I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Follow unfollow

The social media world is a funny and fickle place to visit.  It's packed with fully realized individuals who are connected to others, yet aren't attuned to the behaviors of actual human beings.  First it was with Facebook, then Twitter, now it's the same thing with Instagram.

I created an account not too long ago to be "kept in the loop" with all social media and also because it was a benefit for my non-job-job (i.e. the one that doesn't really pay the bills).

Although I crack jokes that I'm just as unpopular in social media as I am in real life, it's an ego-boost when someone who you don't know adds you.  And it's even more so when someone "popular" (a.k.a. someone with a large readership) does the same.  It's very high school, with the geeks being brought into the fold of the cool crowd.

Quite often, I get a follow from someone I don't know because I assume they like my photos.  I'll follow them if I like what I see.  Then, they quickly unfollow you (because they just wanted you to follow them first so they could increase their readership).  And then I catch on and unfollow them (because why would I follow someone who's that petty?).

Yes, it sounds like high school all over again.  In the real world, or the digital one, we're all a bunch of 14-year-old girls.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My mother, my decorator

It's the weekend and my parents have come to visit me downtown.  The usual schedule occurs: they arrive two hours early for lunch (I'm still drinking breakfast); they make their entrances like the whirling dirvishes they are; my father complains about wanting to go home (even before having lunch); we all help in cooking/setting up/cleaning; the three of us collapse in a carb-heavy coma.

Before we head out for coffee, both of my parents sit on the couch.  They're discussing my interior decorating talents, or lack thereof.

"I told him I'd buy him one of those long things," my mother leans forward and extends her hands out, making a rectangle shape.

"You mean an ottoman?" I ask while walking back from the kitchen.

"Yes, like your sister."  My sister has a large ottoman in her family room, but although it works for her space, it wouldn't work for mine.

"I like what I have and this works for me." I say.

My mother scoffs.

"First, the cubes I have work because they have storage inside them.  See?" I lift the lid and show her what I keep hidden in one.  She rolls her eyes.

"Second, I don't have the space to put a large ottoman in my living room."  And I don't since my space is about 100x smaller than my sister's house.

"Third... you don't have any decorating taste."

"You wish!"  She loudly laughs and elbows my father for a reaction.  He also laughs.

This kind of reaction I would understand if my mother was legendary British designer, Nina Campbell, who disdained neutrals (she loves pattern-on-pattern).  But, my mom is not Nina Campbell.  My mom is a woman who thinks 1983 was the best year for design; look at my parents' living/dining/bedroom for proof.

And just like she dismissed my love of minimalism, I dismissed her love of... dismissing my decor.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Social media IRL isn't so social

Sometimes the people we see/follow on social media end up being different than what you expect.  Never assume, is one of my personal maxims.

This was true when blogging first started, then later with other platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Now with Instagram, you feel like you know people just by looking at their carefully curated images (let's be honest, they're not as random as we want them to believe).

But it's disappointing when they end up, you know, disappointing you.

For a while, I've been skimming through the images of friends of friends on Instagram.  And after realizing that one of them was the same person I had been corresponding with for a few work projects, I send an email (that I thought was kind of funny in a wink-wink kind of way).

Quick question:  Are we going to play the chicken game on Instagram (like for like) and see how long it takes before following one another?  Haha :P

The response was not what I was expecting.

I dont think I know you sorry.

That's self explanatory. 

The odd thing is after we were messaging for some work things, he then liked/commented on a few images (I don't have many) right after we first emailed one another.  To throw this dismissive reply my way was a little cruel.  Dude, you know who I am.  Is breaking the fourth wall really that unsettling?  Is it best to just be "friends" in the digital world, rather than the real one?

Not only do I feel stupid for sending the email but also for the emotional owie I got from someone I was "friendly" with.  And that hurts.  How disappointing.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Dating world equation

A friend and I are catching up during lunch and there's a lot to talk about.  Inevitably the conversation veers towards relationships, or those who aren't in them.  It's a complicated world, but I tell her a lot of it comes down to a simple equation.

"The dating world is full of fives who think they're 10s, and they're looking for an 11." I say between sips of water.

"Oh my God, it's so true," my friend, R, laughs while patting the table with her hand.

"It's like, oh this guy is a rich supermodel, who is smart, nice, funny, great in bed with a 12-inch penis... but I think I want a guy with a 13-inch penis."

She laughs, again.

"That shit doesn't add up," I say as I nod my head.  "No wonder why so many people are single: they're always looking for something better when they don't even realize what they have."

I take another bite of my lunch then finish off my thought.

"And all of that," I swirl my fork in the air, "I can understand if you're Bradley Cooper, or something.  But, R, these guys ain't Bradley Cooper."  Fuck, they're barely Brad Garrett, I think, but don't say out loud for fear that Brad Garrett is within hearing distance.

The grass is always greener on the other side, but what if there's no grass, let alone another side?  These people don't care since they're deluded to think they'll always be a catch no matter how old they get.  Get some realistic standards because no one finds a 50-year-old hunting down 20 year olds to be particularly attractive.

Now, that's simple math.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

It's not our money, it's his money

Every once in a while, I get to catch up with a friend who I haven't spoken to due to scheduling conflicts.  Usually, we're working opposing hours, or more likely, it's because they're dating and have "no time" for a 20-minute coffee break since their man expects them to be on beckon call 24 hours a day.

Inevitably, the talk circles to that of spending.  

We just bought a new condo/house.

We're decorating/renovating our condo/house.

We're going on a trip and staying in a famous hotel/resort.

We're getting a new wardrobe from [designer/retailer X].

We're eating at at this 4-star/celebrity chef restaurant.

And, on and on.

To be honest, that money talk is fine and dandy.  The thing is, my friends aren't spending their money.  I know how much they make (even if I don't ever divulge my earnings) and it's impossible to live the lives they have without having their boyfriends shell out for almost all of the expenses.
 And I don't care what people say, no one can buy an $800,000 house when they make $25,000 a year (no bank will give you a loan/mortgage for that amount).  I don't care how good you claim your credit is.

To rephrase the inner thoughts of my friends: it's not "our" money, it's "his" money.

They're not married (or even common-law), they're dating.  If the man wants to dump them, they have nothing.  Their names aren't on any papers and those vacations/fashion trips won't pay the bills.  They barely have squatter rights in their $800,000 house.  Don't kid yourself, guys.  I've learned from my mistakes.  The prenup protects me: I own what is mine.  In this case, it's not yours, it's his.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sense of direction (an L.A. story)

It has been said that men don’t ask for directions when they think – or know – they’re lost. They would rather pull up to a service station and make their female rider ask the way.

I, on the other hand, would rather get detailed instructions and have someone tell me where to go while I’m driving because I have no sense of direction.

And it’s no different anywhere else in the world.

While in Los Angeles, I want directions on how to get to Hollywood and Highland and I spend almost a ½ hour (15 minutes on hold) on the phone with someone from the transport authority. After writing down every word the associate says, I repeat them back to him, making sure I write down the different bus lines, transfers and metro stops required to get from point A to point H and H.



On the way there, I keep my notes close to me, checking them every few minutes.

Things are going smoothly until I have to transfer buses.

While the bus rolls along Van Nuys, I begin to wonder where the hell I am after a ½ hour. This doesn’t feel right. I look around to find one person who I think looks like they know where they’re going, unlike me.

“Uh, excuse me,” I turn towards a woman sitting near the back exit, “do you know if we’re close to the Van Nuys station stop?”

“This is Van Nuys,” she says in a lightly-accented voice.

“No, no, the Van Nuys station. Are we close to the Van Nuys station?”

“Ummm,” she looks confused. “I think you should ask…” she points to the driver.

Oh, fuck. Fuck. Fuck. FUCK! Even though my ESP is on the blink, I already know what’s coming. Fuuuuuuck.

As I hobble towards the front of the bus, I begin to ask myself a series of questions: Did I write the wrong directions? Did I get on the wrong bus? Where was I supposed to transfer? How do I get there? Can I get there? Do I want to get there? Will I get lost again?

“Uh, excuse me…?” I practically whisper to the driver. He’s concentrating on the road and says nothing. I ask again when we’ve stopped at an intersection.

“Where is the Van Nuys station?”

“There is no Van Nuys station."

Puta cabrón.

“The guy on the phone – “ I try to say the rest of my sentence before he cuts me off.

“There is no Van Nuys station. You heard wrong.” He looks at me with pity because my face practically screams, Help me!  “Where did you want to go?”

“Hollywood and Highland,” I say, looking down.

“That transfer was about 20 minutes back.”

Twenty minutes? Fuck, I was lost.

“Get off at the next stop, run across the street and take the bus going the opposite direction.”

When the doors open at the intersection of Idiot and Clueless, I walk off the bus and run across the street and take the next bus back. I dial the transport authority and spend the next 20 minutes on hold, hoping that someone can give me the directions to get to my – final – destination.

While I’m waiting, I write down the names of the intersections and begin to check the free map that I picked up at the front of the bus. Using the small legend (one inch equals one mile), I calculate that I am about 20-30 minutes away from Santa Barbara.

Oh, yeah. I was so lost that instead of going east, I was going northwest… I think.

But, on the bright side, even though my sense of direction is shitty, I have a pretty good idea how to get to Santa Barbara.

I never made it to Hollywood and Highland that day.

**

Note: These circa 2006 writings are personal observations of a wide-eyed Canadian, and are not reflective of the residents of L.A.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The clothes off my back (an L.A. story)

The fastest and easiest way to show off personal wealth is by spending it on labels and logos. Throw on an “it” bag or pair of shoes that are all the rage this season. Wear the latest in logoed sunglasses. Buy an article of clothing from one of the world’s most famous designers.

Sounds easy, right? Not in L.A.

In major metropolitan cities, a sharply-tailored suit is symbolic of power. L.A.’s fashion style comes across as more laid back. True, there are plenty of people who wear shirts and ties to work, but unlike other cities, it’s not about the shoulder pads in L.A.

That’s what makes it difficult to see where people spend their money.

While V and I are waiting at the bar for N to show up, we glance at the sartorial choices of those who are among us. Nothing special. Mostly everyone is wearing a variation of jeans, t-shirt and casual shoes. But, if you look closely, there doesn’t seem to be a double of anything.

“Those are Citizens of Humanity,” says V as he points to one pair. “Those look like Diesel,” he continues as he turns around.

“I don’t understand why people would spend so much money on one pair of jeans,” I say. “I’ll bet that everyone here spent more money on one pair of jeans than all of the clothes I’m wearing right now.”

V looks me up and down.  No response.

On top of the $200 jeans, add on a logoed t-shirt, a belt, a pair of flip-flops and you have an outfit that hits $300 before tax.

Am I the only person around here that spent less than $40 on his jeans? How about $25 on his sweater? And approximately $5 on his white t-shirt and less than $80 on his shoes?

That’s half the amount the money. And, it’s in Canadian funds, which makes it even cheaper!

But, I don’t mention this to V.

As much as I want to walk around with the tags on to show everyone they don’t need to spend so much money to dress casually, it’s probably worse to advertise how cheap you really are.

**

Note: These circa 2006 writings are the personal observations of a wide-eyed Canadian, and are not reflective of the residents of L.A.