Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I should really blog but I'm too tired. I've been working like a dog at work ( they changed my hours and let the other new girl go, so I'm contstantly picking up the slack) and been busting my ass to get my house ready for Leo's visit. I decided the place needed some sorely needed spiffing up, so I've been spiffing. Tonight I repainted my bedroom. By the time he gets here, I'm going to be so tired all I'm going to want to do is sleep, and he's going to be all "hey! Let's do x!" I can see it now: me handing him the keys to my car and a map, mumbling, "don't go too far south on the 405 and get lost, white boy...." AGGHH! No! Bad Jessica! Bad, bad, bad! Must not let it happen!
On that note I'm going to bed. Dammit, I can't wait to qualify for that free massage....

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My first semi-crappy day at work today was by far better than my best day at the Flower Shop. Here's why: when a customer got all uppity with me about my having to ask her to lower her voice as people in massage rooms could likely hear her, my immediate supervisor took over, defended me to the owner and said that it wasn't my fault. Can you imagine Joanna EVER doing that? Nope. Not a chance. And when the psycho clients just kept rolling in, the supervisor told me it was okay, and that maybe I should just take a break. Insane! I'm a person to these people! Go figure!

I wonder how long it will last?

In another adventure, Jeannie, Joannie and I went dowtown to the garment district yesterday to look for fabric ( I'm redoing my couch; see below). Take note: I am in LOVE!!!! That place is like Mexico, or Soho 20 years ago! Everything- short of live chickens, and I'm not entirely sure of that, since I didn't see all of it- can be had there at rock bottom prices. I could have spent DAYS there; it was block after city block of clothes, shoes, bootlegs, food, fabric, toys, luggage, jewelry, on and on andon. The next time I need a big-ticket item, I am definitely going there first. There's just no reason not to. Of course, it is impossible not to spend every dime you have there, as the bargains are almost too good to pass up. In addition to the fabric bonanza ( upholstery-quality velvet for $8 a yard- no joke!) I got a pair of $5 shoes, a $3 tank top and almost bought 5 bras for $10. I also got a $1.50 Mexican soda, which Joannie drank almost half of, and then fell asleep in the car on the ride home. How that happened is a miracle of nature, since said soda was about 40% juice, 45% syrup and about 5% carbonation and for all intents and purposes she should have been sticking to the roof. Clearly, though, a good time was had by all.

In upcoming adventures, my friend Leo is coming to visit me in about 2 weeks ( hence the couch redo). I've known Leo 22 (cringe! ) years now, and we only recently got in touch again after about a 7-8 lapse. When I was in high school, I had the biggest crush on him and later, when I was out of high school, I had the chance to ahem, how should we call it? Act on some impulses? Fufill some fantasies? (Okay, now this is grossing me out. It sounds dirtier than it actually was. We were just kids! Okay, now THAT is not what I meant either...). ANYWAY, poor Leo's fiancee recently dumped him rather abruptly and cruelly by running off and eloping with an ex-boyfriend just two short months ago." Ouch" isn't the word for it, since they'd been dating for a long, long time. "I want to crawl into a hole and die" are words he'd probably choose, although I suggested "I hope she gets hit by a train" might be a few others. I mean, it's one thing to get dumped. It's wholly another, in my book, to be so in love with someone you want to marry them and then have them leave you for somebody ELSE. Christ! But he's coming to visit me in an attempt to have his ego soothed a little by someone who knows him well, in all sorts of ways, including as an ex-lover. In return, he has promised to treat me to some desperately-needed male attention and flattery, not to mention some good conversation, reminiscing, and laughing. Hopefully, it will be good for both of our souls just to see an old friend and relax into the fact that we used to know each other when we were both drinking illegally (HEY! We were in the THEATRE! That's part of what you DO! And it was the 80's!). I'm sort of anxious and excited to see him again. We have all sorts of fun LA things planned, so I hope it turns out well....and that at the end of it, he can go back to Florida (where he lives now) and have a semi-healed heart, and I can walk away from it with a smile on my face more often than I do now, being so cut off all my old beloved friends like I am here in Oz....

Click, click, click ( the sound of heels tapping together).....

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I'm either getting really old, or I was just out of work for too long. I'm so tired. Last night I went to bed at 10pm. 10PM!!!!! I can't believe it. What does it mean? What does it MEAN??!?!?

Monday, March 13, 2006

I finally met with the rocker metal dude I'm supposed to sing backup for ( I'll call him Jeremy, since he looks like one, even though that's not even close to his actual name, but you should know better by now, dear reader....), and he's actually pretty cool! I can see why he wanted to do a solo project, because all the songs we worked on were so far away from anything his other band might do. They were very 80's influenced in my opinion, most of them. One of them was sort of Weezer-influenced, but that's still retro in a way. The other girl I'll be singing with, Jennifer, is cool, too. She's very creative and funny and easy to talk to. We were making up little riffs to sing along to Jeremy's stuff, and cracking up about whether we should do an "ooooh" or an "ahhhhh" or a "dooo dooo dooo" progression. These are important decisions, you know. ( A couple of times we flat out told him, "Dude, you need someone to sing those lyrics WITH you there," ( he was in falsetto) and he would just laugh and say "okay!"). I really thought that they would be far more pretentious than they actually were, given that this is LA and everyone here takes themselves so damned seriously because they're gonna make it, man!!! But they were very down to earth and friendly. Jeremy even emailed me today that he was really happy with the way things went last night. Go figure.

Things are still cool on the job front, so far. I'm getting the rhythm of things down, and I still like it alot. I think the office manager is still out on whether or not she likes me, but she's not mean or rude or unfair, so I can deal. Did I mention I'm the only white girl in there? The business is run by a Latino family, and those who are not related are also Latino. It doesn't bother me, but the cultural differences are amusing to note. All the women have kids and husbands and not only work all day but go home and take care of things there, too! They're like SuperWomen, in my book. They cook and clean and watch after the kids and then come and work their asses off at the job; it's totally acceptable for their husbands to work and just come home and expect all this. And they all cook like chefs. Always "oh, Jessica, you don't cook? Oh, but see, you can make this, and it's so easy, let me tell you...." I feel so embarassed that yes, I am too lazy to cook for just myself and no one else! And they're like, "you're not married? Do you want to be married? Do you want kids?" Whereas in my other job, NONE of the women had kids, and only ONE of them was married, (and you can be damned sure they didn't go home and fix dinner after work), so it was never even a question. I don't know where that racist stereotype of "lazy Mexicans" ever got started, because every single one I have met here works like crazy. Far harder than I ever do, that's for sure. Go figure, x2.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

....and speaking of certain Austrailians, these two sure look happy. Word is, they're getting married Mar.11 ( that's today!), but who knows. She looks like she's finally starting to defrost, and her smile looked genuine that night. And of course, he looks like the cat that ate the canary. Who wouldn't? A Grammy, an AMA, two CMAs , a triple platinum album and a sold out tour that just finished it's 18 month run, and now NICOLE KIDMAN? I begrudge him nothing. As for her, well, maybe it's not so bad. Tom Cruise was bad. She certainly deserves better than that, and with Keith, I suspect she's going to get it.

NOT that it has anything to do with me. It's just I know that I've been bitching for months now about my nausea at this pairing, and I just wanted to say that I think..... ( resigned sigh) ...I think I might just LIVE!! But seriously, I had a THING going on in my head ( Jung would be so proud at me for using cultural archetypes to work out my issues, wouldn't he?), and I knew it, but I had to work it through ( unfortunately skipping over your own Shadow makes things worse later)! I suspect this sort of thing ( Jungian projections on celebrities that really reflect your own interior conflicts) happens more often than most people realize. They're our Roman Gods and Goddesses, and we endow them with both human frailty and the sheen of divinity, and by watching them live their lives, and play out the human experience, we look to learn. Consciously or not. That's my theory, anyway.

But he's still hot and god knows, if I were her, I'd marry him, too soon or not. And I still like his work. Best wishes to the both of them, and I hope my sexy cowboy shows up soon. If not, I might just have to get some more cats.
Sassy cracks me up with her candid admissions of her rampant libido. Believe it or not, I don't have nearly her chutzpa to admit to the world that I'm horny or not. I know, I know- I've talked about my crack-up, my exes, my menstrual cycle, my family, my finances, and my obsession with certain Austrailians to the point of eye-rolling embarrassment. But I just cannot, for the life of me, discuss my, erm, um, you know, needs, unless it's indirectly (see any post about aforementioned Austrailians).

Maybe it's just that I hate, hate , HATE the word "horny". It's just so college-frat-boy-in-shorts/baseball cap/t-shirt-holding-a-cup-of-cheap-beer, yelling, "Dude!" I don't know why that image comes to mind, but it does. Can't we, as highly evolved verbal beings, come up with a different word? Libidinous. Desirous. (*reaching for the thesaurus*) Wantonness ( no, that implies a moral judgement.) I once had someone call me ( in jest), a slattern harlot , but again that doesn't really describe the feeling, just the end result! (*reaching for dictionary*) Okay, it WAS in the dictionary, but it gave me no synonyms. Dammit. Jeannie had a slang dictionary, and it would be interesting to know the entomolgy of the word. Then maybe I could come up with alternatives. Suggestions are welcome...

At any rate, I'm right there with her. Actually, it's been like this for about two months now, and I don't have a Rusty to take care of things. It's so weird, because I can live with it for awhile( the -ergh!- horniness), and then WHAMMO! Something in the cosmos shifts and I just feel completely out of control ( and right now, with nowhere to go!) . And since it's been QUITE awhile, I seriously worry for the next man that wanders into my bed ( that really DOES make sound like a harlot. Ah, fuck it. Metaphorically speaking.) . He's going to be very, very tired and probably, run as fast as he can as soon as he can get his pants back on, suspecting I'm some sort of succubus. Or out to get knocked up, which I can assure you is not the case at this particular time. For as I have a keening desire to have children sooner than later ( something else I have stated quite frankly in this blog), I have NO desire to have a kid THIS instant in my life. That would so not work. Even I'm self-reflective enough to realize that.

My body, however, feels differently and has some sort of nefarious plan to force my hand in the matter. Whenever , as Sassy so delicately describes it "have those kinds of hormones running around", I just lose. My. Mind. Not in the bad spiraling-down-into-the-pit-of-hellish-depression kind of way that I now get medicine for ( yippee!). NO. I just get overrun with lust almost to the point of total distraction. Can't think of anything else, no, I don't want to go to a movie, no, I don't want to read this book, every guy on the street is suddenly far more attractive,etc. It's BAD. I can' even do it justice without getting ToTaLLy graphic and sharing Far Too Much Information that I assure you, you dont need to have. Clearly, this is my body's attempt to get me to copulate my way into breeding whether I, the person who inhabits this vessel, want to or not. Given my age, I'm a bit surprised. When I was in my twenties, I certainly had these kinds of feelings, but not nearly to this degree. It's only when I hit my thirties that it has been just insanity. And the older I get, the more intense it is. I'd've thought that it's be the other way around: since I was at prime childbearing age, oh, say TEN years ago ( sob), I would have had those levels of desire THEN, when it was more ideal biologically. But, conversely, it also makes sense that I'm reaching the point where it's-now-or-never, and perhaps my body is just trying to make a last bid to get it done by making the idea irresistible. I have no idea. Again, suggestions, ideas,welcome, because all my OB/GYN has to say is, "you're normal. You have a bit of a window yet. It's closing , so I wouldn't hold off forever, but you're okay til about 40."

BUT I REITERATE, this is NOT what I'm looking for in my life right now! Frankly, I just want to get laid ( there, I used THAT slang, which I have no issue with whatsoever). With someone I am actually attracted to and who knows a thing or two. Is that too much to ask? Normal people have this in their life on a semi- regular basis! What the hell is wrong with me that I don't?? I seriously want to know. Again, suggestions, ideas, commentary welcome.

Frustration, thy name is Jessica.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Well, I guess I need to start smoking crystal meth. That's what all the moms do these days when they want to lose weight, right ( according to my local ABC affilaite's "expose" cover story)?

I went to see Master P yesterday and although we had a relatively pleasant conversation about how to treat medication resistant bipolars, and SoCal cult activities like Synanon and their attendent tragedies ( he's seen it all, that man, I must say. Gotta love a doctor like that...), we did take a short detour into discussing my medication regime ( as that was techinically what I was paying him for). Nothing new, nothing exciting, I just asked if one of my meds ( Neurontin, for anxiety and stabilizing moods) could be causing me to eat more, because after I take it, I crave sweets. He informed me that some people get that with the drug, and THEN informed me it wasn't JUST that it made me more hungry, it actually slowed my metabolism.

Great. Just great.

Of course I'm not going to stop taking it, since it WORKS and I finally found a combo that works, and I'll damned if I'm going to screw with it. But since he's just basically informed me that this particular drug is one that will make me FAT if I'm not careful , I'm not thrilled. Granted, I've been taking it for almost 3 years now, and I've certainly lost and gained and lost weight in that time, I have noticed that it isn't like it used to be. I'm older, too, so that is also a factor, but let's just say I didn't need the additional roadblock. Dammit.
In a funny ( sort of), ironic twist, the OTHER drug I take, ( Effexxor, the antidepressant) makes people LOSE weight. It inhibits appetite ( and in another ironic twist, it also has the fun side effect where if you don't eat you become even more of a raging asshole than you might normally. Trust me on that one.) . So perhaps I'm just hanging here in the middle and it's really all on ME, after all.

Nah. That would mean I might actually have to start eating better and excersizing more.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Yes, yes, she's not totally unemployable! Apparently her smarts and charm still work, and do not need to be repaired ( although where I would go for that, I'm not sure)!

Ironically, I'm working as a receptionist for a massage therapy place ( not THAT kind of massage, get your mind out of the gutter). The pay isnt too great, but it's very low stress; you know, nice tinkling music and low lighting and candles and whatnot, and everyone walks around whispering. "Do we have clean towels?" " Can you put a new bucket of water in the sauna?" , and suchlike. AND I get one free massage a month! That alone makes me want to dance on tables. It's so weird: I get into this accident that wrecks my back so I can't do what I used to, which is not so bad, since I got tired of the stupid mall, broken stems flying at my head and getting yelled at such heinous crimes as using the wrong envelopes. Now I'm here, working at a job so quiet I could fall asleep, doing laundry ( which I like, believe it or not) and answering the a place where if there's something wrong with my back, they'll fix it for free. The Universe is very strange sometimes.

Of course I'm TERRIFIED. It could all go wrong at any second! I keep thinking of that old Smiths song " I looked for a job and I found a job/ And heaven knows I'm miserable now...." After all, that's how the last situation turned out. But who knows? I can't fuck up everything, and eventually, everything can't be fucked up despite me, so maybe it will all work out.

I hope. I hope I hope.

Monday, March 06, 2006

* staring at tv, blinking, mouth open, aghast*

That was the shortest Oscar telecast I think I've ever seen! It's 8:45 and it's OVER? I've only been sitting here for 3 hours and 45 minutes! I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!!! Usually my Oscar nights start about 4pm and end with me and Lynnie sitting on the sofa-- actually, limply lying askance on the sofa, eyes half-open-- saying, "How long have we been watching this? When's the last time we ate? Will the sun rise again tomorrow and the fate of the Best Picture award still be unknown???"
I can't imagine what it's like for actual Academy attendees, who have to start arriving around 3pm for a 5pm show, after leaving their homes roughly an hour before to ensure their traffic navigation. All of that in a gown and makeup and you know THAT proccess started at like, what, NOON? Yeah, to leave at 2pm or so, and get all tv-worthy, it takes about two hours. So the last time THEY ate was brunch. Stuff a Sinckers into that Judith Leiber bag, ladies, because unless you have deli sandwiches stuffed into your limo ( maybe they do, I don't know. There's a good marketing plan for someone's potential business...), you're going to be smiling for the cameras while your stomach growls. At least the men only have to get into tuxes.
Although, it might not be all that important. Food, I mean. It doesn't seem to be a big trend right now in Hollywood by looking at everyone swanning down the red carpet tonight. Kit and I were constantly bemoaning everyone's emaciated appearance. When you look at it on tv, it looks, well...a little questionable, but when you think about the camera adding 10lbs.....ack!! ( Which is not a myth, BTW> it's less noticable for some lucky bitches, but the reasons why are elusive. I, for example, inflate like a blowfish when a camera is on me. My skin and eyes look fabulous, and luckily, the camera likes to watch me act, but I look like I've been on cortisone for months. Kit looks fine, she says, ( I would concur, I've seen her shots; she looks like a model) except her face ends up being the shape of a chipmunk's ( I don't think so, but I can see how she would think so, and that's what matters). God, this business makes you focus on the most vapid, vain minutae; it's insane. The other day I'm looking at my skin and I notice these wrinkles on my forehead and start freaking out. Gotta get Restalyne. Should I Botox?? Gotta see a surgeon. By the time Kit arrives my career is over, and I might as well move home. Kit looks me over and says, "What are you TALKING about? Get a GRIP, Jessica!" But it's like that: you totally lose perspective, and then you end up looking like Dolly Parton or something. AM I digressing parenthetically? Why, I believe I am....) Everyone looked like they needed a nap and a good Italian vacation. All these beautiful girls with lovely curves like Jessica Alba and Lindsey Lohan, dieted down to stickville. They look AWFUL, has no one pointed that out? They look like f-ing cancer patients. Then Felicity Huffman gets out of the car, and she's already a tiny lady, and she's wearing this dress that is cut to her navel and shows off...her protruding breastbone. No soft curving breasts, just her where her ribs meet in the middle. I SO don't get it....
And it's not just because I'm feeling fat or too "curvy" lately ( although anxiously I admit I have some work to do). Kit, who is a total of 125 soaking wet was sitting there right next to me, going, "Jess, what am I going to do? If I get any smaller, my bones are will start to stick out. That's gross. I'm not caving! I won't!" In some ways, it's easier for me. I can lose 20 lbs ( which would still make me "plus-sized" by Hollywood standards), but I can get great character roles. Kit is trapped in the ingenue shuffle, the most competitive bracket an actress can be in. It's the Jennifer Aniston/ Rachel McAdams / Insert Name Here spot, where you're The Girl Who Everyone Wants To Be Like. Part of me is sad and angry I don't qualify for that anymore; my inner kid is screaming, "I want to be the prettiest girl at the party! Me! Me! Me!", and the grown-up is going, "Honey, don't sweat it. You're still hot. And if you start off your career banking on youth and beauty, it only goes downhill as you try to live up to yourself." I look at Nicole Kidman ( who actually looked NORMAL tonight, with a forehead that moved and a good bit of extra meat on her, and a yeah-I'm-getting-laid smile on her face. Note to self, though: Keith looks odd in a tux. Ergh.) and she's allegedly The Most Beautiful Woman In Hollywood. But for the last 5 years or so it's been one crappy fluffy movie after another where they have her in these "pretty" roles that require her to shoot biotoxins into her face and be thinner than a cracker in profile, just to hold up that image. What pressure, what odd results ( which are so far from Truly Beautiful it might as well be on a seperate continent, in my opinion) , what ridiculousness.

But I'm could go and on about this, and as you know I usually do....

By and large, though, I thought this year's Oscars were one of the best I'd ever seen. Jon Stewart was perfect ( they should have him back, definitely), it was a tightly run ship with no boring stalls or weird attempts to do something different ( like last year's lets-present-from-the-aisle! shots). And as we all commented, every single person nominated was so deserving, it was hard to choose who or what to root for. No matter who won, we all clapped. I was a tad disappointed that "Walk The Line" didn't win more, or that the actors from "Brokeback Mountain" won nothing. At the same time, who could begrudge Phillip Seymour Hoffman ANYTHING? He's so good -- in everything I've ever seen him in-- he could read the fucking phone book on film and I would say, "hey, that guy deserves an Oscar!" And who could say George Clooney didn't give the best speech of the night, so gracious and funny; deserving because he really believes in his job and tried ( with both "Syriana" and "Good Night and Good Luck") to use it artfully? It's tough. I haven't seen "Crash" but I hope it was worthy enough to beat out its contenders. Somehow, I suspect it probably was. That's how tight the race was this year, and that's why it was so much fun to watch.

...and that's Jessica's Oscar Report , for 2006. I'll leave the rest ot the exegesis to the experts, like "Access Hollywood"and "Extra" and "People". Back to you, Pat...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Well, if you found your way here, you found your way out of the tornado that was "A Valley Girl's Progress" and its attendant firestorm of controversy. You are among a special few who are currently allowed to view my random musings from this crazy place called L.A., where you're definitely not in Kansas anymore....

Stay tuned....