Archive for the 'Lena' Category



15
Sep
08

Barack in your pants

DON’T get all pissy with me about this subject line till you know what I am about to say. Which is:

Last week I got a press release announcing the launch of a new line of Obama panties. And camis. And boxers, for boys. And I just think…wow, there really is no telling to what crazy heights Obamamania might go before we finally get to election day. I also think that for so-called ‘boxers,’ the boy-panties sure are awfully tight and short, and I’m not sure whether straight men will really be able to go for them. Not that they would anyway. Straight men, feel free to chime in here, but wouldn’t you feel a little bit odd wearing some other dude’s name/face on the garment closest to your, um, source of masculine power? Or would you actually be comfortable with it? Like, I got nothing to prove, I can rock Barack on my ass in a totally macho way. Or maybe, It’s all part of being a player–these Obama panties totally help me score with the ladies.

I just don’t know. And it leads me to the next part of this post, which is WHAT IS THE POINT of making a political statement in an area where, assuming you are a normal adult with a day job and a more-or-less normal wardrobe, NO ONE is going to see it?? Is it for the same reason that girls ostensibly buy super-sexy underwear for hundreds of dollars at La Perla? You know: It’s not for the guys, it’s just for me to know they’re there and feel more confident. (Which is bullshit. Allow me to tell you as one of the few honest-to-a-fault women in the world…if there’s 0% chance that a man is going to see and appreciate your underwear, you’re almost assuredly going to buy them in bulk at Target or the mall. Especially since a thong is a thong–it creeps up your ass in approximately the same fashion whether it cost $5 or $150.) 

But I digress. Where were we? Ah yes, the Obama panties. So how exactly is one supposed to make a political statement out of a garment that never sees the light of day? I’ll tell you: you can’t! Statements are meant to be given loudly, proudly, in the most visible way. That means if you get the Obama panties, it is your duty as a patriot and an activist to STRUT ‘EM in the most public setting you can find. Yessss.

 I am talking striptease photo shoots all the way down to the OBAMA money shot–posted online and on your Facebook page for all 500 of your friends and family members to see.

I am talking those hideous ’90s retro low-rider jeans like the ones skateboard punks wear…sagged like halfway down the buttcheek region so that everyone can see “Obama ’08!”  like a little campaign poster on your thigh.

I am talking NO PANTS AT ALL, if you can manage it without being arrested. there are obviously few places, but for sure Folsom Street Fair, Halloween in any big city, and probably an assortment of nightclubs. Especially if you were wearing cool footgear.

So yeah. It seems to me that if Obama panties are the fashion/political statement of the day, then that’s cool–we should just know that it entails a new R-rated era in North American campaign history. And that when some Republican from Texas comes out with Sarah Palin pasties (which they totally will!!), then in the spirit of Equal Rights, Non-Sexism and Justice, we’ve got to grit our teeth and smiiiile at pitbulls in lipstick and nipple tassles, bouncing all over the place at a GOP rally near you.

08
Sep
08

The new ‘it’ accessory for LA men

For the longest time, it seemed like every cute/outdoorsy/vaguely eligible man in Los Angeles owned a couple Labrador retrievers. Invariably they’d adopt from shelters, and sometimes if they really wanted to wear the ‘nice guy’ badge bold and proud, their Labs would be blind, decrepit or like 416 years old. I always was bothered by this because it seemed drastically unfair to all the non-Labrador breeds in the kennel–I mean there just aren’t enough softhearted women or highly evolved couples to adopt every outcast terrier/pitbull/ridgeback/rottie in the 310. But anyway, it seems I no longer have to fret because the LA men have moved on, en sudden and well-coordinated masse.

Between 7-10 times over the past weekend, I spotted hot( ish) single (or at least solo) men out and about Hermosa Beach with fluffy white button-nosed dogs. (Actually according to the general fashion/lifestyle Stylewatch rule, 3 of the same thing makes a trend…so 7-10 sightings is actually more of a CRAZE.) These dogs come in all kinds of different breeds/mixes/mutt non-pedigrees, but generally they have bodies shaped like giant chubby sausages, and round little pink tongues that constantly stick out.  In case I do not make myself clear, here are a couple photos.

Damn, these dogs are cute. They’re like walking stuffed animals, and what’s especially awesome is that they come in size Small, Medium or Large. Because if there’s anything more ridiculous than a man with a handbag dog, it’s a man with a white fluffy handbag dog that can’t put its freakin’ tongue in its mouth. PLUS, I actually used to know a man who had one of these dogs (he was in San Francisco, which of course is always ahead of Los Angeles trend-wise), and that dog kicked my dog’s ass in a fight even though my dog was 5 years younger and 20 pounds heavier–so these dogs are clearly more macho than they look!   

So all this is great; however I do have one reservation. As I was researching this whole craze, I learned that while a couple of the breeds are in the terrier division, they’re much more likely to be of Doodle-Poo extraction. You know. Goldendoodle (Golden retriever plus poodle). Scottiepoo (Scottish something-or-other plus poodle). Schnoodle (schnauzer plus poodle). Whoodle (Wheaton terrier plus poodle–the uber fluffy white dog hybrid of all time). Pookimo, Westiepoo, Jackapoo and there are tons more but to list them all would just be sheer baby-talk madness.

And the point is…how manly can a man possibly be when his DOG (AKA best friend, altar ego) is a Whoodle-Doodle-Schipper-Pinny-Poo? It’s complete emasculation in a single gibberish word.

Which is why the men NEVER admit it. When you ask them, as I did on Sunday:

‘Say, what kind of breed is this adorable sausage-bodied button-nosed creature?’(Thinking: that would look adorable on my living room sofa and by the way so would you.)

The man gives a macho shrug and is like, ‘dunno. a mutt.’

At which point I think, You lie!! It’s a fucking Whoodledoodle!  and giggle sweetly before going on my way.

Luckily not all girls are as compulsive about doing their research as me, so I think this trend–the fluffy white conversation piece of supposedly unknown origins–could be here to stay.

11
Aug
08

I now pronounce you loud and louder

At last! My sister is married. Relief.

AND! I totally wasn’t thinking about this for the past several months, but her husband has tons of nice, fun, cute male relatives from the East Coast. Huzzah!

I’d met a couple of them before, but didn’t fully realize the implications till this past weekend: Family events will be a whole lot more entertaining from now on. Instead of me and my sisters huddling together in a corner and hooting and hollering while all our prim ‘n proper aunts/cousins/indeterminate relations stare at us disapprovingly, we  now have someone to holler along with us.

 I don’t think there was a single day last week that our merry little band didn’t get some kind of noise complaint. We started as we meant to go on: At the Feast at Lele, this super-expensive luau-sitdown-dinner thingie in Lahaina, my sister’s ex-boyfriend (now Mr. Gay Maui) toasted the happy couple with vodka shots, and flashed his chest at the whole restaurant three times (“It’s boys gone wild! Boys gone wild, do you hear?”) Then he and I got in a discussion about motorboating and the merits of waxing vs. Veet–him being an inclusive kind of guy, he shared all the gory details with my mother who was two seats down. Then we changed the subject to pre-wedding mani/pedis, the Jersey Boys came over from the next table to say hello (we called them the Jersey Boys all weekend before realizing that none of them are actually from New Jersey), and next thing you know, my friend Remy has her feet on a Jersey Boy lap, and the other ones are ready to re-enact an arm-wrestling match they’d had at Denny’s–shirtless–the previous night. Fire-eating, back flips and Jim Beam-fueled rowdiness ensued.

And that was just the first night. Every one that followed was similar in all-around craziness, though the location and activities differed somewhat. I won’t go into all the details, but I will tell you that I am one sexy bitch when I throw on an Elvis costume complete with sideburns and a red scarf; that three members of the wedding party can apparently not only surf, but do handstands on their boards (I’m not one of them); and  finally, fat-free French Vanilla International Delight coffee creamer is friggin’ delicious when you blend it with dark rum.

Let’s see…what else… Oh yes. Lindsay and I gave the wedding speech in call-and-response, with friends testifying and shouting Hallelujuah as the spirit moved them. Immediately post-reception, I was so exhausted/wasted that I passed out behind the seats in our friend’s truck, still wearing my bridesmaid dress, with a steam iron on my chest. And in case you’re wondering how the gentle bride and groom reacted to all this…well, they really had no room to complain, since whatever the hell they did in their room caused such havoc that the hotel had to evacuate them, move the furniture onto the balcony, and strip out all the carpet. Not that they cared–I got them a room at the Four Seasons down the street.

So. Good times. Glad it’s over. Glad to have some Jersey Boys in the fam. Though I do foresee even more noise complaints in my future.

02
Aug
08

The wedding is nigh…

One week from now my sister will be a married lady. And I will hopefully have a nice tan. Everyone’s entitled to their own goals, right? I mean, a trip to Hawaii is a trip to Hawaii, and even though there’s a wedding to go to one day, hopefully we can all still squeeze in some beach time.

So at any rate. After the dogwatching debacle of last week, matters between my sister, her fiance and myself improved. I stopped doormatting around (you will be happy to know, Jonathan). In fact I turned into a Roaring Woman, Extraordinaire. Happily I did it via text message, so no one’s eardrums were perforated or anything. And the soon-to-be-blissful married couple turned out to be tres understanding.

Unhappily, the rest of the fam…eh, not so much. They’re in full wedding mode, and every time I hear from any one of them, I get an earful: Have I gotten my shoes? How was ‘my’ bachelorette party? Do I realize that I need to pick up my dress from the seamstress myself b/c other people are very busy and can’t be bothered? (This last one from my other little sister, who works as a bartender 25 hours a week and keeps herself very busy the rest of the time brewing beer in the bathtub and looking up conspiracy theories online.)

The most important admonishment I’ve heard, though, is this: I need to not only show up, but show up and be completely undistracted, 100% in vacation mode, ready to party, and absolutely under no circumstances preoccupied with mood-killers like, um, my own life.  Deadlines? Contracts? Commitments? People waiting on me by the dozens? Psshhh. It’s all irrelevant.

The family dynamic, to me, is an interesting phenomenon. Family can not only tell you what to do, but they can tell you how to feel, and feel totally justified. (Yes, I know Jonathan, I don’t have to go along with it…but that won’t stop them In fact, they’ll try twice as hard.)

On the bright side, personally I couldn’t be in a better spot to be a maid of honor. I have had no social life for the past 2 months (okay, except for that one night in the Nicaragua bar), and therefore have nothing to distract me from the big, important relationship, which is my sister’s.

Actually, the last date I had wasn’t even a date–it was a halfway date? An almost-date? A quasi-date? With someone I’m quasi-dating, so I guess it fits. He’d been out of the country for a month, returned and kindly offered to distract me from my pre-wedding/book-writing hell by taking me out to dinner. I jumped at the chance–even I know what havoc all work & no play can wreak on a body. (Not to mention, a soul.) Anyway. Dinner was nice, and then I asked him to go pick up my sister before hitting the cocktail bar. She was lonely. Her fiance was working. She wanted to test out different mixed drinks, in the hopes of selecting ‘official wedding cocktails.’ I’d promised her I’d call…I mean, at this point I know there’s a place in the rule book that states: Official wedding cocktail selection is a priority. So we went and got her.

An hour later, he dropped us off and bailed. I’ve barely heard a peep since. I don’t really know what to think about that. Was the third wheel pickup inappropriate? Dunno. Do I care? Eh. Anyone who’d be put off by it was, let’s face it, off already.  (Actually I think this dude is way more enamored of my job than he is of me. You laugh, but repressed creative types are prone to that.)

So here it is Friday, and I must finish a chapter, and go to Los Angeles with my dog, and finish another few chapters, and be ready to fly on Tuesday. Indeed it is a good thing I don’t have a Friday night date.

(Truth? I want a Friday night date. Tonite, I deserve one.)

It’s not going to happen. Not tonight anyway. I am a maid of honor, a book writer, a sulky family member, a dog mama, a catsitter and a once-in-a-while doormat…and that, for now, is gonna have to be enough.

14
Jul
08

An ode to my overly dramatic ex

I’m still good friends with my ex from 12 years ago, even though (or maybe because) we only see each other about twice a year. When I was 20 I thought that if he and I still knew each other at this age, we’d be married, having worked through our personality differences and volatile communication patterns. Instead, having worked through them, we’re more like brother and sister. We swap dating stories and provide career support and maintain a loving but detached relationship that requires only 1-2 hours phone time per month. When I was 21, I thought this guy was my other half. Now he’s more like an extremity. Always there, never requiring much thought, and usually (barring some massive universal shakeup) completely predictable.

Which is why I’m writing this blog. Of all the men I’ve known and dished about, G (which is actually his nickname) is the only one to threaten bodily harm to me if I ever wrote about him. “You’ll wake up with your toes missing the week after you publish it,” I believe were his actual words.

“Do you really think you’re important enough for me to bother writing about?” I asked him. “Anything juicy between us happened too long ago for me to even remember.”

G is such a drama queen. He’s prone to vast exaggeration, sudden emotional thunderstorms, and passionate pronouncements swiftly forgotten.  The above gory threat falls into the latter category. Seriously, who else in the world would think my  dating rants worthy of such retaliation? Or consideration, even?

In order for a dating column to warrant any kind of retaliation on the part of the subject, it would have to be explicit, incriminating and personally damaging. It would probably have to name the subject outright. And then, of course, the subject would have to find it.

There have been a few instances where my subjects have stumbled across columns written about them, but none have ever done anything more than send a brief email like: “Hey, saw that thing you wrote about me, how u doing?”  This is because, while I might poke fun or point out stupid behavior, I steer clear of the incriminating/damaging/outright-naming racket.  Even for those who might deserve it.

The fact that G, who hasn’t done anything to piss me off in several years and hasn’t slept with me in–hm, I think 7 or 8 years? memory fails–would think I’d publish a character-besmirching tell-all about him, speaks volumes about his own particular brand of paranoia. It also brings out the bratty side in me, which is what’s driving me to write this blog.

In the old days, maybe he’d have found it and we’d have gotten in a rip-roaring fight (I told you not to write about me!/ I don’t care, I do what I want! / You disrespectful little…little… etc etc.) Now? No way. G is the last person who’d ever Google my writing. He has zero interest. As for eavesdropping on my personal life…well, he’d probably get more of a thrill watching 2007 Women’s National Bowling League reruns.

And I know this not only because I know him (know him as well as the very toes he threatened to remove), but because I have already written about him several times–even on this very blog, within the past two months–and he’s never mentioned it. Never ever. NEVER.

G, for the record and for posterity–though not for your eyes, because you’ll never friggin’ read this–you are the world’s biggest exaggerator. You are not in the Mafia, and shouldn’t talk as though you are. I suspect you will never grow out of it, and this makes me sigh a big sigh.

You are also one of the funniest people I’ve ever met–totally a blast on road-trips, as we rediscovered last week, and great for shocking people at Hollywood parties. While you may be Skinnybones Jones, you look damn good in ripped-up blue jeans and nothing else. Oh, and even though we haven’t had sex in ages, I remember and am happy to go on record confirming that you are OUTSTANDING in the kip.

See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?

07
Jul
08

Love is indeed fleeting

People say that women “of a marriageable age” see a cute guy and immediately imagine ourselves shacked up with him, and having his babies.  I’ve even read chick lit novels that confirm it. Apparently this is “too much, too fast,” even when it’s purely in our own minds.

In that case, I have the following question: What’s the deal with men who start quizzing you about future plans (and your whereabouts last Friday night) before you’ve ever properly met them, and a half-hour into your first date, they’re already deciding where the two of you are going to live?

Jesus Crikey on a popsicle! Talk about moving too fast!

In those situations, I can’t ever figure out if it’s pure 100% meaningless blather, if they think they’re saying what the woman wants to hear, if they’re sort of kidding (but not completely, b/c men never joke about that stuff unless they kinda mean it); or if they’re just on an obsessive nutty hunt for a wife and any woman will do. It baffles me. I just sit there looking confused and trying to figure out a polite way of saying, “SHUT UP!! YOU FREAK, I DON’T KNOW YOU, WHY ARE YOU ACTING LIKE WE’RE ENGAGED?”

Maybe they’re trying to make me comfortable by being decisive? In that case, time for a different strategy.

But on the positive side, these hyper-activated one-sided relationship trajectories tend to burst into full flame and then wither and die within about 72 hours. Seriously. A couple weeks ago, I was talking to a guy who already was concerned whether I’d quit working to raise the kids before he and I had ever MET. We got in a tiff while trying to plan the third date: it came to light that I enjoy restaurants, and consider dining to be more of a pleasure than a chore.  He, on the other hand, might as well be eating from a feed bag for all he cares. What’s more, he told me, ALL MEN feel that way. I disagreed. In a dolorous voice, he said, “I don’t know if this is going to work out.”

Gee. You think?

Then, last Thursday, I met the mystery man from three years ago. Before I left the house, I told him I couldn’t spend too long out, because I am moving out of my apartment over the weekend. He said, “Not to sound weird, but I have a spare room, and you can stay there for a couple weeks.”

Um, yeah, that sounds weird.

We met, we recognized each other, we went to have a drink, and within a few minutes I remembered why I didn’t talk to this guy for years: HE’S ONE OF THOSE ONES.

Our conversation revolved around his work–which is poker–and my work. I hate poker, and I usually don’t like the people who play it. I told him this before I ever agreed to meet him. Nonetheless, I was treated to a lengthy monologue detailing the career highlights and comparative skill levels of a half-dozen random players I don’t give a hellshite about.

Then I treated him to a lengthy monologue about book publishing vs. magazines…and I think he may have fallen asleep for a few minutes. Then he woke up and asked me what we were doing the next night. THE FOURTH OF JULY, mind you. I said I had plans. He said, “Fine the next night. ” I said, I’m moving. He said, “No no, I’m going to help you move, we’re going to go pick up some day laborers from Home Depot, so on Saturday you’re free to share a bottle of wine with me.”

Gentlemen: This would be such sweet music, coming from someone I’d dated for a couple months. But on the FIRST DATE? It is completely and utterly insane. And presumptuous.

“I really am not sure I’ll be able to,” I said.

But he wasn’t having it. Till Saturday afternoon, when he texted me and I responded that I couldn’t make it…whereupon he texted me back huffily, telling me he was getting on a plane to Vegas to hang out with a bunch of girls I don’t know.

I guess I’ve been dumped. Good thing I didn’t take him up on the spare room offer.

04
Jul
08

Surely this sets some kind of record

Okay I have to make this quick because I’m heading right out. To the Pier, to have a drink with a guy I met once…approximately four years ago. At least I think I did. I don’t know how else his name and number would have gotten in my telephone; and he seems to have some memory of meeting me.

I know some people think Internet first dates are somewhat nervewracking because you’ve only seen the person in pictures, but let me tell you, this is much worse. I have *no idea* what the guy looks like. I do know where I met him (at an event), and I can only hope that if I gave him my phone number, it was out of interest. Sometimes I do it out of misguided politeness, or worse yet drunkenness. We shall see!!

In case you’re wondering how come I’m only going out with him now, after four years…well I blame my computer. It mysteriously died a year ago and swallowed up all my data. Distraught, I started calling every techie I could think of–including a grade school friend I hadn’t talked to in, um, 15 years. Only I got the numbers mixed up and ended up calling my once-and-future date instead. (It was an easy mistake to make: they have the same first name, I didn’t bother to list last names, and I’d never called either before.)

At first I was confused, then I was embarrassed, and then suddenly I was being asked out, sort of. “I’m moving to Hermosa soon–maybe we could meet up for a drink and figure out how we know each other,” he said.

“Sure, okay, whatever,” said I.

One year later, here we are. I can’t believe I’m actually doing this…but on the other hand, how could I not? Many times I’ve looked at my phonebook and wondered who all those random first-name-only contacts were. And now, I’m going to figure one of them out.

Must go get ready. The moment of truth draws nigh…




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