Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween Can Destroy Your Body, or "From My Perspective the Room is Spinning!"

Life is all about perspective.*

What looks one way from the left, looks completely different from the right. What is useful right side up is obsolete upside down. What sounds like a good idea at 10 PM, feels like a big mistake at 9 the next morning...

Halloween, much like Life, is all about perspective.

Last night I went out (some might say all-out), in support of this retarded celebration of the fact that I can buy my own alcohol. And that I no longer have a curfew. That beer has replaced candy, and that trick-or-treating is really code for looking around the room to see who you can actually stand the thought of waking up next to in the morning.

I thought growing up meant getting smarter...

I was very wrong.

This stupid holiday, at least for the twentysomething crowd, exists solely for the purpose of giving us young, sex-starved, beer-craving idiot freaks* an excuse to put on costumes, drink heavily, and then make bad decisions. With each other.

It's an opportunity to change who we are and how we see the world for a few hours and fuck up our lives in less-than-extraordinary ways with the perfectly acceptable justification of: "Oops! I was drunk, and it was Halloween."

At least, that's my excuse… Both for what I wore. And how I behaved.

See, I bitch to no end every year about how I get grossed out by the typical girly Halloween costume. Why be a maid when you can be a slutty maid!? Why be a unicorn when you can be a slutty unicorn?! Why be a bee, when you can be a slutty bee?! (Seriously, ladies... a slutty bee?) Anyway, this year I decided to do what everyone essentially does anyway.

I went as a slut.

I know. I'm so ironic.

My costume was a success (what a fun role to play!). Yet, while changing the lens through which you see the world (thank you, Bud Light) can be awesome for one night, it can make the next day more than a little miserable. So at five o'clock, after having been awake for all of three hours, I discovered that if I ever wanted to feel human again, some intense recovery efforts would be necessary.

My insides felt like a bloody Civil War battlefield and I guess taking a shower was going to be the Reconstruction of the South. But taking a shower is very difficult to do, you see, when the room is still spinning and standing up is not an option.

So I sat.

I sat on the floor of my bathtub. I stared up at the water from my shower-head five feet above me, beating down upon my broken, hungover body... and honestly, it helped. Tremendously. I realized then that from a new perspective, even something as ordinary as taking a shower can become a rebirth of sorts. Maybe even a cure for stupidity?

I realized sitting there that the situations we find ourselves in take on new meaning when we simply look at them from another angle...

I also realized that I lack self control, that I should stop drinking forever, and that I lack self control.

Need a change of perspective? Try three screwdrivers, two shots of So-Co (why, God?) and a couple of brews. That'll give you a fucking change of perspective.

One that lasts well into the next day.

Trick or treat!

*Life is also like a box of chocolates

**Notice how I expressly included myself in this group. I am a young idiot freak.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ford Models and the Solution to Personal Finance, or "How I Ended Up Wearing Heels To the Laundromat"

I am poor.

If you want, you can skip the rest of this entry because tonight, the bottom line is gonna be the same as the top.

I guess I'm not as poor as I am young. You can empathize, I'm sure. See, the benefits of a top-notch college education, enlightening though it was, don't necessarily translate to much at first. Four years and one B.A. later, essentially all I really got was a Fast Pass to the front of the soup line. We've all been there. Or here. Wherever here is.

Hey. No cutting in the effing soup line.

At the top of my list of I'm-Poor Complaints this month, as well as a major source of embarrassment, is the fact that for whatever reason, my car won't start. That is, won't start on command. Like a needy lover, my 12-year-old* POS Carolla will get revved eventually, but that's only after 16 turns of the ignition, 8 repetitions of the phrase "Fuck this," and a quick "Ok, I take it back, pleeeease can we just go now?"

Apparently government will give me $1,000 to take it off the road. And that's more than the shitmobile is worth.

With this in mind, you can imagine my sheer delight when I found a solution, nay The solution, to my money troubles today, in the form of a Myspace ad.

When I logged onto my least favorite of the social-networking websites this morning,** this banner appeared:
Typically I ignore these. They are obnoxious, and a hindrance to the very important business of reading comments and checking to see who else is online. I cannot be bothered to care about whatever bullshit Myspace is offering on any given day. But given this morning's crisis, I was enticed.

"Wanna Win $250,000?" It said to me from the bottom left-hand corner of my screen.

Lemme think . . .HELL YES I wanna win $250,000! And wait--all I have to do is be a model? I don't have to be smart or charming or responsible? I could be dumb as a log and be a model! Good thing I'm super hot. I'll just show up and Ford Models will give me a coulpleahundred grand. And to top off the awesomeness of this already awesome deal, they'll crown me Supermodel of the World.

Holy shit. Supermodel of the World. This is too good to be true.

Now that I have a water-tight plan in place, all I need to do now is do everything in my power to ensure my success. In order to be a model, I must now behave like a model.

"Hmm," I think to myself. "What is the most retarded thing I can do tonight?"

I know. I'll do my laundry. In high heels.

A brilliant idea, indeed. Thing is, what I neglected to tell you earlier is that before the car-not-starting bullshit debacle, I had planned on using one of my three post-workday hours to make a trip to the laundromat. I was on my last pair of underwear, with zero intention of going commando the next day no matter how free the gust of the Santa Anas can make a girl feel, and my crappy little laundry joint is on the way home. So it seemed a fair plan.

But, of course I forgot that doing laundry after work also meant doing laundry in my work clothes. Which today included a red dress and high heels.

Fucking a.

I'll let you fill the rest of the adventure with your imagination, but be sure to include the part of the evening where I walked in my red-dress-and-heels through a trash littered alley, past several homeless men and multiple pot-holes on my way to the 7-11 to get cash. And then the part where, out of the many delicious options that 7-11 offers, I chose fucking three-dollar Carrot Juice, because naturally that was the most reasonable thing to drink while waiting for the dry cycle to finish...

Go ahead, call me an idiot. I won't be offended.

I won't be offended, because I'm a model. And sooner than later I'll be laughing my way all the way to the cover of Vogue, driving a brand new Benzy, and dating the Myspace Supermodel of the World runner-up.

My life, folks, is gonna be great. But until then...

I am poor.

* I know how this sounds. 12 years old in car years is at least 36 in human years.
**Don't judge me, you know your face is all over effing Myspace.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Quitting My Job vs. Blogging About Quitting My Job , or "Two Weeks Notice, Bitches!"

It was time.

Anyone who knows me, or Facebook stalks me, or by some off-chance reads this blog, knows that if there is anything true and real about Lisa Zine, it is that I hate working at ICM.

For the last few months of my downward spiral into Administrative Disillusionment I have done little else besides complain at length to my friends and family.* After a tedious heart-to-heart with my boss (which mind you, is made exponentially more difficult when the other party lacks said "heart") I did what I could to make this shitty job work.

I tried running in the mornings.
I started my blog.
I drank a lot of red wine alone on the couch watching The Office on DVD.

One afternoon I even tried taking my frustration out on a blank canvas, which was a bad idea. The end result was an 16 x 20 inch purple piece of vomit I wouldn't wish on even the tackiest of STD-laden motel rooms. I guess that's what's been going on in my head. Meaningless, purple STD vomit.

Fucking, self expression man...

For anyone who has ever quit anything (smoking, relationships, sex vacations with your gay cowboy lover), you know just how painful the proverbial bandaid-rip can be. Disappointing people is hard, no matter how much you wish they would stop existing. But I did it, and you can all thank me for it later.

Actually I have no idea why you would thank me. Never mind.

Right now my soon-to-be-former boss is interviewing a potential replacement. Lucky for me the door is shut, but I can hear the my head:

Boss: "My little bitch assistant is leaving me and I'm throwing a shitfit."

New Kid: "Oh. Ok. Well can I have her old job?"

Boss: "Yeah. I guess I don't have a choice."

New Kid: "Cool. Thanks."

Besides the time I had to force myself to stave-off a Baja Fresh assplosion so I could avoid having to make a pit-stop in Inglewood, this may be the most uncomfortable I've ever been. But the truth is, this too shall pass.

Before too long, I'll be free from the hellish reality that is my first poorly-made career choice, hopefully it's not one of many, and with any luck my life will get markedly better.

Until then, I'm going to continue to run in the mornings. I will continue to blog. And I will
definitely continue to drink lots and lots of red wine.

And as a parting gift, I'll give my boss the purple vomit.

*Guys, I'm sorry. I had to. It was better than keeping up with the drinking.

Friday, October 12, 2007

How I Spent Friday At Work, or My Own Inconvenient Truth

I love the environment, but damn I waste a lot of paper.

This is probably because I don't love my working environment, where most of my days' activities leave my waste-basket full and my heart empty.

In an effort to keep myself from going over the ledge today, I was going to pour myself into writing a really awesome entry that discussed Al Gore and how I can't decide what's better an Oscar or a Nobel Peace Prize? and how I'd like a little piece of the action, and what cause could I champion that would warrant the same kind of public attention? and how if Al Gore won the Nobel Peace prize for being the World's Most Aware Human then his publicist should probably get a 'peace' of that prize because without her no one would know about Al Gore...

And then the phone rang and I lost my train of thought. Again.

Having lost all motivation to do anything of any importance, devoid of all plans to of devise a strategy for saving the environment, or composing an Oscar-winning Power Point presentation on all the reasons I should quit my job, instead I wrote my name over and over on the same piece of notebook paper.

Maybe I wasted this piece of paper. So what. Maybe sitting in front of a computer writing emails all day long drives a person to place of private insanity where self expression is really nothing more than writing your name repeatedly in a useless exercise in time-wasting / paper-wasting narcissism.

Maybe this piece of paper represents my Inconvenient Truth. The truth being that there is a multi-million dollar company* that pays me a little more than minimum wage to write emails and doodle for hours at a time.

Maybe Al Gore would scoff at my piece of wasted paper. But then again, maybe this act of unabashed self-indulgence is actually my ticket to winning the next Nobel Peace Prize.

It worked for him. Right?

*Company, here defined as: A factory of lies.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Why I Flipped Out On a Rude Man at Trader Joe's, or "You know you're broke when..."

I shouldn't have flipped out on him.

It wasn't a bad flip-out, and he was straight-up being an asshole, but really I could've been cooler.

See, what the rude man at Trader Joe's didn't realize is that I was having a really stressful day. So stressful, in fact, I was almost inspired to start a whole new series entitled "Reasons Why I Can't Stand LA," or "Reasons LA Sucks," but because that pretty much warrants an entirely new blog and I barely have time to keep up with the exhausting demands of this one, I will not do that.

Anyway, I was standing in line at Trader Joe's at around 2:00pm on Sunday. Let this be your first indication that the day was fucked. Going to Trader Joe's on a Sunday is like like inviting a child molster to your son's bar mitzvah. It's not so much a crime in itself as it is a bad idea.

So I had been standing in line for at least 25 minutes, with at least 10 more to go, and it just so happens that at my "neighborhood" Trader Joe's*, the line for the last checkstand, when it gets backed up, actually overflows into the already crowded produce section creating a blockade of people and shopping carts right in front of the lettuce. I was unintentionally part of the lettuce blockade.

Cue Mr. Sassy McSasshole.

He approached the blockade already with a bad attitude; a khaki-clad twenty-first century hunter on a warpath to the romaine hearts. After briefly scanning the situation and WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING REASONABLE to get around me, he looked up exasperatedly and said with a severely furrowed brow:

"Well?" [Pregnant pause] "Are you shopping or what?"

Taken aback, I looked at my fellow blockaders, just to make sure I was actually the target of Mr. Sasshole's aggression. Their timid stares confirmed it was me. In no mood to take it like a doormat, I responded.

"Oh, Sir, PLEASE excuse me. Is it not OBVIOUS that I'm waiting in line with the REST OF THESE PEOPLE?" I gestured to the 4 people ahead of me, and the 3 behind. "If you need to get to the lettuce, you can ASK me to fucking move! But don't fuck with me dude. I don't need it."

I'm seriously so badass.

With that he shot me a dirty look, grabbed his pussy European salad mix, and stormed off.

I probably overreacted, maybe ran my mouth a little irrationally, but what that douchebag didn't realize when he threw me his bucket of sass was that earlier that morning my car wouldn't start. Again. And then at the laundromat I ran out of quarters and stepped in a puddle of flith on my way to 7-11 to get cash.

And then... and then... and then... what I think it comes down to is that I hate being poor.

Being poor in your twenties is kind of to be expected. People who aren't poor for at least a few years in their twenties are probably getting their money from a trust fund or from investments their parents made in microwaves before eveyrone had microwaves. And those people shouldn't exist. It's not the worst thing that could happen to a person, but there are a lot of things that are better.

I can handle driving a crappy car. I can handle doing my laundry once every two weeks at the shady laundromat on Westwood Blvd. I can even handle the fact that my life is something short of what I'd like it to be right now. But some jerk-off in the salad aisle at TJ's giving me 'tude because of things beyond my control? Nope.

Not gonna take it.

*My neighborhood Trader Joe's isn't remotely close to my neighborhood, and this is another reason why I can't stand LA.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Facts About Lisa: Entry #1, or Nothing Says Adventure like Selling Lotion at the State Fair

For some reason I have a lot of experiences that when recounted are both amusing and deeply embarrassing. I guess my life is amusing to people. It's amusing to me. In retrospect. With the advent of text messaging and email and chatting and blah blah blah it's apparent that Oral Tradition is rapidly dying, so lest these stories die with the people who tell them they will now exist eternally. On my blog. As a series. I will call this series Facts About Lisa.

Fact About Lisa #1: I once made 50 bucks selling lotion at the California State Fair.

No, really. There is a real lotion and it is called Touch of Mink and this is a true story about how I sold it and made fifty dollars.

What the hell was I thinking.

It was the summer after my senior year of high school when the mind-dulling heat and the pressure to make some last minute cash before leaving home for college/forever led me to take one of the least rewarding jobs I have ever held. My current job, a daily battle through bullshit though it is, is a greater success than this.

All those who hail from the great city of Sacramento know just how Awesome it is. Of course, that depends on how you define Awesome. If by awesome you mean Really Hot, or Kinda Boring, or Flat, then yes, Sactown is Awesome. Perhaps one of the awesomest things about living in Sacramento is that every year in late September, as if it were planned (!), the fine people of the Capital City get to experience for 2 whole weeks the joy, the heat, and the gang-activity of the California State Fair.

Our state fair is a great state fair! Anyone?...

Ain't nothin' betta than stuffing your face with a greasy funnel cake whilst admiring a price-drastically-reduced spa, or a hand-woven quilt, or the entrancing demonstration of a nimble four-fingered knife salesman, with the down home sound of a Pat Benatar cover band playing a crappy version of "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" on some distant, magical stage. The carnies abound, and late at night, walking in the colorful lights of the midway one may even get to witness a real-life gang fight-- carried out, no less, with the same half-price knives so expertly peddled earlier that day in the exposition hall.

Speaking of Exposition halls, this is where I landed a sweet job selling Touch of Mink lotion.Shut up, I needed money.

I showed up to the warehouse where the lotion selling training session was being held the sweaty afternoon before the fair. A clean-cut kid (with straight teeth), plucked straight from the suburbs, I was more than a little out of my element.

For one, I was white. For two, I had a future, and at 18 I hadn't yet whored myself, given birth to one or more illegitimate children, nor had I ever applied for food stamps. Nothing, and I mean nothing, screams "I'm desperate for money" like selling hand and body lotion products made with the animal skin extract at the Califuckingfornia State Fair.

Among the odd lot of sales personnel the classified ad had managed to lure behind the Touch of Mink sales booth was a woman named Ginny. Ginny was slightly built with tired, bloodshot eyes and some gnarly crows feet. I suspect she was a former user. Maybe a carnie. Maybe she was a college professor, fuck if I know. She couldn't have been a day under 56, and with half of the teeth in her mouth missing, she was fucking scary looking. Just being honest. But despite her permanent Halloween costume, Ginny was really quite nice.

And apparently that's all you need to be a successful lotion seller.

In the two days I was an employee at that wreck of a sales booth (the number of hands I touched makes me want to puke), my shiny grin was put to shame by Ginny's snaggle tooth as her numbers soared. Maybe she couldn't bite an apple, or whistle a tune, or floss... but damn she could sell lotion. Moisturizers, pumice stones, mink oil. You name it, Ginny sold it... like it was her job.

Oh Snap! It was her job!*

It's late now, and I'm searching for an ending to this story. Some nice way of wrapping this up to give everyone the impression that I really learned something from Ginny...her wrinkled face, her magic touch. Or that 2 days of slumming it in midtown Sac opened my eyes to some larger truths about human nature, or what it takes to have a successful career in sales. But honestly, this is the bottom line:

I made 50 bucks at the Sate Fair selling mink lotion. And I was outsold by a toothless old woman with a big ol' gap between her teeth, and apparently, an even bigger heart.

*I'm an awful person