Crispy Phoenix

Musings on life in LA while chasing a Hollywood writing career

Blackouts, Naps, and Sunday

Hi Sunday!

I’m writing to you live from my dust covered desk wearing my house jeans and dirty hair. It took forever to get out of bed this morning. I kept laying there thinking about getting up and then saying no. It was so deliciously cold and cloudy and I don’t have a single obligation today.

Well, except for deciding what I will now carry to work for lunch. See, that didn’t happen last night like I said yesterday. I didn’t even watch White Collar, which I’m only watching because I’m thinking of writing a spec. It didn’t happen because we had a blackout. Which JUST HAPPENED AGAIN.

I am so not kidding. Literally, as I typed the word “blackout,” the power shut off. But only for a moment.

Unlike the two hours it was out last night. My god. The way I just said that you’d think I just lived through the Second Coming of Katrina.

My entire neighborhood was plunged into darkness for no one knows why at around 6:30; exactly when it’s now getting dark and I’m getting hungry. Oh, AND I had just put my sheets in the washer. Awesome.

I heard a boom and everything went silent and that’s when I realized how entirely unprepared for a California catastrophe I am so, I did what any self-serving first-world-country-dwelling person does; I blew out my air freshening candles and left in search of inexpensive, painless dinner and free wifi.

Before I left, I walked down the street to see if anyone else knew what was going on. I met a couple of beer swilling dads with their screaming three-year-old daughters and their infant-bouncing irritated-looking wives. Actually, I only met the one dad as in we exchanged names. He was on hold with the DWP.

The other dad was sucking on his longneck bottle so hard it’d make a thwop! sound when he’d pull it from his lips. He just looked at me glassy-eyed and said things like “Yep” and “Know it, man.” Even weirder? I wasn’t talking. The two wives, who I’m willing to bet are sisters, gave me nary a glance and kept their eyes peeled on the men. That’s because sober dad on the phone was hot and friendly. And, I was picking up some wandering energy from Sir Sucks-A-Lot. Ick.

Not sure where to go and a little irritated myself at the delicate nature of the power grids in Los Angeles, I made my way to a little sandwich joint over by the Grove. Holy beezus.. did you hear me just now? That sounded so much like my grandmother… a little sandwich shop. Everything’s little with grandmothers. Even grandmothers are little. Does anyone have a big grandma?


My view while eating a chicken sandwich… in case you were wondering what I look at while eating chicken sandwiches

Okay, so this post is already too long, but I need to say that also, I’m a little pissed right now because I laid in bed until noon unable to sleep after waking at 7 and guess what? I’m sleepy. It’s my only day off!!!! I cannot be sleepy!!!

Damn. I see a nap in my near future. Please enjoy this quiz.


I was invited to a ginormous Halloween party in Hollywood last night but didn’t go because:

A) What to wear?

B) I wanted to watch a show that I’m not really that into?

C) Saturday night is my only night to relax

D) Blackout

E) I was afraid I would become overwhelmingly sleepy upon arrival

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You’ll Never Eat This Lunch In Any Town Again


We need to talk. Please have a seat.

I can’t go on like this… doing the same thing over and over again. I just can’t. But I mean, you know how it is… you get into a routine. You figure out what works for you and your schedule and you make it happen.

Until it stops happening.

I opened up my lunch container at work yesterday afternoon and there it was staring back at me. That same old baby lettuces from a bag with beets and chicken and red onion. I slammed the lid back on and tossed it into the dark recesses of the office refrigerator with a light that doesn’t work.

Friends… I simply cannot eat this salad again.

I have been eating this salad every day for the last billion years and I just can’t go one more day eating it.

I’ve gotten to where I look at the clock on my desk at lunch time with hunger and excitement. And then?

Dread… when I remember what I packed for lunch.

But wait! It gets worse.

I think to myself… “Well, I’ll just go downstairs and get something JUST TODAY ONLY to eat. I need something hardier, something warm.” And THAT’S how I find myself at the Greasy Grill on the mezzanine level of my office building where hearts go to die. Most of the time I WILL order a salad with dressing on the side.

But lately?? Nuh-huh. It’s become an excuse to eat oh I don’t know… a BURGER or KUNG PAO CHICKEN… two meals (of several) that sent my stomach into such agony I looked five months pregnant within 10 minutes of the last bite.

I have a lot of food maladies. I’m allergic to a couple of commonly known healthy things like spinach and avocados which are on EVERYTHING in California. Avocados here are like cheese in Texas. It’s freaking everywhere. Congratulations! Here’s your new car… smothered in mouthwatering melted cheddar.

I have a multitude of food sensitivities, too, and many of them to healthy foods like dark green veggies. AND get this, I can’t eat SUGAR either and MUST eat red meat to stave off the non-diabetic hypoglycemia.

Just shoot me now.

Now… before you get all in a huff and tell me that’s ridiculous and then irritatedly ask “What CAN you eat?” I will tell you first, I have the blood tests that identified the problems and B) I will answer you with “Nothing good” or “I still don’t know” or “Ugh” followed by a long sigh and a secret desire to shove my face in a bag of Oreos.

Remember when you were young and you could eat oily burgers and fries loaded with a buffet of condiments from a fast food joint in the middle of the night and wake up a few hours later with a fresh appetite? Oh and you were 125 soaking wet? Oh and you thought you were fat? I know. I KNOW.

Sometimes I feel like driving by the line at In and Out Burger and flipping everyone off. That wouldn’t look weird at all.

Anyways… I guess I’ll be researching new lunches tonight in my many specialized cookbooks and the diet plan given to me by my nutritionist while watching White Collar on Netflix. And THAT my friends is how you burn up a Saturday night when you’re old.

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Wondering About Us

The other day I was training a new hire financial analyst on running a report so I would have a back up should I be absent one day. He’s scribbling away on a legal pad trying to keep up. I launch into the part about emailing it out. As I’m typing, he notices that I use the words “we” and “us.”

“Is that customary?” he asked. He’s from South America and I’m partial to those with guts to learn the English language. “Um, yeah,” I intelligently replied. “I’m speaking on behalf of the department. The Finance department issues the report. Not me or you personally.” He nodded in understanding and made more notes.

It did occur to me that I might not want to take responsibility for this report which is of course also true.

As luck would have it, I hurt my back getting out of bed on Saturday – yes, that’s all it takes anymore – and seeing that the pain has only increased since then, I stayed home today. [Seriously, at this rate, by the time I’m in my 80s I’ll be losing entire limbs just rolling over in my sleep. “Oh! My arm!” I’ll cry as it gently thuds to the floor and then some bored nurse will come in to my shabby chic yet sterile hospital room and give me a pill so I’ll sleep some more and she’ll set my arm on the windowsill as she thinks about what she’s going to cook for dinner that night.]

I made my way through traffic on the 10 this morning to Santa Monica to visit THE WORLD’S BEST CHIROPRACTOR to get repaired. Afterwards, I drove home thinking lovely thoughts of piling up in the bed with a heating pad and some I don’t know ice water? and reading and developing a story idea for the rest of the day. Please note that none of these things have happened. And that’s because….

The doctor fixed my back and I have no pain and I live in Southern California and it’s freaking gorgeous outside LIKE EVERY DAY and I’m not at work and I feel really good so I go to Trader Joe’s to get some lunch fixin’s.

shimmer_lights_sham_16ozGrocery shopping completed, I slipped into a little beauty/hair product emporium place which is in actuality a vortex of lost dreams about the ability to acquire magic hair and skin but I’m in serious need of a specific shampoo that will strip the brass out of my hair color. This store doesn’t have it and I knew that walking in but I didn’t want to go home immediately and I thought… what if?

It’s a small space with eight foot high shelf units neatly stocked with ridiculously priced shampoos. Seriously, a shampoo for $30 better clean my apartment and find me a hot date with season tickets to the Opera. I’m the only customer in the store. A Latina saleslady with a diamond pierced into her upper lip greets me in a banal fashion as she’s busy doing something at the register.

“I just wanted to point out that we have a sales promotion going on today,” she begins as her hands vaguely motion to the center of the room, “and if you spend a hundred, you get 25% off.”

One hundred what exactly? Dracma? Pennies? Rabbit feet? She seemed rather tired. Maybe it was too much to say dollars. I understand. I’m usually too tired to say anything more than…

“Oh. Okay.” More intelligent replies. Maybe it’s good I have nothing to say. I’ve already been accused of being reactionary this week. Obviously, that person has never asked my opinion on something or introduced me to a sale that’s not really a sale.

“If you need anything, let us know. We’ll be happy to help” she unenthusiastically closed.

My eyes scan the store. She’s the only sales person there. Who is us? Is she using my technique of dumping responsibility on her coworkers? Does it mean if I can’t find her for help, I have to blame the entire store chain and not her for not keeping their word of helping me? Or better yet, does she have an imaginary friend?

I do. They sit and listen to me bitch about my job all day. I would feel sorry for them but they really enjoy listening to me. Bffs rock!

They didn’t have my shampoo and I was starting to feel a painful tug under my left shoulder blade. Not wanting to reinstate everything the doctor just twisted and crunched out of me, I left.

On a side street near CBS, I pull up to a stop sign. I’m sitting behind three or four cars and I can’t see ahead that some moron with a deathwish is going to attempt a left onto Fairfax while everyone else is turning right. I wait for what seems like quite a while (which is probably like 3 minutes in our impatient American world).

That’s when I heard myself say, “What the hell are we waiting on?” Clearly I’m speaking in this scenario for the rest of us that are turning right. I laughed and said out loud to my invisible friend in the passenger seat, “Why did I just say that?… I guess it would be weird if I sat here and shouted What the hell am I waiting on?!” This changes the connotation to sound as though I should be taking immediate action. I envision myself plowing over the sidewalk, passing everyone and dodging pedestrians to make a right.

That’s too much responsibility I decided. We have to get home. Our back hurts.

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