Archive | August, 2007

L.A., Hell-A, Home?

21 Aug

I’m watching Sex and the City, that episode where Carrie and her girls jet out to Los Angeles for a few weeks vacation. Their New York cynicism and elitism makes this episode 30 minutes of LA bashing. People in LA supposedly have their heads in the clouds, are obbsessed with the way they look, are relaxed, worship the Dali Lama, and don’t smoke. Oh yeah, and Vince Vaughn guest stars as a nanny who pretends to be rich and famous to win carries affection. IS this what LA is all about?

I go back to LA the day after tomorrow. I really hate it when LA is portrayed in this one certain light, illuminating its superficiality and the life of the rich and those posing as rich. What about everyone else? Peep this, these numbers are from 1999…lest we forget the booming economy of the late ’90’s:

The median household income in LA is $36,687.
18.3% of families were below the poverty line (50.9% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
Only 50.2% of the people who live in LA were actually born in California.
In 2000, there were 1,734,036 white people vs 1,719,073 Latinos. That was 7 years ago.

It seems like the LA that Sex and the City was describing mainly plagues Rodeo Drive, The Ivy, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood. I guess the rest of LA, the diverse, real, living part of LA, is just ignored. Sad. LA gets such a bad rap, but I for one am excited to go back.

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L.A., Hell-A, Home?

20 Aug

I’m watching Sex and the City, that episode where Carrie and her girls jet out to Los Angeles for a few weeks vacation. Their New York cynicism and elitism makes this episode 30 minutes of LA bashing. People in LA supposedly have their heads in the clouds, are obbsessed with the way they look, are relaxed, worship the Dali Lama, and don’t smoke. Oh yeah, and Vince Vaughn guest stars as a nanny who pretends to be rich and famous to win carries affection. IS this what LA is all about?

I go back to LA the day after tomorrow. I really hate it when LA is portrayed in this one certain light, illuminating its superficiality and the life of the rich and those posing as rich. What about everyone else? Peep this, these numbers are from 1999…lest we forget the booming economy of the late ’90’s:

The median household income in LA is $36,687.
18.3% of families were below the poverty line (50.9% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
Only 50.2% of the people who live in LA were actually born in California.
In 2000, there were 1,734,036 white people vs 1,719,073 Latinos. That was 7 years ago.

It seems like the LA that Sex and the City was describing mainly plagues Rodeo Drive, The Ivy, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood. I guess the rest of LA, the diverse, real, living part of LA, is just ignored. Sad. LA gets such a bad rap, but I for one am excited to go back.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

19 Aug

Well, the past 48 hours have been less than plesant. Usually I’m not one for complaining, but this is a special occasion. I didn’t get a hangnail; i got robbed.

So I’ve been workingas a case management assistant at a Domestic Violence shelter and a Homeless Women’s 24 hr Wet Shelter. A Wet shelter means women don’t have to be sober, sane, or off drugs. However, I’m learning that dry shelters, like the domestic violence shelter where people are expeted and tested to be clean via UA’s and Breathilizers, are actually more like…mosit shelters. If an addict is presented with the choice of a roof or their fix, it’s actually pretty competitive fight. At least it makes my job more entertaining. Yesterday I woke at 6:30 am to get to work at the homeless shelter on time. Anyone who knows me would assume that I went in my usual state, especially given the time: huge sweatshirt, jeans, ratty fake uggs, and my hair in a curly samuri bun on top of my head. So what. I was chatting with one of the women in the shelter I hadn’t met before, and she told me she liked my earings.I thanked her, and added my mom had gotten them for me. She surveys the room with her eyes, and asks me which one is my mom. I told her I worked there. Really? Yes, really. But you look so young and blend in with us. Oh….thanks. Don’t get me wrong, there is no shame in blending in with the homeless community–they are some of the strongest, wisest women I’ve ever met. They are survivors, they are hillarious, they are mostly borderline crazy. But when a homeless lady mistakes you for a fellow street-girl, it strikes a chord with ones appreance based ego. Ouch.

Later that day I was speaking with another lady at the shelter. If anyone out there reads the Oregonian, she is known by her street alias as ‘Mom’, and hangs out with the infamous Portland StreetKids being a motherly figure and influence. She is a street-celeb. When I asked for her autograph for my mom, who a few days ago told me about the article she read in the oregonian about this streetkid mom, she asked which part of the streets my mom and i lived on. At that point, i just took it as a compliment that i get along with the ladies to a point where they too consider us equals. which we are, but being mistaken for homeless 2 times in one day was overwhelming. So when time 3 happened and my co-worker made fun of me in my hugeass sweatshirt, I vowed never to go to work again without showering. Fuck. What a day. I also sat on a couch reading for a few minutes until my boss yanked me off and seemed genuinly concered that I may have sat there long enough to attract Scavies or lice. I sat on the scavies couch. Fuckin fantastic.

Today I was coaxed into getting a haircut. I hate haircuts.Then i was coaxed into going to the mall. Malls make haircuts seem like Christmas. And at this mall, my purse was stolen: wallet, credit cards,car keys, phone and all. All stolen. Right before I go back to school. Perrrfect-o.

But all in all, who am I really to complain? I have a home and i have stuff to get stolen. Perspective, perspective.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

18 Aug

Well, the past 48 hours have been less than plesant. Usually I’m not one for complaining, but this is a special occasion. I didn’t get a hangnail; i got robbed.

So I’ve been workingas a case management assistant at a Domestic Violence shelter and a Homeless Women’s 24 hr Wet Shelter. A Wet shelter means women don’t have to be sober, sane, or off drugs. However, I’m learning that dry shelters, like the domestic violence shelter where people are expeted and tested to be clean via UA’s and Breathilizers, are actually more like…mosit shelters. If an addict is presented with the choice of a roof or their fix, it’s actually pretty competitive fight. At least it makes my job more entertaining. Yesterday I woke at 6:30 am to get to work at the homeless shelter on time. Anyone who knows me would assume that I went in my usual state, especially given the time: huge sweatshirt, jeans, ratty fake uggs, and my hair in a curly samuri bun on top of my head. So what. I was chatting with one of the women in the shelter I hadn’t met before, and she told me she liked my earings.I thanked her, and added my mom had gotten them for me. She surveys the room with her eyes, and asks me which one is my mom. I told her I worked there. Really? Yes, really. But you look so young and blend in with us. Oh….thanks. Don’t get me wrong, there is no shame in blending in with the homeless community–they are some of the strongest, wisest women I’ve ever met. They are survivors, they are hillarious, they are mostly borderline crazy. But when a homeless lady mistakes you for a fellow street-girl, it strikes a chord with ones appreance based ego. Ouch.

Later that day I was speaking with another lady at the shelter. If anyone out there reads the Oregonian, she is known by her street alias as ‘Mom’, and hangs out with the infamous Portland StreetKids being a motherly figure and influence. She is a street-celeb. When I asked for her autograph for my mom, who a few days ago told me about the article she read in the oregonian about this streetkid mom, she asked which part of the streets my mom and i lived on. At that point, i just took it as a compliment that i get along with the ladies to a point where they too consider us equals. which we are, but being mistaken for homeless 2 times in one day was overwhelming. So when time 3 happened and my co-worker made fun of me in my hugeass sweatshirt, I vowed never to go to work again without showering. Fuck. What a day. I also sat on a couch reading for a few minutes until my boss yanked me off and seemed genuinly concered that I may have sat there long enough to attract Scavies or lice. I sat on the scavies couch. Fuckin fantastic.

Today I was coaxed into getting a haircut. I hate haircuts.Then i was coaxed into going to the mall. Malls make haircuts seem like Christmas. And at this mall, my purse was stolen: wallet, credit cards,car keys, phone and all. All stolen. Right before I go back to school. Perrrfect-o.

But all in all, who am I really to complain? I have a home and i have stuff to get stolen. Perspective, perspective.

Little known facts

12 Aug

There are 11 lighthouses in Maine. Also, pregnant and recently pregnant women are more likely to be victims of homicide than to die of any other cause18 , and evidence exists that a significant proportion of all female homicide victims are killed by their intimate partners*.How fucked up is that?! I’m starting to pick up little tid-bits of really disturbing information like that the longer i work there. The first fact about the lighthouses I learned from Snapple.

Little known facts

11 Aug

There are 11 lighthouses in Maine. Also, pregnant and recently pregnant women are more likely to be victims of homicide than to die of any other cause18 , and evidence exists that a significant proportion of all female homicide victims are killed by their intimate partners*.How fucked up is that?! I’m starting to pick up little tid-bits of really disturbing information like that the longer i work there. The first fact about the lighthouses I learned from Snapple.

Get this motherfucker out of office

11 Aug

myAction_c1=”Should Vice President Cheney be impeached?”; blogImage_c1=”http://www.usalone.com/c1a.gif”; imageW_c1=150;

Get this motherfucker out of office

10 Aug

myAction_c1=”Should Vice President Cheney be impeached?”; blogImage_c1=”http://www.usalone.com/c1a.gif”; imageW_c1=150;

It Was the Best of Jobs, It Was the Worst of Jobs

10 Aug


Look at the above pictures: a homeless woman and the psyudo-Stepford Wife, Martha Stewart.

Compare them.

Did you come up with more simmilarities between the two women or differenes?

About a month ago, I can assure you that I would have immidiatly began listing how these two types of women are worlds apart. But now, I’m pretty sure we’re all a lot more alike than any upper-middle class ego’s wold like to admit. I’ve recently met a homeless lady who was a germaphobe, and a rich housewife whose undiagnosed mental disorder is only lulled into remmision by privatley poppin pain killers.This past week I’ve seen the naked bodies of a street prophet and an old Jewish woman, both of whom attempted to bestow upon me lessons of life unashamed of their over-the-hill-breasts staring at me. And rest assured, having a roof doesn’t make a damn bit of difference when it comes to encountering domestic abuse. Fears, rituals, compulsion, mental disorders, drugs,booze,throwing and taking the punches, all wrapped in a female package–these are motiefs of life, and apperantly override how much money is in the bank or if a person robs the bank.

Social work. Interesting. I’ve also learned that if I were to become homeless tomorrow and had to tough it out on the streets, I would have a hell of a time: most shelters have no room; when they have room, most require you be sober; when you are sober and in a shelter, you can only stay for a limited time; to get an apartment you need to have money; to have money you need a job; to gt a job you need a SS card, references, transportation, and childcare if you have a child; etc, etc, etc. Climbing out of that hole without serious addictions and emotional/physical trauma of street life/violence takes a person with enough wit to make it in the businessworld. I really respect these women.

I like social work.

It Was the Best of Jobs, It Was the Worst of Jobs

9 Aug


Look at the above pictures: a homeless woman and the psyudo-Stepford Wife, Martha Stewart.

Compare them.

Did you come up with more simmilarities between the two women or differenes?

About a month ago, I can assure you that I would have immidiatly began listing how these two types of women are worlds apart. But now, I’m pretty sure we’re all a lot more alike than any upper-middle class ego’s wold like to admit. I’ve recently met a homeless lady who was a germaphobe, and a rich housewife whose undiagnosed mental disorder is only lulled into remmision by privatley poppin pain killers.This past week I’ve seen the naked bodies of a street prophet and an old Jewish woman, both of whom attempted to bestow upon me lessons of life unashamed of their over-the-hill-breasts staring at me. And rest assured, having a roof doesn’t make a damn bit of difference when it comes to encountering domestic abuse. Fears, rituals, compulsion, mental disorders, drugs,booze,throwing and taking the punches, all wrapped in a female package–these are motiefs of life, and apperantly override how much money is in the bank or if a person robs the bank.

Social work. Interesting. I’ve also learned that if I were to become homeless tomorrow and had to tough it out on the streets, I would have a hell of a time: most shelters have no room; when they have room, most require you be sober; when you are sober and in a shelter, you can only stay for a limited time; to get an apartment you need to have money; to have money you need a job; to gt a job you need a SS card, references, transportation, and childcare if you have a child; etc, etc, etc. Climbing out of that hole without serious addictions and emotional/physical trauma of street life/violence takes a person with enough wit to make it in the businessworld. I really respect these women.

I like social work.

summer reading

7 Aug

I’m reading a great book, it’s a true page turner.

For anyone who automatically assumed it was harry potter, go masterbate in the corner to your little beloved wizard and stop tarnishing my ego with your mental association between me and this crime against humanity.

The book is titled Middlesex, and it is fascinating. It’s about hermaphrodites and inscest and immigration and assimilation, all in one.

If you’re looking for a nice summer read before going back to school and suddely being bombarded with text upon text and feeling out of reading practice, then read this. Oprah and the New York Times both agree with me, and their word is as good as holy.

summer reading

6 Aug

I’m reading a great book, it’s a true page turner.

For anyone who automatically assumed it was harry potter, go masterbate in the corner to your little beloved wizard and stop tarnishing my ego with your mental association between me and this crime against humanity.

The book is titled Middlesex, and it is fascinating. It’s about hermaphrodites and inscest and immigration and assimilation, all in one.

If you’re looking for a nice summer read before going back to school and suddely being bombarded with text upon text and feeling out of reading practice, then read this. Oprah and the New York Times both agree with me, and their word is as good as holy.

Pre-Kindergarden Sex Appeal

4 Aug

My cousins name is Emoney. We pronounce it Amani, which coincodently is Swahili for Faith.But if her mother had it her way, she would be E-Money, as was intended.But with her mother out of the picture, she is in her grandmother, my aunts, care. And my white, jewish side of the family unanimously agreed: swahili over ebonics.

I know that my aunt, who is nearly 60 and has 4 adult children of her own, is doing her best raise Emoney on her own. But once in a while, I see a lapse injudegement and it makes my hair curl…ever curlier. Because I’m that angry.

For example, a few days ago some of the extended family came over for dinner.
The cast of characters at the table:
Grandma-who fell asleep at the table
Aunt Carol- who ( also) fell asleep at the table
Aunt Laura- managed to keep concious through dessert; Emoney’s actual grandma but adopted parent
Dad, Mom, Myself, and,
Emoney- my 4 year old beautifulllllll lil black cuz. WHO WAS WEARING MAKEUP!!!!

She is 4 years old, America.That means pre-Kindergarden, pre-fine motor skills, and absolutly prepubescent.Albeit, she is girly, always doning pink and bratz doll in hand. I know kids are growing up faster these days, but SHIT, when did it become acceptable for a 4 YEAR OLD TO WEAR EYESHADOW AND LIPSTICK??

I don’t know which is worse: this makeup fiasco, or last year when she barley touched her food and when asked why she said, “eating makes you fat.” Maybe I’m wrong thinking this is horrific, maybe she’s just cut out for great things, like starting Todlers Against Obesity.

If I’m lucky, she just won’t be deflowered by the time she’s 5.

Pre-Kindergarden Sex Appeal

3 Aug

My cousins name is Emoney. We pronounce it Amani, which coincodently is Swahili for Faith.But if her mother had it her way, she would be E-Money, as was intended.But with her mother out of the picture, she is in her grandmother, my aunts, care. And my white, jewish side of the family unanimously agreed: swahili over ebonics.

I know that my aunt, who is nearly 60 and has 4 adult children of her own, is doing her best raise Emoney on her own. But once in a while, I see a lapse injudegement and it makes my hair curl…ever curlier. Because I’m that angry.

For example, a few days ago some of the extended family came over for dinner.
The cast of characters at the table:
Grandma-who fell asleep at the table
Aunt Carol- who ( also) fell asleep at the table
Aunt Laura- managed to keep concious through dessert; Emoney’s actual grandma but adopted parent
Dad, Mom, Myself, and,
Emoney- my 4 year old beautifulllllll lil black cuz. WHO WAS WEARING MAKEUP!!!!

She is 4 years old, America.That means pre-Kindergarden, pre-fine motor skills, and absolutly prepubescent.Albeit, she is girly, always doning pink and bratz doll in hand. I know kids are growing up faster these days, but SHIT, when did it become acceptable for a 4 YEAR OLD TO WEAR EYESHADOW AND LIPSTICK??

I don’t know which is worse: this makeup fiasco, or last year when she barley touched her food and when asked why she said, “eating makes you fat.” Maybe I’m wrong thinking this is horrific, maybe she’s just cut out for great things, like starting Todlers Against Obesity.

If I’m lucky, she just won’t be deflowered by the time she’s 5.

Crack and Sunflowers

3 Aug

” That’s not my crack pipe, by the way.”

That comment was nonchalantly tossed into the stale, office air from the pursed lips of a 60 year old woman. That’s my new boss–think social worker type, with a dash of that distinct portland granola flair. And no, that really wasn’t her crack pipe. As she searched the employee schedule hunting for my first time slot, I fiddled with the (half full!) crackpipe.For such a mischievious little tool, the pipe looked harmless.To my suprise, it was almost…cute. As if the yellow sunflower emblem on the side of it’s base would miraculously make the crack-addict think, ‘Ah,I’m so tranquil. It’s like I’m engulfed in a meadow of yellow flowers in the springtime.’ If someone is hitting a crack pipe, that is a tell-tale sign that it may take a little more than folliage to arouse euphoria. Moreover, if someone was about to smoke some crack, common sense makes me doubt that a flower sticker could capture the attention of any addict with their fix to their lips. I admit: I am a crack virgin.And since I haven’t walked in an addict’s moccosin, or payless, boots, my 2 cents has about as much validity as Bush talking about the environment or black people. With that disclaimer, I’m going to come out and say it:

A flower sticker on a crackpipe is the most useless piece of ‘flair’ I can imagine. In this entire universe.
I challenge you to name one accsesory, one bumper sticker, one item from Skymall Magazine, that is more useless than the crackpipe psyudo-tatoo.Just one.

I even did some of the research for you and browsed through the Skymall Catalouge online.The sticker’s biggest competetor was (drumroll) A Flying Fucking Alarm Clock. Unbelievable….that actually exists…and sells. As worthless as flying alarm clock seems, I still think that it inadvertantly has more use than a crack sticker.

Hypothetically: Some millionaire douchebag will put the flying alarm clock on the nightstand next to his king size temperpedic water bed and designer sheets. Better yet, those 900 thread sheets would be drapping over an underage, under-the-influence brazillian model. The two hungover midlight lovers will notice eachothers presence and blush, simultaneously realizing that they both just played their strengths to their advantage to attain what the other had ( wealth, a sexpot). Now, under the judgement of the songbirds and sunshine, the girl’s cross tatoo on her lowerback would light up. And then that palpating hedache of his (accented by a morning aftertaste of merlot) would turn to pangs of guilt because her innocence was highlighted under the windowsill,a radical change from the night before. Those smokey, seductive eyes which had lured him to her like bait him were no longer outlined in black. They seemed naked, vulnerable, exposed. Once both regained their facilities, the silence between them in the room became noticable, loud, unberable. Then, suddenly, the flying alarm clock rose from the nightstand and broke the tension sweltering in the air…..the two laughed…and lived happily ever after. The fucking end.

See? in that situation, the flying clock is virtually necessary. As far out as that is, I can’t even imagine a Nora Roberts-esque story where the sunflowercrackpipe would ever, ever help.

I invite you to correct me if I’m wrong.

for a visual, check out the clock:
http://www.skymall.com/shopping/detail.htm?pid=102248735&cm_re=HomePage-_-H7-_-HammacherSchlemmer73755

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