Sunday, June 29, 2008

I saw Wall-E

This weekend at the theaters at the Americana at Brand in Glendale. The Americana is the new mega-mall in Glendale built by the people who built The Grove in Los Angeles. Both feature simulated town squares with giant fountains with "dancing waters" and stores arranged in a simulacrum of some mythical town square. What makes The Americana stranger is that it's right on the main shopping street of Glendale, sucking people off the actual town square into its relentless maw of consumerism. Believe me that the irony of being in an air-conditioned room full of people wolfing down junk food watching this movie was not lost upon me. Nor was the irony of a company like Disney, who will make a fortune hawking useless, non-biodegradable plastic Wall-E and EVE toys preaching the evils of rampant thoughtless consumerism. I wonder if it was lost upon the good people at Disney...

Image: Wikimedia

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Gas here has hit the wall.  The station at the corner of Beverly and LaCienega is at $4.99 for a gallon for regular.  My commute to work is ten miles each way.  Now I realise that gas prices are falling and that perhaps that this is an expensive station, but history has taught me that the high that was unthinkably unbearable quickly becomes not only a baseline cost, but a fond memory: just in the past few years I remember outrage at the idea of $3.00 gas and the $4.00 gas hazzerei was about three months ago, right?  Of course, there are the usual suspects that want to use this excuse to drill for oil from everyplace from the California coast to the average teen's forehead, never mind that it would have be the equivalent of accidentally cutting your leg off at the knee with a chain-saw and then worrying about the state of your pedicure.  What it means (at least for me, cheap ass that I am) is that we need to reinterpret our priorities.  Do we need to drive 3 miles to a MacDonalds to buy a coke?  Do we need to have a car that will take care of the absolute 100th percent of our possible needs when 99 percent of the time we don't need to?  I mean, okay you have to tow a boat.  24/7?  I've stuffed a gaggle of teens into a Civic for a trip to the Getty.  Was it pleasant?  No.  It was also mercifully short, but you know, unless those teens were willing to pony up for a rental they could freaking well deal with it.  Shanks Mare would have been worse.

Of course it's easy for the childless (oh fine, friendless also, thanks so much for pointing that out...) to suggest that you could make these changes.  Even in notorious public transport-free Los Angeles, we have enough public transportation that I can commute to work not using a car, and even on the weekend a trip to Santa Monica the bus takes a while but is gilded by the fact that I can ignore parking restrictions and permit only zones.

For me that $5.00 was the breaking point.  I've shifted my idea of a dream car.  I chortle at the ads for BMWs I previously lusted after proclaiming 25 mpg highway.  25?  Call me when it's 50!

Personally I am all over the Generals new car, the Chevrolet Volt (the graphic comes from them).  Yes, the bad, bad evil GM is doing it's corporate damndest to get us pretty much close to a gas-free car.  All I ask is that they please be so kind as to give us a convertible version.

Now that's auto porn a penurious New England Puritan can sign onto... 

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Something that must stop

I don't have an issue with guys that want to keep the back hair to a dull roar.  I don't even mind if you want to depilate yourself into prepubescence, if that's your thing.  But please, please, stop with the eyebrow hairdonts.  Thin if you must, un-unibrow yourself all you want.  But when you've gone from 50's era Crawford to 30's era Dietrich, it's time to put the tweezers the f&ck down...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's my birthday and I'll bitch if I want to.

Well it's not yet, that happens Friday.  I will be (gasp) 47 years old. 

There I committed it to print.

Luckily, through a combination of good genes, Erno Laszlo and the miracle that is Mexoryl I think I can still pass for less that 40.  If you see me and disagree, kindly keep it to yourself.

I know that it's unattractive at best to whinge on about the fact that I am sitting here with a migrane, that it's hot, another year has been added on so that fifty is not just a vicious rumor when parts of the midwest are underwater.  I could also point out to myself that I could indeed stop whining, get off my ass and go to a gym.  Or even outside.

One thing I am glad about is that today gay weddings are being held, legally in the State of California.  There are a bunch of them happening less than a mile away in West Hollywood, complete with a celebrity (George Takei of "Star Trek" fame) taking the first vows.  If you had told me, 15, 10 or even 5 years ago that this would be happening here I would have thought you were flat-out nuts.  Of course there are the requisite group of flat-out nuts (from Arizona, thanks ever so: the state with the governor who rescinded MLK day on his first day in office) who are getting something on the ballot to stop the evil homos from ruining the sanctity of marriage.

Hey, didn't Liz Taylor, Britney Spears and (insert name of Gabor here) already do this?

To them I say, whatever.  Don't you people realise that you are missing out on an opportunity here?  Gas is nigh unto five bucks a gallon and your government has allowed your manufacturing jobs to go to South America.  You should be setting up the Little Chapel of the Happy Homos in your garage, like Homer Simpson.  You should be polishing your cake-decorating skills and dusting off you great-aunt Margaret's recipe for nougat.  You should be stocking up on rainbow taffeta.  If you're really enterprising, you're inculcating into your little Beezie and Wendyo that a career in family law is the best thing for them.

Because I am here to tell you, Gay marriage is here to stay!

And gay divorce will inevitably follow.

You can cash in or you can sit there and turn fifty on the sofa.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shipping woes

Or, they're all out to get me

another unattractive whinge

One of the promises of the internets is that one can order stuff and have it shipped magically to your home.

Of course, UPS and FedEx are useless if you like me live in an apartment.  You see, the boys at those shipping companies have to make a call as to whether they want to leave your package at your front door, and none of them will do so at my apartment.  Since it can be seen.  Like if you are standing at my front door.  I live you see on the second floor of a Monterey Colonial building that is behind a large Mediterranean; you would have to be about 23 feet tall to see that package left at my door.  If I had a house, they would apparently not have a problem leaving my package.  Even though my front door would be visable from the street.  Which leaves the Post Office.

The Post Office offers all sorts of wonderful features like tracking and priority mail.  I don't capitalize that since I was told by a post office employee that priority mail entails a nice envelope, some marketing and fond hopes.

In any case, I ordered a nice sample of something from the Perfumed Court, tracking its progress.  It arrived about a month ago at my post office.  It never arrived here.  After about 836 phone calls to various disinterested parties from an 800 number to practically the Postmaster General, I finally got a weary call back from the post office letting me know that I would have to tell the shipper that they should make a claim.

So thanks Post Office.  I'll just sit here without my sample of Musc Nomade a week from my birthday.

Oh, and can I have please a job where actual performance of ones only duty isn't factored in to my job description?  Please?