Monday, November 1, 2010

The Miseducation of Laura Mannino

The Next Ron Howard and Brian Grazer

There are two main industries in LA.  There’s show business and then there’s making money off of people who want to work in show business.  Since moving to LA, I have emptied my wallet to participate in classes, workshops, seminars, webinars, teleseminars, networking groups, events, expos, conferences, websites, etc.  Everyday my email inbox gets crammed with every “secret to success” opportunity:  “Give me your money so I can teach you to accept your appearance and then you’ll be successful!”  “Give me your money so I can teach you to change your appearance and then you’ll be successful!”  “Give me your money so I can put a Band-Aid over your crazy, decades-old emotional issues and then you’ll be successful!” “Learn to use your Daddy Issues to book that commercial!”  LA Weekly should have a “Shit To Spend Your Money In An Attempt to Make Money in An Industry in Which There’s No Guarantee to Make Money” Calendar section.  I’ve always made it a point to never tweet, blog, Facebook, or tell jokes during my stand-up performance about the ins and outs of the career I’m pursuing, the educational opportunities I’ve invested in (or sometimes wasted money on), or the crazies I’ve met along the way.*  No one needs to hear another actor bitch about that terrible audition or that terrible agent or that terrible scene partner in that terrible class with the that terrible teacher. I have enough of a filter to know that directly calling out terrible people and terrible experiences won’t help me at all in this industry…because I’d gladly take a job from them. Hate the game, not the playa.  For the most part, the classes and organizations I’ve been apart of have been immensely helpful, but if you also want to hear some old-fashioned trash talk about the rest, buy me a drink.  After a few sips I tend to get a little “truth-y.”  On some days, it might just take a sip of water.

This week I attended a Q&A with a certain television executive of a certain studio.  This executive was pleasant, informative, and patient.  I’m not saying that to kiss his ass. If I wanted to kiss his ass, I’d hunt him down on Facebook and write this on his Wall, which is what most of my fellow attendees have done already.  I found myself in a room full of unemployed, needy writers, which is the same as being in a room of unemployed, needy actors but with less hair and a higher collective BMI.  All the classic hits were in attendance: Eager Beaver who always has her hand up to show off how much she knows, Guy that laughs too loud and too heartily at the guest’s jokes that aren’t that funny, Guy who interrupts the guest in an attempt to “have a casual conversation” but just comes off rude, and of course, Phlegm-y Cougher.  We learned about what shows make effective spec scripts, why certain shows are successful in syndication, cable vs. network, the politics of the writers’ room, how to get a submission read, why does every show have to be about cops or lawyers or doctors (because David E. Kelley figured out that writing shows about cops or lawyers or doctors will make you a millionaire), and we just laughed and laughed about how actors are so desperate (Pot, meet Kettle).  The night was going swimmingly until Phlegm-y Cougher asked if a studio would pick up a pilot that had Isaiah Washington attached.  Yes, specifically Isaiah Washington, the former cast mate of Grey’s Anatomy that got fired after Gay Remark-gate.  He followed up his question asking if vampires are still “big?”  I stopped wondering what was brewing in this guy’s throat to what was brewing inside his head.  I wished we could spend the rest of our time watching him pitch to a well-compensated television executive a one-hour drama starring Isaiah Washington as a phlegm-y freelance vampire lawyer by day that works from his secluded, dark condo and then turns phlegm-y vampire cop by night.  Our hero’s Achilles Heel: his phlegm-y throat clear heard by his enemies while he lurks in the shadows, ready to pounce and deliver his own phlegm-y, vampire-y justice. But the discussion was diverted by joking about those crazy actors…those crazy, homophobic actors that buy crazy, homophobic homes with their crazy, homophobic money from their successful network shows…about doctors.

This post was originally pubished on Say Something Funny B*tch!

Monday, September 20, 2010

It’s Like a Logline but a Few Thousand Words Longer: A Reading of LA Literature

The Joan Didion Guide to Fabulous: Your Eyewear Must Weigh More Than You
This summer I checked out a reading at Skylight Books in Los Feliz of The Cambridge Companion Guide to Literature of Los Angeles.  Yes, there are other words written by other people in this town that are not James Cameron or the schmucks that stare at their five-year-old, incomplete screenplays on their laptops at various Coffee Beans.   I moved to Los Angeles from New York last February and carved out an identity in my stand-up and this blog as a fish out of water, lifetime New Yorker that doesn’t get this crazy world of Master Cleanses and being late to everything.  As time passed, LA began to feel like a home and everyone around me would rather I return to New York, than hear me utter another sentence that began with “See, in New York, this would never happen…” I realized I should embrace this city and get to know it.   At the reading, I learned that Bertolt Brecht lived in Santa Monica.  I wonder if he also bitched about the traffic and felt entitled that everyone on the east side should come to him. Contributor Eric Avila discussed Joan Didion’s interest in LA crime, particularly the Manson murders:  “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true. The tension broke that day. The paranoia was fulfilled.”  If I was as skinny and rich as Joan, I certainly wouldn’t bother mussing my best Halston pant suit by sitting through murder trials and visiting former Manson followers in prison.  I learned a little history about the building I was sitting in.  In the 70’s until it’s closing in 1994, the store that is now Skylight Books was another independent bookstore, Chatterton’s that supported and sold books of the LA poets at the time, including one of the evening’s readers, Bill Mohr. The gentleman next to me, who did not possess an inherent understanding of personal space and was leaning on my shoulder the whole time, nodded wildly at the reference to Chatterton’s.  By the look of him, it’s possible he’s been sitting in that same spot since the days of Chatterton’s and let Skylight Books be built around him.  When my 22-minute sitcom attention span started to wane, I checked out my fellow audience members.  Like at every event that requires quiet, rapt attention, there’s always a lady rummaging through a plastic bag who never quite finds what’s she’s looking for.   I noticed there was another “Mad Nodder” in the front room.  Every time a reader mentioned a quote, or a book title, this guy would nod away in that overtly presentational way.  I wondered if this how you pick someone up at a book reading since you can’t buy a drink or talk.  “Hey, look at me. I know a lot of stuff about the stuff this guy’s talking about.  Want to come over to my place and do…stuff?” After the reading, I noticed him schmoozing with the writers and I realized his intention was never to pick anyone up (certainly not women), but rather to pick up some job prospects.  “Hey writers, I know a lot of stuff about stuff you write because I also write about the same stuff.  Can you refer me to your lit agent, so I can get paid…for stuff.”  When I was driving back to Echo Park, Sunset was closed off from Douglas Street to Elysian Park Ave because of a murder in a marijuana dispensary.  I wondered if the murder would be worthy of a Joan Didion essay, or if Echo Park would be worthy of Joan Didion.

This post was originally published at Say Something Funny...B*tch!

Monday, September 6, 2010

LA Field Trips #12: Huntington Library

"To Catch a Predator " in 1913
Is your house overflowing wit creepy child hobglobins or do we live in Victorian England?
I went to the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens to check out the exhibit, Child’s Play?: Children’s Book Illustration of 19th Century Britain.  Huntington Library should extend a free bus trip and admission to parents that spend their energy screaming at School Board meetings about “inappropriate books.”  For as long as adults are in charge of creating children’s literature, children’s movie and television shows, kids have always been reading and watching fucked up, crazy shit.  Most of the crazy will go over their heads, but the small subconscious impression that will be left can prepare kids for a world that ‘s bigger than their Justin Bieber bedspreads.  After getting lost in a Zen Garden, a Rose Garden, a bamboo forest, a long line at the café, a giant lawn full of marble statues that looks like the opening credits of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, I made my way to the actual exhibit I came to see. I was allowed to take pictures as long as the flash is off, so now I have a lot of blurry pictures of nothing.  The exhibit was small but chock full of child molestation, naked male fairies, child hobgoblins, murderous trolls, and a biography of the illustrator, Charles Altamont Doyle (dad to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) that includes details about his alcoholism and stay in a lunatic asylum.  One of my favorites illustrations is of the Miss Muffet nursery rhyme from a book of Mother Goose Fairytales, illustrated by Arthur Rackham.  Miss Muffet is chilling with her curds and whey, and lurking behind her was a spider that also happened to be rocking a top hat and old man glasses.  The illustration took a rhyme that means nothing and made into a “Stranger Danger” cautionary tale.  “So Muffet, my web is right about us, want to come over for curds and whey candy and play that hoop and stick game that’s all the rage with you kids these days? And when I say, “hoop and “stick,” I really mean…” Today if there was a graphic on a lunch box of that monkey that Dora the Explorer hangs out with, eyeballing Dora in that “To Catch A Predator way, the heads of mothers would explode in the aisles of Target and Costco stores across America.

This post was originally posted on Say Something Funny...B*tch!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Why does my gum taste like salad?

I grabbed lunch at Umami Burger with friend Julie (see the wine tasting post below) at the hipster hangout epicenter, Space 15 Twenty. Space 15 Twenty is a shopping center with an  Urban Outfitters, Free People,  an art gallery and screenings of Spike Jonze films.   Right outside Umami, we noticed a Seedbomb "gumball machine."  For fifty cents you can purchase a ball of seeds of regional flowers and engage in a green terror campaign by bombing areas that need plant life the most: dirt patches, parking lots, abandoned lots...and giant hipster shopping centers. 

Flights of Fancy

 At Silverlake Wine with friend, Julie. Or a bad audition for a wine print ad

I checked out Silverlake Wine's weekly Thursday night tasting. Wine tastings are great because they elevate basic drinking to “engaging in an activity,” “completing a task,” and “learning something new.” Rarely does drinking make you feel good about yourself, but wine tastings always make you feel just the right amount of superior like when you read all the little cards at a museum exhibit or listen to any genre of music that doesn’t have lyrics. Also, you can bring your kids to wine tastings! There were a few kids hanging out with their moms while they cracked open a bottle with friends. If you bring your kid to a regular bar, you’re degenerate but if you bring your kid to a wine tasting, then you’re the cool parent that let’s your kid get a glimpse of adult sophistication. You can buy your kid a hot dog at the Let’s Be Frank Hot Dog Truck parked outside while you shake off your Chianti buzz.  I hit the Rose flight and learned something about grape skin color that I unfortunately can’t remember now, but appreciate the lesson. Many have grown up watching some crazy aunt swill down a jug of room temperature White Zinfindel during the holidays and have since sworn off the stuff. Randy Clement, manger at Silverlake Wine confirmed Rose is in fact “cool and here to stay!” I wonder if we can still be snotty about Merlot? 

This post was originally published on Say Something Funny...B*tch!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The OC Fair: Dude, Are You Serious?

For weeks, this awful commercial has invaded basic cable in the Los Angeles area:

And it gets worse:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

LA Story: The Walking Man of Silver Lake

Walking is so unusual in LA that when someone does it regularly, that person becomes a local legend.  Last spring, while driving to Trader Joe's, Alex and I saw a short, Snooki-tanned older man, in bright green shorts walking while reading the paper.  While returning from the store forty minutes late rwe saw the same man still walking.  We had no idea back then that he has been walking this  20 mile-ish route since the 80's and was known in the neighborhood as "Walking Man."  Walking Man, or Marc Abrams was featured as one of LA Weekly's People of 2009.   In Brooklyn, we had many local heroes but none were celebrated for their athletic prowess.  There was "Bumps," some guy who lived McGolrick Park, and after years of alcohol abuse, no longer possessed balance...or pants; "Stop N' Shop," some guy who drove his fellow drunks around n a shopping cart; "Greenpoint Admiral," some guy who always dressed as an admiral; "Greenpoint Cowboy," some guy who always dressed like a cowboy; and "Starter Jacket," some guy  who always hung out in our laundromat  always wearing a Starter Jacket.  I can't remember his team allegiance. 

Last week Marc Abrams was found dead in a hot tub (such an LA death).  Today his death was ruled a suicide.  He was under investigation because his medical practice was allegedly a Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory for prescription drug addicts (such an LA abuse of power.).   This past Sunday, 400 people memorialized Walking Man by walking his route. There's something comforting about local celebrities, they give a small town feel to a giant urban sprawl.  Bars and restaurants come and go, people move in and out of neighborhoods, sights and sounds from outside whiz by your car window as you're running late to something, months go by before you see your next door neighbor, but it's nice that there's one constant you can depend on seeing everyday: a tiny man in tiny shorts speed walking and speed reading at the same time.  This same man might have abused his privilege to practice medicine by enabling deadly addictions, while battling his own demons of depression and suicide attempts.  The story of Walking Man gave a neighborhood joy and a common bond.  The possible reality of Marc Abrams is a sad portrait of destruction and isolation.  So LA. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I'm leaving my couch for Say Something Funny...B*tch!

I'm a weekly columnist for a great blog featuring women comics and writers, Say Something Funny B*tch! For my column, Laura Mannino Has Left The Couch, I write about different events around LA, which what I should've thought for this blog instead of waiting around for something to happen or to do something or have an opinion about something. Here's my first three columns! Check out SSFB every Saturday for a new post! If you'd like to check out some past posts, this time with correct grammar and tighter sentences, check out my profile on Funny Not Slutty!

Friday, June 25, 2010

LA: This Week In Crowds

This week Angelenos got out of the cars to stand around for various reasons: to celebrate the West Coast's version of the Yankees, to buy phones that don't actually work as phones, to mourn a dead celeb, and see celebs that play the undead.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

LA Vacation Suggestions 1: Obama Family Edition

The First Lady and First Grandma at the Staples Center last night.
LA is all 'a-Twitter" about the First Lady's family trip to LA this week. The First Family has been sighted at Luques, Pink's, and Pizzeria Mozza. I wonder if Mrs. Obama received a similar scolding like I did from the server at Mozza for bending the binding of the wine list cover. Mrs. Obama was also at last night's Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Many were wondering if the First Lady was rooting for the Celtics or the Lakers. I hope she was rooting for the Clippers. I'd like to make some suggestions for the rest of the Obama family's trip:
  • Robin Hood British Pub in Sherman Oaks: The quality of the website says it all. This place is as authentically Briitsh as the off-duty cop patrons are authentically Irish.
  • That Pupuseria next to the Auto Body Repair place on Temple and Figueroa Streets in Echo Park: The Obama Family's parade of black SUVs are bound to get scratched in this town. While the car's bumper is getting a touch up, I recommend grabbing a pork rind pupusa.
  • Tang's Donuts in Silver Lake: Yes, it sounds like a porn set in a donut shop. It's like naming a salad place, "Taint's Tossed."
  • Blue Goose Lounge in Hollywood: There's no windows, the entrance is a heavy, rusted door, the bathroom smells like mildew, the taps don't work, there's a bunch of mismatched sofa strewn about for that "burnt-out Levitz showroom" feel, and whatever you do, don't get the tacos. Aside from that, its lovely. Keep in mind, the rave reviews on Yelp are probably written by 22-year-olds.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

California Field Trips #4: Laguna Beach

We stayed at The Pacific Edge

Views from our balcony

See, it's art because it's expensive.
Over Memorial Day weekend (and my birthday) Alex and I went to Laguna Beach. Alex actually surprised me and during most of our time in the car, I had no idea where we were going. The time we were driving on south on the 110, I thought to myself, "Well, maybe there is a fabulous spa in Compton." We found ourselves in Laguna Beach. The beach is beautiful, the town is quaint, and there's nothing remotely LA-ish about it. I can't really put my finger on why something is and isn't LA. I didn't see anyone working on a screenplay in the beach shack coffee shop next door or any 50 year-old men in Ed Hardy t-shirts. Laguna has same sleepy, beach-y feel of Hawaii. Everyone eats between 6-8 PM, falls asleep by 10 PM, and wakes up 5 am to engage in heavy recreational physical activity. There's an interesting blend of residents in Laguna Beach: wealthy professionals, retirees, and art population that serves the wealthy. professionals and retirees. On every block there is an art gallery, art classes or school, shop, ceramic studios, and jewelry stores. The art is very specific rich lady art: a lot of stone sculptures of voluptuous lady figures and jewelry made up of giant, mother of pearl slabs, all marked up 300%. The art scene seemed really active and vibrant and I'm sure there's amazing work that's not being marketed to tourists and the nouveau riche. I was on the prowl for the new cast of Laguna Beach, but didn't see one self-entitled, beautiful teenager traipsing about. Maybe Lauren and Lo and crew got MTV's attention only because they were the only teenagers in Laguna Beach. The only teenager I found was a Justin Bieber-ish naïf that showed us to our table at my birthday dinner. Maybe Laguna has some revered Children of the Corn policy. See, now that's a show about Laguna Beach!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Shitcanned-tivities #6: Naps

Take naps. Do you remember when you were working and you'd crave chocolate or coffee at 3 PM, anything to help you make it to 5PM? You'll begin to feel that way about naps. There's nothing that beats the 3-4 PM Oprah nap. Well, maybe a paycheck.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

LA vs. NY: You've Been Served

Classically trained.
I was strolling with a friend after brunch (yes, people walk in LA...around The Grove) breaking down the different status items that define the social climbing ventures of the women in The Real Housewives of Orange County and The Real Housewives of New York City. How big is your McMansion? (Vicki's "Land of the Lost" inspired backyard grotto) vs. How big is your McCharity? (LuAnn's "Give Your day-old Gucci to Poor People" Party). In so many ways New York and Los Angeles are interchangeable and constantly compared. Both cities share a population of power-hungry, status-climbing, star-fucking, dreamers that shuttle to each coast to hang with whatever city gives them their next ego fix. Also known as Show Business. LA is an outer, outer, outer borough of NY, just northwest of its outer, outer borough, Florida; and NY is the Emerald City just beyond Bakersfield. There are definable priorities among the moneyed, consumerist elites of both towns. Sure, you need a fabulous designer bag in LA, especially if you’re a Second Wife of a Studio Exec that Lunches in Beverly Hills. In LA, no one cares about the name on your purse quite like the name of your yoga instructor, or Pilates instructor, or your Yogalates instructor. In New York, it's whose party you're invited to and who you're wearing. In LA, it's whose vacation home you stayed in and who rejuvenates your vagina. In New York, it's how expensive you look. In LA, it's how much money you spent to look like you don't care. What defines your social status in LA the most is who and how many serve you: personal trainers, stylists, shoppers, assistants, concierges, organizers, dog walkers, groomers & whisperers, spiritual readers, life coaches, relationship coaches, gardeners, estheticians, and event planners. How many people do you pay to ensure your personal well-being? In LA, there's an onslaught of professionals offering personal services. This all exists in New York, but I didn't feel its presence as strongly as I feel it in LA. Why? Because in LA, what else are out of work actors going to do after they quit? Sure, there's plenty of out of work or former actors in NY, but there's plenty of office buildings that need temps. In LA, once you spent a year in Coffee Bean with your laptop being your own "boss" and "writing" your script, there’s no going back to a 9 to 5 cubicle world. If you can't make a small business as an actor, you can make a small business of teaching actors how to make a small business as an actor. Or you can do this.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Brief Guide to LA #3: Eastside Edition

I'm dedicating this installment of My Guide to LA to some Eastside joints I've checked out the past few months. So Westsiders, stop whining about traffic and gang activity circa 1998 and come on over! Or don't, our inferiority complex feeds our sense of superiority.
  • Footsie's: Highland Park. I guess this is a dive bar. I've put some time into some serious shitholes in NY and I don't conside upholstered banquettes and well-thought out lighting design to be "dive-y." Great outdoor space, pool table, cool bartenders, cheap beer options!
  • Verdugo Bar: Glassell Park. VerdugoBar has the same energy and vibe as Footsie's. The backyard is huge, and has beer hall style tables and benches. There's a BBQ the first Sunday of every month.
  • The Thirsty Crow: Silver Lake. This is a brand new bar that specializes in bourbon and bourbon cocktails. It has a cozy, speakeasy style and definitely pulled me out of my wine and beer comfort zone. There's usually a food truck parked outside which brings us to...
Need to hit this weekend:
  • Eagle Rock Brewery: Like the Brooklyn Brewery in NY, Eagle Rock's tap room is open to the public during the weekends.

Monday, April 26, 2010

If the Hollywood sign was in NYC

There's been a lot of news about possible land development west of the Hollywood sign. The latest new is Hugh Hefner decided to put buying another girlfriend on the back burner and donate money to prevent any development around the sign and the land will be turned over to Griffith Park. I'm shocked the land hasn't been developed already, at least into a giant parking lot. If you want to be a millionaire in this town, open up a parking lot. In New York, no one would let a chunk of land next a famous tourist attraction sit idle for a second. If the Hollywood sign was in New York, not only would the land around it be covered in "luxury" glass box condos, each letter of the sign would have it's own business:
  • W= Another Starbucks, in case the "H" Starbucks isn't convenient for you.
  • O= Thai restaurant
  • O= Nail Salon
  • D= The sign is very big and quite a walk. You'll need another Starbucks.
And of course a new sign would have to be mounted on top of the Hollywood sign to promote its new owner: Trump.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

LA Lessons #7: On time is early

When I first moved to LA I spent a lot of time before meetings sitting in my car on suburban streets in the middle of the day, waiting, like a pedophile. I had no idea how long it would take me to get anywhere so I erred on the side of caution or a potential three lane, 10-car fire on the 101, and left early for everything. I realized the time of arrival suggested on the GPS would only be accurate if everyone else in LA were eaten by zombies and it was only me and my trusty German Shepard in a fabulous townhouse. Speaking of GPS, never speak of a GPS to anyone who moved to LA at least ten years ago. They will all insist GPS is shit and it's Thomas Guide or nothing. Yes, my GPS has put me on some weird, inconvenient routes but I always got there and never rear-ended a car because my head was sunk into a giant book of maps instead of looking ahead. The aversion to GPS by LA vets is a middle-aged version of "when I was your age I walked uphill to school in snow with no shoes..." Now that I have a grasp of how long it'll take me to get to most places, I still find myself to be the first one there. I've sat at stand-up shows 15 minutes before they're supposed to start and it's just me and the busboy. I've walked into bars and restaurants five minutes past the time I'm supposed to meet someone, and still have to text the other person fifteen minutes later to see where they are. Traffic or not, lost or not, there's really no urgency to communicate an excuse or an ETA to the other person who is waiting for you. I think there's some general, unspoken rule that perfectly responsible, considerate people know and I haven't figured out yet: meeting times are only mark rough half hour windows of time and there's no need to apologize or acknowledge your tardiness as long as there's a chance of potential, unexpected traffic or parking restrictions.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shitcanned-tivities #5: Obsessively Tear Out Recipes from Sunset Magazine...

then place each recipe in a 3-hole punch, clear sheet protector and organize them in a binder in the following categories:
  • Fancy Salads I'll Only Make When Guests Come Over
  • Fancy Meats I'll Try to Make When Guests Come Over
  • BBQ I'll Actually Make When Guests Come Over
  • Cutesy Baking Shit I'll Never Make Even Guests Come Over Because I'm Just Not Wired To Be A "Cutesy Baking Shit" Person. Ugh, I'd have to blow my candle and wine glass budget on tins and pans and Crisco and then there's flour everywhere...
  • Booze
Right now, I'm now enjoying a Shaved Artisan Ice Pomegranate Mango Mojito Breeze with take-out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Social Network Spring Cleaning

  • I have no idea who you are and we never met...
  • You live in a foreign country or speak a different language and I have no idea who you and we never met...
  • You need to post everything you ever do during the day and I have no idea who you are and we never met...
  • Your profile pic is an eight year-old black and white headshot...
  • You posted way too much glitter clip art on my page...
  • Your bar or restaurant closed two years ago...
  • Your show closed two years ago...
  • Your sketch group or band broke up two years ago...
  • You last logged into your account two years ago...
I released you from my MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Please don't take it personally, it's just all too much! I'm not really reading your status updates, tweets or looking at your pics. I'm not coming to your show because I live thousands and thousands of miles away. I'm not joining your fan group because we are equally not famous and unsuccessful, and I am not your fan, I am your peer. After cleaning out all the self-promotion clutter, it's so lovely to really see and appreciate the collection of real people that matter in my life: family, friends, former co-workers, teachers, and classmates, neighbors, performers and industry professionals whose work I actually know and love. So if you were able to see the Facebook status announcing this post, I know you and I like you and you matter to me. Don't get cocky though, everyone is one "Lil Green Patch" away from getting cut.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


LA loves its goals. What's your plan? What do you want? How are you going to get it? What's your vision? What's your to-do list? What's your next step? Who do you want to meet? Are you holding yourself accountable? Are you a self starter? A grown up? Do you need to give someone else money to help you get your shit together? Do you need a goal group? Do you need a bunch of magazine cut outs of models, McMansions, and Oscars glue-sticked to a piece of cardboard to help get you out of bed everyday? Goals. Tasks. Progress. Forward movement. How are you spending your time in front of the laptop at Intelligentsia Coffee?! My goal this week is to actually prepare and eat the bags of produce I bought at Vons today. This time next week, I will not be scooping out brownish-green rot soup at the bottom of the fridge. Okay, so, Brussels sprouts, hmmm....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Open Letter to An Asshole #5: A Request to Buy Back My Hubcaps

Dear Guy or Gal Who Stole Our Hubcaps: I've never paid attention to my hubcaps and now that they're gone, I can't stop obsessing about my hubcap-less tires. I'm feeling a little low-class in that "have a bunch of broken TV stacked on top of each in the living room" way. I'd like to offer you a$100 to buy back my hubcaps. I'm assuming you can use it. If you can find my GPS holder and charger that were stolen last year, I'll throw in another $25 plus some cans of Trader Joe's Turkey Chili and a bottle of Shiraz. I'll give you another $10 if you can explain to me the business strategy of hubcap stealing? What's their street value? I asked Google why people steal hubcaps and all I got were links to racist joke websites. I make no assumptions about your race or gender. I am judging you for your taste level in car part thievery. You really risked getting caught stealing hubcaps off a Nissan Versa? Not even an Altima? Tsk, tsk. Warmest Regards, Laura

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Missed my Blog-versary by a day

I've been on the couch for the past five hours, half watching TV and half feeling guilty about not posting. I realized February 16, 2009 marks the birth of this blog. So in perfect LA fashion, I'm late. If you'd like to walk down memory lane, here's my first post. I think I did a pretty good job following my own rules. Some posts are more ramble-y than others. If I think about it, I haven't watched Rachel Maddow since I wrote my first post. Nothing against Rachel, I just got better cable.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy LA-versary!

Today marks my first anniversary in LA! A year ago I was crying in JFK and schlepping too much luggage in Burbank. I look back at my life this time last year...and it sucked. I can't believe I did that to myself. I was lonely, I couldn't identify the smell coming out of the fridge in my sublet apartment, I spent my days watching people at Coffee Bean buying their coffee while talking on their cells and scurrying to their cars, envious of their busy and important lives, and I threw up a combination Peaches and Cream Instant Oatmeal and Hazelnut coffee on my way to look at one of many mauve wall to wall carpet-ed, mirrored closet-ed, broken ceiling fan-ed, shit hole apartments. Aside from serious illness and death, I went through every personal crisis one goes through during life in short, concentrated bursts of anxiety: I want my husband, clothes, and coffee mugs back and a home to put them in. I want friends. I want to stop seeking approval of those that would end up making very little difference in my life. I want Dunkin Donuts. I want more professional opportunities. I want more money. I want to fit in. I want validation that all this change is worth it. I don't know when the shift happen, but at some point I stopped wondering if I like LA and why I miss NY and started living. This month I did very little living (and even less blogging) and was just full-blown doing. I created a part-time organizing business and began shooting a short film I've been writing and re-writing since August. It didn't really matter that I had to sit in traffic, or that I want to hurl people that complain about rain into the non-existent LA river, or that I can't find a normal, regular size egg roll. After a year of of getting used to a new town, I can now enjoy a new life.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hey there, 2010!

Happy New Year! Happy New Decade! Happy One Month Shy of My First LA-versary! I like this time of year - even more now that I don't have to stand in the subway sweating through a coat, turtleneck, scarf, and ill fitting "work slacks." Right now everything feels full of promise and possibility. I haven't screwed anything up yet. Goals still seem attainable in the face of sleeping in and catching up on my DVR. Great big things might happen. Or perhaps I'll enjoy a consistent lull of nothing too awful happening. I feel like I should reflect upon this decade and outline the highs and the lows. Ten years ago I was preparing to start my second semester as a transfer student at NYU...and moving into my fifth dorm, and six months away of meeting my now husband. It's been sort of a blur since. This is my first decade I didn't have school years and semesters to divide my life. Basically 2003-2007 felt like one long year. And 2009 in LA felt like one long May.