Friday, December 05, 2008

New York and L.A. and Austin, Oh My!

Since I can't get everyone out there a holiday present, I'm instead treating you all to Guest Posting Fridays! YOU get a laugh! YOU get a laugh! (OK, that was bad.) (Even for me.) (I blame the accident.) For the next three Fridays, two hilarious bloggers, Jessica Bern and Marinka, will post their very funny writing on my blog. And my sort-of-funny writing will be posted on theirs. (And please excuse any formatting issues. Apparently I'm cut/paste challenged.)

Jessica is a single mother/actress/bad ass who lives in L.A. Be sure to check out her amazingly funny webisodes. She's like the female Larry David. Except she's a hell of a lot cuter and was never married to Laurie David. And Marinka lives in NYC where she gets to do glamorous things like ride the subway and dodge
spitting street people. She also likes to end words in "inka" and is very, very funny every day.

Today's posts are about the cities we live in. My story, "Why Austin" can be found at both of their sites. Happy Friday!


By Jessica Bern at

Want to know of a great way to commit suicide in Los Angeles? Try standing in an empty parking spot along the side of a busy thoroughfare, lined with restaurants, at the heart of rush hour and refuse to move, no matter what.

You want a nice way to raise your blood pressure? Stand in said parking spot for over TEN MINUTES while a variety of people try to back into the space while you yell out, "You wanna park here? Fine, but you're going to have to run me over first!"

You want to know how many people in Los Angeles care when you tell them you're holding the spot because you're trying to help out a friend with two small children? ZERO.

You want to know how many people in Los Angeles care when you switch your reason to "a friend with two small children and advanced Multiple Sclerosis" because you are now becoming afraid that the whole "then you're going to have to run me over" line is becoming less of a threat and more of an impending reality? ZERO.

This really happened to me the other day.

First, there was the gal in the Jeep Cherokee. She didn't put up much of a fight, I'll grant you, but did take a moment to call me a stupid c&$*t before driving away, all without ever getting off of her cell phone.

Then there was the man who pulled up and then just sat at the wheEl and glared at me for what felt like forever. I can't tell you exactly what kind of car he was in, but I do remember feeling this rush of joy because I finally came face to face with someone who actually drives a bigger piece of crap than I do.

After that came the old lady in her Jaguar with the handicap sign hanging from her rearview mirror. I honestly told myself that if she started to back in, the spot was hers. This is exactly the type that you read about in the paper, you know the ones who drive through a storefront, killing everyone inside because they could have sworn they put the car in reverse.

The best (worst) of them all was the Prius. The car was filled with girls in their twenties. At first, the driver slowly backed in and didn't stop until her bumper was a mere couple of feet from me. I only know this because, although I had my back to them and refused to turn around, Phoebe, who was standing on the sidewalk at the time, yelled out, "Mommy, they're coming!" I'm guessing, after realizing that my kid was right there, they actually grew a conscience, which is why they finally drove away, but of course not before tossing a dollar out the window and yelling, "Get a f&#*ing babysitter."

"We are the World, We are the Children, We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving..." Yeah, right.


By Marinka at

For the past twenty years, I've lived in various apartment buildings in NYC, most of which had a doorman. If you're thinking that I have some nerve asking for sympathy while being lucky enough to live in doorman buildings, that's probably because you have vastly underestimated my capacity for whining.

As most New Yorkers will tell you, doormen are a great convenience. The mailman leaves your package with the doorman so that you don't have to go to the post office, the doorman announces your visitors so that you are not rudely interrupted by random downstairs buzzing with a "Yo, crack whore, I'm here!" and he provides necessary gossip about your neighbors so you don't have to spend valuable time snooping. And yet, for me, it's mostly a safety issue. Somehow, having a man who is roughly the size of my thigh in the lobby of my building is a source of great comfort for me. For some reason, the fact that anyone over the age of 4 could best him in a jostle does not alarm me. I suspect that the reason is that I'm an idiot.

No question, it's a luxury, but with a hefty price. Although there are as many types of doormen as there are snowflakes, in my two decades of apartment living, I have met only a handful of doormen who are not suffering from a back injury so debilitating that they are unable to lift anything heavier than an envelope with their Christmas tip. So they cannot help you with your grocery bags and please, don't even mention your suitcases. You're lucky they can lift their own donuts.

But you know what's more annoying than the doorman who won't carry your bags for you? The one who insists on carrying your bag, no matter how tiny and no matter how mortifying the contents (hello, Tampon-cum-Vibrator!) (Which, by the way, is Latin. Veni, Vidi, Vici, y'all) to the elevator, ripping the package out of your hands in an effort to be helpful. Yes, this does happen more frequently as we approach the holiday season, why do you ask?

My favorite doorman had a habit of pressing my floor button once I got into the elevator, assuming, apparently, that I am either senile and don't remember where I live or that I am one of those morons who thought that the elevator was voice-activated or would know intuitively where to take me without any direction on my part. Sometimes he pressed the wrong floor, so that I got to stop and check in on my neighbors.

Of course, what annoys me most about doormen is not their fault. Throughout the day, I am constantly in and out of the building--to take the kids to school, to get coffee, to get a snack, to get another snack, to run errands, and another snack never hurt anyone. Every time I pass through the lobby, there's the inevitable small talk.

"Have a great day!" the doorman will say.

"I'm coming back soon!" I'll say, because have a great day implies that I'll be gone for the entire day and I don't want there to be any misunderstandings between us.

"OK! See you later!"

"Alright, but I don't know how much later. I have to go to the dry cleaners and stop at the gym. I may be gone for awhile."

"I'll be here!" he says.

"I also have to go to the library. I don't know, I may be late. Maybe after your shift ends. Have a great night, if I miss you."


"But I may be back immediately, I can't predict these things."


Obviously, I am completely exhausted by this exchange and have to go right back upstairs for a brisk nap. Fortunately, the doorman is right there to press the elevator button for me. Because that's luxury.


Marinka said...

These are great! You have a real eye for spotting talent!

Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

I already left a comment for Jessica on Marinka's blog and now - too late! - it occurs to me that duh, she lives in LA, of course she is already wearing sunglasses and a headset. Like they are welded to her head.

I remember the days of the doorman all too well. The small talk is the real killer. In the UK it is always about the weather. And when you are in and out as Marinka describes, it is about how the weather has changed in the last five minutes: "Going out again? Did you remember your umbrella? ...Getting a little cloudier out there now, don't you think so love?... Chillier than an hour ago. They say it will be sunny tomorrow. I don't know about that".

*Akilah Sakai* said...

I agree with Marinka!
You really do have an eye! And I guess Marinka and Jessica have the same gift as well!

Lovely idea ladies! I will be sure to tune in every Friday, even if my hair is on fire and a tazmanian devil is sitting on my laptop. I will not miss a thing!

The "YOU get a laugh!" was funny as hell. I prefer a CAR, but I'll gladly take the laugh from someone like you.

Ann's Rants said...

Found you through those other two HIlarious gals. Too bad I couldn't add you as a favorite, but I'm new to blogging and not very techno savvy. Loved your post and it made me teary, actually. Can so relate to those moments of "THIS is my LIFE?!?"

Oh, I barely survived selling TV add time for one of da big studios, so we have that in common.

the mama bird diaries said...

Very funny gals.

Oh Wendi - why oh why do you still not show up in my google reader. It makes me want to jump off a bridge.