Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Mental Meanderings...

So this Saturday I drove down to LA to see Eddie Izzard at the Nokia Theater. Eddie was his usual funny and philosophical self, and the Nokia Theater, located at LA Live next to the Staples Center (where the Lakers play their home games), was a very impressive and glitzy venue (if a tad bit 'artificial'...but hey, it's LA). But it wasn't the show that made the biggest impression on me. It was LA itself. Let me explain....

As I walked around LA Live (which looks like the Vegas strip was teleported into downtown LA), something didn't seem quite right. It was just a vibe...but I didn't immediately know what it was. Then it hit me: the women were sooooooo skinny...and everybody was WHITE. Now yes, I'm a white guy myself, but I live in a pretty ethnically diverse community, and generally, wherever you go, it's a pretty good cultural and ethnic mix. But the snowstorm around me was WEIRD. And the women were emaciated. I mean, they were scary skinny. And the women were tall as well. I mean...TALL. I'm a fairly slender guy, and taller than average at 6-1. But there were women (no, they weren't Adams apples visible) who, heels aside, were taller than me. And more than one. They were EVERYWHERE. And SKINNY. Did I mention that? Like, their calves and thighs were no bigger around than their ankles. Oddly enough, for the most part, the men were pretty average of build and height. It was strange. Like I had arrived in the land of the anorexic Amazons and their shorter, wealthy providers. And everybody was dressed very expensively, and the parking garage was filled with Mercedes, BMW's, Jaguars, Cadillacs, Lexus', Infinitis, Acuras, and a few exotic Italian marques. All of this is of course a weird illusion because a mere three blocks away is a whole DIFFERENT UNIVERSE that exists in the same city.

The only food options at LA Live is a bunch of foo-foo sit down restaurants with 90 minute waiting lists (not that the people were eating, certainly not the bulimic Valkyries, but they were pounding down the cocktails), and I was looking for a quick bite before the show. I walked three blocks down Olympic Boulevard looking for something, and found a Mexican fast food chicken place and had a pretty good grilled chicken burrito and a side of roasted plantains (not bad and only 8 bucks with chips and a drink...about what a bottled water would cost back down the street). The clientele of the chicken place (which was PACKED shoulder to shoulder and filled with small children) was also ethnically uniform: all Latin, and judging by their language, all recent immigrants (and giving me surprised looks as I was the only gringo in the restaurant). They also appeared to be considerably less affluent than the other LA inhabitants just down the street. Furthermore, on the street a little ways down from the restaurant was a homeless individual sleeping in a blanket under a freeway overpass...and the juxtaposition was jarring, and telling. That such wealth, mono-ethnicity, and superficiality coexisted in such close proximity to another mono-ethnicity that was poorer and by empirical observation considerably more reproductive, I think this was a microcosm of modern America. The have and have nots, and the freeway overpass that separated them was the Rubicon. And it's pretty obvious who is who. The clueless and disconnected upper class is oblivious to the brewing shit-storm just down the street and what that may mean to their little, self absorbed world. It's like nobody has read a history book or is familiar with the French Revolution. "Let them eat cake!!!" Or, in this case, roasted plantains.

Anyways, LA is a strange place in that its striated class system and otherworldly body image obsession really let's you know YOU ARE NOT FROM THERE. Which is probably just as well...because I like my Mexican food and my women with a bit of a shape...and generally prefer my Chucks to a pair of Guccis.

-I am in love with two, and tonight I had a threesome. With my Dyson and my Swiffer Wet Jet that is. These things are AWESOME. Tonight I cleaned my house top to bottom, and the pleasure I get from using the Dyson and watching all the crap that thing sucks up is indescribable (to my friends in the UK, if you ever run into Mr. Dyson, tell him THANK YOU for bringing such pleasure into my life). I really thought nothing could touch the Dyson. But tonight, I tried the Swiffer Wet Jet for the first time...and wow. Takes half the time to mop, and my tile floors are sooooo clean. I walked around barefoot on them just for the VISCERAL THRILL of my bare feet walking across such freshly scrubbed cleanliness. I think I started to tingle....just a little. Perhaps it's a sad indictment that I get such immense pleasure from a freshly cleaned home (scrubbed my shower too and now it has the sweet perfume of Tilex in it...heaven), but I really have no plans for the next few days other than just EXISTING in my clean house and reveling in its...cleanliness. As you can see, my needs are simple. My only fear is that the Dyson and Swiffer start getting jealous of the attention I pay the other...and a love triangle develops. Nobody needs that kind of cleaning product drama.

-it's amazing what inspires you when you scour your refrigerator for things. Tonight I made a BLT with cream cheese, wax peppers, avocado, fresh basil, and a drizzle of balsamic. Oh my god...can you still call that a BLT? Or should you call it the BEST BLT EVER? I'm fully convinced avocado and wax peppers can improve any dish...hell, it would probably even fly as a topping for a sundae.

-whats with the new, slick, nylon running shoelaces? What are we trying to achieve here? "Look! They don't accidentally get tied in knots!" Exactly. Know what else they don't do? Stay fucking tied. Went for a run tonight and stopped three times to retie my shoes...which is a buzz kill when you're running. Hey, here's an idea. Why don't we just Teflon coat the frigging things and just never bother tying them at all....that way we can run around and have our shoes go flying off after the first three strides, but say how great it was that we didn't have to worry about our laces getting accidentally knotted. Sure, we got hepatitis from running barefoot through a gutter and stepping on some broken glass and an old bloody band aid, but hey, whats a degenerative liver disease compared to knot free laces? A small fucking price to pay I'd say! Right? Wrong. Attention running shoe manufacturers of the world: if I was so desperate about the shoelace knot situation, I'd pray for something that had the magical, voodoo, space age wizardry, only exists in the dreams of small children, fucking Gandolf and Dumbledore dreamed up after a night of heavy drinking together, mind bending capacity to keep a shoe on without laces altogether...oh wait, we already have it. It's called FUCKING VELCRO. Just leave my laces alone, ok? Cotton or a poly cotton blend is fine. Let's not reinvent the wheel amigo.

OK, that was it. Social revolutions, shoelaces, cleaning product threesomes, skinny Amazons, and BLT's. I think that about covered it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you on the shoe laces - I can't find any that stay done up - even Clarks the old standby are crap these days.

    Your night out in LA sounds like how London sometimes looks to me now. I got on a bus the other day and seemed to be the only white guy on there.