Tuesday, October 18, 2005

jason rules in an echo boomer world

Once in a while, if you are lucky, you come across something that makes the trip to L.A. Fitness worthwhile. On my way to the 8:15 class, I stopped at the Magnolia and Coldwater Walgreen’s for a bottle of water. Kim Gordon in my ears, I headed for the cold beverage display. Another decision. Domestic or imported? After five minutes of pondering my options, I chose Evian, because it was cheaper than Arrowhead. “Come on down to the store you can buy some more, and more, and more, and more you can buy some more, and more, and more, and more you can buy some more, and more, and more, and more you can buy some more, and more, and more, and more…”

At the one and only open register, a couple of women were in front of me. I noticed a strange look on their faces. A cross between puzzlement and defeat. I put Kim on pause. I wanted to know. I looked over to the clerk. He was no more than 20, big blue eyes, large nose. He greeted me “hey” and took my bottle of French water. A tall Russian lady approached and asked him the location of the wrapping paper. Without looking up or pointing, he said, “over there.” The Russian lady and I looked over to the aisles then looked at each other. She asked, “where?” He answered, “Over there.” She looked at me, pleading. I looked over to the aisles. “Where?” she asked again. “Over there,” he responded, adding a quick swing of the head in the general direction of the entire store. “Aisle four,” I offered decisively, hoping it was a good enough guess. Jason looked up at me and asked, “how are you today?” The Russian lady thanked me and headed for aisle four. “Phenomenal,” I answered.

”What are you still doing standing there?” Jason asked, looking over to the entrance of the store. A young woman stood there patiently. I figured she was one of his friends paying him a visit.

“You were supposed to do a price check.”
“I was?”
“Yes, isn’t anybody looking?”
”Oh yea. We don’t have it.”

She just stood there, agape. I handed Jason my money, disappointed my own transaction went so well. The young woman let out a gasp, threw her hands up in the air, turned around and left the store. I looked at my watch hoping I had time to stay a little while to continue watching Jason in action, and perhaps, help a needy customer. Damn, my class was starting in five minutes. I took my water, pressed play, and I was on my way. “Close your eyes and make believe You can do whatever you please I wanna know I think I better go…”

Unlike in movies, in life there are no false moments. There is hope for mankind, people like Jason really exist.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


As I rolled along the freeway by the Oceanside exit, I made a pact with myself to keep the OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONEs to a minimum. The caffeine from my triple latte had not kicked in yet, so I was still in a state of depression. I looked through the rearview mirror trying to catch a glimpse of the traffic behind me through the piles of crap I had stuffed in my back seat. The car was full to the rim. I had become a cliché, a mere E! Hollywood Story reenactment. The girl with the big dreams driving to Hollywood to meet with Success. In her car, everything she owned. Well, actually, not really. Her roommate had left earlier with a Uhaul full with their precious belongings. She imagined future interviews. She would not be able to tell James Lipton or Henry Rollins she lived out of her car, since they had secured a 1200 sq. ft. apartment in NoHo. Hipster pseudonym for North Hollywood.

The landscape became uglier and hotter with every turn of the wheels. It’s not funny how dismal things look at 5 mph. My god, just a week ago I was in London, in SoHo, not NoHo! Then the caffeine kicked in. I knew with certainty I was doing the right thing. Who needs self-help and support groups when you have a pink card from Coffee Bean? Suddenly, Orange County didn’t look so bad and I was going 55 mph. Then, CA-101 and 15 mph, also known as the Via Dolorosa. An OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE crossed my mind as the blue sky became a shade of stale gray. No big deal, I thought. Blue skies and decent traffic never got me anywhere. Later, I found out that, technically, my apartment was not in NoHo, but Valley Village. “Valley!” Today, after two months of telling people I live in NoHo and Mapquest telling me I live in Valley Village, I accepted and embraced my colorful neighborhood. I am not looking back.