Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles."*

   So now every damn street in Los Angeles has this painted on it:

On the upside, now I have an easier way of drawing bikers.

   Oh great. As if my loathing of bicyclists couldn’t increase, this damn town found a way to make the problem immeasurably worse.

   I first wish to address my issue with bikers: okay, biking is super fun. Biking instead of driving is a great idea. My whole beef is, why are you acting like you’re in a car and taking up the whole lane, AND YET you’re not bothering to obey any of the traffic signals that the drivers have to obey? For instance, is signaling your turns not considered “cool” anymore? Is running red lights okay? If you get in the left-hand turning lane in front of me, your measly bike will not be enough to prompt the left turn signal for the 8 cars behind you. And unlike you, we can’t run whichever lights we feel like running. The speed limit is 35. You are going about 25. There are 9 thousand cars behind you. Is this really helping with the traffic congestion problem or is it causing it? Again, biking is a great idea in theory. It is good exercise and you aren’t contributing to the smog. But you are still not part of the solution. Los Angeles: letting the bikers take over all the car lanes may not be the answer. I’m just saying. And that is all.

   Now, what I really want to write about is how seeing these new bike lanes, along with the city buses that have “Every lane is a bike lane” printed on them (check out this HILARIOUS photo) remind me that leaving Los Angeles isn’t the saddest thing that’s ever happened to me.

   Allow me to share some other things I won’t miss:

1.  People who stop their cars in the middle of the freeway to check out the accident on the OTHER SIDE of the freeway, thereby causing both sides of the freeway to be congested. Check it out on the news when you get home, you assholes.

2.  Those beautiful springtime wildfires. Living near any kind of plant is a liability in this town. And it helps contribute something extra to the smoggy horizon. Last night, Chad and I went out around sunset and he was admiring the beautiful storm clouds. I had to point out (had to?) that half of those clouds were made of smoke from the current raging bonfire in Camarillo. Nice.

3.  The overwhelming number of actors, musicians, screenwriters, dancers and models. Who does the accounting around here? Who teaches the children? Who picks up the garbage? I can’t see how this city is surviving with everyone out on auditions. But god bless them for keeping the Hollywood dream alive.

4.  Traffic.

5.  Hard bodied women and men who make me feel inferior right after I just lost two pounds and was feeling pretty sexy.

6.  Those helicopters that fly over your neighborhood with their searchlights blazing for hours at a time. I just want to know if they’ve ever actually helped catch anybody. Apparently all the criminals hide out in my apartment. No matter where I live. 
What Satan is doing with taxpayers' money.

   But then there are things that I will miss. Things that make Los Angeles goofy and unique in a way that I don’t know if you can find anywhere else. Things that are so ridiculous, you have to love them just a little bit.

Will miss:

1.  Actors, musicians, screenwriters, dancers and models. They are trying and they are working very hard at a game that isn’t easy or often possible to win. The hope is what gives this city its energy. And sometimes it’s an energy that reeks of desperation, but it’s an exciting energy all the same. I applaud anyone who can stick it out year after year and work his or her tail off at the mere glimmer of success. I couldn’t do it, and I didn’t really want to. I think those people are incredible. They give this city some intangible vibrancy that no other city has. (Am I being cheesy? I don’t care. I’m not sorry.)

2.  Sunshine. Warm weather. 
3. People trying to get into restaurants because they've been told that the restaurant(s) are impossible to get into. People in Los Angeles love being told they can't go somewhere. Then the place becomes super popular right away. Especially the places that have names with no bearing on what goes on inside. (I've always thought that if I ever were to open a restaurant in LA I'd name it "Chair" or "Poo" so people would be confused and then curious and then determined to get in. I'd spend the first few weeks not letting ANYONE inside. I'd be a hit.)

4.  The trifecta of beautiful scenery: ocean, mountains, deserts.

5.  A sea of ethnic and religious diversity. I don’t think I have a single friend here who is my same race and religion. (My coven is currently all Filipinos.)

6.  8 million different kinds of restaurants (see number 5).

7.  The kiddos (can't think about it).

8.  My friends (ditto).

   Boo. Now I’m sad. Cue montage of me with my friends having meaningful moments together while Sarah McLachlan's "I Will Remember You" plays. (I'd watch that, don't know about you.) But change is always a little sad, a little scary, a little awesome. But, as I read in some women’s magazine somewhere sometime, change creates new neural pathways in your brain and leads to happiness. And women’s magazines are always correct about everything. 
   And if I start to feel too sad, I just look at this postcard Bert sent me during college:
And he wrote on it, "Look familiar?"
*The title quote is from Frank Lloyd Wright. And he ought to know. He designed some pretty crazy houses in this city.

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