Saturday, September 25, 2004


Yes, kiddo, I’ve stalled long enough in my little tale of Gimlets, Starbucks and Scandal. I suppose before going any further I should explain a little something about me. Namely my talent for finding stiffs. I still remember the first one like it was yesterday’s breakfast. It started one dark and rainy afternoon. Not the kind of dark and rainy that happens in the rest of the country, but the uniformly black clouded sky and deep torrential rain that comes with El Nino every so often after months of dry weather, drowning the L.A. Basin and taking a few people with it for good measure. In a town where the homeless population never harbors the fear of freezing to death, but setting up camp in the usually dry areas of the L.A. river during the rainy season can mean a watery death sentence. Of course when the newsies report on the casualties of Storm Watch you only hear about the random teenager that tried to boogie board in the river, getting dead in the process. The invisible remain invisible and what’s one fewer than yesterday if you didn’t notice them to begin with?

My first mistake was that I was doing the unthinkable. I was walking. No one does that here, which makes it all the more easy to miss something if you’re moving quickly in a car. I happen to like walking in the rain if I don’t have to be anywhere with my lipstick straight anytime soon. It’s good for the skin and even better for a hangover, which I happened to have in spades. I was walking in the rain, soaked through to the skin hoping against hope that the knitting needles impaled through my eyes into the back of my head would leave me, when I tripped over something I thought was a tree root. The tree roots around here are constantly winning in the war between Nature and Cal Trans sidewalk maintenance, so exposed roots and broken sidewalks are something of a normal part of the urban terrain. I recovered my balance while letting a particularly foul expletive escape my lips, looked toward the source of what tripped me, when I saw it. A leg. A human leg. A rather non-descript leg as legs go but for the fact there was nothing attached to it. The knitting needles moved themselves a bit deeper into my eyes at that point causing what was left of last night’s binge to abruptly leave me and take up temporary residence on the sidewalk. I figured the rain would get rid of it soon enough. From my bent over position I looked up and around me, and low and behold, under the ficus hedge adjacent to the sidewalk, I saw what appeared to be the owner of the leg protruding from under the hedge. At that point I thought it best to thank modern technology for the mobile phone and promptly called the police.

After that day, it seemed that I attracted dead bodies, specifically those not dead of natural causes, much like a bug light attracts a moth. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s the fact that I happen to like looking around at my surroundings. Maybe it’s that I happen to like watching people, rather than pretending that they aren’t around unless they can do something for me. Whatever the reasoning, this little talent I’ve developed seems to rather annoy the men in blue of this fair city, and I’ve frequently been called in for questioning. I guess if I knew someone who kept inexplicably happening upon murder victims I would periodically wonder about their innocence. They’re just doing their job and I’m not bitter. I’d just as soon not happen upon the stiffs if I had any choice in the matter, but the cards don't play that way.

Which brings us to the stiff in Starbucks. From what I got from the news and the cops, it turned out the guy, as I suspected, was a musician. His stage name was Heathcliff and he played a regular gig at the Anti Club. When he wasn’t playing music, he was trying to pay for his rent by working as a janitor at the Jiffy Lube two blocks over from Starbucks. How he got dead was that someone hit him over the back of the head with a lug wrench found on the premises. How he got from Jiffy Lube to the bathroom floor at Starbucks without anyone noticing was anyone’s guess. I was pretty sure somebody noticed. If anyone did, though, the cops weren’t saying. They’re like that.

I hadn’t seen the sissy since that day. I figured I’d run into him eventually walking his dog with no poop baggie through the neighborhood. I didn’t. I never saw the sissy in my neighborhood again after that because it turned out the sissy wasn’t a local and the dog wasn’t his dog. Proof one more time that a man with bedroom eyes is nothing but trouble.

to be continued…..

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Alrighty then ladies and gentlemen, since I awoke this morning with Bile on the Brain - (see previous blog, Boys and Girls, Bile Can Be Fun) - and since a member of the office team at my Cubicle Job made the unfortunate choice of asking me the polite question, "How are classes going?" (in the lunch room, the silly silly fool)- I felt it necessary to talk about my experimenting with Bile just as the Human Resources Director put a big forkful of food in her mouth. Well, they asked. I answered. That's the polite thing to do when someone asks you a question. Now it may have been a bit passive aggressive on my part to time my answer to the HRD's lunch bites, but people are frequently passive aggressive with Human Resource Directors in my experience. I think the term "Human Resource" is what brings it out in me (though people that willingly and cheerfully accept that job title are of questionable integrity and may very well have it coming.) I just don't like the term. Construction Paper, Glitter, Glue and Elbow Macaroni are resources. I am not a resource. I am much too fabulous to be a mere resource. And since I don't think of dogs, kitties, otters, kingdom animalia or plantae members, asparagus ferns, etc (okay, I guess some livestock or plant matter might be considered a resource if broken down into recipe ingredients, but then they are actually ingredients, not resources) I hardly think humans make the cut. Auntie H., who was present in the lunch room, THANKFULLY picked up the gauntlet of discussing the disgusting whilst people were enjoying their unpaid half-hour lunch break and ran with it. Now in these situations, I find the people who know how to live a little, will generally get into the spirit of the discussion. They might even contribute a tidbit here and there. The uptight people with morally ambiguous job titles will generally beat a hasty retreat into the dark corners of their cubicles where they belong, which is the general intention.

Which brings me to the word of the day. It came up during the melee that was to be our unpaid half-hour lunch break.


Bilirubin is the main bile pigment that is formed from the breakdown of heme in red blood cells, and a word not contained in Chapter 5: Enzymes, in my Biology for Non-Biology majors textbook. I found, upon further investigation, that Bilirubin is NOT just for adding a spiffy color to bile (God forbid it should be clear), but it is apparently a Viennese Jazz Trio and an adult Film Star. Who knew something I'd never heard of until today, was not only responsible for the color puke-yellow, but versatile enough to play jazz and do the nasty on camera and get paid for it. That's just... neat.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Boys and Girls, Bile Can Be Fun

Darlings, I know I owe a Chapter 6 to my ongoing hack noir serial, but....

It’s not every day that a person gets to play with bile. Yes, you read correctly. Bile. A bitter, alkaline, brownish-yellow or greenish-yellow fluid that is secreted by the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and discharged into the duodenum and aids in the emulsification, digestion, and absorption of fats. One does not generally get an opportunity to play with bile for any reason. As in, not one's own bile. Someone else’s bile. I think it safe to say that most people might find the act of playing with bile an eensy bit weird.

Not if you are taking Biology for the Non-Biology major.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, tonight I found out why my dear friend Esmé recommended that I take Botany, rather than Biology. I thought it was because she was a vegetarian, when in fact, it was simply so she would not have to play with a bitter, alkaline, brownish-yellow or greenish-yellow fluid that is secreted by the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and discharged into the duodenum and aids in the emulsification, digestion, and absorption of fats. Now what really has me curious is the wondering where they got the bile. I don’t think you can get that at Ralph’s. I’ve never seen it there, though I suppose if you asked the butcher really nicely, they might be able to rustle some up. Or not. See I’m not even sure what species the bile came from that we had to play with tonight. I don’t think you can get synthetic bile. If that was the case, then bulimics everywhere would be buying the stuff by the gallon. Okay, sorry, that was a little gross. But I’m talking about bile. It just sort of dictates that you go where table talk dare not venture.

I think I should also mention here that on Monday night we made inedible Cheese.

Who said life after 40 couldn't be a hoot.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Yes, that’s right. It’s time for another installment of my little tale of murder, coffee cups and experimenting with an L.A. anomaly, namely Politeness. Yes, my friends, my little experiment in that department had been led widely astray, which makes me wonder if its possible for anyone in L.A. to be courteous for any extended period of time. I was frustrated. Finding a body on a bathroom floor at Starbucks will do that.

After dealing with the cops and the M.E. at what was now officially being called a crime scene as opposed to some poor stiff simply keeling over while on the can, I found the need to go home, have a shower and a drink and a good look at how the day had unfolded to that point. The cops were none to impressed or thrilled with my being there when they showed up. We have a long history together that involves a lot of bad coffee, Krispy Kreme donuts and general unpleasantness.

I got home to my quaint little L.A. bungalow. It’s one of those small stucco affairs built around the 1920’s when everything was either built in the stucco mission style, or the wood Craftsman style. The majority of the Craftsmans you see though, were actually built from kits purchased from the Sears and Roebuck catalogue and designed to be scaled down replicas of the mansions one sees in Pasadena. Those Sears jobs are all over this town and they sell now for about a half a mil. Funny how that goes. I prefer the stucco.

After a lengthy shower, I padded across the floor to the kitchen and fixed myself a vodka gimlet. A tasty little number with equal parts lime juice, vodka and powdered sugar. A little girly, but it works. I sat down with my drink and mentally ran through my laundry list of events that day. First, of course, was meeting the sissy. Our first contact involved him looking startled and surprised when I said “good morning.” Common response around these parts for sure, but his was just a little over the top. Then there was the whole thing with the baggy. A little too agreeable accepting the baggy if you ask me. The common response from those types when called upon to clean up their mess when they walk their dogs is to use a few uncreative expletives that involve activities that are anatomically impossible without the aid of handheld devises. When I tailed him to Beverly Hills I hadn't considered the possibility that he was alert enough while driving and talking on the phone to see me in his rear view mirror. That would be mighty unusual to say the least, but he was driving in a straight line, so I’ll give him credit for that. Then there was the “chance” meeting on the street at the parking meters, completely orchestrated by me, followed by the chance meeting at Starbucks, completely orchestrated by him. Which brought us up to date as far as the sissy was concerned, but asked the question, why did he pull a Casper when the body showed up?

Then there’s the body. Not really my problem, but then it never is. Bodies are always a problem for the police, and that’s who should be handling them. I can’t seem to shake this nasty little habit I’ve got for finding the stiffs however, and it’s really starting to cramp any other activities I might have going. Finding dead bodies is always accompanied by annoying things like answering questions in great detail. It also requires hours out of my day sitting in police stations being interviewed by detectives that are less than impressed with my little talent. I always feel a little sick to my stomach after eating the sixth or seventh Krispy Kreme in an attempt to keep the sugar buzz going long enough to answer questions to their satisfaction so that I can leave the joint.

The body was that of a man in his 20’s I’d say. On the thin side, though by L.A. standards of body weight he would probably be considered portly. Didn’t look like he worked out when he was alive. That made him either a computer geek or a musician. The gray-green complexion suggested he’d been dead awhile, which meant it would have been impossible for him to have died in the Starbucks that morning without being noticed by the morning shift when they came in. Somehow, bizarrely enough, he had ventured unnoticed into the restroom, already dead and with a spare restroom key. A missing soup ladle would have been a dead giveaway something was amiss.

I was definitely going to need another vodka gimlet to make sense out of this one…

to be continued…..

Thursday, September 16, 2004


Well, Kiddo, I see you're back. An appetite for hack and a glutton for witty innuendo. That makes me all gooey. Alright then, let's get on with it.

I was standing at the counter at Starbucks, getting ready to order a badly needed cup of Joe, having just left the sissy with the bedroom eyes out on Little Santa Monica Boulevard after feeding his meter. If you've been following along, you know that's not a euphemism. I was trying to figure out my next move with the guy, when yet again, my day worked out so I didn't have to. I heard his voice behind me.

"Hello again."

"Hello yourself," I said, half turning to half acknowledge him. He was standing behind me in the order line, presumably to buy some frilly California coffee drink. I prefer the stuff straight. No frills. Maybe a little cream now and then.

"You work around here?"


"What do you do?"

"This and that," I said.

"You trying to tell me you're a temp?"

"I'm not trying to tell you anything, actually. I never liked the third degree."

My coffee was ready, so that was my out and I needed to beat it, otherwise my little game was about to be a bust. I picked up my coffee and made to exit but realized I needed to make a quick trip to the ladies room to powder my nose. That's a euphemism. I got the key from the barista behind the counter. The key was attached with a rubber band to a full size soup ladle. I wondered briefly about the mind it took to come up with something like this. I guess the key disappeared a lot and you're not likely to pass over a soup ladle. Doesn't exactly fit in a coffee joint that doesn't serve soup. I started to open the door, but the door was bumping against something in the way. It seemed to give a little, so I pushed harder. I finally got the door open enough to see the body on the floor.

Now I've seen plenty of bodies in my day, but you never get used to running into them in places where they just shouldn't show up. Namely the safe, normal little places you conduct your daily routine. Judging from the shade of gray-green on the face of the stiff, I was pretty sure they were dead, but kneeled down and took a pulse just to be sure. I stood up and started to back out of the john just as another patron came up to get in line for the bathroom and saw the body on the floor. As the patron began to scream that high pitched scream that eats through your eardrums like hydrochloric acid, I noticed the tile on the floor was made up of hundreds of identical tiles with steaming coffee cups painted on the surface. A bit busy for my taste. I turned around to face the screaming patron. It wasn't a patron, but the barista from behind the counter. Mr. Sissy-Bedroom-Eyes was no where in sight.

"Go call 9-11," I ordered.

"Wh-wh-wh-wha-what." stammered the hysterical employee.

I slapped the little squirt and repeated the order.

"Go call 9-11 and get an ambulance here right away." I didn't let on I knew the stiff was dead, but was pretty sure it was a no brainer, even to the Starbucks kid working for $7.00 an hour plus really good benefits.

I turned to look around the shop, taking in everyone there. I was pretty sure they had all arrived after the poor stiff in the bathroom. I was curious as to what happened to the sissy. This could really screw up my on-going experiment.

I just might have to put it on ice.

to be continued...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


If you are just tuning in Doll, you’ll have to back up a couple chapters or this next one will make about as much sense as a bottle of baby formula in the line-up next to the bottles of Grey Goose on the wet bar at Jones’s. Or maybe it might. Depends on what you’re into and to tell you the truth I’m not that interested.

The next important piece to my experiment involved following the sissy. With my car. First, I would have to locate him again after my previously coy exit. He was a local, so he should be pretty easy to spot. He was tall by L.A. standards, which for a guy means anything above five foot five. This one was probably five-ten, stocky, dark hair with that sort of studied messy look that was supposed to represent the morning after a serious bender, but was really achieved by dumping a load of expensive crap in his hair that his personal stylist told him was a must-have. He was dressed a little old school, meaning his clothes matched, he wore socks with his shoes and smelled liked he’d had a bath in the last hour or two. Dove soap.

I pulled my car out of the parking garage in my building. I instantly smiled that kind of smile that a gal only gets when things are working just her way. The sissy drove right by me. I couldn’t have asked for a better deal. It looked like he was talking on the phone so he missed seeing me when he went by. He wasn’t using a headset. I made a mental note of that as I pulled my car out slowly and settled in behind him for the ride.

I should mention here that driving in L.A. is the true acid test of anyone’s civility. At any given moment a person in a car can be driven to shout, single-finger gesture, wave a gun if they’ve got one, shoot it if really provoked or just cram their car up the backside of the idiot they want to kill just to make a point. The insurance will probably cover it. We call it Road Rage. It’s a mental condition caused by there being more cars on the road than there are places to drive to. The only thing we’ve got in abundance that comes close to the car population in L.A. might be Starbucks. Starbucks needs to catch up, ‘cause it is way behind.

I followed the guy down to Santa Monica Boulevard and headed west through Boys Town toward Beverly Hills. We traveled that way for a few miles until he cut left onto Little Santa Monica and started slowing down. That meant he was looking for parking. Another thing L.A. didn’t plan for when it decided to forego public transportation for the personal vehicle. Up ahead I could not believe my eyes or my luck. Two spots, one in front of the other at the meters. I shot into the next lane, cut ahead and backed into the front spot lickety split. The sissy didn’t have a clue. He had that angry look on his face that people get when anyone gets in front of them for any reason whatsoever. He finally realized there was another spot. He started to pull into it. I was already out of my car and at the meter. The meter for his car.

I started putting quarters in his meter as he jumped out of his car yelling, “You wanna tell me what you think you’re doing?”

I looked up and smiled. He recognized me.

“You’re the dame with the baggies,” he said.


“Small world,” he said.

“And it keeps getting smaller.”

“You following me?”


“You wanna tell me why you’re putting money in my meter?”

I chuckled. “Don’t you ever feel like doing things people don’t think you should do?”

He studied me for a beat and answered, “Not during the day.”

“Too bad. You should try it sometime,” I said.

“Yeah. Maybe I will.” He studied me again. I noticed he actually had a nice set of peepers. Green, with little flecks of yellow. Bedroom eyes. I walked back to my car and put my quarters in that meter. He spoke again.

“You know I read somewhere that somebody got arrested for putting money in other people’s meters.”

“Amazing the little things they’ll arrest you over. I guess I’m a bad girl.”

“Are you now?”

“Only during the day.”

I smiled, winked and turned away, heading for the Starbucks on the corner. I knew without a doubt or eyes in the back of my head that I had his attention.

To be continued……

Monday, September 13, 2004


Before I go any further, I should probably mention that the mumbling guy rushing past me, which makes him a bit of a sissy in my book, had a little dog with him. A little dog, and no baggie. That burns me. Apparently the sissy thought that letting little Fido do his daily business wherever he wanted without picking up after him was okay. Which made the man even more of a sissy in my book, but it was my experiment to be polite and this was my cue.

“Excuse me.”

The man looked up at me warily.

“Do you need a bag?”

“A what?”

“You know, a bag. For your dog.”

“What’s it to you?”

“I noticed that you didn’t seem to have one.”


“So I wouldn’t want to see you get stuck with a fine.”

“A fine for what?”

“Breakin’ the law, my friend.”

“I ain’t your friend.”

“If I save you two hundred and fifty Washingtons, I just might be.”

The man took a moment to look me over and I think he liked what he saw.

“Alright, sure, yeah, I could use a bag.”

“You got it.” I reached into my alligator handbag and extracted one lightly scented blue baggie. I handed it to him. He brought the baggie to his nose and inhaled lightly. He smiled.

“Thanks, kiddo. You’ve got some style.”

“So I’ve heard.”

He chuckled and used the baggie to pick up little Fido’s morning deposit. I made that my cue to beat it. I didn’t want to blow my cover just yet and let on I was all over the guy like syrup on the Belgian Waffles at Dupars. Besides, the sissy was starting to grow on me a little and I wanted to play it cool.

“Where’s the fire?” he said as I started to walk away.

“There’s always one somewhere.” I said.

I turned and walked away from him, my spike heels hitting the pavement in a staccato rhythm that made me feel like humming a little tune. So I did. My experiment was off to a fine start.

To be continued...

Sunday, September 12, 2004


Like I said, I live in L.A. The sun shines all the time, the people look like movie stars except when they’re looking like character actors and a lot of the neighborhoods have those cute little California Arts and Crafts houses on cute little streets lined with jacaranda trees that drop cute little lavender petals on the pavement below. The town just screams Nice, Nice, Nicey Nice - that is if you don't look too close. To keep that image going, Hollywood has been under construction for the last twenty years in an attempt to rid itself of the seedy appearance and the even seedier inhabitants that exist between the imaginary boundaries of celluloid and degradation that truly define Home Sweet Home. The enormous population of the real underground Hollywood dweller rears its ugly head just in time to frighten the tourists; like flea season in the summertime. The child prostitutes, the He-Shes on Santa Monica and Vine, the pimps holding meetings at All American Burger, the insane who will follow you screaming at the top of their lungs, the aggressive pan-handlers who don’t take no for an answer. There’s no escape to it. Those city counsel types keep trying though. The construction is all about returning Hollywood to the original illusion we read about or saw in the movies as far back as the early “Talkies.” They even brought back Schwab’s Drug Store. Like a movie set however, L.A. is a city built on illusion. The illusion built of decades of tinsel, gold lame, latex masks, cigarette smoke and smog. A city where your best friend would stab you in the back to get your spot in the dressing room with a single card credit, smile and recite a monologue from “Our Town” while doing it. A city where vice rules and prohibition waltzes in 3-4 time around it. A city where the entitled are in charge, the bus boys are invisible and if they jack up the rents as far as possible, maybe the fleas will take up residence somewhere where the tourists won’t feel the need to scratch. A city where if you say “Good Morning,” you are met with the frightened stare of that unsuspecting passerby who was on the receiving end of your polite greeting and doesn’t know quite what to do.

That happened this morning. It was right after one of my caffeine induced, cheery greetings to one of the locals in my neighborhood that I witnessed that frightened stare. I’d seen it before. The suddenly widened eyes, the paling of the skin with the anxious blush on the top of the cheeks, followed quickly by the lowering of the head with the inaudible mumble as they rushed passed me to their destination. Church maybe. For some reason though, this time it got me curious. What would happen if the guy muttering to himself really had something to be frightened of. I decided to conduct an experiment. My experiment would of course involve my following the aforementioned victim of my morning salutation. It would further involve inflicting various forms of courtesy upon the object of my attentions throughout the day. I was entering into dangerous territory, but my heart was beating and I’d never felt quite so alive. I would have to be very, very careful. What I was about to do might be mistakenly interpreted as Stalking. There are strict laws about that here. They say however, that you are really no one in this town until you've had a stalker. Under those terms, I was about to make this guy's day.

To be continued...

Saturday, September 11, 2004


Friday, September 10, 2004


Yes, ladies and gentleman, a photo (see next post down, please) has been provided for your pleasure and consideration. I think all the kids will be doing it soon. The Vinyl Comb-Over. I found this nifty item for sale on the Internet, or what I prefer to call it: "The World is My Shopping Mall." Okay, seriously think about this for a moment. Imagine a world where this hairstyle not only did not exist, but was illegal.

Today, September 10, 2004, is dedicated to all those folks out there who, embarrassed by their own EXTREME TESTOSTERONE and manliness, have chosen to hide their manimal status by choosing.....The Comb Over. Donald Trump does not qualify for the Manimal classification here because no one is for sure just what it is he's doing with that fluffy bunny stuff on his head. Guys, guys, guys. Bald is sexy. Go with it. Risk. Let someone run their hands and body parts over your freshly shaved scalp. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


I woke up this morning thinking it would be really madcap and zany if I did something at my Cubicle-Day-Job that was decidedly NON-Cubicle. Like bring in a chain saw and cut a window into the next cubicle over. The next cubicle over belongs to a very demure and refined woman named Louise who really needs to loosen up a little. With a window between our workspaces, I would then be able to disturb and interrupt her work at any time, and could chat endlessly about things which make her uncomfortable. Or I would devote work time to the improvement of my workspace. I would stop at Z-Gallery on the way in to work and put it on my attendance sheet as a work related trip to a "vendor," pick up a couple of those dreamy velvet drapery panels (in Red – the Feng Shui is just screaming for Red). I would then buy a spiffy rod, and with the aid of my Ryobi hand-held, (for those of you not familiar with the Ryobi hand-held, it is NOT an exotic form of vibrator – though come to consider it, the Ryobi DOES fill me with girlish thoughts of men in orange jump suits) I would put up a fabulous door covering over my cubicle opening – thereby creating an element of privacy and homey, velvety goodness in the atmosphere of my workspace. I feel that I would be far more productive with this arrangement. Maybe add a few accent pillows in case I need a quick 45 minute power nap. Additionally, instead of that 2 P.M. triple espresso and hunk of chocolate to get me going again, I could do something healthy. With the assistance of my cubicle. Like use the nubby cloth covered walls as supports for some sort of physical exercise. Like CUBICLE YOGA. I could invite my co-workers to join me. It'd be a hoot. For a healthy afternoon snack-type pick-me-up, maybe I could start cooking mackerel and broccoli every day in the office microwave and then eat it in my cubicle. The delicious smell wafting from my food that would permeate every nook and “cubicle” (snort snort) would have everyone jealous of me. They too, would want to have a window into Luise's cubicle and velvet drapes. They would KILL to eat mackerel every day in their cubicles. They would want to be JUST LIKE ME.

Or perhaps they’d shun me for about a week and then just fire my ass.

The thought fills me with Glee.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I'm Apparently an Art and Decor Snob

Well no huge surprise there - here's something fun for y'all to waste time with whilst in your cubicles.

Name the era, and you can name every artist from
it. You've got an eye for design and a knack
for feng shui. Color schemes, architecture, and
ObjectD'Art - these are all your forte. What people love: You're the perfect person to shop
with. What people hate: They have to clean their house
whenever you come over.

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
brought to you by
Ramblings of SheWhoReads

Monday, September 06, 2004

Bad Fashion Choices, Chapter II

At a rather fabulous Labor Day brunch,

- side note - do you think Walmart has Labor Day specials? -

I was sitting enjoying a perfectly delectable dish of fresh fruit, cottage cheese and granola, when what walks by but another pair of short work-out shorts with a word across the ass. I believe it said something like "Juicy." Nice. Now, I know that is the name of a clothing line, but I'm not quite sure who was at the meeting the day they thought that was a good word to put on the ass of their shorts. I believe that "Juicy" was actually the originator of the Words On The Ass phenomenon. Are they referring to the delectableness of the juicy pair of ass cheeks in the shorts, or to the fact that the owner could probably use some Immodium AD? I have seen other contributors to the theme: "Slammin, "Hot Stuff," and other neato advertisements for the ass underneath the shorts. The best one I've seen to date, however, was at the campus bookstore of one of the most prestigious Ivy League Universities in our country, i.e. Princeton University, that actually had the trailer park chutzpah to put "P.U." on the back of their shorts. Say it aloud. Think about it. How genteel. How very Social Register.

Now, since our fellow Americans seem hell bent on emulating the most refined of personal images, I offer a few suggestions as to further Wording for Work-out Wear. (Golly, I love alliterations.)

Let's start with the obvious: Traffic Signs

1. No Parking
2. Loading Zone
3. No Entry
4. Parking in Rear (okay a tad obvious)
5. Exit Only (REALLY obvious)
6. Danger, Falling Rock
7. Wide Load
8. One Way
9. Watch for Pedestrians

How about: Books/Movies?

1. Great Expectations
2. Jaws
3. No Way Out
4. No Exit (Okay, that's a Play)
5. Wait Until Dark
6. Of Mice and Men
7. Field of Dreams
8. Chocolat
9. Rear Window

Oooooh, and since this is L.A., how about the Screen Actors Guild start their own line of Butt Word Wear. It would of course, read:


I'm quite sure that I could plumb the depths of my brain to find more suggestions. And they'd probably sell.

Saturday, September 04, 2004


Whilst cramming a mighty tasty egg salad sandwich on sourdough into my mouth between classes (that's 11 points on Weightwatchers, people) , I overheard the following conversation between two young academics. Please read the following with an upward inflection at the end of all sentences.

"Do Virgos? Like get along with other Virgos?"

"I don't know? What kind of phone is that?"

"Nokia, Duh? Hey can I spend the night at your house?"

"Are you crazy? My Mom's a Taurus!"

"Okay, Okay! Do you think that guy was totally looking at you?"

"No, Dude, he was totally looking at you?"

"Whatever, dude, I'm sooooooo not into guys?" I'm bi-polar? Are you bi-polar?"

"What the fuck are you talking about?"

"Well, you have to take? Like drugs? To even you out? Cause you're moody?"

"No man, hey what do you think of Professor G_____? Do you think she's gay?"

At about this time, I had to refrain from using the miniature swiss army knife that I have on my key chain to gouge out my own eardrums.

Friday, September 03, 2004


Well, well, well. It appears our illustrious Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, hypocritical girly man himself (more on the girly man stuff later in this rant) has received some critical press: “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ambitious plan to reorganize state government was influenced "significantly" by oil and gas giant ChevronTexaco Corp., the Associated Press has reported.” According to KCRW radio, “Chevron recently donated $100,000 to a Schwarzenegger campaign fund and helped pick up the $350,000 tab for his trip to the Republican National Convention in New York.” I wonder how he managed to rake up a $350,000 tab. I wonder how many jobs are being removed from the state of California as we speak. Just curious. I think the repeated and excessive use of Botox has seriously impaired Arnie’s already steroid impaired brain function.

WHAT?!?!?! you say? Arnold uses Botox? Okay, yeah, we know about the steroids, he had to admit to that, but BOTOX?!?!? Well, aside from the atrocious choice in hair-dye color he is currently sporting that looks like that most unloved of Crayola crayon colors, Burnt Sienna, not to mention the incorrect shade of foundation that his make-up artist apparently applies with a trowel, let’s face the even more obvious. The man’s forehead hasn’t moved in ages. Look at him. Do you ever see anything move on that face from those perky cheekbones, up? Now, no, I don’t know for a FACT that he uses the stuff – but he sure looks different than he used to, and I don’t think the natural aging process includes facial immobilization. For the hair color and makeup choices alone, he’s got major cajones calling ANYONE “Girly Man.”

Now, don’t get all insulted if you use the stuff – Botox, I mean, I would NEVER put down a person's desire to change their hair color. I just hope they would choose a good shade. But think about this for a minute. People are willingly injecting poison into their foreheads in an attempt to still look 35 without any knowledge of what will happen 25 years from now after extended use of the stuff. Nor do they know what 25 years of trying to stay looking 35 is going to do to them. Or even 10. Well, I live in Hollywood. The Mecca for people who re-create themselves surgically. And because it was personal insecurity that caused them to start doing that in the first place, or their agent told them to, or they did it because of job-insecurity because no one past the age of 40 is employable in L.A., they usually re-create themselves to look like everyone else who is re-creating themselves, so there’s not much variety going on. I think there are only about 3 different noses on the Rhinoplasty approval scale, and the boob jobs are uniformly C-D cups which are SUPPOSED to leave the women looking like their breasts have been in an argument with each other for ages and are not speaking. Because I live in a town where plastic surgery is more common and accepted than WALKING (that would involve getting out of the car) I feel confident that I can tell you what happens to all those people who started to have little nips and tucks in their late 20’s who are now in their 50’s. THEY LOOK LIKE GARGOYLES. The kind you have to refrain from screaming at when you see them for the first time. I think it might have something to do with the natural aging process going on around the areas where surgeries were done, which did not allow or account for that process (hence the term PLASTIC). It’s sort of like meeting a burn victim. You don’t want to let on that you KNOW their face is horribly disfigured, so you do your very best to appear neutral and cool. The difference between the tragic circumstances that made a person a burn victim and the excessive-plastic-surgery-over-time-victim, is that the plastic surgery victim CHOSE to have this done, and actually believes (because what else are people going to say) that they look FABULOUS!!!!!! Now don’t misunderstand me. There are very legitimate reasons to get plastic surgery (again back to burn victims) and it is a needed element to the medical profession. I’m just not talking about that here.

I went to a Beverly Hills dermatologist, who shall remain nameless even though I wish him a variety of ills, who was to treat me for skin cancer. At each and every visit, his medical advice to me was only minimally about future measures to prevent skin cancer, but rather was focused on the fact that, in his opinion, I NEEDED Botox. Any fears or lack of confidence that I had in the product that was not being recommended for any MEDICAL reason, not to mention my being kind of attached to the memories behind each wrinkle and the knowledge that I had a damn good time earning them….he made a point to explain away my disinterest in the most condescending manner possible, the implication being that I was obviously a very stupid person in denial about my wrinkles and I was an idiot for not immediately going under the needle.

So, call me a rebel, but I refuse in this instance to do what all the other kids are doing these days. I already did that with every drug known to man in the 70’s and 80’s. And I’m much sexier for it.

Thursday, September 02, 2004


Okay, I wanted to be all amusing today and talk about doing Snail Races in my biology lab (this is what I have regressed to in my 40's in the attempt at getting a college degree) but I've been listening to NPR's coverage and interviews during the GOP convention and I'm so very hacked off right now.

Let me preface where I come from. Literally. I was raised to believe by my Berkeley educated liberal parents, one atheist, one christian, that, to quote my mother, "Everyone should go to the church of their choice." Under that opinion, I was free to attend any service at any church (Catholic or Protestant) , Mormon Temple, Synagogue, whatever. I was also free NOT to attend. Whatever. I tried all of the ones my different friends went to. There were fabulous religious discussions in our household which dealt with liturgy, dogma, doctrine, hypocrisy, persecution, etc. The number one thing I was raised with as respects things religious was to always understand that when I was in someone else's house, that I be a good guest and respect the rules of that house and that I respect anyone else's belief system as being as valid as my own. My church going mother taught me about early Christianity being a secret society of people who were pacifists that kept their worship to themselves and identified themselves to each other by placing the symbol of a fish somewhere over the door of their home. She taught me that faith was not something that can be promoted or crammed down someone's throat and that Faith and Religion were not necessarily the same thing. My father taught me about the Founding Fathers and that the Pledge of Allegiance was changed to include the words "Under God" during the Eisenhower administration and that he refused to add those words when reciting the pledge because the original document had been changed, in his opinion, by someone's abuse of authority. Two very different points of view living under the same roof with respect of those differing views and the attempt at educating me to the whole picture. What WACKY PARENTING was going on in MY house?!?!?! Quick, call Social Services. (Actually they were plenty wacked on other issues, but on this one they rock.) I also recall a conversation with my father that took place in their kitchen. I had gone through a horrible break up with someone about a year prior, and I had started to see someone new. I remember the conversation to this day.

"How's dating?" my father asked.

"Actually I've started seeing someone new."

"Good! Tell me about...him...or her...whatever the case may be."

"Um... you think I'm gay?"
(I'll say here that my sexual orientation has been speculated about by numerous people over the years - and on this particular day that speculation apparently included my parents. I find that kinda cool. It means I was interesting enough that someone actually considered me long enough to wonder.)

"I don't care what you are, honey - I just want to see you happy again."

Yup. My Dad. The Athiest. Showed me something very important that day about people who walk the talk.

With respect to some of the statements that I have heard coming out of the mouths of various delegates trying to pass themselves off as the mouthpiece for what they call "The majority of our Nation" I bring us back through history with a few quotes from some rather respected (or hated and feared) "delegates" through time. I believe there is a Republican or two in the midst. Enjoy.

"We don't have to protect the environment -- the Second Coming is at hand." -- James Watt, Interior Secretary under Ronald Reagan

"I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God." -- President George H.W. Bush

"I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Almighty Creator. By fighting the Jews, I am doing the Lord's work." Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf"

"Most men would kill the truth if truth would kill their religion." Lemuel Washburn

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others."-- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), in his "Statute for Religious Freedom," saying government has no authority over one's religious opinions, thus defining "crime" as the injury of a person or his property

"Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of REASON than that of BLINDFOLDED fear." -- Thomas Jefferson - Letter to nephew Peter Carr, 1787

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes." -- Thomas Jefferson - Letter to Alexander Humboldt, 1813 "

As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?" -- John Adams, letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816 "

The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses...." -- John Adams, "A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" [1787-1788]; from Adrienne Koch, ed., The American Enlightenment: The Shaping of the American Experiment and a Free Society, New York: George Braziller, 1965, p. 258]

"Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion." -- John Adams

"Of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst." -- C.S. Lewis, noted Christian author

"There is but one evil; ignorance." -- Socrates

the preceding quotes were found upon the website:

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


I'm not kidding about this. This was on NPR this morning, and those guys are all over the world making sure that we get ALL of the news, whether it's about Kerry's Vietnam record or NOT. Okay, so most of you out there already know that this month marks notable dates like Back to School Month, Labor Day, Yom Kippur and National Hispanic Heritage Month......but how many of you are aware that September also brings us......DRUM ROLL PLEASE.......

National Chicken Month
National Armpit Day
Be Late for Something Day (I've already used up that one)
Nose Hair Maintenance Day (Ew. Just ew.)
National Dog Week
Nipple Appreciation Day (FINALLY!!!!)
Fall Hat Month
Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month
Religious Freedom Week (they DO know the GOP convention is going on, right?)
National Farm Animals Awareness Week (I'm pretty much aware of this every day)
Children's Good Manner Month (tickety tick people - the month's almost over for this one!)
Shameless Promotion Month
Subliminal Marketing Month
Elephant Apreciation Day
Write in Your Diary Day
Self Improvement Month
Write Your Own Headlines Month
Dress Up as Your Pet Day

Now, while my research (while trying to do my job at the same time) has not turned up any actual DATES of some of these things, other than Nose Hair Maintenance day, which is on September 8, I'm still pretty giddy over the fact that there are sooooo very many holidays for me to celebrate. I'm tellin' you, September is just LOADED with possiblities.

Life is good.