Friday, February 29, 2008

Got To Give It Up

I stan for Craig Charles from way back. I loved his skitchy ass in Red Dwarf, and I love him now. You need to be listening to his funk show on BBC6, because your pasty behind needs more 'fro in your life. I know this for a fact; and yes, I'm talking to you.

On a not-at-all-related note, I got practically all the way to work this morning on the Culver City 3 (aka My Green Machine) when an inexplicably radiant chick got on and radiantly fumbled around for the correct fare. There were probably about 10 or so commuters left on the bus by that point, and she turned to address us [radiantly, natch. Seriously, this chick had a smile like the sun--it was blinding]: "does anyone have change for a $5?" I didn't. No one else said anything, either. Her smile didn't waver. She looked each of us in the eye. I felt she was asking me something deeper than whether I had five singles in my possession. The mood on the bus started to get tense. I had three one dollar bills in the pocket of my shirt. But three is not five and I have never felt my own insufficiency more than at that moment. The bus kept moving. No one said anything. More moments passed. I reached into my pocket and withdrew my three wrinkled dollar bills with a timid hand. I hesitantly raised my hand, but my mouth stayed stubbornly shut. I couldn't seem to find the words to say "if you're willing to take a 40% loss, I can help you ride this bus." At that moment, my halfhearted effort at aiding my fellow man was obviated: this sun-bleached California chick found &4.75 in her backpack and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I Don't Have It In Me

Now that I've got [moderately] gainful employment, I've got to start looking for a new place to live. I've got to tell you: the thought of an apartment search in this town makes me want to walk off a pier. I have no idea where to look, and no idea what constitutes a good deal. Add to that a checkered credit history, and you'll start to get an idea of why I'm thinking about taking a page from the book of Jill* and just living in my office for awhile.

I really want to live alone again. I love all of the people with whom I have co-habitated, but I'm antsy to be large and in charge in my own crib, again. But let me tell you how much that costs in this town: one billion dollars.

*one of Orlando's ex-girlfriends. I think she got away with it for about four months!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Perverse and Often Baffling

One of the benefits of my new-found lease on life is that I suddenly remembered that I was supposed to be in love with Malcolm Gladwell.

Here is a link to a recent episode of This American Life, in which Gladwell anchors the week’s focus on tough rooms. You’ll like it. And if, like me, you’re currently wage-slaving in another city office in another corporate high-rise in another frenetic city, then you got nothing better to do while you try to look busy other than banging on the keyboard like a lunatic monkey.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Whoa, Lawwwwwwwwwd.

Nothing you will ever do in life will make me as happy as this cockeyed pic of "New York" from FoL. This pic is dedicated to Lisa C. I know you're out there, girl. What's good?

Seriously: how hard did you holler when you saw them flotation devices? I almost broke a vocal chord.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hey, Dorks

Many thanks to all of you who wrote in to Get Down HQ and expressed concern over the temporary shuttering of the base. I am ok. Not great, but still kicking rocks and taking breaths, so don't worry. I was taking some time to reconsider whether I wanted to delete this blog entirely or try to rework it. Let's face it, kids: the discount confessional thing was only going to work for so long. I've been spending a lot of time over at blogs I like (Professor Of Pop, And We Shall March, Shades of Caruso, Joy Unexpected, etc. trying to figure out the formula and I still haven't isolated the ingredient, but I guess the main thing is to shoulder on. At least in the mean time/in between time.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Yes, We Can

Taking The Get Down out of temporary "fix me" hiatus to say that I'm excited to go cast my ballot for Obama today. Who knows if I'll have the chance come November? So, I'm excited to make that mark today.

Hiatus will resume tomorrow.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

We Were Blessed

Mark him down as another casualty.

I Know The Light Has Left His Face, But I Can't Recall Just Where or Why...

I come from a long line of drinkers and dreamers. So it is with the sure knowledge that sunshine doesn't hold up to dark that I relate the sad news that one of my friends is packing his leaving trunk and boarding that midnight train. If you can, and if you are so inclined, some secular novenas for those afflicted by life wouldn't go amiss. Any of you have suffered with/through clinical depression will know that it can steal the breath from your body. The word sad is so far from covering it that it might as well be in a foreign tongue.

So. Sometimes, when nothing else works, you have to go back to where people know you, and can prop you up on your leaning side.

I'm nowhere near making that decision for myself. But I wouldn't mind being even further. My roommate and I are having a party next weekend, and amongst the jumble of themes (Chinese New Year/Mardi Gras/Anti-Valentine's Day) she wants to toss a "Jugo's Four Month Anniversary in L.A." nod in there. The thought of marking my spectacular crash and burn in the City of Angels fills me with revulsion. For those annotating such things, note that my disastrous tenure in Portland was catalyzed by only two months of initial instability. I've already spent double that amount sinking further and further into moral bankruptcy and indigence in a town of ravenous consumption. I'm starting to suspect that my name is meant to be some sort of cosmic watchword for bad luck. I have no idea how someone with my bonafides wound up being so utterly unemployable, but happened it has. And I'm not talking about the worthless qualifications I spent 60K and 10 years earning: I'm talking about the fact that I've had about one billion jobs in the past and yet can't seem to land a single one right now. I've been a waitress, a cook, a stripper and a nude model. I've been an admin assistant and a paralegal and a college professor. I've been a library page and a circulation clerk. I've been a bridge page and a tournament runner. I've been a freelance writer and I've been a barista. I've worked in catering and editing and services for the homeless. I've done community programming and front desk reception.

I have done a lot.

Right now, I'm not doing much.

I used to date (and by "date" I mean "was the subject of an inscrutable dork anthropology experiment") this dude and I remember when the fear and worry of not getting by in Portland was gnawing its way up my alimentary canal he would very dismissively insist that being out of work for two months was such a comparatively minor event. Give it a year, he kept saying. It could take a year for you to find a decent job.

Well, I can't tell you how much I appreciated his supercilious concern for my well being. I wanted to shake him. But I can tell you that it wasn't entirely his fault. He came from money and he had money of his own and all of his friends had money. I honestly don't think he ever walked away from a job that didn't offer some kind of severance package. Sometimes I suspect that he reads this blog and if he does, he knows that I am talking about him right now. So you should know, [name redacted] that I bear you no ill will, but there were times when I thought you were an android who hadn't been correctly programmed to understand human emotions. Having said that, I hope that you are well and you should continue to visit The Get Down.

Anyway, good luck and prayers go out on behalf of one of my erstwhile fellow Los Angelenos. It's a hard knock life, for sure. Godspeed, LS.

Friday, February 01, 2008

I Know It Was You, Fredo

Which one of you jerks is not chanting hard enough for me to get a job? Huh? Which one of you is it?