An Open Letter To The Dancers Walking To The Edge Dance Center Next To My Gym [An Unexpected Purge]

On any given day I pass you shouldering your duffle bags as you make your way into an intermediate modern, hip hop or barre technique class, ready to stretch, gyrate and twirl for an hour in a mirrored room smelling of sweat and resin, and I lower my gaze as I hurry by. Or sometimes I stick out my jaw and stare straight ahead. It varies, but the truth of my end of the encounter does not. Please know that – rational or not – for myself and perhaps for others who are braving the treadmill even though we are a bit out of shape or doughy or haven’t seen our tricep muscle, well, ever – your unstudied, bonelessly lithe pixie-visage greeting our sweat soaked form as we hobble out to the parking lot after a spin class like a bow-legged chimpanzee is relentlessly intimidating. Your graceful stride and slender form – obvious even under what seems a dozen or so layers of perfectly mismatched clothing under the summer sun – is something that many of us couldn’t dream of pulling off, even if we subsisted on only tofu, carrots and a daily relationship with the stair master. Although I don’t know you, your happiness or your health personally, and as someone who studied dance in my formative years but would never consider myself to be a true dancer, I am jealous. I move out of your path and shuffle past in my bleach-stained sweats and corporate softball t-shirt and all the hard work and perspirative progress that I have just experienced dissolves and is momentarily rendered pointless. You are simply too cool. Some social truisms never seem to change. In conclusion, I ask that perhaps the next time you pass by someone like me – someone who still feels the need to curl her hair when she dresses up, has a pair of booties that will never make sense no matter how many times tried on, someone who is terrified equally by the likes of mixing prints and late night bacon-wrapped street dogs, know that although my life is in many ways happy this is my ridiculous, inescapable truth. Know this, and perhaps if the moment arises smile as you walk by. Feature Image Credit: My Less Serious Life Image Credit: London...

A Tale of Two Cities That Both Kind of Suck [California Seething] Apr22

A Tale of Two Cities That Both Kind of Suck [California Seething]

New Introduction- April 22, 2013 (you can also just read this part. I won’t be hurt. I swear. You bastard.) This past weekend. the NBA Playoffs started off with a bang! By which I don’t mean that there was a horrible terrorist attack during a playoff game but rather that there were a large number of reasonably exciting games over the weekend. I really need to be more careful when speaking figuratively- have I learned nothing from CNN this week? I mean, come on CNN- did you really think it was a good idea to describe the scene in Watertown with “It’s as though a bomb had dropped some where”?? That’s right up there with:  “This marathon man-hunt just came to a sudden, explosive end” and “The city of Boston is paralyzed today, like someone just blew both it’s legs off.” Congratulations – you win the coveted “WTF Award” from Wildly Inappropriate Metaphor Magazine- which breaks my streak of 20 consecutive weeks. Damn it!  I’m as angry a 19 year old Chechnyan terror suspect bleeding in a boat! By the way, did anyone guess that the Boston bombers were a couple of Chechnyan brothers? They totally busted my Marathon Bomber bracket. Seriously, they’re like the Wichita State of terrorists- I had them losing to Orange Haired Sociopath in the first round. I was positive that Crazy Red Faced White Guy with Camouflage Trucker Hat Who Makes the Word “Liberty” Seem Creepy and Gross was totally going to beat out Radicalized Saudi “Exchange Student” Who’s Taking Flight Lessons for Some Inexplicable Reason in the Finals. And speaking of loathsome scumbags, it was heartening to see just how quickly and decisively Congress responded to this attack by using it to derail Immigration Reform. Exploiting tragedy for...

The Giant Snowflakes Hanging Over NYC and LA [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Dec21

The Giant Snowflakes Hanging Over NYC and LA [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe]...

I first saw the giant illuminated snowflake hanging over 57th Street & 5th Avenue in New York City as a tourist well over a decade ago. It hangs right over the bustling flow of traffic and pedestrians. At the time, I thought it was only a cool decoration, but it turns out, this illuminated piece of frozen precipitation is helping a lot of children around the world. Get anywhere near the area and you’ll see tourists snapping photos, pedestrians looking up and cars slowing down. You can see it from blocks away. There’s no way you can miss this seeing giant snowflake! First erected in 1984, the dazzling snowflake quickly became a tourist attraction. In 2002, it was officially rededicated the “UNICEF Snowflake” by the Stonbely Family, to raise money and awareness for the organization. It acts as a beacon of peace for children around the world. When first constructed, it featured 12,000 handcrafted crystal prisms, was 17’ x 14’, weighed 1,600 pounds, and had 125 lights.  It was designed by Douglas Leigh, who also had a hand in designing lighting schemes for many New York City skyscrapers. UNICEF was created by the United Nations in 1946 to provide food and medical care for children in countries that were ravaged by World War II. Their work still continues providing education, nutrition, health care and sanitation to children in developing countries. UNICEF’s goal is to have zero children die from preventable causes. Each year, the flake is illuminated from Black Friday through end of January. The lighting ceremony is kicked off with a star studded black tie ball featuring appearances from big named celebrities.  In 2011, Angie Harmon had the honor of throwing the switch. This year, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Matt Lauer, Tony Bennett and many more were in...

I Can’t Drive 55! (or at all) – [California Seething]

Recently, the Expo Line opened from Downtown LA to Culver City. In the next few years, this new subway line will be extended all the way to the beach in Santa Monica. This is a very exciting development. Finally, 21st Century Los Angeles will have a mass transit system that can compete with 19th Century London’s. Just think of all the thousands of underprivileged Angelinos living in blighted neighborhoods without cars who soon will have affordable and convenient access to upscale, safe and fashionable neighborhoods where they aren’t wanted unless they’re bagging groceries at Whole Foods. And think of all the yoga-matt-and-Prius moms who’ll have to twist themselves up into pretzels trying to explain why they don’t like poor people in their neighborhoods without sounding like a bunch of cross-burning racists (I just looove Lululemon’s new Swastika line.) Look at the bright side moms – the faster your nanny can get to you by subway – the faster you can get out to Breadbar to discuss The Help at book club. Of course, this is a particularly exciting development for me, because I am a non-driver (the technical term is “loser”) and LA is a city meant to be traversed by car. Mind you, this was not always the case. LA History buffs love to bring up the fact that, back in the 40s this city was criss-crossed by street-cars and had one of the finest public transportation systems in the country. This is very helpful information for me to know, since I’m often looking for faster ways commute downtown by using a streetcar and a fucking time-machine. Unfortunately, in the 1950s the streetcar lines were all torn out by GM and Standard Oil so they could force consumers to use cars and buses instead. This...

Climbing the Walls [Tall Drink of Nerd]

Groupon had me climbing the walls yesterday. Every morning I wade through email offers from Groupon, Living Social, Amazon Local, Daily Candy and tons of other trickle down copy-cat sites. Today alone, I tossed 14 offers into the trash including: 60% off eye lash extensions, a reduced rate on a body-fat scale and discounted limo service. Lots of stuff I didn’t want, need or even look at. Back in November, however, one day after I had an extensive conversation about how rock climbing could boost my strength and temper my anxiety, a deal popped up for an indoor rock climbing gym. It seemed like one of those glorious, coincidental timing things. So this girl, who is usually only swayed by discounted massages, bought a climbing session. I printed the voucher, but the Groupon languished, magnetized to the fridge. Every time I reached for a snack, I was reminded that I was a total slacker who needed to climb. With only a week remaining before my deal expired, I called and made the appointment to do just that. Rockreation is tucked into a nondescript office strip mall in West Los Angeles. Walking in the door, I was struck that this is climbing practice nirvana, which happens to also smell a little bit like feet. Every wall is covered with hand holds and cliffs, some have overhangs that jut out at various angles, just like a real cliff. Climbing ropes were already hung on about 50% of the walls. In order to climb here, I needed to first fill in a waiver stating I wouldn’t sue Rockreation no matter how I managed to injure or kill myself at their facility. That pumped my anxiety a little, but I figured climbing nirvana was as good a place...