lately.  (Okay, I also watched DWTS).

Through the course of all of the TV watching, the phrase “soul-crushing” kept ringing in my ears.  I think it was either a commercial or an advertisement for some new show about working in an office.  And now that I am working in a office – it got me thinking about the whole concept. 

Don’t get me wrong, if “soul-crushing” was Detroit my new job would be Miami.  It is going exceedingly well.  But what I think might be “soul-crushing,” for me is working in general.  It is getting in the way of my art, my passion all that is life-giving for me.  Case in point this blog which I have terribly neglected.  Part of why I started my first blog was more than just a pet project but rather a strategic way to really work on becoming a writer. Now that I have a full-time gig, the desire to write hasn’t faded but most days I am out of energy to work towards it. 

I’ve heard it said do what you love and you will never work a day in your life but like true love, I wonder how many people ever indeed find that kind of fulfillment.  Is earning a paycheck just a means to an end?  There is a scene from a movie; I think it might have been “City Slickers” where a character talks about people spending most of their lives tied up in knots only to untie them on vacation.  I don’t want my life to be that; I don’t want to live from vacation to vacation or weekend to weekend.   Alas, I must conclude as I have to get to the office.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


yes, I was in Mexico for a bit and will hang that as my most recent excuse for the lack of posts...but here are some pics: 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

salsa lessons

I know I am slow in my blogging these days...

While in Cozumel last week, Mexico my friend and I stumbled upon a beach front bar offering Salsa Lessons and live music.  In truth, we came in for a drink and the hopes of finding out where there might be fun things happening in a city so foreign to us.  Imagine our surprise when an amiable local invited us to join in a Salsa lesson she was beginning momentarily.  We asked two questions – (A) Did it matter we were two women without male partners? and (B) Was it free? She answered, at least in what I understood, no to lack of partners and yes to it being free (gratis). 

We happily joined the ten or so others – a hodgepodge of expats, locals working in the tourist industry and friends of the establishment.  I must digress while my friend is an above average dancer having taken many dance classes in her day; I am not one to flourish in structured dance lessons.  In fact, when we signed up for ballroom dance classes a while back I, without exaggeration, got kicked out on the behest of another student and the teacher.  This is not to say I am not a good dancer, in fact I routinely get compliments on my dance ability when in a free form setting. 

After the dance lesson was over, we returned to our original table and it was clear to me I was no closer to mastering Salsa than before the class started but was happy to have joined in meeting some interesting friends.  We were looking forward to the band that was to arrive shortly.  We ordered another round of drinks trying to absorb the last night of our fun-filled vacation when our teacher stopped over to our table to demand our payment for the class. 

Of course the conversation started out nicely – but quickly got uncomfortable.  We never agreed to pay for Salsa lessons and understood the lesson to be free.  She insisted she told us no such thing and we needed to fork over the fee for the class like the rest of the students.  A man wearing all white and filled to the brim with Machismo we understood to be the owner came over to help rectify the misunderstanding.  Yes, indeed we needed to pay our fee for the class we took he confirmed.  We got our bill for our drinks deciding to just leave frustrated at the whole misunderstanding but confident we ought to stand our ground. 

Without exaggeration, the owner followed us up the walkway, blocking our exit and at one point grabbing my arm as to prevent me from going any further.  My friend was outraged – she got into more of a direct conflict the owner offering an ultimatum – what are you going to do, call the cops? she asked.  Yes, he pulled out his cell phone and called someone he obviously seemed to know all the while remaining in a position that effectively blocked us from exiting. 

Around this time, one of the other class members an ex-pat who sold time shares came over and we updated him on the whole scene.  The teacher and the owner had pulled the same stunt on the entire class and even though we stuck to our guns his entire group had begrudgingly paid the fees.  In truth, I think he was envious/proud of us for having such resolve and took it upon himself to be our agent a fire further fueled when I told him the owner had grabbed my arm.  As all but one of his group members left, he confronted the owner claiming he knew the other silent and absent owner.    The owner who was obviously just as stubborn as us was unchanged by our ex-pat agent friend’s passion. 

Sure enough the Mexican police, who I have lived most of my life fearing, dropped by and long before either my friend or I, the alleged criminals in this situation could speak to any of them both our ex-pat agent and the owner spoke at great lengths with them.  In fact, we were so irritated at the lack of access to the police we decided to go over and plead our case in so doing, the owner again blocked us a pivotal moment demonstrating how we had been held hostage the entire time. 

After much going back and forth, the police finally freed us to go. The first moral of the story – if you are ever in Cozumel, don’t take salsa lessons at Lapalapita.  The second moral of the story – stick to your guns no matter what.